Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MAGNUM - 'Escape From The Shadow Garden LIVE 2014'

REVIEW BY: Alan Holloway

Magnum are one of those bands who refuse to go away, and that's a good thing because they've always put their collective heart into everything they do, and over the years I have yet to see them put on a bad show. Live albums nowadays are ten a penny, and it's actually rare to find one that is badly made thanks to the technology now available, but it's still nice to hear a band in their natural setting.

As the title suggests, this one was recorded on last year's 'Escape From The Shadow Garden' tour. It's surprisingly short, with only twelve tracks on offer, but it's no surprise that those tracks are of the highest quality. There's plenty of more recent material, like 'Falling For The Big Plan', 'Dance of The Black Tattoo', 'Freedom Day' and 'Blood Red Laughter', with fans of older material placed by the likes of eternal favourite 'Les Morts Dansant', Bob Catley's favourite 'Vigilante' and Tony Clarkin's musical millstone 'Kingdom Of Madness'. It all sounds clear as day, and naturally the band don't put a foot wrong. the problem I have (aside from the length) is it's quite sterile. It could do with some examples of Bob chatting to the crowd, maybe some warm up chords or guitar tuning - something to reinforce it as a live concert not just a bunch of tracks stitched together.

As live albums go this will keep fans happy, but not much more than that. the audience is mixed in well, the vocals are clean and clear, and the music is first class, but maybe I've been spoiled by the likes of 'Live After Death' and 'World Wide Live', because these days a live album doesn't seem to mean as much as it used to.

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