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(143:00; Inside Out Music)
Apparently, Andy Tillison has dreamed of releasing a triple live album since he was a kid, and he has now achieved just that with this, which includes recordings from 2004-2017 and if you have the CDs (which contain two more tracks) then it lasts an astonishing 2:23. Included in its entirety is the 2004 ‘Pyramids And Stars’ concert in Germany featuring the “Roine Stolt" line-up of The Tangent playing its way through the majority of the debut ‘Music That Died Alone’ album along with (then) new material from their second album ‘The World That We Drive Through’, although Guy Manning is not involved for some reason. Added to that, there are tracks from the ‘COMM’ era line-up of the band at a concert in the UK - plus music recorded in the USA in 2017 by the band's current line-up. These originally appeared on the ‘Southend On Sea’ and ‘Hotel Cantaffordit’ fan releases respectively. I first came across Andy more than 25 years ago when he was a young Hamill-infatuated progger with Parallel or 90 Degrees, and over the years I have followed his career with interest as he is a musician who always follows what he wants to do, and who he wants to do it with, and the result is always fascinating. With material from the first album all the way through the career up to this point, it is interesting to hear Andy is at the heart of everything, and that there are different line-ups involved does not really matter, as realistically it is all about him. If he wants to sing “Lucky Man” and get the crowd singing along with him then that’s fine, and if he wants to put in a snippet of “Do It Again” in another song then that is fine as well. They can be sentimental, or they can blast in an almost neo prog manner on “A Spark In The Aether”, always with a multi-layered approach which is guaranteed to keep any progger smiling throughout. Of course, there are epics, and the twin keyboard approach for the earlier material allows the band to do things the later line-ups cannot, and there is an exuberance throughout this which is hard to match. There is a spark here which does not always come through on studio recordings, and the result is music which is a wonderful introduction to one of our great prog bands/composers, as Andy continues to drive them on to create moments of real magic.
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