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Gong - Live at Sheffield '74 CD (album) cover

LIVE AT SHEFFIELD '74

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

2.77 | 27 ratings

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trickert
5 stars I'm not understanding the more negative reviews for this recording. My version is the RSD 2020 vinyl re-release, and the sound quality is surprisingly good. Further, the band just sounds fantastic. That classic mixture of Gong wonk--alternatively keening, jazzy, wacky, spacey, whimsical. A good bit of improvisation, too, as they do, assuring that while you will recognize the songs, still, they are indelible; you won't hear them played quite like this again. Didier Malherbe, on flutes and saxes, in particular layers improvisational sections throughout, giving this a particularly jazzy feel, even if it rocks and swings like crazy, too; and Daevid is always Prime Daevid in his DaevidHead. They use a little more repetition in some sections, too, although not many, that have real power, but also in a way that reminds me of ... Hawkwind. Interesting. Finally, the 4th side of my two-record set includes a side-long track live from 1989 at Glastonbury: interesting for comparison's sake, but very different from the 1974 performance. Overall, what other band can walk this odd line between totally loose and on-fire tight? The albums, of course, are great, especially from this period, absolute classics--but this live stuff is also really welcome. And, for me at least, really necessary, as it paints a fuller picture of Gong as a *working band*. Probably 4.5 stars, but I'll give it the 5.
trickert | 5/5 |

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