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Mostly Autumn - Live At The Canterbury Fayre CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE CANTERBURY FAYRE

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.33 | 9 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars As a huge fan of the prog folk Mostly Autumn I eventually got hold of this live album w\and although all the songs exist as studio versions there are excellent renditions of these classic MA tracks on the live Canterbury Fayre concert. The huge riff on 'Winter Mountain' and those ripping keyboard solos are divine. I love this live version of the track, a mixture of Renaissance meets Jethro Tull.

'The Dark Before The Dawn' is excellent showcasing the flute talents of Angela Goldthorpe in particular. Josh Bryan's David Gilmour like vocals are well performed. I prefer Findlay but Josh does a pretty good job on this. The structure of the song is excellent.

"This is a song that draws a parallel to nature and our own lives", Findlay explains. 'Evergreeen' is a classic performed on many live albums; a vehicle for the haunting, beautiful vocals of Heather Findlay, one of the all time greatest female vocalists of prog. Josh's deft guitar playing is gentle and calm. This is a huge hit for the band and the live version is sung with a pure heart and with feeling; "she knows what it means to be evergreen, she's seen more than some eyes have ever seen, clad with green gracefully she reaches winter sun, she's the lucky one". I always liked this song, and I can listen to Findlay all day so another highlight for me. The lead solo at the end as usual is incredible.

'The Last Climb' is another treasure from this band from their debut "From All We Shared". It features some ethereal passages of keyboards from Iain Jennings. The serene ambience is soothing and calm. The vocals are very much like Gilmour from Pink Floyd as Josh delivers with feeling and Findlay provides beautiful harmonies. This is more like Pink Floyd then most pieces the band has produced. It is no secret that Mostly Autumn are massive fans of Pink Floyd, even releasing an album dedicated to the entire "Dark Side of the Moon" album. The flute once again is a beautiful addition. At 5:15 Josh's soaring guitar rises and bends some soul stirring riffs. It is very much like "Comfortably Numb" in a sense. A wonderful piece of music.

'Please' is the weakest song on the album, though is melodic and catchy. Josh sings again in a very low key way. At 1:58 a good riff locks in with a driving bass and drum beat by Jonathan Blackmore. The drums at 4:08 especially are very tribal and atmospheric.

'Mother Nature' is a 13 minute epic from "The Last Bright Light" and this is one of the best versions I have heard them play. Beginning with gentle acoustic and flute, it builds slowly, the acoustic riff is very nice along with piano. Findlay and Bryan sing this together in harmony; "Time, to think of her... waking the towers and tables of land, she's holding the sky to defend... sometimes, she cries... sometimes, she cries." It is very gentle and minimalist at first. At 3:41 a loud keyboard and bass rhythm kicks in and the song goes up another level. It changes key soon and a bridge is sung about the mountains and the wind, and nature's beauty. A very emotional lead solo follows. At 5:50 it changes tempo and a piano plays the riff. At 6:00 the time sig is faster and a heavier guitar hooks into a great riff. The duel guitars of Bryan and Liam Davison are terrific. The song slows soon and there is an excellent keyboard solo. it ends with an amazing guitar solo and huge finale. This is an intricate track with much emotion and one of the best on the album.

Overall, this is an excellent live performance which would have looked beautiful in the idyllic outdoor setting. The CD captures the joy and the essence of Mostly Autumn's prog folk essence. I think the band are excellent live and this is a prime example of how great these virtuosos are able to perform.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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