Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Mutton Birds - 1997-04-25, Preston & 1998-04-17, Birmingham, UK

The Mutton Birds
25th April 1997, Guild Hall, Preston, UK,
17th April 1998, Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham, UK

Audience recordings, good to very good quality
Mp3 @ 128-320 kbps

Here's a great '90's band from New Zealand, who was a big success in their native New Zealand, a moderate success in the U.K., but virtually unknown just about everywhere else. Lead by Don McGlashan (primary songwriter, guitar, euphonium, vocals), and with David Long (guitar) and Ross Burge (Drums), the band was formed in 1991. With Alan Gregg (bass, vocals) added in 1992, they recorded their first album, The Mutton Birds (1992), which garnered multiple hit singles and much acclaim within New Zealand, and remained on the charts there for over a year. Their 2nd album, Salty (1994), again received much success and acclaim around New Zealand and Australia, but little attention elsewhere. In 1995 they moved their base of operation to the UK, got a record deal with Virgin Atlantic, recorded their third album, Envy of Angels (1996) (with, for the first time, a worldwide release), and began performing extensively in the UK throughout 1997 and 1998. However, although the album again received raves, breakthrough success was still just out of reach, and they were dropped by Virgin. Guitarist David Long left in 1997, replaced by Chris Sheehan, as the band pursued another record deal, with 2 self-released albums (live and rarities) being sold at shows. Later, in 1999, Alan Gregg also left, replaced by Tony Fisher, and the band regrouped to record and release their fourth (and last) official studio album, Rain, Steam, and Speed (1999). An independently released Live album followed in 2000 amid continued touring, but that was about it for the band, with only a greatest hits collection coming out in 2002 to mark the end. Although they never quite made it outside of New Zealand, it is a curiosity as to why, because the music is very accomplished and appealing. McGlashan's poetic lyrics and poignant vocals (with a voice very reminiscent of Michael Stipe) of his achingly melodic story-songs are at the heart of the band, but the music drives the sound, ranging from jangly guitar-pop to moody alt-rock (and with the sometime addition of euphonium). They have been described as something along the lines of R.E.M. meets Crowded House, with stylistic influences from The Byrds and The Beatles mixed in, but still with a quite unique sound and style of their own. After The Mutton Birds, Don McGlashan went on to release multiple solo albums (primarily in New Zealand). In 2012, The Mutton Birds (original lineup) reunited for a series of shows around New Zealand. So, here's another quality band that deserved to be heard and appreciated by a much wider audience than they got. Check em out. Most of the available unofficial recordings are audience recordings of varying quality. What I have offered here is a couple of the better audience recordings. The Preston Guild Hall show (1997) is a nice audience recording, but is short and unfortunately only available in low fidelity (low bit rate mp3). So, I have paired this with additional songs from another show (Birmingham, 1998) to round out the set, and lastly included just a couple more songs from a 1996 show that was not a great recording (lots of audience noise), but was available at higher fidelity. Not the best quality, but more than adequate to evaluate (and appreciate) the band and their music. (For the record, I had never heard of this band either, until about a month ago, and thanks to Rob-in Brevard for posting some shows by them. But now I am a fan and will seek out more of their music.    

01 Envy Of Angels
02 Straight To Your Head
03 April
04 She's Been Talking
05 A Thing Well Made
06 Trouble With You
07 Come Around
08 Anchor Me
09 The Heater
10 Dominion Road
11 Like This Train
12 Esther
13 Along The Boundary
14 Small Mercies
15 Nature
16 Wellington
17 While You Sleep
Bonus Tracks:
1996-07-12, Mean Fiddler, London (Audience)
18 Ten Feet Tall
19 In My Room

Tracks 1-9, 1997-04-25, Guild Hall, Preston, UK
Tracks 10-17, 1998-04-17, Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham, UK
Tracks 18-19, 1996-07-12, Mean Fiddler, London

The Mutton Birds_1997-1998_UK.rar

If you like these, you can find more live Mutton Birds shows and info at dbs-repercussion blog and a religion of a kind fan website

Monday, June 17, 2019

Timbuk3 - 1990-02-27 - Le Caméléon, Villeurbenne, France

Le Caméléon,
Villeurbenne, France

Soundboard recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's more from Timbuk3! This time, from 1990, and featuring songs from their third album, Edge of Allegiance (1989). This is another excellent-sounding soundboard recording and a show that covers songs from the full prime period for the band (first three albums). This is another fine show that came courtesy of Rob-in-Brevard (Thanks Rob) to add to the high-quality available shows from this under-rated group.

01. B-Side of Life
02. National Holiday
03. Waves of Grain
04. Rev. Jack and His Roamin' Cadillac Church
05. Count to Ten
06. Facts About Cats
07. Dance Fever
08. Standard White Jesus
09. Lookin' for Work
10. Dirty Dirty Rice
11. 3rd Rail
12. You Are My Government
13. Easy
14. Life is Hard
15. The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
16. Grand Old Party
17. Eden Alley
18. Dis***land (Was Made for You and Me)
19. WWIII Blues
20. Not Fade Away > Eden Alley//   [cut]

The band:
Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals)
Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals)
Wally Ingram  (percussion)

FLAC - Timbuk3_1990-02-27_Villeurbenne,France(sbd)_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Timbuk3_1990-02-27_Villeurbenne,France(sbd)_mp3.rar

Friday, June 7, 2019

Timbuk3 - 1987-04-24 - Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL

Cabaret Metro,
Chicago, IL

FM Broadcast recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (32 kbps) versions

After I posted that very fine 1988 Timbuk3 show a couple weeks ago and lamented that there were so few good recordings of them available, fellow music blogger Rob-in-Brevard (who runs the excellent dbs-repercussion blog, your stop for all things dB's and related music) let me know that he had some additional high-quality shows from Timbuk3 that I had not heard, which he graciously sent over to me. And they did not disappoint. Here is one of those, from 1987, on tour to support their first album, Greetings From Timbuk3 (1986). This is an excellent FM Broadcast recording of Pat and Barbara, still in the early days of Timbuk3, where they basically play the whole first album plus a few extras. I've added a couple of additional songs (only songs different) from another similar show from around that same time. 

01. - intro
02. I Just Want To Make Love To You
03. Don't Stop Now
04. Just Another Movie
05. Cheap Black And White
06. Friction
07. Facts About Cats
08. Dancer Fever
09. - intro 2
10. Reverend Jack & His Roamin' Cadillac Church
11. Life Is Hard
12. Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
13. - band intro
14. I Need You
15. - crowd
16. Hairstyles And Attitudes
17. In My Jam Box
18. Why Don't We Try To Get Along
Bonus Tracks (1987-04-20 - Toronto, FM Broadcast):
19. Assholes on Parade
20. I Love You in the Strangest Ways

FLAC - Timbuk3_1987-04-24_Chicago(FM)_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Timbuk3_1987-04-24_Chicago(FM)_mp3.rar