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Haze 30th Anniversary Shows album cover
4.98 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 80% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Intro
2. Turn Around
3. Mirage
4. Over The River
5. Another Country
6. Autumn
7. 4 Real
8. See Her Face
9. Portrait
10.The Edge Of Heaven
11.Let Go
12.The Vice


1. Hitchhiking
2. Ophelia
3. In The End
4. Dragonfly
5. Train
6. The Hum
7. A Firkin of Mead
8. The Barrister & The Bargast
9. Unto The Dawn
10.In The Light
11.The Night
12.Seven Stones
13.Last Orders
14.Comfortably Numb

Line-up / Musicians

Paul Chisnell / drums, percussion, vocals
Chris McMahon / bass, keyboards, vocals
Paul McMahon / vocals, guitars

Releases information

Released on Cyclops/Gabadon Records

Thanks to The Doctor for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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HAZE 30th Anniversary Shows ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(80%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HAZE 30th Anniversary Shows reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
5 stars The edge of heaven

As the title of this live album implies, Haze has been around for more than 30 years. Formed in 1978, Haze released their debut LP in 1984 and went on to release another two studio LPs before the end of the 80's. In the 90's the two McMahon brothers continued on without Paul Chisnell under the name World Turtle. This present double live album is a career-spanning tour the force featuring most of the best songs by the band. Indeed, it functions very well as a kind of best off album performed live. In all cases these live versions are improvements over their studio counterparts.

As it says in the booklet, most of the material featured here was recorded in Sheffield on the 1st of June 2008 and the running order of the album is a correct representation of the actual set list of that show with only one song (Seven Stones) added that was not played that night. This is just how good live albums should be, representing the concert as it actually was performed on the night (though I don't know how it actually sounded live). It's a good thing they added Seven Stones though, as it is one of the band's best ever songs evoking classic Genesis.

The set list features songs from all three of the band's 80's studio LPs as well as the two World Turtle albums. There are also several brand new Haze songs that will appear on the upcoming new studio album that will finally be released in March 2013. In addition, there are here also one song by Chris McMahon's Folk Rock group Treebeard. It is fair to say that this live album gives a very good overview of the long career of Haze and its members.

The sound of Haze is an appealing mix of Psychedelic Prog, Prog Folk, Heavy Prog, and touches of Symphonic/Neo-Prog as well as Crossover Prog. The new songs clearly have a strong Folk direction and we can expect the upcoming new Haze album to be more Prog Folk than anything else (which I'm sure that I will love!).

The line up features the bothers Paul and Chris McMahon on (primarily) guitars and keyboards respectively and who, if I'm correctly informed, are the founders and leaders of the band as well as drummer Paul Chisnell. These three people form the core of the band, but they also have some guest performers here in Ceri Ashton on flute, and a couple of others. The flutes are particularly brilliant and give the music a lovely Camel-feel at times.

The first disc opens with a short Intro that adds little to the proceedings. Turn Around is rather raw and gritty song that at first made me worried about what was coming next. But the following two tracks, the very old Mirage and the very new Over The River quickly diminished that worry; the former with its swirling synthesisers and heavy guitars and the latter with its excellent flute and piano. 4 Real is another one of the new songs. And another excellent song on the first disc is The Edge Of Heaven, this song originally appeared on the first World Turtle album. There are however also a couple of comparatively weaker numbers on the first disc. While by no means bad, Another Country is a rather straight-forward rocker that reminds me a bit of Asia with its catchy chorus and fanfare-like keyboards and Autumn is a Blues Rock number. Also Let Go is one of the less good songs.

The second disc is overall stronger and more coherent that the first disc. There is not one weak moment to be found here! It opens with a short electric Folk instrumental called Hitchhiking that leads straight into the symphonic Ophelia. Dragonfly is yet another of the new songs, this one was written during the rehearsals for the concert and it is a great one! The Barrister & The Bargast too is a new song, and great as well. A Firkin Of Mead is an old but absolutely lovely acoustic number that brings diversity and a chance to catch your breath between the onslaught of the rest. For me the album closes perfectly with the superb Last Orders and I usually ignore the unnecessary cover of Comfortably Numb. There was really no need to perform a cover song as the band has so much great original material.

Haze is a very overlooked and underrated band that deserves much more attention and this live album is their best release and thus a perfect place to discover them. I liked this from the start, but it has grown on me further since I first discovered it and raised my rating from four to five stars.

Very highly recommended!

Review by kev rowland
5 stars It is incredible to note that Haze were formed in 1978, and that this 30th Anniversary concert is already five years old yet they are still gigging, have just released a new studio album, and show no signs at all of slowing down. When I moved to NZ I lost touch with Chris McMahon, but recently we started swapping emails and he sent me 'The Last Battle', the reissued 'Stoat' and this one. Given that they had already released a 10th Anniversary album and a 20th Anniversary (where I was thanked in the credits, which was much appreciated), there was always going to be an issue with repeated content but they got around this by playing some rarely aired numbers, a few by World Turtle and Treebeard, and some new songs which would later appear on the new album as well as the old favourites. In addition, they also extended their sound by moving away from the set trio of Paul Chisnell (percussion, vocals), Paul McMahon (vocals, guitar, guitar synth) and Chris McMahon (keyboards, bass, vocals) by bringing in Ceri Ashton to provide flute on various songs, who has since joined as a full member of the band. There are also a couple of guests on the final song of the night, namely Rog Patterson and Greg Smith from Twice Bitten, another Eighties band who never gained the recognition their music fully deserve.

The plan was to record two nights in 2008, but there were sound issues at the first gig in Kingston so only one song has been included from that set, a version of 'Seven Stones' which they didn't play the following night in Sheffield. The rest of the songs are all from Sheffield, in the order in which they were played so if you were lucky enough to be there that night this was what you would have heard. Haze are one of the prog bands that I have never managed to catch in concert (in my defence they were gigging hard in the Eighties but didn't know about them until the Nineties when they were not as frequent), but I did manage to see World Turtle which was the McMahon brothers plus a drum machine and they blew me away that night (plus I have managed to catch Chris a few times as well).

All of the guys are incredible musicians, and they blast through a set which contains just about everything a fan would want with 'The Vice' and 'Another Country' being real standouts, while they also play 'Let Go' which is my favourite World Turtle number and here it gains an additional presence. Chris is a master of switching between bass and keyboards, often in the same song, so this rarely sounds like a trio while Paul is a polished guitarist who points out that thirty years earlier he only owned one guitar, which was the one he was playing then!

Haze are a band that have always been masters of the live environment, and here they have the space to shine in front of hardcore fans in their home base of Sheffield, and they certainly relished the experience. If you are new to this band then this is the album to start with as neo-prog doesn't get any better than this, and if you are aware of Haze what is your excuse for not having this already?

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