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Mostly Autumn - Live 2009 - Part I CD (album) cover

LIVE 2009 - PART I

Mostly Autumn

Prog Folk

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3 stars In some ways "Live 2009 Part 1" has the same setlist as the one on "That Night In Leamington". For some reason the band opted to release this in 2 parts but it would have been better as one 2 CD album similar to others such as "Still Beautiful". It opens with the dynamic "Heart Full Of Sky" gem 'Fading Colours'. This is followed by wonderful Heather Findlay taking central vocals on the rocking riff heavy 'Caught in a Fold' from "Passengers". The flute by Olivia Sparnenn is tantalising in the live setting. Josh Bryan's lead break is always worth waiting for and he plays brilliantly as usual. The production of the live performance is stunning; the songs sound great live and have their own atmosphere of excitement and passion.

Josh says "thankyou good evening" to introduce 'Flowers for Guns', well sung by Findlay, one of her last times with the band before moving on the year following to her solo career that has not been as successful as Mostly Autumn sadly. 'Unoriginal Sin' is next from "Glass Shadows", not too bad with its infectious melody and rhythm, and especially the sparring of Olivia and Heather stirring in their harmonius duet. Josh introduces another "Passengers" gem 'Simple Ways' where he gets to take a central role with his David Gilmour tone; unmistakably Pink Floyd inspired. The sparkling keyboards are delightful on this track.

Next up are some of the earlier classics that all MA fans know, namely 'The Spirit of Autumn Past - Part 2', 'Half the Mountain' and stalwart fan favourite 'Evergreen'. These songs have been heard on just about every live album but still hold a special magic, especially when Findlay injects her soul into folk ballad 'Evergreen'.

Really the album should be heard with Part Two as the two are the complete package. This is not as good as other live albums I have heard as its too short and does not have enough to hold my attention outside of other albums. However the clean production and Heather's crystalline vocals are definitely worth pursuing in her last year with Mostly Autumn before handing over the reins to Olivia Sparnenn.

Report this review (#910827)
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nš 706

'Live 2009 - Part I' is the ninth live album of Mostly Autumn and was released in 2009. For some strange reason, which only the band can knows, they opted to release these live songs in two different CD's. Sincerely, I would have preferred that it would have been released as a double CD because, for me, it made much more sense. The two discs together make up one whole Mostly Autumn's live concert, so typical of the set list on their 2009 spring live tour. Anyway, we must respect the decision of the group, and so, I'm going also to review these songs as two separated live albums.

The line up that participates on this live album is Heather Findlay (lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitars, whistles and percussion), Anne-Marie Helder (backing vocals, flutes, keyboards, piano, acoustic guitars and percussion), Olivia Sparnenn (backing vocals and percussion), Bryan Josh (lead and backing vocals and lead and rhythm guitars), Liam Davison (backing vocals, rhythm, acoustic and 12 string guitars, slide guitars and percussion), Iain Jennings (piano and keyboards), Andy Smith (bass guitars) and Gavin Griffiths (drums).

About this line up there are two things that deserve a special mention. The first is that despite have played with the band on numerous occasions, this is the first release from Mostly Autumn to feature the drummer Gavin Griffiths as a band's member. The second is that sadly it represents one of the last times to features their original former member, the vocalist Heather Findlay as a band's member. She would leave Mostly Autumn to pursue a solo musical career. I'm absolutely sure that she certainly belts her way into our hearts and that we'll miss her voice. Findlay would be replaced by her colleague Olivia Sparnenn on their next studio album 'Go Well Diamond Heart', released in the next year, 2010.

'Live 2009 - Part I' has eight tracks. The first track 'Fading Colours' was released on 'Heart Full Of Sky'. The second track 'Caught In A Fold' was released on 'Passengers'. The third track 'Flowers For Guns' was released on 'Glass Shadows'. The fourth track 'Unoriginal Sin' was released on 'Glass Shadows'. The fifth track 'Simply Ways' was released on 'Passengers'. The sixth track 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past - Part 2' was released on 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past'. The seventh track 'Half The Mountain' was released on 'The Last Bright Light'. The eighth track 'Evergreen' was released on 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past'.

During this first CD the band performed some of their best songs easy to remember with some of their great classics. So, we can say that the band is in a very good shape. Together they worked through many of their old material as well as songs from their most recent work at the time, the 'Glass Shadows' album. From the opening strains of the dynamic gem of 'Heart Full Of Sky', 'Fading Colours' which is laced with an unworldly duel female vocal, we proceeds with the rocking riff heavy 'Caught In A Fold' with the very beautiful vocal work of Heather Findlay. Then, we have one of the standout tracks here 'Flowers For Guns' well sung by Findlay, as usual, which showcases one of her last tracks with Mostly Autumn. 'Unoriginal Sin', also from 'Glass Shadows', is very nice with its melody and rhythm but where the highlight goes to the melodious duet between Heather and Olivia. 'Simply Ways' with its Gilmour's tone gets its central role essentially in Bryan Josh. Next up to all these we have three of some of their most and best classics 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past ' Part 2', 'Half The Mountain' and 'Evergreen'. In reality, these songs have been heard on just about every live album of the band but still hold a very special and magic sensation on every live Mostly Autumn's live set.

Conclusion: As I wrote above, this CD only represents the first part of a double live album. So, it's very difficult for me to analyze this live album because there are only eight songs in the total of twenty songs of the live set. So, I'm going to talk about the quality of these eight songs. 'Fading Colours' opens the album magnificently in a very strong way. It always was one of my favourite songs of one of my favourite albums of the band 'Heart Full Of Sky'. 'Caught In a Fold' is a very good song from another excellent album 'Passengers'. However, the things aren't at the same level with the two next songs 'Flower For Guns' and 'Unoriginal Sin' from their album 'Glass Shadows'. Who knows my Mostly Autumn's reviews knows that I'm not a great fan of that album and I consider 'Glass Shadows' and 'Go Well Diamond Heart' the weakest of all their ten studio albums. 'Simple Ways' is another excellent song taken from their excellent album 'Passengers'. 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past - Part 2' is one of the best songs of 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past' and is also, in my humble opinion, one of their best tracks. The same applies to the next song 'Half The Mountain' that belongs to their best and greatest masterpiece, their studio album 'The Last Bright Light'. The album closes with 'Evergreen' another fine song, also taken from their great album 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past'. We are in presence of another excellent live album of Mostly Autumn with only two weak points. I think this live album deserves 4 solid stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2965248)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2023 | Review Permalink

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