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Brian Auger - Live Oblivion Volume 1 CD (album) cover


Brian Auger


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.86 | 12 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

Yet another change into the Express' line-up, with percussionist Laington having left and allowing space for the returning Ligertwood on vocals and supposedly percussion. If memory serves, their next release would also be a live album with the same artwork (strongly inspired from CTI and SA) but in pink colour. Why they didn't issue a double live album is beyond me, especially knowing they were the rage around. Blue or Pink colours sounds like a maternity) but in either case, the flavour is the one of a group that seems completely lost

After an overstretched jam of Beginning Again bringing nothing new, but at least showing a little energy, the group takes up Don't Look Away (from Second Wind), where guitarist Mills gets to strut his stuff and finally compare favourably to his predecessor Mullen. Again the track is overstaying its welcome by at least three minutes, but I suppose this kind of funk arrangement and live settings allowed for inflated duration times. The flipside holds another two lengthy tracks, including an almost definitive version of Bumping On Sunset (also obligatory given that the gig was on Sunset strip in LA), vastly livelier than the soporific SA studio version. Last up is Truth, which sounds a little too inspired from Situation from the Jeff Beck Group's Rough & Ready album, bassist Clive Chaman being the obvious link here. In either case, beit from the track's name or the actual songwriting, attributing it to Ligertwood is a little dodgy in my eyes.

Oddly enough, despite Ligertwood's presence on vocals, all Santana hints are gone in this live recording. If Alex would join up Santana, it wouldn't up until 79's Marathon and he is definitely not a good percussionist: he's almost absent (or inaudible) bar a few diddles on Sunset. While I wouldn't call this album useless at all, I'd rather have seen it as a double (rather than two singles), which would've still not made it essential, but at least more desirable to own.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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