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MLP14CD (2006)

SAHB were a very British phenomenon, with the theatrics, hard rock and Alex Harvey's rock'n'roll poetry. They had to work hard just to get to America let alone make an impact there. Playing with Zappa and The Tubes and that ilk, when they did make an impact they went down big time; as this live set shows.

The show was adjusted for maximum impact, with The Faith Healer opening disc 1 here, recorded in Dallas. Any backchat from the crowd is shot down in flames by Harvey, one of the greatest frontmen of all time.

By the end of Midnight Moses, the crowd are rapturous. And there's even a few who recognise the band's tango take on Next!

The Hot City Symphony includes the usual intro (Harvey at his captivating best) before we get classic versions of Vambo, Man In A Jar and even a take on the Stone's Jumpin' Jack Flash, done in their own way.

The McKenna cousins and bassist Chris Glen prove a solid backing band, and the jump suit wearing make-up clad Zal Cleminson a true guitar god. 10 minutes of Framed finishes the set well.

Disc 2 is recorded in Cleveland, opening with the same Framed, Faith Healer, Midnight Moses and Next (all rather different though), before we get the wartime dance of Sergeant Fury and a fair longer Framed. Sixteen minutes of Anthem, pipers included, is just a masterpiece. Jumpin' Jack Flash finishes the set and keeps everyone happy.

Different arrangements and setlists to previous UK live albums, it's well worth owning. Well annotated too.


Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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