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Wishbone Ash - Live Dates 3 CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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3.18 | 19 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A tribute to the glory days

"Live dates 3" consists entirely of tracks recorded in October 1999 while Wishbone Ash were touring France. My first thoughts were probably the same as yours, do we really need another live Wishbone Ash album? Well, after listening to these recordings, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Firstly, this album comes almost 20 years after the "Live dates 2" set; secondly, the set list is superb; and thirdly, the sound is excellent.

The line up here will be unfamiliar to most early fans of the band, with only Andy Powell from the original combo remaining. He is joined by second guitarist Mark Birch, the band being completed by bassist Bob Skeat and drummer Ray Weston. The songs are taken from a broad spectrum of albums including a couple each from the Laurie Wisefield era recordings "There's the rub" and "Just testing". "Wings of desire" is the newest song, dating from the 1991 album "Strange affair". The song fits in with its peers well though, demonstrating how the band has maintained both quality and their unique style throughout their career.

It is the old songs which are of course the favourites. Here we have "Error of my ways" and the sublime "Phoenix" from the first album plus "Leaf and stream" and "Throw down the sword" from "Argus". The "Argus" songs sound as fresh and inspired as ever, "Leaf and stream", which does not feature on the previous "Live dates" albums, being something of a lost gem. I always feel "Throw down the sword" does not sound quite right when it is not preceded by "Warrior", but the rendition here is superb nonetheless. The 14 minute performance of "Phoenix" inevitably has some wonderful guitar work, Mark Birch playing his part with an assured confidence.

The recordings here show no significant deviations from their studio counterparts, although they do benefit from years of development in the live arena. The line up may appear to be largely a tribute act to the band's glory days, but Andy Powell keeps them honest, and gives these performances sufficient authenticity to make this a fine acquisition for fans of the band.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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