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Matching Mole - BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert CD (album) cover


Matching Mole

Canterbury Scene

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars While MM had only managed 11 months together, they left an impressive discography of two highly influential studio albums before breaking up. No live recording were ever released, which was a sad thing since MM was quite a different group on stage than in the studio (Wyatt's vocal effects being almost impossible to duplicate). In 94, this BBC concert was released and it proved to the first of four Live release, even if this particular recording will see the light in a different format in 03. It is an In Concert feature from late July 72, just as their second album LRR was almost finished; less than three months away from the group's demise. His "session starts on the best Wyatt scat vocals ever with Instant Pussy, he yodels away madly in their best-ever version of this track. The next three tracks have been already featured in this compilation, but are presented in much different versions and you'd have to be a chiefmasterconoisseur to guess blindly where Lithing And Gracing track begins. LAG sees MM in full madness roaring at 120 MPH, and Marchides sees McRae's Fender Rhodes take a solid intro, before the group blinds us with their dexterity and virtuosity a bit further down the track. Part Of The dance is again much livelier in this version than either the radio or studio version. Here, it is the pinnacle of MM's short career, with Phil Miller shinning throughout the 6 minutes of the track. Absolutely essential stuff, with the closer ode to Benj (a roadie) melted in as a finale for the track.

Not exactly a long "album" (the 23 minutes would make it an EP), this concert recording is for me the very essence of MM, so it would be essential, no matter how short the recording is. However, the dilemma is now taken away as the 03 Hux release is a complete BBC session clocking in at 77 minutes, making this version almost forgettable, unless you're a completist.

Report this review (#28125)
Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Good, but Totally Unnecessary

As a big fan of Matching Mole, as well as the Canterbury Scene in general, I can safely say that these recordings should only be for big Matching Mole fans and perhaps Canterbury enthusiasts in general. Not to say these recordings are at all bad, in fact the performances are good and the sound quality is solid. My main negative with this album is simply that the performances are too similar to the studio and live versions, and there aren't even any new songs are even covers to compensate for this. The fact that this album totals in at a mere 26 minutes also doesn't help.

2 stars seems to fit perfectly for these recordings; "Collectors/fans only." If you're new to Matching Mole, check out self-titled debut first, it's fantastic. After that, Little Red Record and the Cuneiform live albums, March, and Smoke Signals. If you own all four of those albums, the BBC recordings are useless, spend your money elsewhere.

Report this review (#125107)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink

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