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LIVE IN AMERICA

Sanguine Hum

Neo-Prog


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Rivertree
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3 stars Well, their gig at Rosfest in Gettysburg this year must have been something special for the SANGUINE HUM crew. This appeared to be the first step to the US ever. Now as the regular drummer Paul Mallyon surprisingly decided to leave the band at the end of 2011, they had to sort out a problem of course ... and finally managed to find and integrate a proper substitute during few weeks. It's Andy Booker, known from the Steven Wilson side project No-Man. Certainly being happy to be involved in such a famous festival they offered a noteworthy performance, taking around 60 minutes. Provided with minimalistic announcements their song collection represents an excursion through different musical periods.

Needless to say that this includes several tracks from their recent 'Diving Bell' effort, which was released in 2010. Furthermore the performance is covering at least four arrangements originating from their former Canterbury influenced Antique Seeking Nuns incarnation, one from the Joff Winks Band plus two other songs which didn't make it on a regular studio production, as far as I know. So here we can explore a mostly relaxed and atmospheric performance overall. Equally known from their studio recordings.they are acting fully concentrated on melody, song structure and perfect interaction. With the consequence however that studio and live versions do not essentially differ - it's even the other way round as usual, the live versions often are shorter in fact.

Hence one or two afterwards may regret the absence of a distinct live ambience, featuring extended songs showcasing some additional variation, surprises, more instrumental solos for example. But obviously this is not their goal. The 'older' songs apparently appear in a heavier outfit and Andy Booker's drumming.is something new to explore of course. Joff Winks pulls the strings due to his guitar work and lovely voice, where keyboardist Matt Baber plays more reserved, but surely a very solid and multi-variant part. I adore Brad Waissman's opening bass line on Cat Factory to go into detail. Earthsong With One Sugar is going through a little remoulding including a fanstastic guitar solo at the end, a piece where they rudimentarily turn it loose

Then I especially want to point out the couple Double Egg and Son Of Bassoon taken from my favourite Antique Seeking Nuns EP 'Double Egg With Chips And Beans', which belong to the finest tracks in melody and arrangement in my humble opinion. Well, when I sum up all my listening experiences regarding this band here and now, I still do favour their studio output so far ... eh, prefering a live gig at the venue above all of course - a wish which hopefully will be fulfilled some day. Thus 'Live In America' offers a solid performance for those who are already familiar with their music, a perfect introduction so much the more to everybody who is new to this exceptional band - 3.5 stars.

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Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 | Review Permalink

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