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Traffic - Live at Santa Monica  CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 11 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars I had heard for years of a filmed concert performance of the Traffic line-up that made my favourite Fantasy Factory, but the fact that it could've been released as a videocassette a long time ago had never struck me, until my buddy Micky reminded me of it. So after a quick search, I found that this little musical jewel had been released quite sometime ago, but has yet to be released on DVD. So I rushed out to get it, ran up the stairs, open a bottle of Chinon, popped the thing into the deck and let the music flow.

From the first of low Spark of High Heeled Boys, to the closing Dear Mr fantasy, this concert footage is prime quality offering a real good insight of the band, an essential look in the last days of hippy idealism, really fading by then. But if this is the line-up of SOATFF, this concert was clearly in the wake of the previous album's release. Some of the fans came down on this line-up (featuring two Muscle Shoals session men Roscoe Gee and David Hood in place of Mason and Grech) for lacking inspiration, but this line-up was touring for over two years, recording the On The Road double live album as well. The only thing I have to say is that the sound quality does not appear to be that good (the rental VHS is probably worn down, but there were also some problems from the mixing desk.

Yet the full concert (even with a few glitches and taken over more than one night) is a pure joy to watch and listen to. The set is mainly taken from their best two album to date (JBMD and LSOHHB) and they finish off with a few crowd favourite oldies. Yes some lengths are present at times, but it never gets over-indulgent and reflects the great ambiances of those days, no matter what detractors might say. One of the few flaws is that the two studio beast are obviously a bit shy in their playing as if not completely comfortable on stage, yet (this will not be the case in the 73's OTR live album), which does hinder the dynamic of the group on stage.

The one filming of Traffic that needs a DVD release (most likely coming soon with other vintage stuff as bonus), this is essential viewing to this group's glory days.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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