Exposé Online banner

Gentle Giant — King Alfred's College
(Alucard alu-gg-07, 1971/2009, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2010-07-01

King Alfred's College Cover artGood quality Gentle Giants live CDs are a variable commodity for fans seeking a performance of that elusive tour or song which was only performed twice. Surprising to find then that the band itself located a live recording of their first performance, playing most of the material from their first album and a few surprises. Considering the date it’s great to hear founder member Phil Shulman playing brass accompaniment for nearly the entire set as well as adding backing vocals. Consistent points in any GG concert are always guitarist Gary Green and keyboardist Kerry Minnear. Rare tracks such as "Hometown Special" and "City Hermit" were front-loaded into the set list and proved viable vehicles for Green’s incendiary blues guitar playing. Minnear’s mini fugue opens up the latter track (very much in Jethro Tull style) before the group breaks into a kind of blues about a misfit overwhelmed by his metropolitan surroundings. The Giant has always been super well rehearsed and on this occasion it’s no different. Plus the song staple "Funny Ways" has a slower groove than most other versions I’ve heard during Minnear’s vibes solo. This tune was always bassist Ray Shulman’s opportunity to spotlight some gypsy violin plying, which he demonstrates with gusto! The altogether lost track "Peel off the Paint" closed out the set on an aggressive edge before transitioning into a cool Mellotron middle section and twisted blues break. Overall the performance and recording serve to show the band as powerful prog icons from the very beginning (as if there was any doubt).

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Gentle Giant

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

K Leimer - Degraded Certainties – Kerry Leimer's newest work delves deeply into the process side of ambient fabrications. Here, he gathers source elements that include strings, bells, and percussive sounds, and then runs them through...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues