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Robert Wyatt - Theatre Royal Drury Lane CD (album) cover

THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE

Robert Wyatt

 

Canterbury Scene

4.10 | 63 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974" is a live album release by UK progressive/experimental rock artist Robert Wyatt. As the title suggests the album was recorded in September 1974 but it didn┤t see a label release until 2005 through Hannibal Records. Paralyzed from that waist down after his fall from a fourth-floor window in June 1973, Robert Wyatt was unable to tour as extensively as he had been used to when he was a member of The Soft Machine and Matching Mole. Therefore this live performance is a rare opportunity to hear what Robert Wyatt sounded like in a live environment in 1974. The album features an all-star cast of prolific progressive rock musicians. Dave Stewart on keyboards, Laurie Allan on drums, Hugh Hopper on bass, Fred Frith on violin, guitar and viola, Mongezi Feza on Trumpet, Gary Windo on Reeds, Mike Oldfield on guitar, Julie Tippets on keyboards and vocals, Nick Mason on drums and Ivor Cutler doing spoken vocals in addition to Robert Wyatt himself on vocals. A fantastic lineup that should turn quite a few prog heads.

"Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974" features 14 tracks and a full playing time of 70:54 minutes. The band perform the entire "Rock Bottom (1974)" album which was Robert Wyatt┤s most recent release at the time. In addition to the 6 tracks taken from that album there is also a great performance of "Calyx" from the debut album by Hatfield and The North (where Robert Wyatt guested on the original studio version), a few Matching Mole tracks (from the debut album) have also found their way into the setlist but strangely enough there are no tracks from Robert Wyatt┤s debut album "The End of an Ear (1970)" and maybe even more odd no tracks from his time in Soft Machine. The track "Mind of A Child" is written and sung by Julie Tippets. The set ends with a cover of the Monkees classic "I'm A Believer".

With a few exceptions "Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974" is an excellent listening experience. The performances by all involved and the interplay between them are outstanding. Add to that the intriguing track arrangements, and especially the great arrangements of the tracks from "Rock Bottom (1974)", and you have a powerful formula. Robert Wyatt sounds even more fragile and melancholic live than he does on the studio versions. A real treat. The sound production is of a good quality. This is not one of those official live bootlegs where you feel cheated because the word "official" doesn┤t mean professionally produced like it┤s supposed to. "Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974" is in almost every way a great live release by Robert Wyatt and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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