I just picked up another of those wonderful BBC live recordings. Though if you’re not a Be-Bop Deluxe fan, this won’t be that interesting.
I’m a huge Fan – Be Bop Deluxe is just about my favorite band of all time; I think Bill Nelson’s a brilliant writer, a brilliant lyricist, and of course, a true guitar hero.
Of all the bands out there I wish I’d had a chance to see, they’re at the top of the stack, behind only possibly XTC. So these live recordings are like unwrapping forgotten xmas gifts.
Thus i give you Tremulous Antenna, a live recording from (I think) 1976.
It’s a stripped down version of BBD, without the heavy layer of production they often had in the studio; and unlike their classic Live in the Air Age, it covers most of BBD’s lifespan, with songs like Third Floor Heaven from Axe Victim, all the way up to Superenigmatix from Drastic Plastic.
It’s got some of Bill’s best guitar playing from the era, from when Bill was still willing to play guitar hero; it’s got a band where you can actually hear Charlie Tumahai’s bass playing, and better yet, his backing vocals, which never seemed to make it onto the studio albums.
There are some down sides; it’s a BBC studio recording so sometimes it’s sonically imperfect, and worse, Andrew Clark’s keyboards sound incredibly dated, a tweaky synth sound that was fresh and cool in ’76 but which sounds a bit like a toy keyboard today. Yet one has to remember the era and the limited options available to a keyboard guy who didn’t want to travel with a truckload of gear ala Rick Wakeman.
I’m a completist type, though, so for me this is a must-have (And yes, I know this is a re-release of a slightly older disc called ‘Radioland‘; this is re-mastered, sounds vastly better and has MUCH cooler packaging, so it’s the one to buy.)
And because I love you all, samples are here.