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Caravan - A Hunting We Shall Go: Live in 1974 CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

2.54 | 22 ratings

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TGM: Orb
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A Hunting We Shall Go, Caravan, 1974

Rather lightweight live album, only thirty four minutes long, three songs and some painful applause herding for an encore. The line-up is essentially the Girls line-up, though John G. Perry's been replaced by an also-excellent Mike Wedgwood. The production is clear but the mix misjudged: the admittedly nicely brought out bass sound dwarfs all other elements. In particular, Pye Hastings' guitar is very low, the drums never seem to match the bass volume.

Regarding the content, we have the minor classic suite A Hunting We Shall Go and Hoedown off For Girls plus the fairly seminal For Richard. A Hunting We Shall Go, despite some brief bits of curious improvisation, feels a bit pale and pasty without the superb For Girls production and frills. The riff is still magnificent.

For Richard is translated brilliantly to the new line-up. Richardson's viola really changes the flavour of the piece to something a little more pastoral while the bass-heavy mix keeps it powerful and punchy as ever. Pye Hastings' vocals are fleeting but delightful. In the nearly 20 minutes running time, we see the whole plethora of cool, loose improvisations and tight, light-hearted rock music that defines Caravan taken over wholesale by a fresh line-up with a star soloist. Hoedown is the encore... lively tune but not really a show-stopper. Caravan bring out the participational elements of that song in a trite, amusing, ironic way with a calculated lack of charisma. Changed more drastically than hunting from the studio version, with Hastings' echoey guitar and Richard Coughlan's drums holding things down and various cutesy improvisations from the band's major instrumentalists.

Hard to see what appeal this album will have for those who aren't devotees of Caravan and even those who are don't really need this. Still, the For Richard take on here is grade A live album stuff. Only two stars for the whole package, maybe a three for the performances; more than half of the stuff here could be part of an easily five star Caravan live album.

Rating: Two Stars but quite good/15 Favourite Track: For Richard

TGM: Orb | 2/5 |


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