FIRE The Magic Shoemaker Live Angel Air SJPCD286 (2008)
Fire were, in the late 60s, a renowned psychedelic pop group. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Bob Lambert went on to find fame with The Strawbs in the 70s.
In 2007, the original line-up of Lambert, drummer Bob Voice and bassist Dick Dufall reformed to perform the 1970 concept album The Magic Shoemaker in its entirety, with a few earlier hits thrown in.
And that is what you have here. A fairytale concept and a sound that mixes The Beatles and Genesis in equal amounts. The horns early on sound a little strange, but 'Tell You A Story' is the post psych with Prog nods that Genesis did so well in those early days.
The tribal drums mix in well, the vocals sit nicely between Peter Gabriel and early Phil Collins, the guitar adds a touch of Hendrix, the bass nods to The Nice.
The story of the concept is told nicely in the sleevenotes, and the story re-written slightly to include other Fire tracks including the classic 'Father's Name Is Dad'.
This is the first time the album had ever been played in full too.
Annotated by Lambert, it's a good package, the performance good, but the style never quite made the first division.