Tag Archive for Live

Björk – Unison (live at the Royal Opera House)

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been listening to lots of 90’s music recently. In the ‘Best of’ playlists I listen to and read Björk features prominently. While she did produce much great music in the 90’s it somehow doesn’t seem to fit with the other tracks. It just sounds so stark and futuristic. It is hard for me to process the fact that Play Dead was recorded before Girls and Boys.

This track is typical of what makes Björk so utterly great. If I was to try and summarise it I might suggest the depth of feeling and emotion along with the magnitude of imagination.

I don’t often find myself drawn to live versions of songs but, for a couple of reasons, I made an exception for this. I love the scale that setting together with the choir and orchestra gives this already epic track.




20th October 2012

The Jackson Five* – I want you back

As I mentioned I was in Oxford today for a wedding in beautiful Hertford College. It’s certainly nicer that Hertford, Hertfordshire which I had the dubious pleasure of spending a significant amount time travelling through in a past life.

I wanted to post a positive “wedding” kind of track. It doesn’t get more feel good than this! I don’t normally go for live versions but I couldn’t resist this. How young does Michael Jackson look!?


*Artist #539

9th September 2012

Old Belle* – Canary Jane

I like this for two reasons. First and foremost, the song is really enjoyable. It has the timeless air (there is something about the banjo that gives any song this quality) of a song that could have just as easily been performed 150 years ago. Secondly, the video was recorded in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, one of my favourite cities in the world.

The two ladies in the video, Tonya (Vocals) and Ashley (Mandolin) are college friends of mine and I have to give up to them for putting themselves out there. You can find out more about Old Belle here. Keep it up guys!


*Artist #515

Chatham County Line* – Country boy, City boy

I don’t normally respond to live versions and bluegrass is a pretty new one for me, so this is a little bit of a rareity. However, I couldn’t get enough of it over the past couple of day. It has an energy and there is a truth to the lyrics that resonates with me (as a country boy living in the city).
I have been doing some research into bluegrass music as a couple of old friends from university have started playing in a bluegrass band an it piqued my interest. I was more impressed than I expected. I don’t know it I would want to listen to it all the time but it is nice as a change of pace.
One wishes that they were the other, the other just the same. One life so exciting, the other just so tame. If I was a country boy I’d wish for the city lights, If I was a City boy I’d wish for a quiet night…
As the mid-way point of the year approaches I have begun to think about a few highlights of 2012 so far. Does anyone have any suggestions? Look out of my list next week.
*Artist #465

1st February 2012

Van Morrison – Rave on John Donne/Rave on part two (live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast)

I could write extensively about Van Morrison and the impact his music has had upon my taste in music and life, but I will try to spare you the tedium. Long story short, I am something of a fan.

The reason for posting this is that my father is fortunate enough to be going to see Van the man play in Belfast on Friday night. I am fairly jealous.

Van is a remarkable live artist, possessing a rare ability to lead a band. Typically I find myself to be underwhelmed by live albums, feeling unsatisfying when comparing them to studio versions. This is why it is so strange that Van has made 3 live albums that beguile me (It’s too late to stop now, Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast and A night in San Francisco). I can only think of a couple of other live albums that I would even bother to give another listen yet I return to these three over and over. And over.

This is taken from Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, an LP that takes pride of place in my record collection. It is the best bits of several shows recorded in 1983. This particular song has taken on an almost mythical status in my life. I love the dreamy, meandering opening and then how the song suddenly shifts gears with the intorduction of saxophone (I am a sucker for some horns). From there it builds and builds to a crescendo with Morrison crying, exhorting with a tangible sense of urgency. All the while his band backs him immaculately giving the song a texture that I find irresistible.

Is it real? What you sang about in your song. I said come back baby. Can we talk it over one more time? Tonight…