Bush - Live!

Mercury Records
Produced by Hank Lena / Ray Volkema

It took Bush ten years to follow up 2001's Golden State with a new album having taken an eight-year hiatus before trying to reform. Founding guitarist Nigel Pulsford and bassist Dave Parsons chose not to be part of the reunited band, leaving front-man Gavin Rossdale and drummer Robin Goodridge to recruit Rossdale's Institute band-mate Chris Traynor on guitar and bassist Corey Britz.

On the tour for the resulting album, The Sea of Memories, the band recorded their show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York for DVD release in full high definition. Despite its obvious technological advantage, some effort seems to have been made to make the footage look a little grainy, perhaps to try to enhance its perceived authenticity. They needn't have bothered, the effect is minimal and its intention obvious. The video quality is of course excellent.

Rossdale, despite his ill-advised favouring of tying his hair up in a knot, also sounds in fine voice and is the best part of the audio, as the mix for the band is a little too treble-heavy, with nowhere near enough meat to the guitars. This is particularly illuminated by a set loaded with songs from the excellent debut album Sixteen Stone, which remains their heaviest album to date, as even those songs sound thin. Nevertheless, the set contains an excellent spread of songs, although anyone who watches the whole thing in one sitting might get tired of The Sound of Winter by the time they've heard it for a third time with the official music video.

As is so often the case with singles, the ones from The Sea of Memories are not the album's best songs, which does mean its highlights are not present in the live set, but being so recent, that doesn't really matter, and for fans who don't yet have it, there will be a limited edition boxed set version of Live! released containing the DVD in a CD jewel case, plus the double-CD cardboard sleeved special edition of the album as bonus discs. A double CD of the live show plus live acoustic bonus tracks might have been a better idea, but perhaps they will surface as a stand-alone (and thoroughly worthwhile) separate release at a later date.

For Bush fans there's not really much to decide here. Either buy the stand-alone DVD, or the box set, depending upon ownership of the excellent new album. Either way the DVD is well worth adding to the collection. Non-Bush fans obviously need not concern themselves.

“ video quality is of course excellent ”

Tracklist: Little Things / I Believe In You / Greedy Fly / The Sound of Winter / Everything Zen / The Chemicals Between Us / All My Life / The People That We Love / All Night Doctors / Swallowed / The Afterlife / Machinehead / Alien / Glycerine / Comedown
Bonus Features: Little Things (Unplugged) / The Sound of Winter (Unplugged) / Be Still My Love (Unplugged) / Comedown (Unplugged) / Glycerine (Unplugged) / The Sound of Winter (Music Video) / Baby Come Home (Music Video)
Limited Edition CD 1: Sea of Memories album
Limited Edition CD 2: Sea of Memories UK bonus disc

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Grunge, Live DVDs,

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