Thursday, April 12, 2007

by request: CARAVAN - Live At Fairfield Halls (1974) @320

Documented during an era in which U.K. performances by Caravan were few and far between, Live at the Fairfield Halls 1974 is a brilliantly remastered and likewise complete presentation of a concert held just prior to their inaugural tour of North America.
Although Caravan had been subjected to several key personnel and managerial alterations in the preceding months, once they hit the stage they shed any behind-the-scenes acrimony and were transformed into a stunning synergy of progressive and symphonic rock. This warm-up show took place on September 1, 1974, at Fairfield Hall in Croydon and was initially documented as a possible promotional tool for their upcoming stateside appearances. The tapes remained on deposit, seemingly forgotten, at the Decca studios storage facility in West Hampstead, U.K., until the stunning 19-minute "For Richard" was resurrected for inclusion on the two-LP Canterbury Tales compilation in 1976. Then, in 1980, the French budget label Kingdom Records issued a double album under the title The Best of Caravan Live. All but the most keen-eyed and -eared enthusiasts passed the set up as a poorly assembled hits package. It was, however, this show sans "Chance of a Lifetime" -- which the band rarely ever performed. Then as mysteriously as it appeared it was deleted and remains out of print.
On this release, the sound has been sonically scrubbed and is now presented faithful to the original presentation. Enthusiasts who prefer the band's lineup and subsequent edgier tone, circa For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, will be doubly thrilled with this release as they re-create most of the album. Additionally, they wrap themselves around the crushing "Memory Lain, Hugh"/"Headloss" opener. Perhaps foreshadowing how powerful this rendition will be, the evening's proceedings fade in to the hovering resonation of Geoffrey Richardson's electric viola as he fiddles underneath the band's introduction. Caravan's most recent release concurrent to this performance is the equally impressive Caravan & the New Symphonia. From that disc comes "Virgin on the Ridiculous" -- performed here by just the quintet. Although composed for the incorporation of an orchestra, this rendition is leaner and displays the band's almost conversational way of jamming and improvising. The transition into the "Be Alright Now" suite is seamless, and, under the thunder sticks of Richard Coughlan (drums), the band is propelled into one of the only live versions of the medley to have been professionally documented.

With a well-deserved nod to the "New Symphonia," Live at the Fairfield Halls 1974 is the quintessential live Caravan release. The sound is crisp and the stereo image is direct and very warm. This disc is highly recommended for newly found fans as well as the more seasoned consumer. ~ Lindsay Planer

- David Sinclair / keyboards
- Geoffrey Richardson / viola
- Mike Wedgwood / bass
- Pye Hastings / guitar, vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums

1. Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (9:27)
2. Virgin On The Ridiculous (7:14)
3. Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime (6:37)
4. The Love In Your Eye (15:23)
5. L'Auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise) (9:49)
6. The Dog The Dog He's At It Again (6:23)
7. For Richard (19:01)
8. Hoedown (5:58)

LINK: (copy link to browser and change *!!* to *tt*)

Please leave a comment


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Caravan post. I alwys thought this band was at their best when Dave Sinclair was at the keys.

. said...

I agree but with some exeptions..:)

Anonymous said...

Nice post.
I have the compilation with "For Richard" and always hoped for the rest of the concert. Here it is - thank you!

Yerblues said...

Brother, I downloaded the software provided by you, but once I type the link, pop the warning: "file deleted or bad link"... is the link still active... I just don't know if is the soft or if it's the host, because megaupload is never available... tanx anyway.

. said...

just checked the link and it works. I am realy not sure for that programme, it was recomended by one of blogers. from some other people I have heard that it works. I think megaupload is the safest and that is the only reason I sm using it, trust me that is a pretty good reason. sorry, I hope you will find this aklbum soon.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thank you. Great blog too!

Anonymous said...

is there a reup possible?
i'm looking since a long time for this great album, please reup!

Anonymous said...

can you please reup it?

lookin' a longe time for this...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wonderful blog. Unfortunately this link is currently dead.

Anonymous said...

Dieser Link ist leider nicht verf├╝gbar.
can You please reup it?