Camel — On the Road 1982
(Camel Productions CP-005CD, 1982/1994, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1995-11-01
Andy Latimer's Camel Productions have already put out two high quality live shows, one recent and one from the very early years of the band, but this is the first from the mid-period in the band's history. Many would consider the early 80s Camel's darkest hour, but this live show proves that they had plenty to offer yet in the live arena. Perhaps the biggest reason this official bootleg succeeds is the phenomenal keyboard performance of Kit Watkins, known to many as the leader of Happy the Man in the late 70s. Here, Watkins was bound to the band financially, and although his heart wasn't into this flavor of Camel, he stuck it out and turns in a remarkably solid performance here. Most notable are his solos on "Captured," "Wait," and "Hymn to Her." With no less than four songs from I Can See Your House from Here fans of that album will be pleased to finally hear some of the best tracks represented. Latimer is his usual self, always playing lead melody lines and embellishing them with his patented touch. This is why Camel diehards will want this release. Unfortunately, they will also have to suffer through Chris Rainbow's strained and nasally vocals. Bassist David Paton (another Parsons Project loaner) and drummer Stuart Tosh (yet a third loaner) perform adequately, but nothing noteworthy. Overall this is an album intended for longtime fans, and it ought to satisfy them despite a few warts.
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more