Live @ Sweden Rock 2015
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Audio CD, 8 Jan 2016
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Lucifer's Friend reformed in 2015, some 20+ years after they were last together. LIVE @ SWEDEN ROCK 2015 captures the band's performance on the 4 Sound Stage on Friday 5th June 2015 as the HEADLINE act. The set list includes the band's greatest hits from the 1970s plus songs from the recently released 'Awakening' title.
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While the set / performed songs are, unsurprisingly, focused upon tracks that make up Awakening (three of the four new songs on Awakening feature as do seven of the ten 'best of' numbers), Live @ Sweden Rock complements the anthology album perfectly, primarily because of the vibrancy and energy the songs carry in the live environment (the semi-progressive debut album double of 'In the Time of Job' and 'Keep Going' being live case in points).
Of course it also doesn’t hurt that, some three and a half decades on from their last full hurrah, Lucifer’s Friend can still cut it in front of a large and appreciative crowd – and in some style.
At 69 years vocally young John Lawton still has the pipes, heard loudly, clearly and to maximum effect on songs such as the pacey 'Hey Driver' and the band’s signature number, 'Ride the Sky.'
Peter Hesslein still has the six-string chops, providing gritty riffs or a flurry of notes off the fretboard as the songs require, while bassist Dieter Horns has lost none of his four-string punch, drive and groove, working in perfect rhythmic tandem with Lucifer’s latest member, drummer Stephan Eggert.
Jogi Wichmann, keyboard player in the short-lived Lucifer’s Friend II project of the mid-90s (which also featured Lawton and Hesslein) is the perfect fit for the reformed and seemingly rejuvenated band.
Wichmann fills out the sound with great washes of keys (such as on the atmospheric new number 'Riding High'), organ remarks and piano runs; the latter skill makes for a great introduction to 'Moonshine Rider,' one of the most dynamic songs in the Lucifer’s Friend back catalogue.
The set and album end with an up-tempo, infectious rock and roll flourish in the shape of 'High Flying Lady,' one of the band's many 70s classics that didn’t make the Awakening cut.
Live @ Sweden Rock 2015 would have been a fitting musical exclamation point on a great little reunion by a still great band, but the reformation has met with such success and been enjoyed to such a degree by Lucifer’s lads that an album of all new material is expected later in the year.
Welcome back, boys.