Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Hidden Treasures – Dead Can Dance [#584]

UnknownThe problem with bootleg albums is that they become addictive. Especially when the band has been around for ages and you’ve come to them late. Following my introduction to Dead Can Dance in the autumn of 1993, I had already collected the majority of their albums on CD by the time the Great Music Download Free For All hit the UK in the mid-noughties. So I would often spend hours late at night scouring the alt.sounds.gothic.mp3 newsgroups looking for new and rare Dead Can Dance material that I was, perhaps, unfamiliar with.

Hidden Treasures is one such catch. Released in 1994, possibly recorded in Italy though some sources differ, the “Unofficial” album has live performances of tracks stretching back through from the band’s Towards the Within stage of life but also features a collection of tracks from much earlier. Thing is, as with all live bootleg recordings, some of the songs are much different than their studio recordings which, I suppose adds to their appeal amongst fans.

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Heart Still Beating – Roxy Music [#574]

Roxy_Music-Heart_Still_BeatingBryan Ferry and chums sleaze their way through an hour and 8 minutes of live music recorded in Frejus, France, 1982.

This is Roxy Music’s third live album complete with saxophone fellatio from Andy Mackay and guitar wanking from Phil Manzanera though surprisingly it was not released until 1990.

I think by this time Ferry’s pals had had enough of the whole lounge lizard vibe and were starting to look at future career prospects. Indeed, the album Avalon, the promotional tour from which Heart Still Beating is a recording, was to be the band’s last. Although technically, they did what most successful bands do and they did release several live and best of compilations after. Indeed, Ferry had only just got started and he wanted to stay afloat and even at the grand old age of 71 (at time of press) Ferry still oozes across the stage with his performances like some leery lecherous old granddad who’s got his eye on your twenty-year-old daughter. And not just for the job as his secretary.

Heart Still Beating as an album covers a nice range of Roxy Music’s work while also focusing on their more relatively modern love songs compared to their saxophone riddled earlier works. A good start for those unaware of Roxy Music’s historical bag of tricks and those wanting to see what that old rascal Ferry has to offer.

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Gut Feeling – Belly [#564]

R-4389581-1407133358-7875-1.jpegAnother bootleg, another band; You won’t find Gut Feeling in the shops, but you will find it during the music download free for all mid-noughties. Like I did.

It was then that I was  intent on finding as much as I could of Tanya Donelly’s works having heard a few songs on various sampler CDs and having recalled the popularity of Belly amongst my university friends in the nineties. So when I found out that they hadn’t actually made that many albums, I resorted to bootlegs and fan stuff.

Gut Feeling comprises of a compilation of recordings made at the band’s gig in Grant Park in Chicago and New Orleans LA in 1993. It’s nice because there are so few bootlegs out there for the band which is a shame because they are often overlooked these days.

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Gothic Spleens – Dead Can Dance [#544]

UnknownAs we finally come out of the (reduced) gothic compilation portion of the project, we see the peaks of “Greatest Hits” ahead of us but until then there are a few more albums we need to visit.

Gothic Spleens is another bootleg album for Neoclassical/Goth group Dead Can Dance. Recorded from a live radio broadcast from Hamburg’s  Musikhalle in 1990. It has a similar track listing to Golden Age but certainly doesn’t disappoint. Even if we’ve heard it all before.

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Golden Age – Dead Can Dance [#536]

goldenagegifMore neoclassical caterwauling from Brendan Perry with added woeful wailing from Lisa Gerrard in this compilation of bootlegged performances from across Dead Can Dance’s “Golden Age”.

I think the compiler chose anything prior to the world music influenced Into the Labyrinth as the band’s “golden age” to select songs from. Of course, they may have compiled it before that album was released. Who knows?

Tracks listed include In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated, Oman, Toward the Within and my favourite, Rakim amongst others. All lovingly performed by the gang in Paris 1988 and Hamburg in 1990.


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From Wishes to Eternity – Nightwish [#503]

Nightwish_from_wishes_to_eternity1Scandinavian rock valkyries again, this time with a live set featuring Nightwish’s pre-breakup line-up and Tarja Turunen.

The album is a live recording of a concert performed in Tempere in 2000 and was originally released as a limited CD run and released in DVD format with footage of the actual gig. It features a number of my favourite tracks from across the Nightwish catalogue.
I was never at the gig. Nor am I likely to want to go to a Nightwish gig these days. But, like with all live albums, I can play it really loud while standing in the garden in the dark and pretend I’m at the gig whenever I like.

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Faun at the Pagan Folk Festival – Faun [#463]

Unknown-1Yet another visit from Music Project denizens Faun who’s last appearance was in January 2015.

This is Faun’s 5th album and their 1st live recorded in Utrecht in 2007. I don’t remember ordering this CD but it arrived on my door mat one morning at a time in my life when I was actively listening to the Aural Apocalypse as a way to discover new and interesting bands in the darkwave/neofolk genres. I suspect that I heard them on there first, but then I’m not sure because this live concert also features guest spots by In Gowan Ring and Sieben, both artists that appear on the fabled Looking for Europe Neofolk Compendium.

Regardless, I remember listening to it for the first time only to hear the lead singer proclaim

“Please welcome on stage Mr Matt Howden”

Matt Howden (aka Sieben, Sheffield’s own neofolk superstar) then begins to play his violin along to Rad to much audience satisfaction. Wow. But then, to further turn the album into a squee fest, Faun do a cover of my favourite Sieben song Love’s Promise. Mind. Blown.

It was this album that made me realise that the tight community of internet backed musicians collaborate, much like the old Prog musicians of Yore, making me feel all warm and tingly inside. It also made me realise that Germany and continental Europe have a much more diverse and vibrant musical culture than the UK claims itself has.


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European Tour 2005 – Dead Can Dance [#435]

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.51.27In 2005 an announcement was made to the effect that Dead Can Dance would tour again after several years of hiatus. Tickets for the few gigs that were to be played in the UK sold out like hot cakes.

I was unable to go.

What followed was months of people I knew saying how they were looking forward to going to the gig, followed by years of the same people saying how mind blowing the gig was. Yet all I have to remember the experience I never had is this “bootleg” featuring highlights of Dead Can Dance’s European tour in 2005.

Occasionally I listen to it from afar while sitting in an uncomfortable seat for full effect.

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En Vivo En Obras – Nightwish [#428]

imagesThe only remaining bootleg I have of Nightwish although bootleg is a bit of a misnomer as it is actually a recording from a live radio broadcast with a few interviews chucked in at the end.

The recording appears to be of the band in Buenos Aires in 2004 and includes a number of my favourite Nightwish tunes.

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Earth Inferno Live – Fields of the Nephilim [#407]

Live mix of concerts of Carl McCoy’sEarth_Inferno_Fields_of_the_Nephilim group of forsaken dusty cowboy zombires.

Earth Inferno has all my favourite classic Nephilim songs; Last Exit, Dawnrazor and Moonchild. This was one of the last CDs I bought before the great internet download feast of the noughties. Sadly the CD was damaged but I’m happy to say I still have the rip I made.

Great for wearing black to.

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Dream Letter (Live in London) – Tim Buckley [#389]

A live recording of Tim Buckley in London in 1968220px-DreamLetterLive.

Having heard Buckley’s Dolphins and Happy Time at a time when my contemporaries were exploring the joys of Buckley’s contemporaries such as Creedence Clearwater and Airport, I was, of course, going to see what all the fuss was about Tim Buckley.

Drug adulation, tragedy and too much vibraphone, that’s what.

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Dogs and Sheeps – Pink Floyd [#381]

Dogs and Sheeps - Pink FloydMore bootleg nonsense from Pink Floyd. This time just before Animals was produced and just after Wish You Were Here was released.

Interesting if only for listening to the evolution of some of the familiar songs in Animals.


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Destination Docklands – Jean Michel Jarre [#365]

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 19.15.12For someone who isn’t a fan of French electro musician Jean Michel Jarre, I seem to have a fair few of his albums.

This is the album of the performance that my brother told me that I should watch when it was on the telly because ancient law stated that I must like Jarre. It was the same brother that insisted that it was a once in a lifetime futuristic event because Jarre would be playing laser harps and in the future we would all be playing laser harps. Playing laser harps and going to the moon on holiday with our jet packs.

Nearly 27 years later we’re still waiting for laser harps, jet packs and holidays on the moon. Instead I settle for driving to Wales on my holiday in my Golf with my musical instrument of choice the human body (mine). Jarre on the other hand is pretty much the same.

And that’s the problem.


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Desert Light – Yes [#362]

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 19.46.27This is a bootleg from a concert in the series I saw Yes at in 2002. I then saw the band one last time a year later I think.

I grew up with Yes. They have a special place in my heart and mind as well as a place in my music collection. Sadly long time member and bassist, Chris Squire, passed away earlier this month so it is unlikely I will get to see the band again. I have read that Squire’s old pal Billy Sherwood of Squire/Sherwood collaboration The Unknown has stepped up to cover the massive Chris Squire hole in the band. Moreover, lead singer Jon Anderson is also no longer with the band, Rick Wakeman pops in and out, Steve Howe must be pushing 934 and Alan White is looking a bit tired these days too. It remains hard to imagine how long the band will continue without Chris in the engine room.

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Concerts in China – Jean Michel Jarre [#301]

The_Concerts_in_China_Jarre_AlbumJarre spreads European culture and music technology to the exotic Far East by playing gigs in Beijing and Shanghai then brings back a little bit of Chinese culture and musical influence to the West.

This album is a live, yes a live, compilation best of thing. Just like all the other live best of compilations in this project only this time, to make it different, you know it’s recorded in China. Wow! Actually in CHINA!

Sure there are a few “Concerts in China” specific tracks on the album but the bulk is just live versions of tracks from previous albums recorded in China. It also sees Jarre whip out his laser harp. I even remember my brother telling me to watch Jarre play the laser harp on TV because it was a groundbreaking, never to be seen again, instrument.  Earth shattering never happened, Jarre went on to do more albums and laser harps will never beat seeing the Gamelan play live in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.


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Concerto – Roxy Music [#300]

Roxy_Music-ConcertoI had hoped that the three hundredth album in this project would have been a monumental one. Sadly it’s another best of/Live/compilation. It’s like all the albums this month have been compilations. I know they haven’t but it really seems like to be a successful musician you have to write about 20 songs on about 3 albums then release best ofs, lives and cover version albums for a few years then make a come back or reform.

Bryan Ferry is the master of come back. Concerto is the twenty somethingth release by Roxy Music and the sixth live album by the band. It is also noted for the fact that it was released in 2001 and is a recording of a concert in performed in Denver made in 1979.

Talk about milking your back catalogue and fans for everything they have!

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Ceromonies: Ad Mortem Ad Vitam – Fields of the Nephilim [#257]

Ceromonies: Ad Mortem Ad Vitam - Fields of the NephilimCeromonies: Ad Mortem Ad Vitam – Fields of the Nephilim

Live music from our gothic dust beaten hat wearing chaps from Stevenage.

Perhaps it’s age, but to me it’s hard to take this album seriously. The guy you can hear growling away, Carl McCoy, was in his mid forties  when this album was recorded. Which is cool. If that’s what you can pass off. But all I can think of is some “dad” like figure dressing up like some forsaken cowboy growling. Not singing. Growling.

That’s not to say I don’t like it. It’s a good album. Nice mix of songs old and new showing progression and a nice introduction to the band for young newbies. But remember kids, the lead singer is old enough to be your dad. Or, in some cases, your granddad.

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Cats and Mice – Kristin Hersh [#254]

Cats and MiceCats and Mice – Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh is another artist I would probably have never got into had it not been for the  Uncut: 4AD cover disk I got in the nineties.

Hersh, stepsister of  Tanya Donelly (4AD and This Mortal Coil) and former lead singer of Throwing Muses (also 4AD),  has a very unique sound. Her early stuff takes a bit of getting used to but this album, Learn to Sing Like a Star and Crooked show a much more mature and well developed Hersh than her earlier primary release groundbreaking Hips and Makers album.

This is a live album recorded sometime in 2010. As with most live albums, this is an excellent showcase of Hersh’s works spanning some years. I have tried to get to see her in the past, but she never seems to come to Daventry 😦

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Bursting Out – Jethro Tull (#235)

Bursting Out - Jethro Tull (#233)Bursting Out – Jethro Tull

My first and last time with you yeah? We had some fun. Went scrolling through the blogs yeah and they told you stuff. Oh I want to read some soon, but I wonder how, it was a new day yesterday, but it’s an old day now.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Sessions – Cocteau Twins (#195)

Black Sessions - Cocteau Twins Black Sessions – Cocteau Twins 

More haunting ethereal songs, this time from the Scottish masters of the genre – Cocteau Twins.

During the height of the ethereal genre and 4AD’s dominance of new wave music, the Cocteau Twins were the band that was synonymous with the genre. Liz Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Will Heggie seeded the 1990s with their unique sound and, quite often, featured on television and film soundtracks.

Of course I wasn’t much of a fan. I’m still not. But having heard them not only on the Uncut: 4AD compilation  and the soundtrack for the film Lost Highway I was intregued to find out more. So I did my usual thing of downloading all their back catalogue. Over time I’ve deleted many of the albums I had, purely because their works are too similar. Those that remain feature only the songs that I like. Black Sessions is a live recording of the band when the were featured on the French radio station France Inter. I kept this in hope that I might become more enamoured with the band. I didn’t.

So for that reason, I can never be a hipster.

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A Radical Recital – Rasputina (#38)

A Radical Recital by Rasputina

Sometimes on a musical journey you unearth a treat. On one such foray into the musical world I was fortunate to come across this delightful live set which introduced me to the bands rather unusual works. On first listen I was hooked and listening to it again I’m still filled with warm squishy feelings and squees. Radical Recital is a good starting point for those interested in exploring Rasputina.

If you are unaware of Rasputina, which I suspect quite a few people are, they’re usually a trio of musicians, 2 cellists and a percussionist (onetime Brian from Dresden Dolls) who play a weird Country/goth/rock fusion. It works. I believe the genre is New Weird America. It would be interesting to hear your opinions…..

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A Noise Severe- The Gathering [#36]

A Noise Severe by The Gathering

I first came across The Gathering ages ago, specifically their album Mandylion. I was immediately transfixed. It was at this time that I started to realise how controlled the British music press and culture is. I did research and found very little in the way of acknowledgement in the UK that this bunch of Dutch rockers actually existed. Why? They had been going for a while, the lead singer was a hot chick called Anneke, and their music was enjoyable, diverse and melodic. So why? Why did they not have as much recognition in the UK than they had on the continent. After all, it wasn’t as if they were singing in Dutch or Norse or some weird Scandinavian dialect. They were singing in English.

And bloody good too.

A quick look at their tour history had them touring most of Europe. Big city gigs in the likes of Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, Liepzig. Festivals all over the place (including Wave Gothik Treffen). But it seemed like they only played the UK a few times, and even then, far off obscure parts (London mostly). Why? The same issue with Ayreon, Sieben and many other artists. Absolutely massively popular in Europe and other parts of the world but in the UK…nothing. Or very little.

Anyway, this album is a live set featuring the lovely Anneke Van Giersbergen who belts out a proper pot pourri of The Gathering’s greatest hits. If you’re keen to try new “metal”ish rock and you’re looking for something different, coherrent and comfortable, I suggest you whet your appetite with this album. Favourites Probably Built in the Fifities and Strange Machines feature as do several tracks from the Mandylion and Home albums but yeah, I think it’s a good starting place if you’re unfamiliar.

So in what is becoming tradition, here is a little video of my favourite song from the album:

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Music Project – Album #5: 2 Metre Sessie by Chris Isaak

2 Metre Sessie2 Metre Sessie by Chris Isaak

Now the more astute of you or any huge fan of Chris Isaak will be going “WTF?! I don’t recognise this as an album!”. And the answer would be yes. You are right. This is a 1991 recording of a live session from a Dutch radio programme ( which runs regular music sessions with musicians. A bit like John Peel used to do. Without the alleged kiddy fiddling.

Chris strums his way through half an hour of a mixture of his own tunes and some classic covers of Orbison, Diamond and Nelson. If you like Isaak’s style this is a nice little filler your music library if you can find it. It’s from 1991 so don’t expect stuff from his Speak of the Devilor Forever Blue albums. This is Isaak at the point where I got into him. 1991. I remember queuing for his gig at the Royal Court in Liverpool with Laura Beachball, my first girlfriend. Listening to this album I sometimes imagine it being a recording of Chris practicing before going on stage.

A short review this one. Mostly because it’s a brief “album” that few who are interested will be able to obtain. I think I was just very lucky to be on Usenet on the day it was posted.

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Music Project – Album #2: …All this time by Sting

  ….All this Time by Sting

I think this must have been one of Clair’s. You’ll notice as this project goes on, that I have a lot of unusual unconnected music tastes. This is one of them. Personally I can’t abide the bloke. Some of the Police songs are ok. But I’ve never liked Sting as an artist. If you were to ask me to delete some of my MP3s, I would probably delete this. But then sometimes there are moods where all you want is some Stingesque sounds.

If I lived in New York in an apartment overlooking the city in a re-purposed warehouse and it had been a sweltering hot day that had ended with a bit of rain.  I would probably swing open the massive windows, pop this on the old MP3 player of choice and listen to it. Perhaps with a nice glass of red wine and some cheese with them nice little crackers with the pepper sprinkles.

I’d probably then invite some dark female media type round. We would listen to it together over some rent-a-pasta dinner and chat shit about media and wankery before she either calls me a boring twat or takes me to the bedroom for some Olympic sports.

The album is a bit of a live affair. One of those live affairs where the artist takes over some gentleman’s club (no  not the sort you frequent) and performs to the diners who hoot and coo in approval in an attempt to appear well cultured when in reality they are as cultured as three week old yogurt. It takes you through some of Sting’s caterwaling before dipping into some Police classics and spitting you out the other side wanting to tipsily head off to bed with a dark sultry media type with big knockers.

Like I say, one for the fans. Or those in lofty rain soaked New York apartments.

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