It’s finally Friday, and that also means my last Girl album review. Today, a look at Live at the Marquee, released in 2001 by Receiver Records (I don’t know the date of the recorded performance). Girl played the Marquee Club in the early 1980s, a mainstay of British pop music. Many other bands like Genesis, The Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones also have recordings taped during Marquee Club performances amongst their discographies.
The track listing for Live at the Marquee looks like this:
Ice In My Blood
Mad For It
Nice N’ Nasty
Thru the Twilight
Now, these are songs I’ve mentioned all week, but it’s always interesting to hear a live interpretation. Plus, it’s pretty cool to hear Phil Lewis scream “Come on, you closet headbangers!” at the beginning of “My Number.” Sadly, my favorite part of “My Number” often falls flat on this live issue: I really like the chorus echo, but the backing microphones are not loud enough to tackle the over-modulated bass.
The crowd isn’t so rowdy, and Lewis tries to pump up his fans before “Overnight Angels.” Lewis and rest of Girl seem to be having a good time for themselves, and that’s important for fans. The good news is that the bass isn’t so loud on “Overnight Angels” and it’s actually possible to hear the backing vocals. Plus, Lewis’ voice sounds eerily close to the actual recording, proving that he really does have a nice set of pipes.
“Thru the Twilight” is another highlight (internal rhyme notwithstanding). The band has a nice groove going by the end of the performance, even if the sound recording isn’t perfect. At one point, there is audible feedback. Still, the band clearly opted to not fix every error during the performance. I think it’s important to leave flaws on live recordings because they are a snapshot in time: every band, through out the world, sounds different on any given night. No one can be spot on 365 days a year and flaws give us character. Plus, it’s often those flaws that equate to a concert story or two. That being said, “Thru the Twilight” closes the disc. At the end of the song there’s no loud screams or clapping, save for one loyal fan. In this regard, the album seems detached because I’m fairly certain Girl had a loyal enough following in their native U.K. to garner some whoops and praise. Still, Live at the Marquee is a good record if you’re in the mood for a concert in your living room. Otherwise, I might just opt for the regular recordings.