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Colin Bass - Live Vol. 2 - Acoustic Songs CD (album) cover


Colin Bass


Crossover Prog

2.32 | 9 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Don't let it slip through your fingertips

Colin Bass had no less than two of his live performances in Poland recorded by a Polish radio station; one electric and one acoustic performance. The former was released as a double-disc set called Live At Polskie Radio 3, while the latter became this single CD called Live Vol. 2 - Acoustic Songs. Many of the same songs appear on both albums including some that Colin originally performed with Camel in the 80's and several from his first solo album An Outcast Of The Islands. The latter album had featured many Polish musicians as well as guest performances by Andy Latimer.

Being an "unplugged" affair, these performances are naturally stripped-down, featuring predominantly lead vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano. Flutes are added to several songs to great effect. The set starts out in full-on singer-songwriter style with what I think are a couple of cover songs. Camel's Refugee (from the Stationary Traveller album from 1984) is interestingly performed with Jethro Tull-like flute embellishments. City Life and Drafted (both from 1981's Nude; sung by Colin on the original album) are both pleasant as well in these versions, but somewhat less interesting. I prefer the electric versions on Live At Polskie Radio 3. Later on in the set there is one further Camel song that was not performed in the electric concert: Fingertips (also from Stationary Traveller). This one is the best of the four Camel songs included here and works very well in this acoustic version.

As Far As I Can See, Goodbye To Albion, and Denpasar Moon (all from An Outcast Of The Islands), lend themselves well to the acoustic treatment. The highlight of these is Goodbye To Albion which has a strongly Celtic sound and sounds better here than anywhere else. Reap What You Sow is less memorable and is again deeply into plain singer-songwriter territory.

Starting with Fingertips, which I have already mentioned, and with the exception of the utterly embarrassing Blues rocker Poznan Pie (which unfortunately is included on both the electric and the acoustic sets), the best songs come at the end of the disc. The Water Is Wide, The River And The Sea, Sailing Home, and The Parting Glass are a series of Folk songs that work really well here. These intimate performances are very nice, reminding me of acoustic Strawbs.

I somewhat regret giving this rather pleasant folky, singer-songwriter performance a rating of only two stars. But it is of minimal interest to fans of Progressive Rock. If, on the other hand, you happen to be a fan of both folky singer-songwriters and of late 70's/early 80's Camel, then this is for you.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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