Label: Mmm… Records
Usually I see live albums as a bit of a cash in and rarely serving a purpose. To this end I usually give them a fairly wide berth so when Bombay Bicycle Club decided to release a play through ‘I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ as a live record I approached with caution.
I was pleasantly surprised then when the drums explode in ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’ and it becomes abundantly clear that it deserves the live treatment. Each track has the energy that was lacking in parts of the original record. The guitars sound louder and the whole record benefits from a drum sound that makes each hit explode over the speakers.
Tracks such as ‘Dust on the Ground’ and ‘Ghost’ were songs that I would maybe skip past before because they didn’t have that killer hook and they never really grabbed my attention. Now these songs have a new lease of life with the energy of a band that clearly loved playing live. ‘What If’ sounds even more immediate and bouncy than the studio version and ‘Always Like This’ gives you goosebumps when the crowd start singing every note.
I remember seeing Bombay Bicycle Club live before and was blown away by how much the songs transform when they hit the stage. Given the fact that gigs aren’t happening in the immediate future, forgive me if I crank the volume up, turn the lights down, throw a beer down myself for old times sake and lose myself in the music.