Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LUCIFER'S FRIEND: "Live at Sweden Rock 2015"

Rating: Live
Label: Cherry Red/LF 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The ever so corny introduction by the Swedish Muppets (Mattias & Melker) and we're off to watch (according to the double M's) Lucifer's Friend's first concert in 28 years? It is not. This being their second live concert since the reformation. Recorded live at Sweden Rock Festival, 4Sound Stage on the 5th of June 2015. The Muppets did however mention the DVD recording while rambling, this is however the CD and official bootleg version of the event. Don't ask. I don't know if there's different?

I do know it's pretty much the original or at least semi-classic line-up consisting of John Lawton (vocals), Peter Hesslein (guitars), Dieter Horns (bass), Jogi Wichmann (keyboards) and Stefan Eggert (drums). It's a brand new start and the set list includes the bands greatest hits from the 70's plus a couple of tracks from the recently released 'Awakening'. It's obvious that the band's a bit nervous and rusty so to speak. It's their most prestigious gigs for centuries (perhaps with the exception of Lawton of course - Uriah Heep) and there's a couple of 'warts-and-all' moments to be found. But that's generally just a good thing since you'd hate to hear the flawless fixed afterward in a studio release.

The problem is that some of these songs hasn't aged that well and if this is their greatest hits, I'd hate to think about their worst moments. "Keep Going" and "Ride The Sky" from their 1970 debut album are classy pieces of rock though. The same goes for the Uriah Heep-ish ballad, "Burning Ship", taken off the strangely titled 'Where The Groupies Killed The Blues'. Another favorite is of course "Moonshine Rider" with its driving beat and guitar work. The rest are not really to my personal liking and the new songs add nothing to the overall picture. They are however at work on the new 2016 album and let's hope that Lucifer's Friend are about to release one helluva album.

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