Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band — Live at Bickershaw Festival - North West England 1972
(Ozit/Morpheus 9006, 1972/2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01
The front of the package proclaims "Joe Strummer's favourite concert." Well, I'm sure it was great to be there. The Captain and his crackshot '72 touring lineup (Rockette Morton, Roy Estrada, Zoot Horn Rollo, Ed Marimba and Winged Eel Fingerling) run through a great set of material from the Trout Mask through Spotlight Kid period. What the potential buyer needs to know is that the sound quality of this recording is basically marginal bootleg; there are no breaks in the tape but there are some sudden changes in level, and the basic sound is sort-of-like you're listening to it all through a pillow (or two or three); clearly this tape was nowhere near the soundboard. That said, it sounds like it was indeed a great performance (screeches of feedback and all), and I must say I've enjoyed the subsequent plays a bit more after my initial horrified response to the sound, but still, this is something I would recommend only to hardcore Beefheart fans that already have everything else he has recorded.
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