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New England - 2016 Live At The Regent Theater
» Posted by Avatar

Explorer
on October 19 2016, In 2016 Articles , 7 Comments , 806 Reads , Print



ARTIST: New England
ALBUM: Live At The Regent Theater
LABEL: GB Music, Sony Megaforce
SERIAL: TBA
YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Fannon - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Jimmy Waldo - keyboards, vocals * Gary Shea - bass * Hirsh Gardner - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Seal It With A Kiss * 02 L5 * 03 Hello Hello Hello * 04 Alone Tonight/Shoot * 05 Holdin' Out On Me * 06 Conversation * 07 Shall I Run Away * 08 Turn Out The Light * 09 Honey Money * 10 Explorer Suite * 11 Hope * 12 Nothing To Fear * 13 Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya * 14 You'll Be Born Again * 15 I Know There's Something Here (bonus)

WEBLINKS: www.newenglandrocks.com


Background
For anyone who passes through the portal that is GDM will more than likely know that New England is my favourite band. I make no apologies for that. New England combines all that I hold dear, from the 60's influences of The Beatles and The Moody Blues and the power pop sensibilities of the likes of Badfinger and The Raspberries through to the multi layered sounds of early Queen and all that coupled with a quite unique identity that set them apart from the plethora of AOR/melodic rock bands of the late 70's, for me this is as good as it gets. The intervening years have seen sporadic returns and this live album is a document of their most recent reunion show in 2014, but the band are now very much back together again and firing on all cylinders with not only this release but with a series of live shows in the US and Japan and the promise of more new music in the future.


The Songs
This is a storming 14 song set, with the added bonus of last year's 'I Know There's Something Here' vinyl single release making an appearance on CD for the first time, it features songs from all 3 studio albums that the band released. What we get here is essentially a greatest hits selection, with the band covering all bases, moving effortlessly from out and out rockers 'Holdin' Out On Me' and 'Shoot' through to full on prog rock with 'Explorer Suite' and the truly majestic AOR of 'Nothing To Fear' and 'Hope'... and all that before I get to their career defining 'Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya' New England have lost nothing with the passage of time, putting in some stellar performances, but I think what adds to this particular performance is the sense that the band have probably only recently realised how special the chemistry between them all really is. From the very start with the blistering 'Seal It With A Kiss' the band are locked in and never let go. The mid set combination of 'Shall I Run Away' and 'Turn Out The Light' are truly breathtaking, displaying a tenderness that sends tingles down the spine, and 'Nothing To Fear' is a song that is unequalled in my book. This set showcases a band still very much at the top of their game, and like a fine wine they seemingly get better with age! Beautifully recorded, grandiose and lush, as befits everything they have ever done. This album is a nigh on perfect blend of muscular hard rock coupled with wonderful melodies and thrilling harmonies, impeccably played by musicians that instinctively know how to reach out to an audience.


In Summary
New England is a band that deserved (at the time) so much more, but that's the past, It's great that they are now back as a functioning unit again, and this live album shows us evidently that they can still cut it. Any aspiring melodic rock band would do well to listen to this to see how it's done. New England set the bar very high and no one (for me at least) has ever come close to matching them. This album is a stunning display from a band that arguably helped write the rule book when it comes to melodic hard rock. Quite, quite brilliant.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on October 20 2016 08:51:42
Vimeo video of 'Shall I Run Away', taken from this gig.
https://vimeo.com...
#2 | Explorer on October 20 2016 09:00:48
Pre orders are now being taken for the album over at the band`s website.
http://www.neweng...rocks.com/
#3 | DEMONAOR on October 20 2016 10:05:26
Excellent review Malcolm. Great performance from a great band.
#4 | rostoned on October 30 2016 05:52:35
Nothing against NE, but I wonder if there is still a (niche) market and/or any kinda interest out there for live albums, especially reunion ones...at least for me, no.
#5 | Explorer on October 31 2016 23:39:34
Fair Point, the reason for this particular release is that the band wanted to get something out to tie in with their upcoming US and Japanese tour dates, and with new studio material to follow. As for there being a market for this type of release the band tell me they've received plenty of pre orders.
#6 | Nick C on November 01 2016 16:52:10
I think a band so beloved as NE it's a good move and keeps the buzz going since they released the single until the mooted studio album. I'll be interested to hear what they sound like live now. I will be ordering a copy but might wait until I can get it from a regular retailer as I don't want to get bitten by import charges again Grin
#7 | englandashes on April 02 2017 10:29:08
Playing this at the moment, seriously if Rockingham brought these guys over to he UK then it would sell out in seconds.
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