Joost de Lange’s Rock/Blues Experience, Live In Antwerp. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7/10

The live album is always one that is steeped in the problematic, catch it right and it can stir many a fan into approaching the band or artist with a different perspective, a more suitable outlook of appreciation of what to expect between the void that stands between the polished material in the studio and the unexpected possible harshness of the constant glare in the venue.

Catch this approach wrong and it can make the experience less understanding, perhaps mixed and grasping at the straws of pushing an album out that does nothing for the band, in fact it can make all the hard work seem pointless and degrading to the class songs produced. It is all in the hands of the night, the atmosphere and the audience; there is no hiding place and no second chance. It is admirable, a sense of the dramatic flair to even place down a record from the live arena, and something that deserves praise, even when the feeling isn’t quite right.

Joost de Lange’s Rock/Blues Experience Live In Antwerp is a case in point, an album in which the need to feel something a little bit more is like holding a pet, the more you stroke it and listen to it purr, the more it feels good to the ear. It is a shame that sometimes the ambience, the feeling can be lost, subdued, and regretfully not where the listener would want the night they missed to be thought of.

Joost de Lange’s Rock/Blues Experience are just that, an experience, a memory to hold live with passion and craftsmanship, the music comes across with expert hands at the tiller, yet sadly Live In Antwerp doesn’t quite match the brilliance one expects or dares to hope for.

Tracks such as The Rambler, You’ve Got It All, Magic Crow and the superb cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing do their duty but it is with almost a sense of regret that the night was perhaps bigger, a true homage to a band who capture the imagination with such fine thought and spirit.

Any opportunity to hear any band should be grasped with both hands and an open mind, sometimes though the end result is not what you might have hoped for.

Joost de Lange’s Rock/Blues Experience Live In Antwerp is released on 23rd October.

Ian D. Hall