Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Star Truckin' 75 Live at Leiden (1975)

Hello I'm back again after 10 days off. Hope you appreciated the VDGG stuff. More to come, but tonight a re-up requested by some visitors: Steve Harley with Cockney Rebel. Details about this live set in the first post below. If you dl-ed it some years ago on this site, do it again since I've much improved the sound and now it's like a real live album (approximately). If the playing can't be compared to the one the first CR line-up offered (what's the fuck this guitar si doing on Psychomodo's songs), it's however rather good to listen to this testimony. Catch it here. Of course the cover sleeve is mine. I improved it a little bit too with some effects to give the fake impression it's a real solid cover.

Thanx to Derek from Paris (same town than me but I don't know him) who sent me recently this bootleg relatively well known by the Steve Harley aficionados, judging by what I found on the net, but that I didn't know. So here it is. It must be noted that even if the setlist consists mainly in songs from Human Menagerie and Psychomodo, this is not the original line-up who plays them (except the greater than great Stuart Elliott on drums) but the Mk II line-up, the one who would record The Best Years Of Our Lives (2 songs from it on this live recording). I never found this second line-up was the real Cockney Rebel and the way they play songs from Psychomodo are sometimes not far from a complete slaughter. To the so singular musical approach of the previous formation, they substitute a sort of strange and unconsistent mix of style that could be a sort of british Steely Dan if they could be a little more concise and focus. Sometimes they are a sort of sad version of SAHB. On "Sebastian" and "Death Trip", things work a little better. The strongest thing here are Steve Harley's vocals. He really lives each word he sings and makes me shivers today (I'm no more a teenager and this band was supposed to be for teenagers) than at the time. Listen to his "Sebastian" dodobatabata impro to see what an English Artaud he could have been if only he had stayed this crazy (but he became very wise some years later). All in all, an interesting document of a band mutating in something else. They would reach other summits 1 year later with Love's A Prima Donna so I won't be too severe. This concert was recorded in Netherland (in Leiden) during a collective tour with Wishbone Ash, Caravan, Mahavishnu Orchestra and The Climax Blues Band (what a strange team). The sound is rather good. You know that I don't post here this sort of shitty document you can't even listen to one time without having your ears bleeding ichor. Below a document of "Sebastian" played by the same formation (actually no, I think there is another guitarist backwards) some months before (April) at the Hammersmith Odeon.


Anonymous said...

would you like to re-up?

jbergenh said...

I was at that concert and Steve Harley had been called just the day before. He had to replace Lou Reed who was ill and couldn't play. A lot of people who came for Lou Reed left early and so they missed a great concert of Cockney Rebel