Matthews, Iain: Live at Rockpalast – Hamburg 1983
English musician Iain Matthews is perhaps best known for his work with the folk rock band Fairport Convention which he joined in 1967 but left two years later after some disagreements within the band. From there it was on to Matthews Southern Comfort and then his '70s solo career. He moved to Los Angeles and became part of the singer songwriter community but over time his popularity began to wane. Music was changing, as it always does, so it was time for Matthews to reinvent himself.
As usual, MIG has done a nice job digging out older live recordings. The concert took place in 1983 in Hamburg, Germany. The sound quality is not perfect by any means, the vocals are sometimes too low in the mix but that is to be expected with old technology. The picture quality is fine and the camera does a good job capturing all the band members.
Playing that night were:
Iain Matthews (vocals, guitar)
Dave Wintor (bass)
Bob Metzger (guitar)
Bruce Hazen (guitar)
Bob Henrit (drums)
The performance is very good and the band is tight as you would expect from seasoned veterans. The energetic "Nine O'Clock" and "For The Lonely Hunter" begin the concert in rousing fashion, just plain old fashioned catchy rock music. Some nice bass playing is certainly worth a mention. With "Blue Shirt" the band ups the catchiness factor with a real earworm and does a great job on the punky "Driftwood From Disaster", originally written by Jules Shear. Matthews has a uniquely unmistakable voice with a higher pitched delivery that will endear or just as easily repel, depending on your tastes. At times David Byrne came to mind.
More highlights include the quirky guitar work in the catchy "Shorting Out" and the Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield classic "Mr. Soul", ideally suited to Matthews' voice and his guitar centric band.
The DVD also features a live trailer section with five tunes, all from different artists including Peter Hammill, Ronnie Lane Band and Frankie Miller. My favourites include Miller's country rock gem "To Dream the Dream, sounding much like Bob Seger and Lane's poignant folk rock offering "Debris".
Besides the DVD and CD of the concert performance you also get an extra disc including the studio versions of all the tracks which is a nice addition.
If you are a fan of the Rockpalast series and dig catchy rock music this set should hit all the right buttons. Recommended.
DVD + CD (Live)
1. Nine O'Clock (3:04)
2. For The Lonely Hunter (5:12)
3. Blue Shirt (4:55)
4. See Me (4:58)
5. Driftwood From Disaster (1:52)
6. She May Call You Up Tonight (3:18)
7. Shorting Out (5:49)
8. Sights In Manhattan (6:00)
9. I Survived The Seventies (3:02)
10. Hearts On The Line (4:59)
11. I Can't Fade Away (5:23)
12. Civilisation (5:06)
13. Lies (5:47)
14. Out Of My Range (3:53)
15. Over Under Sideways Down (3:55)
16. Mr. Soul (4:59)
17. For The Lonely Hunter (5:19)
Bonus CD (Studio Versions)
1. Nine O'Clock (3:09)
2. For The Lonely Hunter (4:57)
3. Blue Shirt (4:11)
4. See Me (4:33)
5. Driftwood From Disaster (1:51)
6. She May Call You Up Tonight (3:26)
7. Shorting Out (5:34)
8. Sights In Manhattan (3:51)
9. I Survived The Seventies (2:56)
10. Hearts On The Line (4:16)
11. I Can't Fade Away (4:20)
12. Civilisation (3:40)
13. Lies (3:34)
14. Out Of My Range (3:09)
15. Over Under Sideways Down (3:49)
16. Mr. Soul (3:39)
17. For The Lonely Hunter (4:18)
Added: February 12th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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