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Twelfth Night - Live from London CD (album) cover


Twelfth Night


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4 stars This is the soundtrack to the DVD of the same name, which was recorded for the same Live From London television show which yielded IQ's Living Proof. Neo-prog fans again have reason to be thankful to that particular show; this time around, for capturing Twelfth Night in the process of breaking in brand new lead vocalist Andy Sears.

This is a particularly interesting recording for the purposes of assessing Andy's tenure as Twelfth Night frontman, because the group hadn't developed any new material with him yet but instead delivers a setlist which could have come out of Geoff Mann's era. (Yes, it has Art and Illusion on it, but though the studio version of that is an Andy- fronted track, it actually was originally developed under Geoff's tenure; the Flashbacks archival release and the double disc "Definitive Edition" of Live and Let Live includes Geoff singing it.

As such, this gives us the fairest opportunity we have to directly compare Andy with Geoff, on material which Geoff had also sung and before the band's sound had developed much further from the end of Geoff's era. Here, Andy reveals himself to be a characterful vocalist in his own right - a bit more manic and a bit less depressive than Geoff, he can get a bit carried away in the more theatrical parts of the songs and he's a bit more of a traditional frontman in terms of his stage persona.

By and large he does a reasonable job of stepping into Geoff's shoes, with some slips here and there. (He seems a little all over the place during the intro to We Are Sane - the section before the "This woman's place is in a home..." lyric - and it's notable that late in his tenure the band would snip that section from the track altogether, as documented on the Corner of the World release.) Combine this with a high-quality recording sourced directly from the multi-track tapes, and you have one of the better-sounding Twelfth Night live albums from the 1980s, on a par with Live and Let Live.

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Posted Monday, February 3, 2020 | Review Permalink

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