This band have been around since 1982, but they are still a great unit – the twin guitar attack backed by the thundering bass and perpetual-motion drumming results in a lyrically and musically powerful rock album which pisses on a lot of young pretenders of ’98’. Moulded into 13 superb offerings the music is intense, powerful, passionate, dynamic and individual, with the vocals which are strong, melodic, inspiring, wistful, harmonic, tear jerking and emotional – as a result all songs are either blissfully beautiful or rousing and uplifting in their live presentation.

As a band they are even more powerful and exciting live than on record, as this album bears testament, while Stuart Adamson is a lyrical genius – imaginative and provoking, he has a knack of rhyming almost every line without ruining a songs story or message, creating vivid images – “Two hookers in plastic trousers selling pieces of the (Berlin) wall”,”for the latest in monsters a word from or sponsors, I write to the weather map guy, who doesn’t have much time but he’s got a matching tie”, “So let me fill my children’s hearts with hero’s tales and hope it starts a fire in them so deeds are done, with no vain sighs for moments gone”, “Walking in the darkest places where the mission meets, waiting for the ground to open up beneath my feet” to name a few.

Great enthusiasm is abound through the live album, every song having its strengths, conveying with ease the energy of the gig, with powerful offerings such as ‘ God’s Great Mistake‘ ( ( complete with Nirvana Teen Spirit riff), ‘You Dreamer’ (exploding out of your speakers in true B.C. style), ‘Thunder and Lightning‘ ( superb swirling guitars), ‘ I’m not Ashamed‘ ( complete with brilliant scratch guitars) ‘Eilidon‘ ( a classic soaring track), ‘Peace in our time‘ ( pounding bass and drums with on fire guitars), ‘Alone‘ ( a gem), ‘ Fields of Fire‘( 400 miles an hour, 15 years old and still as good if not better than when it first blasted out)…the only downside to the album is the CD fadeout of ‘Chance‘ half way through to make way for F.o.F. ( pure record company stupidity), but this album is a shining light on the whole.

Now approaching middle age and slightly unfashionable, the lack of record sales and chart success to that of the mid-80’s has been largely due to non-existent record company promotion and backing from radio stations in terms of airplay (now who else does that remind you of??), but (as with Mike Peters (The Alarm).) live the band still has a mega loyal following. Travelling the country and beyond and this album is witness to the reason why. Starting off with the superb ‘ God’s Great Mistake’. Commencing with a gentle guitar, followed by a pounding bass and then an explosively furious and energetic bagpipe guitar intro, before expanding into a song that is passionate, with an angry sounding rhythm guitar, rousing vocals, thundering drums and an uplifting lead guitar, the song sets the scene for a brilliant gig, captured for this CD. ‘Post Nuclear Talking Blues‘ is another great track which shows another side to BC – an acoustic folky number with many humorous lyrics ( carrying a ‘ bomb in a bag’, needing to ‘ get a wife…get a life’, his dog’eats like a hog’. while he comes home in ‘ someone else’s pants’), but it has a serious underlying message and was released as a Greenpeace supporting single, in the wake of the French nuclear testing a couple of years ago. Defiant guitars mix with various intricacies to produce a superb live experience to remind the listener that BC are not dead and buried yet.

This album was recorded during their promotional tour for the bands last studio album,’ Why the Long Face‘, which was a vastly under-rated album in that it was possibly their best album in ten years at least, if not ever. The band have recently being taking time out and perusing various solo ventures, but the latest word is that they have just done a few demo sessions for a new album, and that the vibes are that this album shall ‘ be the best album yet, no matter how long it takes’.

As for the solo projects there is no decision as to when they will see the light of day. However the long awaited double CD of the ‘Restless Natives‘ soundtrack and 20-odd Rarities are finally due for release in May. For the meantime tho’, you’ll just have to content yourselves with this excellent live album.

Scottish Music Network

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