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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Focus - Focus 9 / New Skin – After an initial stab at a return to action with 2002's Focus 8, Thijs van Leer is back with an almost totally new lineup that's sounding better than ever. That is, if your tastes for this...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues