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No overdubs live performance!
on 1 June 2004
What do you really get when a CD says 'live'? Without thinking about it you would probably think a performance recorded at a gig and then put on CD. In the vast majority of cases this is not true, as live recordings are taken into the studio and parts are re-recorded to make them sound better (particularly vocals), and the recordings are the best ones chosen from multiple gigs and then spliced together. With this album you get none of that - it does exactly what it says on the tin! An on the CD case it states - "No overdubs", and it was recorded at one gig at the Royal Albert Hall. This really is a brave step for most bands, who often don't live up to their studio sound when playing live.
Siouxsie and the Banshees were always great live in the early 80's, and this is that period captured warts and all. It's not a perfect recording, as there are a few rough edges from Robert Smith's guitar, and Siouxsie tends to slide into notes if she doesn't hit them too well. Her voice really is in good form at this gig though, and she dominates the performance.
The live versions of songs here are sometimes better than the studio versions as they don't suffer from the overproduction that some were subjected to, particularly in the case of the later material. Songs like 'Dear Prudence' take on a whole new lease of life when heard live, and obscure b-sides like 'Pulled to Bits' have been literally pulled to bits and reconstructed to make a great live song. This really is a great document of the middle (and probably best) period of the band's life, and one that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.