A good mix of live performances which include some new songs and some old versions of old ones which are better in many ways than the studio originals. A good album to buy if you want to hear a mix of Thea's styles.
Thea's first live album is magic. I thought that she had lost her way a little but after last years superb "Liejacker" and now this, it seems that she is now at the top of her game. I dont think her voice has ever sounded better, its pure gold. The splitting of the album into an acoustic set followed by an electric one works brilliantly. If there is a stand out track I'd go for "You And Frank Sinatra" an absolute corker written by partner Nigel Stonier (if you ever get the chance listen to a song he wrote and recorded years ago called "Expecting Rosalyn" - exceptional!) I believe Thea's only doing one gig this summer and thats just up the road from her home. Lets hope this gives her the chance to re-charge her batteries and come up with another superb album. Meanwhile buy this, its an absolute cracker!!
I've all Thea's CDs, and I make the effort to see her at least once a year, usually taking with me someone who is unfamiliar with her work. I'll admit, I usually shun live albums, but I just had to have this album. As Thea has grown into maturity with the pasing of time, her becoming a mother and her trips to America, her work has managed to retain the acidity of her earliest work. She has not sold-out unlike so many others. But, this is only worth buying if you want, like me, to have the whole complete canon. If you want live, then go see her. Magically Thea performs in tight, intimate venues (although some have been ruined by Carling) where you feel part of the action. Sadly, this album does not reflect that intimacy, even on 'Icarus Wind'; my favourite. I'm looking forward to seeing her in the Autumn. You should too.
I first saw Thea Gilmore on Breakfast TV back in 2003, promoting her 'Avalanche' album Avalanche, and was immediately hooked. She is simply the best female singer-songwriter currently working in the UK and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world. Her lyrics are fresh and in-your-face, rarely cliched, and amazingly varied. Her music too is innovative, recycling what we've heard from others in the genre through a personal filter that somehow prevents it becoming trite or derivative. Put words and music together with a great voice and you have all the ingredients needed for a truly stellar artist.
'Recorded Delivery' is Thea's first live album, recorded during her 2006 and 2008 UK tours, so it's no surprise to find five tracks off her 'Liejacker' CD Liejacker in the mix, but there are some old favourites there as well. This is not a 'greatest hits' collection, though, and even familiar songs have been reworked from their studio versions, especially in Part One of the record, which is an acoustic set. Part Two is 'electric', Thea performing with her full band ~ which really rocks! Fifteen tracks in all and excellent value. Anyone who's already got a complete set of the studio albums will still find three tracks here not previously recorded, including civil rights anthem 'If you miss me at the back of the bus' and husband Nigel Stonier's 'You and Frank Sinatra', which was only available up till now in a 'home sofa' version on YouTube. The performances are stunning! My only criticism is that the recordings are drawn from too many different venues, which means that you miss something of the buzz and flow that builds up when you're listening to a single show.
Why is Thea Gilmore not a household name? God only knows! Perhaps the independence and authenticity that keeps her off major record labels and away from product endorsement and reality TV shows! But if a fifty-something guy brought up on Dylan and Cohen, Judy Collins and Janis Ian, can dig this stuff just as much as the twenty-somethings who've grown up with her, then really, what's not to like?
Okay, so I'm biased, I'm a fan, but I'm no fanatic and I calls it likes I sees it and this is great album with a wonderful selection of Thea's songs. Although taken from a variety of gigs over a couple of tours, it builds up slowly, from the solo acoustic version of "Old Soul" --from her most recent album, "Liejacker" -- to the thundering, electric, full-band and full throttle version of "Everybody's Numb", which possesses a vitality that the studio version, on "Harpo's Ghost", just didn't. My only niggle is that, once you get the full band playing, some of the songs sound a little too faithful to the originals. There's a sterling "This Girl Is Taking Bets", but it would have been fun to have heard the version she did on the most recent tour, with acoustic guitar and viola, which put a whole new spin on it. These minor faults, however, are balanced out with tracks not on any previous albums, including the autobiographical "Concrete" and the lovely, haunting "You and Frank Sinatra" (probably one of her best songs), as well as a live favourite from her last tour, "If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus", a stomping, acappella slice of joy from the 60s civil rights' movement.
This is a cracker of a collection of songs from one of our greatest singer/songwriters ever. Keep yer art-school synthpop 80s clones: Thea is the real thing. Buy this and know it.
I suspect like many others, I was only recently introducd to Thea Gilmore via her CD of previously unrecorded Sandy Denny lyrics 'Don't Stop Singing'. As I think that you can often get a feel for the singer in live performances I chose this CD of hers as my first purchase from her own catalogue.
I'm glad that part one is 'Acoustic' as I found this was nmy introduction and for me was by far the best half of the CD. A lovely voice accompanied by non overpowing acoustic guuitar. The 'Electric' part two came as a shock; I think it was because it wasn't what I was expecting. My first reaction to 'Have You Heard' was that it could have been a very pleasant, but almost any, female singer accompanying The Moody Blues thirty years ago. Some parts of individual tracks had shades of The Zombies from an even earlier era, and left you straining to her any voice over a dominant backing.
However, don't get me wrong, in the end the more I have listened to the whole CD the more I have liked it, which is why I have given it four stars. And there is no taking away from the fact that the first half is good, good enough to encourage me to investigate more of Thea Gilmore's acoustic offerings.
We only first heard of Thea recently. By the time we listened on Spotify and decided we both really liked her music it was too late for her Dec 09 concert at Bush Hall in London. A pity, as we really like her voice, music and lyrics and on this live album she sounds very engaging. Anyway we bought this album as well as Harpo's Ghost and Burning Dorothy (which we got as mp3 from amazon as the actual CD seems to be out of print and expensive second hand). Harpo's Ghost is excellent, Burning Dorothy not bad but this album is our favourite. We like the first few acoustic tracks as well as the majority with fuller backing. Favourites include Old Soul, Rosie, Icarus Wind and Juliet but there aren't any tracks we skip past and nearly all have interesting words. It's hard to describe the genre, sort of folk-rock but there is plenty of variety. Her voice is very pure in a folky sort of way and we like the way it changes dramatically for the higher passages. So why not five stars? Only that the applause is not faded out and in, so the track gaps make it come and go too abruptly. They should have suppressed the gaps.
When i was a teenager I used to love a good live album, however repetitive the singer's ad-libbing became after a few listens. In recent years, might be me, but live albums have become too sanitised, just a retread of the original versions, and generally boring.
I'm biased, but lovely Thea Gilmore has recreated some of the old feeling. It's a given that a live album from probably the UK's greatest singer-songwriter is full of great songs. The mix of familiar and unfamiliar material, the halves of acoustic and electric material, and a couple of brief explanations of the origins of songs make up the perfect live package.
I would give this four and a half stars; I think a five star review is too much for a live album which contains, in the end, a lot of pre-existing material. It deserves to sell millions, of course, but almost certainly won't; Thea should be a superstar, but probably never will be. More's the pity.
Arrived in the post today,listening for the third time as i write.As with lifejacker i love this more with every play.Thea is the best performer i have ever heard.Am ordering other albums can not wait to hear everything she has done.