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Twelfth Night - Flashbacks CD (album) cover

FLASHBACKS

Twelfth Night

 

Neo-Prog

4.00 | 12 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Let down at points by somewhat variable sound quality, this soundboard-derived live album offers a live set from the summer of 1983, arguably the peak of Geoff Mann's tenure in the band (with their appearance at the Reading Festival being an especially triumphant moment). Including two runthroughs of rare epic The Collector.

Though in terms of sound quality and song selection the latest expanded version of Live and Let Live has the edge on this (the lack of a Creepshow on here is a bit of an oversight), it's still a valuable live document of the band, especially compared to Smiling At Grief Live - here it's clear that Geoff has grown into the frontman role and seems more comfortable in it, and has a great connection with the audience.

It's as evident from his between-songs patter as it is from his lyrics that Mann's concerns in both the spiritual and social sphere are clearly important to him, even when he's addressing them with humour, so his later decision to follow his calling as a vicar isn't entirely surprising in retrospect, but he's also clearly having enough fun that it can't have been an easy call at the time.

Perhaps the most significant thing about this release is the contrast offered with Live and Let Live, an excellent live set where Mann's impending departure rather overshadows affairs. Here, there's no sign he's made that momentous decision yet and Twelfth Night sound like a band poised for the big time, with a sound that clearly situates them as siblings to Script-era Marillion and early Pallas. Fate would play its cards later on, but in this instance you could have believed that Twelfth Night, with Mann at the head, were about to conquer the universe.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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