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JEZ LOWE AND THE BAD PENNIE, Northern Echoes – Live on the Tyne

JEZ LOWE AND THE BAD PENNIES, Northern Echoes – Live on the Tyne
Tantobie Records TTRCD110

Well I suppose it was about time for another live album from Jez and his current Pennies, and this is generally a belter on most counts.  Most of the live favourites are here (Chick Henderson’s March, Davis and Golightly and The Famous Working Man are especially notable, but in fairness all 17 tracks jolly along nicely).  The Bad Pennies, perform sympathetically throughout – and there’s a full 70 minutes of sounds to get you teeth into, reinforcing the ‘gigness’ of the CD. Jez has worked tirelessly to bring his take on North Eastern life to a wider audience, and more and more of us have got the message  - his bulging gig list is testament to this.

As is becoming the norm these days, the package comes with a ‘bonus’ DVD, which is mostly excepts from three live performances, interspersed with interviews and fly-on-the-wall style filming of the planning process of the show. For the live performance, the BP line up expands to include the wonderful voice and melodeon of Benny Graham and Shona Mooney’s fab fiddle and vocals.  The film quality is not consistent throughout – at least three cameras are used, each with different chromatic settings so that when switching from one view to another, the colours of shirts worn by the performers keeps changing.  Scorsese has nowt to worry about (but as a ’bonus’ DVD, it seems churlish to lump too much criticism – particularly as it’s the only chance that some people have to see the band in a live environment).  The true gems are on the CD.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.