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Caravan - Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974 CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.46 | 122 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. This album was recorded at Fairfields Halls in 1974 just before CARAVAN embarked on their first tour of the USA. "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" was their latest studio album at this time and 5 of the 8 tracks are from that record. Great cover art by the way. The electric viola of Geoff Richardson really adds to their sound here.This recording really surprised me, it's almost a five star for me. The only negative for me is the final track "Hoedown" which I was never a big fan of anyway, but during this version it's taken up more with audience participation then the music itself. The rest is about as perfect as it could be.

"Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss" is such an incredible track with the persistant bass, viola and charming vocals. Organ before 2 1/2 minutes with some excellent drumming 4 minutes in as viola rips it up. It changes after 5 minutes to the more uptempo second section. "Virgin On The Ridiculous" was never released on a studio album. Viola and drums to open before it settles with vocals. I can't stop smiling. It kicks in before 3 minutes with drums leading the way as viola and organ keep pace. "Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime" has a melancholic flavour to it and I love it. The guitar is great a minute in when the vocals stop. Vocals return as drums and viola continue to be relentless. The second part comes in before 2 1/2 minutes and is slower but still sad. Beautiful.

"Love In Your Eye" is from "Waterloo Lily". This is such a moving track. Nice rhythm 2 1/2 minutes in. Viola joins in then organ. Great section. Excellent guitar before 4 1/2 minutes. A calm with viola after 6 minutes. It picks back up with viola leading the way. The organ before 10 minutes is incredible.The guitar is back before 12 1/2 minutes ripping it up with the viola as the bass throbs. Just an amazing 15 1/2 minute version of this song. "L'Auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Will Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise)" kicks in around a minute with viola and drums leading the way. The guitar before 2 1/2 minutes lights it up. It changes before 4 1/2 minutes as it calms right down and organ takes over. The tempo picks back up 8 minutes in to end it. I should mention that the original "Backwards" section was composed by Mike Ratledge, and the "Pengola" section was written by John G.Perry.

"The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" is opened with a funny story about how that song came about. This might be my favourite track on here. The vocals are so wimsical and the lyrics so humerous. The music is infectious too. Deep bass lines on this one. Organ before 2 1/2 minutes. Lots of viola throughout. "For Richard" was written by David Sinclair about his brother. It's from the "If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You". This version is a monster at over 16 minutes in length ! The song starts to build after 4 minutes until we get this fantastic instrumental with killer guitar, viola and organ after 15 minutes.

If you like CARAVAN don't even hesitate, track this outstanding recording down.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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