Friday, 31 October 2014

Captain Beefheart: Paris 77 US review

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Live From Paris 1977 (Gonzo Multimedia)

This 2-CD set from the one-and-only Captain Beefheart was recorded during the band's performance at Le Nouvel hippodrome in Paris on November 19, 1977. Beefheart - born Don Van Vliet on January 15, 1941 - made 13 unique and musically challenging records with his Magic Band from 1965 through 1982.
In their infinite wisdom, esteemed English label Gonzo Multimedia has seen fit to release this rare live recording from the Captain [they recently released another Beefheart performance called Live From Harpos 1980]. This concert was part of a festival conducted at Sorbonne University and was the Magic Band's only appearance in Europe since the closing months of 1975.
The material here is taken from a number of albums including Trout Mask ReplicaLick My Decals Off, BabyThe Spotlight Kid; and Bat Chain Puller. Here is a track listing:
Disk 1
1 Hair Pie: Bake III
2 Suction Prints
3 Low Yo Yo Stuff
4 Bat Chain Puller
5 I Wanna Fina A Woman That ‘ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go
6 Abba Zaba
7 Dali’s Car
8 One Nest Rolls After Another
9 The Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back
10 Nowadays a Woman’s Got To Hit A Man
11 Click Clack
12 Grow Fins
13 Golden Birdies
Disk 2
1 Electricity
2 A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond.
3 China Pig
4 Sun Zoom Spark
5 My Human Gets Me Blues
6 Floppy Boot Stomp
7 Moonlight on Vermont
8 Carson City
9 Old Black Snake
10 Pachuco Cadaver
11 Veteran’s Day Poppy/Band Intro
12 The Blimp
13 Big Eyed Beans from Venus
There are some astonishing performances here including "Electricity," "Pachuco Cadaver," "Grow Fins" as well as a rare performance of "The Blimp" featuring the Captain's manager Harry Duncan on harmonica.
The sound is above average for a live recording save for a few moments where the volume dips and drops out during bad edits. Audience levels tend towards the problematic at times but never loud enough to drown out any of the performance. The band - keyboardist Eric Drew Feldman, guitarist Jeff Morris Tepper, drummer Robert Williams and bassist Denny Walley - turns in a sterling performance in executing the Captain's complex rhythms and harmonic textures.
Even Beefheart himself was happy with this show. Several days later in an interview with Zigzag magazine he said, "I’m real happy now. I mean real happy. I played Paris and the people were dancing and everything to our music. It’s amazing - people dancing to avant garde music, or whatever they call it now.”
If you're a Beefheart fan you need to have this as part of the collection. Sadly the Captain passed away on December 17, 2010 but we still have remarkable shows such as this one to remember him by. 

Harpo's Detroit Dec 11th 1980
CD - £9.99

Lunar Notes - Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience
Book - £9.99

Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver 1973
CD - £9.99

Le Nouvel Hippodrome, Paris 1977
2CD - £11.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

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