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Caravan - Caravan & The New Symphonia  CD (album) cover

CARAVAN & THE NEW SYMPHONIA

Caravan

 

Canterbury Scene

3.85 | 132 ratings

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NJprogfan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Caravan decided after the success of their album, "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" to record a live concert consisting of an orchestra which was used throughout the "for Girls..." album. Does it succeed? Yes and no. If you have the original album, you'll have what now is half the album. The new remastered version has what transpired that night in October of 1973. The band came on stage and played a select few tracks from the new album minus the orchestra. It's a somewhat decently played set with the bass playing of John Perry low in the mix. Dave Sinclair's keyboards shine brightly on most tracks, (at least he dosen't copy exactly his play from the album). It's Coughlin's drumming that stands out during the pre-orchestra AND during the second half with orchestra. It's not until the orchestra takes the stage do I believe that things start to cook. Right from the start, "The Love In Your Eyes" is beauty incarnate. The strings play perfectly with Pye's delicate singing. And the horns! Heaven on earth. The following two songs were written literally that day, with the lyrics done just hours before the concert was to begin. Both songs harken back to their early days with "Virgin On The Ridiculous" harbouring more instrumental power, especially with Sinclair's mighty fuzz-backed keys. Yet, it's the umpteenth live rendition of "For Richard" that one should pluck down the cash for this disc. If it's not the most powerful version, you would have to prove it to me. As the mammoth songs progresses so can hear the orchestra vieing with the band for dominence. The volume and power gets so great that by the end of the song you'll gasp for air and expect a thunderous collision. It's what you want from such a meld of instruments and more! The disc ends with an encore with the orchestra that almost didn't happen, (union rules and all). But "A Hunting We Shall Go" is another extra track and worth it. Oh, and I must mention Richardson's violin playing. he's their secret weapon, no doubt. I'll end by saying, a very well done live disc with a version of "For Richard" that must be heard. Can't say it's a masterpiece, but at least one song is. 4 stars for my favorite Canterbury band. Good show lads!
NJprogfan | 4/5 |

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