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Strawbs - Lay Down With The Strawbs (DVD) CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.00 | 3 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "See you in another thirty years!"

Strawbs is one of my favourite bands and the line up involved here is the same as it is on my favourite Strawbs album Hero And Heroine. In addition, the set list here is concentrated on material from my favourite Strawbs albums so this should really be at least a four star release for me. But it isn't, I'm afraid. It is not easy to point towards a single reason for this, but for a number of different reasons this performance is merely good. I'm sure I would have had a great evening had I been there in person, but despite the pretty good set list this is not the ultimate Strawbs live experience. I globally prefer the studio versions of these songs and the performances here are not always entirely convincing.

Lay Down is an OK opener, but I Only Want My Love To Grow In You is not very good as a second song. I don't hate this song, but it doesn't really fit in so early in the set (if it must feature in the set at all). The third song in the set is Shine On Silver Sun. It is a good song for sure, but it is not as strong on its own as it is in the context of the other songs from the Hero And Heroine album. Ghosts is the first really good song in the set and the first to show us Strawbs more progressive side. They don't continue in that direction, however, as they play Remembering/You And I When We Were Young and Cold Steel. The latter is one of the least good songs from the recent Deja Fou album and thus a bad choice to represent that album. Next up is The Life Auction. This is once again a great and more progressive song.

The band then move into an acoustic set which is very nice. Somehow, Dave Cousins lives up and becomes a bit more energised for this bit. Here they also introduce a special guest; ex-member, John Ford. Ford sings lead on Kissed By The Sun, a song he apparently has written recently. I can hear some discrete keyboards during some of the acoustic songs, but John Hawken is off stage at this point!

The show turns electric again with a series of songs from the Hero And Heroine album starting with Out In The Cold continuing with Round And Round, Just Love, Autumn Suite and the title track only interrupted by a drum solo and finished off with a reprise of Round And Round. This last part of the show is really what Prog fans has been waiting for all along and it is the best part of the show.

The encore consists of Part Of The Union which we could have done without really, though I'm certain that I would have sang a long had I been in the audience.

Overall, this is a good show, but I would have expected a bit more. The Live At Nearfest album is clearly a better live release and the Strawbs entry in the Classic Rock Legends series is also preferable over this one. For long time fans this DVD is great, but beginners should definitely not start with this one.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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