Twelfth Night - Live At The Target-The Definitive Edition,
Shortly after the release of ‘The Electra Tape’, singer Electra departed which meant that the band had a recently released tape for sale which featured a vocalist, but were now an instrumental outfit again so they need to have some product available that featured this sound. This time they were going to move away from cassettes and instead release a record, and the decision was taken to record two gigs from The Target in Reading on 15th and 16th January 1981. From these tapes they would then select the best songs and that would be the album done and dusted. This ‘Definitive Edition’ release finds the original four songs on the first CD, with another nine on a second. To me the highlight is “Sequences”, one the band’s most powerful numbers. I only came to this album some time in the Nineties having already been familiar with the vocal version and I was amazed at how the guys told an incredible story without the use of lyrics (and 20 minutes long to boot) and how little the arrangement changed when Geoff became involved.
The sound is really good, especially considering that here was a local band with little money doing everything on a shoestring budget, and it certainly doesn’t sound as if this recorded more than 30 years ago. There is a vibrancy and power to their music that means that the listener becomes involved in their world. The bonus songs on the second CD definitely add to the overall package, although there is some variance in the recording quality, and one of these is from early as 1979. I have always loved “The Cunning Man” with its hypnotic keyboard passage, and the version here from 1980 is great. These days this album is often overlooked with people heading straight to the recordings featuring Geoff or Andy Sears but this is well worth investigating.www.twelfthnight.info