Welsh band Man are noted for their constantly changing line-ups, in fact by the time this album came out five years into their career they included only one original member, lead guitarist and singer Micky Jones. But their original line-up wasn't their best and this is not only one of their best albums but also the most successful chart-wise. The original album was a double LP with one studio disc and one live, and the studio disc was divided between two different line-ups, with second guitarist Tweke Lewis joining halfway through the sessions. The studio album is patchy but for a band whose real strengths always lay on stage it has some fine moments, especially the two longer tracks recorded by the 2-guitar line-up, Ain't Their Fight, which features some fine tremolo/wah work from Micky Jones, and the uncharacteristically prog rock oriented Never Say Nups To Nepalese.
But the real meat of this album is the two live tracks recorded at the London Roundhouse in June 1973. C'mon, easily one of their greatest songs and originally from their previous (and best) studio album "Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day" is found in its definitive version here, with some marvellously psychedelic sequences bracketed by the urgent and extremely positive song parts, and even backing vocals from Gwalia Male Choir (who get their own track just before C'mon). They play with such tightness and power towards the end of the song that it sounds as if they might levitate. The 20 minutes plus Jam Up Jelly Tight/Spunk Rock starts in a fairly lowkey fashion and gradually builds through some excellent soloing from Jones, Lewis and keyboard player Phil Ryan, anchored by the superbly tight and dynamic drumming of Terry Williams, before they reach back into their early repertoire for Spunk Rock itself, a kind of 12-bar stomp in 5/4 time, and a scorching finish again. Not for people who think guitar solos should be restricted to a couple of bars, but then again there's nothing wrong with playing long tracks as long as you've still got something to say musically. Man were on a roll at this gig and it's wonderful that the gig has now been issued in its entirety - see my review of the Esoteric reissue for details of the full concert. The line-up proved unstable and Micky Jones and Terry Williams ditched the rest of the band and reunited with former guitarist Deke Leonard, plus a couple of ex-members of Help Yourself, a few months later, but this remains one of their high points.