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Pendragon - 9:15 Live  CD (album) cover

9:15 LIVE




3.38 | 65 ratings

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4 stars Recorded at one of the band's regular appearances at the Marquee, the main London home of the neo-prog revival in the 1980s, 9:15 Live captures Pendragon in smashing form, presenting the best songs from their debut album, The Jewel, as well as the instrumental Please and Red Shoes, the studio version of which would be the band's next single preceding the Kowtow album.

The album marks Clive Nolan's entry to the band, original keyboardist Rik Carter having departed. (He'd later be more of a presence on the goth scene, appearing on releases by The Mission and All About Eve.) The Jewel material, being quite keyboard-heavy, represents the perfect chance for Clive to showcase his skills; his lively interpretations of Rik's original keyboard contributions lend these songs a spark which makes this album an interesting companion to The Jewel.

The album also shows how Nick Barrett is an excellent frontman; the audience can't help but be caught up in his enthusiasm and good cheer, and neither can I. The mixture of radio-friendly, melodic pop-prog and more progressive songs is more immediately gripping than it is on The Jewel (which took a long time to grow on me to the extent that it did), perhaps because the catchy pop tunes carry more energy live, and the live portion of the album concludes with an absolutely incredible rendition of The Black Knight, a song which I don't think Pendragon ever managed to top in the first decade or so of their existence.

Aside from Red Shoes, which just isn't quite as solid a song as the others, this is a brilliant live effort, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the early days of neo-prog.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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