THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND British Tour ’76 MLP MLP07CD (2004)
This band were the ultimate show-hard rock band in the 70s. When it came to performance and presentation combined, no-one got close.
Recorded a year after the now famous Live LP, this is very different and in many ways so much better.
Promoting the SAHB Stories LP, pianist Hugh McKenna had just fallen ill and this is the only the second gig with Tommy Eyre, who stepped in at the very last minute.
Hugh was an integral part of the band, and the band had to change many arrangements to allow for that. Even so, Eyre (RIP) does a wonderful job of filling in and the music is shear joy beginning to end.
The band are also solid and professional enough to gloss over all the ‘fuck-ups’ (the band’s phrase, if you read the recent interview in the sleevenotes) without missing a beat.
Opening with ‘Fanfare’ and the classic epic of ‘Faith Healer’ we also get ‘Tomahawk Kid’, ‘Amos Moses’ and the hard rocking super hero ‘Vambo’.
Alex Harvey was the ultimate frontman. A Rock’n’Roll Poet who’s body language and presentation says so much more than those headless chicken frontmen. His whole persona and attitude comes over on CD very well. This band were just so good it allowed Alex to do what he did.
Chris Glen and Ted McKenna keep a solid rhythm. And the make up covered catsuit wearing Zal Cleminson is one of the best guitarists around. Even when the band start jamming you get drawn in to the sound.
The hit single ‘Boston Tea Party’ is also featured, and the closer ‘Delilah’ was by then a staple in the set. It’s also the best version of the Tom Jones hit by a mile.
Running at over an hour, it’s also excellent value for money. SAHB demand checking out.
Review by Joe Geesin