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Colin Bass - Live At Polskie Radio 3 CD (album) cover


Colin Bass


Crossover Prog

3.50 | 10 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Avoid the pie!

Colin Bass is best known around these parts for being a member of Camel from the late 70's to the present day (with only a short break between 1981 and 1984 when they did The Single Factor which was effectively an Andy Latimer solo album in all but name). In 1999 Bass released an album under his own name entitled An Outcast Of The Islands (on which Latimer guested on guitar). The present double-disc set features a live recording done for Polish radio (Polskie Radio 3) in 2000. But don't be misled into thinking that this is one of those live-in-the-studio affairs; no, this is a real live band performance with an audience and all. And the audience is very appreciative, and the band--which features Dave Stewart (drummer for Camel in the late 90's) and many Polish musicians--seems to enjoy themselves on stage. Bass plays the bass (obviously!), some acoustic guitar, as well as sings lead vocals--all of which he does very well.

Naturally the set list features many of the songs from the An Outcast Of The Islands album, but also no less than six Camel numbers; two each from the albums I Can See Your House From Here (1979), Nude (1981), and Stationary Traveller (1984). From the first of these albums come Hymn To Her and Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine. The latter was co-written by Bass, and is here performed in a version that I like better than the original, featuring a great addition of flute. From Nude comes City Life and Drafted, both of which were sung by Bass on the original album. Finally, from Stationary Traveller come Refugee and Cloak & Dagger Man; tracks that Bass has performed live with Camel since the tour in support of that album in 1984 (as can be heard and seen on the Pressure Points live album and videos). Apparently, the song Denpasar Moon was first written and recorded by Bass under the name Sabah Habas Mustapha and became a very big hit in Indonesia in the mid-90's (before it was re-recorded for An Outcast Of The Islands)!

The whole of the first disc of this live album is very strong and the lion's share of the second disc is similarly very enjoyable. However, towards the end it begins to drag a little, and there is the misplaced and (lyrically and musically) embarrassing Blues rocker Poznan Pie which is best avoided altogether. Overall, this is a good Crossover Prog live album and a very worthy companion to An Outcast Of The Islands (or a very good introduction to Colin Bass). Despite the absence of Andy Latimer, I actually prefer many of these live versions of the An Outcast Of The Islands material to the studio versions (though both have their charms).

A strong three stars

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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