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Twelfth Night


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Twelfth Night Live And Let Live  album cover
4.41 | 78 ratings | 10 reviews | 49% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ceiling Speaks (8:26)
2. The End Of The Endless Majority (3:18)
3. We Are Sane (12:04)
4. Fact And Fiction (5:27)
5. The Poet Sniffs A Flower (4:03)
6. Sequences (17:14)
7. Creepshow (12:06)
8. East Of Eden (5:14)
9. Love Song (8:29)

Total Time: 75:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Revell / guitars
- Geoff Mann / vocals
- Brian Devoil / drums
- Clive Mitte / bass
- Rick Battersby / keyboards

Releases information

2LP (1984)


Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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TWELFTH NIGHT Live And Let Live ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(49%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

TWELFTH NIGHT Live And Let Live reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars I found 12th Night as a teenager but soon dived into classic prog and sold away this LP dating 1984. Borrowed CD last year: some nostalgia of course but musically I expected something greater. 4,75! "Don't make me laugh! Don't make me laugh! Don't make me la- aaugh!" ('Fact & Fiction'). Some bonus for being Neo-Prog preceeding Marillion, I presume? Twelfth Night no doubt had a unique blend of prog and early eighties' slightly punkish rock with strong guitar/keyboard play and singer (like Fish, the late Geoff Mann was strong but 'raw' voice). Earlier neo group Saga seems rather lame and pretentious in comparison - though maybe more arty. But still I wouldn't praise this as a must for prog (or even Neo- Prog) fans, who might sense the feel of punk/ new wave too much and miss more complex structures la IQ or Pendragon.

'Ceiling Speaks' starts with exciting instrumental intro but 8 minutes is too much for it and also other songs are over-extended. Only the great 'Sequences' really shines as a prog composition and it's also lyrically the strongest, dealing with war. Two instrumentals are nice and make the concert more varied. As a concert (in Marquee club) it must have been a powerful experience but musically it remains below full three stars for me.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Here is Twelfth Night delivering a special event in their history: "Live and Let Live" brings performances from the two gigs scheduled to signal the departure of frontman/lyricist/lead actor/Grand Court Jester Geoff Mann. It is a pity that it had to happen at that time, since the existence of such strong material still left unrecorded (the rockers 'Art and Illusion' and 'Deep in the Heartland', the neo gem 'The ceiling Speaks', and the monster epic 'The Collector' that should become TN's absolute peak) was pointing at a magnificent follow-up to the iconic album "Fact and Fiction". But no, this was Mann's farewell to his bandmates Revell, Mitten, Battersby and Devoil (that is, until the functional brief reunion of this classic quintet for the long overdue studio rendition of 'The Collector' and some other stuff to be included in "Collector's Item"), and so the spirit of emotion and the gods of energy combine in these amazing performances. The machinery monotony intro tape - perhaps emulating the opening sequence of David Lynch's "The Elephant Man" - paves the way for the arrival of 'The Ceiling Speaks' in a rocking storm that develops fiercely as Mann joins in with his praise of Christian Love and the instrumentalists indulge in a tight delivery of dual guitars, atmospheric keyboards and tight drum work. With the new instrumental 'The End of the Endless Majority', we are treated with a lovely duel of soft classical guitar and picked electric guitar, which at times gets on the pastoral side of things. A lovely piece, indeed, but it mostly works as an interlude between the opening song's drive and the epic pinnacle that is 'We Are Sane', the Orwellian tale of oppressed people under a regime that digitally dictates the rules of morals and social politics. Mann shines here like the singer-pantomime-tale teller that he is, and so do the musicians in a well-developed sort of varied moods and motifs. The rapport with the audience is now totally compact, unbreakable, virtually indestructible. There are more epics in store for the remaining repertoire, but by now, TN shifts toward its lighter side (musically, that is, since lyrically Geoff Mann robustly remains raving about the many unfair sides of politics) with 'Fact and Fiction'. The energy and versatility that always existed in the TN ranks allowed the guys to build techno-oriented songs such as this and give them an extra dose of incandescent groove. Besides the drums and occasional beats on timbales, there is only a bunch of synths playing. and they still rock in a Numan-meets-punk sort of way! The segued instrumental that follows sets a typically progressive set of moods and melodies, announcing the imminent arrival of a monster track -'Sequences'!! This 16+ epic that deals with anti- belicist subjects started as one of the band's first compositions (when it was an instrumental quartet), but fate wanted it to eventually turn into a neo-prog cornerstone. There is so much to enjoy in this piece that I won't go into detail here: the heavy metal and post-punk sources mingle well with the symphonic and old-fashioned psychedelic elements that conform the piece's compositional core. While it can be somewhat regrettable that TN never had the chance to give this song a proper studio version, the intensity of this live rendition makes it somehow unnecessary - this is its definitive version and that's it. So, moving on, if you want yet another epic, here comes 'Creepshow' right immediately - Mann's social anger turns now toward the utilization of mass-media to alienate people's minds, and the whole band delivers with passion and energy as they always do, managing the mood variations and the moderately complex tempo shifts with confidence, proficiency and ease. Once we've come through these two monster tracks, it is a pleasant breath of fresh air to be treated with a straightforward rocker as 'East of Eden' (it is a pity that the CD space doesn't allow to publish the 'Art and Illusion' portion of this individual medley, anyway.). And at the end of the day, what better closure for this farewell gig than 'Love Song'? This Mann manifesto for the power of universal love as a dream and a project to bring togetherness and solidarity for all mankind has found a perfect melodic basis in Mitten's mind and a perfect set of arrangements in the whole band. The accompanying chanting by the audience and the reprised mid guitar solo (one of the finest guitar solos ever in the history of neo) make sense with this poignant momentum when the warmth of human hope and the sadness for Mann's leaving combine. Some may say that this band is not that big a deal / but that's not the way I feel / my heartbeat dance to the songs they play. / Nothing more to say!
Review by Warthur
5 stars The best release of Twelfth Night's Geoff Mann era is without a doubt Live and Let Live, documenting the two farewell shows for Geoff at the Marquee. With a track list drawing on their best material, it's an entertaining enough listen, though Mann's vocal approach can take a bit of getting used to.

Geoff feels the need to tell us that war is bad and love is good, as though these were sentiments which would be novel and new to us, and some may find the techniques he uses to offer us these facts is overly didactic and heavy-handed. Furthermore, there's a fine line between Gabriel-like theatricality and embarrassingly corny whimsy, and which side of the line Mann occupies will vary for listeners. crosses it too often for my liking.

Still, this is a matter of personal tastes and fans of early neo-prog would probably find a lot to like here. The album has been released in various configurations; by far the best is the 2012 Definitive Edition, which fills out the entire setlist of the farewell shows, almost entirely with recordings from the two nights in question. (The only exception is a rendition of The Collector from a week prior - evidently the tapes on the night simply failed to adequately capture the relevant performances.) The sound quality on some of the added tracks is a bit shaky - but eh, if you just want the original album tracks that's what playlists are for, and none of the sound issues are so severe as to be fatal. Moreover, in one delicious little set you get pretty much the cream of what Geoff Mann-era Twelfth Night had to offer.

Review by Modrigue
4 stars While neo-prog was just emerging in the middle of the 80's, TWELFTH NIGHT had already released two live opus. The second one, "Live and Let Live" is named after its catalog reference, TN007. The number inspired a pun with "Live and Let Die", the first James Bond movie starring Roger Moore (and Paul McCartney & Wings' cult title track).

This release marks Geoff Mann's departure from the band, as it captures his very last shows with TWELFTH NIGHT at the legendary Marquee club in London. The album initially included only the 6 first tracks, recorded 4th November 1983, except "We Are Sane", recorded 5th November 1983. The 1993 reissue added three bonus tracks, recorded 5th November 1983. The least we can say is that the vocalist delivers here an emotional and stunning performance. Mann is even more theatrical than on "Fact and Fiction"!

Let's talk about the novelties first. Opening like some kind of somber ritual, "The Ceiling Speaks" is a powerful neo-prog track with a gothic feel and epic moments. Great, although not as varied as "We Are Sane". The instrumental "The End Of The Endless Majority" is touching and beautiful, with Andy Revell's delicate and spacey guitar play. Contrarily to these two previously unreleased tracks, "Sequences" was already featured in "Live at the Target", however only in an instrumental version. The vocals were added after, which is pretty rather unusual, and the song has been shortened to 16 minutes. The result tastes a little different with Geoff Mann's protest and smooth singing, but still very nice. Now included as a bonus track on "Fact and Fiction", "East Of Eden" is quite rageous and even possesses metallic accents at times. The other songs all come from "Fact and Fiction", which means they're very good too. Their live rendition offers a reasonable amount of emphasis, like "Love Song", extended to 8 minutes, while staying faithful to the studio version.

The only negative points I would mention is the quality, not always perfect, and the spoken introductions at the beginning of most songs. Nonetheless, I'm not too fan of the narrative interludes in general, they tend to break the ambiance for me.

That said, "Live and Let Die" is simply one of the best neo-progressive live records - even for those who don't like neo-prog - and TWELFTH NIGHT's most successful album. The last piece of the holy trilogy, with "Live at the Target" and "Fact and Fiction". Great for newcomers too.

An unique signer says his farewell to an incredibly creative band. The end of an era...

Latest members reviews

5 stars "Lebensraum for megalomaniacs" (We Are Sane - Twelfth Night) This line was written in 1982 by the late Geoff Mann, how actual! In the first part of The Eighties the 'new British progressive rock movement' started t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1939033) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Thursday, June 14, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A jaw-dropper of a live album that will always be my foundest memory of getting into the prog bands that were current in the 1980s. I actually still have the gatefold vinyl copy I bought at London's "Shades" recird store on Wardour Street (very close to the famous Marquee Club that was a launc ... (read more)

Report this review (#250295) | Posted by Area70 | Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This review is kind of response to the recent 'Live at the target' review. Whilst I agree with that review (and also bought the LP back then) I feel that this live album recorded at the Marquee club is far superior if only for the wonderful lyrics and vocal lines the late (and great) Geoff Mann c ... (read more)

Report this review (#173059) | Posted by transend | Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of a handful of albums that really kick-started my love of progressive music in its many forms. I bought the original Music For Nations LP shortly after it was released in 1984 and it is still one of my all time favourites. Geoff Mann was one of the most charismatic front-men and hi ... (read more)

Report this review (#93445) | Posted by scarista | Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From start to finish this is one of the best live albums ever released, recorded during Geoff Mann's farewell gigs the emotion is high, especially throughout Love Song. The album starts with The Ceiling Speaks and the sheer power of this song is awesome, in fact this is the first classic in an alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#7462) | Posted by Chriz | Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars i am a huge fan of (old) Marillion and todays Arena and Pendragon. This information to make you understand where i come from. But now to Twelfth Night - this is like i thought once more a very good copy band of Marillion, style Jester Tears and Grendel. Something like 'Gray Lady Down' - BUT THEN THE ... (read more)

Report this review (#7457) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 19, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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