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Flamin’ Groovies: Live From The Vaillancourt Fountains: 9/19/79

While the best live albums make you wish you’d been there, the less successful outings instead make you wonder, did I have to be there to get it? And unfortunately it’s the latter that’s the case with Live From The Vaillancourt Fountains by 60s power poppers Flamin’ Groovies. Now, cards on the table, I’m not a Flamin’ follower, so this 1979 live show doesn’t mean much to me but that could be said for at least 50% of the bands I review here at SoT and it certainly doesn’t stop me from thoroughly digging a great proportion of them. Here, however, I’m just left confused. Were Flamin’ Groovies a sensation in their own right and if so, why is at least half of this set a collection of covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Gene Clark and others? Surely if you want to hear “Paint It Black” you’ll dig out a full Jagger/Richards an Co rendition? Or if you wanted to hear the Fab Four, then you’d pull Revolver from the racks and not this? I mean, one or two covers could easily be forgiven, but 10 from 17? After all, by 1979 this band had 6 of their own albums to choose from.

So, maybe I’m missing the point? After all this outfit are seen as integral to the music scene of the time and also as some sort of forefathers of punk - not that either aspect comes across on what is a decidedly lo-fi recording. However, for a newcomer to this particular groove, not even the originals like “All I Wanted”, “I Can’t Hide” or “Shake Some Action” come across as little more than middle of the road, middle of the pack 60s pop being played a decade and half too late.

Apologies if Flamin’ Groovies are your own particular squeeze but with little context and no previous experience this album comes across as nothing more than a covers band recorded in less than sympathetic circumstances. As I said right at the start of this review, maybe you had to be there?

Track Listing
1. Introduction
2. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better
3. Between The Lines
4. Please Please Me
5. Fall On You
6. From Me To You
7. 19th Nervous Breakdown
8. Baby, Please Don’t Go
9. Tell me Again
10. Paint It Black
11. All I Wanted
12. First Plane Home
13. I Can’t Hide
14. Shake Some Action
15. Around & Around
16. Let It Rock
17. I Want You Bad

Added: April 5th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Liberation Hall Records on facebook
Hits: 614
Language: english

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