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(53:18; Bad Elephant Music)
The last weekend in July 2019 saw the unwashed masses attend the wonderfully eclectic and pretty amazing festival that is Kozfest at Buttermead Farm in Woolacombe, Devon. Among them that year were four guys who should have appeared in 2018, but on the day of event guitarist Matt Stevens was actually undergoing surgery as part of his cancer treatment. They were determined to make the event in 2019 and drove eight hours from London to make their appearance. Talking about the festival, Kevin Feazey said afterwards “Everybody was there to enjoy themselves and you can hear that energy in the recordings. A good crowd makes a great show and the audience at Kozfest made the gig one of our best. Might not be the cleanest performance but who cares, right?” This is the third live album from The Fierce & The Dead, and the band see it as a culmination of the live trilogy, but one has to hope they keep the series going as it is when they are on stage that the energy flows and they produce something special. The band are an instrumental quartet of Steve Cleaton (guitar), Matt Stevens (guitar), Kev Feazey (bass) and Stuart Marshall (drums) and together they produce a psychedelic progressive rock sound like so few others. It is an interesting album in many ways, as it is a cross between a bootleg and official release in that it appears they have kept all the conversations taking place with the audience, and we even have the announcement at the beginning that the drummer is currently missing (why is it always the drummer?) and after the set is completed we even get a public service announcement. But the recorded sound is great, and the guys are obviously having a lot of fun and just bouncing around. There is something about TFATD, especially on songs like “1991”, where they remind me somewhat of Ozric Tentacles while never sounding like them at all (no keyboards remember). Stuart sets down the beat, Kev plays heavily fuzzed and distorted bass, and then over the top of there are two guitarists who provide all the lead, rhythm, and melody. There are times when they are almost delicate, almost, and others where the band all just let rip as one. TFATD are a multi-headed instrumental monster who make waves wherever they appear, and the audience were certainly vocal in their support. Short numbers such as “Magnet In Your Face” (less than 100 seconds) allow the band to show they can produce quality no matter the length, and it is a riff-hungry blast which is sheer fun. This is an album to be listened to with a smile on the face as we all know everyone there that night was enjoying themselves as well. This album may only have been released digitally but it is just as fine as the other release. To my ears TFATD are one of the most original and bloody enjoyable bands around, and this demonstrates just that.
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