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Tangent, The: Pyramids, Stars & Other Stories: The Tangent Live Recordings 2004-2017

Pyramids, Stars & Other Stories from The Tangent is a double CD covering more ground than most live albums ever set out to, with not just three separate shows documented but two distinct eras of the band. Disc one comprises the previously ‘unofficial bootleg’ Pyramids And Stars, which the band themselves put out back in 2005, while disc two contains two tracks from a 2017 US show woven through four from a 2014 UK date. That in itself means that the band line-up for the previously available tracks features Andy Tillison (organ, synthesizers, piano, vocals), Roine Stolt (guitar, vocals), Sam Baine (piano, synthesizers), Jonas Reingold (bass) and Zoltan Csorsz (drums and percussion), whereas the others come from the current line-up of Tillison, Reingold, Luke Machin (guitar, vocals), Theo Travis (saxophone, flute) and Steve Roberts (drums). Confused? Well, it all makes sense when you press play!

And it genuinely does, disc one, which was recorded in 2004 in Germany splitting the set between the band’s, to that point, only two studio albums, The Music That Died Alone and The World That We Drive Through. All of which reminds us that band leader Andy Tillison’s world weary wit and observation was already set in place as his outfit did a masterful job of embellishing these tales through music. The whole experience is a joy with the likes of “The Canterbury Sequence” and “In Darkest Dreams” even more lively in this setting than they were in the studio. That said, I could do without the cover of the ELP classic “Lucky Man” which closes the set out, purely because that song was always, to me, about Greg Lake’s beautiful clear vocals and it would be fair to suggest that isn’t really the main focus of Andy Tillison’s captivating storytelling style.

Disc two, while not having the same natural flow as a fully captured show illustrates perfectly the virtuoso levels the band now display. Guitarist Luke Machin is one of prog's unsung six string heroes and on the epic “Titanic Calling Carpathia” from the COMM album, he gets to show that and then some. Add in scathingly scintillating performances of “Two Rope Swings” and “Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)” from The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery alongside “Perdu Dans Paris” from 2009’s Down And Out In Paris And London and there simply isn’t a weak moment to be found.

It’s taken them a long time but The Tangent do seem to finally be receiving some of the recognition their idiosyncratic progressive rock deserves. Pyramids, Stars & Other Stories: The Tangent Live Recordings 2004-2017 proves that it should have been coming their way long before now.

Track Listing
CD1 - Live in Germany, 2014
1. The World We Drive Through, 2. The Canterbury Sequence, 3. The Winning Game, 4. In Darkest Dreams,   5. The Music That Died Alone, 6. Lucky Man

1. A Spark In The Aether Live in USA, 2017, 2. A Sale Of Two Souls Live in UK, 2012, 3. Perdu Dans Paris Live in UK, 2012, 4. A Crisis In Mid Life Live in UK, 2012, 5. Doctor Livingstone (I Presume) Live in USA, 2017, 6. Titanic Calls Carpathia Live in UK, 2012, 7. Two Rope Swings Live in USA, 2017

Added: February 19th 2023
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Tangent online
Hits: 633
Language: english

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