# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Blues Band - Live at Rockpalast

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 14 / 8 / 2013

Blues Band - Live at Rockpalast
Label: Repertoire Records
Format: CD


Fabulous live album from the Blues Band recorded in 1980 the year after they formed at the Rockpalast in Germany, which, while it comes accompanied by a poor quality DVD of the show, nevertheless is totally compelling

I’ve seen the Blues Band many, many times, and I’m always impressed. Ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones is one of the finest singers and harmonica players in the business, and his energetic performances are always ably supported by ex-Manfred’s band-mate Tom McGuinness and bass player Gary Fletcher. I was too young to see the first incarnation of the band, with Hughie Flint on drums, so this DVD and CD double package was an opportunity for me to see one of my favourite live acts as they were. It has to be said that this is a fantastic document of the then nascent Blues Band. Formed merely a year earlier, the band’s performance is tight and thoroughly compelling. It’s fascinating to see such concert staples as 'Come On In' and 'Flatfoot Sam' so fully formed so early in the band’s career. The set opens with 'Come On In', as lively a blues rocker as you’ll hear, with Fletcher’s bass and McGuinness’ ripping solo stealing the show. Jones’ harmonica playing is superb throughout, but seldom over stated. The band tear through material from their then recently-released first album, and give polished airings to new songs 'Maggie’s Farm' and 'Can’t Hold on Much Longer' from the then unreleased second album, 'Ready'. For me, the highlight of the set is a seven minute version of 'Treat Her Right'. McGuinness’ guitar riff is infectious, and Hughie Flint fairly pounds out a thumping rhythm. Jones’ vocals are superb, and his harmonica acts like a brass section, punctuating the track expertly in the instrumental breaks. If I’m honest, the DVD didn’t really do a great deal for me. With an identical tracklisting to the CD and a really rather shabby picture quality (which, in fairness, was probably the best they could achieve with the original German TV broadcast), I felt that it didn’t really add anything to the package. It’s something that I watched once as a curio, but will probably never watch again. The CD, however, is a different matter. The sound is excellent, the performance is flawless, and the material is fantastic. Oh, and the liner notes, by Michael Heatley, are absolutely indispensable. For me, this package would work best as a simple CD issue. The DVD was disappointing, and the poor picture quality detracted somewhat from the listening experience. As an album, however, this is a superb addition to the Blues Band’s already impressive canon, and one which I shall definitely return to again and again.

Track Listing:-
1 Intro
2 Come On In
3 Talk To Me
4 Death Letter
5 Going Home
6 Can't Hold On Much Longer
7 Flatfood Sam
8 Someday Baby
9 Boom Boom, Out Go The Light
10 Nadine
11 Maggie's Farm
12 I Don't Know
13 Treat Her Right
14 Hoochie Coochie Man
15 Flip, Flop And Fly
16 Backstage Interview

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