Angel Air 2008 / Blues Boulevard 2012
Still smoking after all these years, the British wailers’ strut on their home turf.
Released a couple of times before both in audio and video form, this Lyme Regis concert remains a signifier of the veterans’ vitality. It mightn’t get close to the doom-ridden groove of 1974’s "Goodbye", the band’s first live album, which was recorded three decades earlier, and there’s a certain looseness in the leader’s guitar’s coupling with Gary Davies’ axe that goes for a country walk in the dramatic “Chicken Shack Opera”, but when Stan Webb harmonically hangs Trent Reznor’s “Hurt” onto his own tremulous “You Are The Sweetest Little Thing”, the guts get kicked.
Taking staples such as “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “The Thrill Has Gone” to the point of no emotional return with elegant intensity, Webb’s in fine fettle, both vocally and instrumentally, on the original “I Know You Know Me” and traditional “So Tell Me”, yet it’s in “The Daughter Of The Hillside” from the classic "Imagination Lady" that the relaxed and the tight come together. Long may they scratch.