LIVE IN WINDY CITY (USA 1992) (AKA "LIVE IN CHICAGO & LIVING PROOF)
(extrait from review progarchives.com)
4 stars My kind of... live album
This 1992 set has been re-released a number of times under slightly different titles, but in every case the tracks are identical. The line up has the classic twin guitars of Ted Turner and Andy Powell supported by Andy Pyle (bass) and Ray Weston (drums). This would be Ted's last appearance on an album by Wishbone Ash.
For those hoping to hear a succession of songs from the band's early years, the set list will be something of a disappointment. On the plus side, there are three tracks from the legendary "Argus" (perhaps predictably "The king will come", "Throw down the sword" and "Blowin' free") but apart from those the oldest track is "Living proof" from 1980's "Just testing". Other than those four songs, the set list focuses on Wishbone Ash's then latest releases "Nouveau Calls" (1987), "Hear to hear" (1989) and ""Strange affair" (1991).
The sound quality is best described as adequate, the bass being too up front in the mix, dominating the proceedings throughout. The vocals on the other hand sound a bit feint and suffer from unintended echo. It is a pity really, as the band's performance is excellent throughout, with fine vocal harmonies and of course truly top rate guitar work.
After the crowd pleasing opener, a slightly extended version of "The King will come", the band introduce a couple of tracks from their then latest album "Strange affair". Both of these ("Strange affair" and an extended "Standing in the rain") are rollicking affairs, the latter including some particularly excellent lead guitar. There seems to be some unaccredited keyboards on these tracks, the following "Lost cause in paradise" also opening with what appeared to be sampled sounds.
"Throw down the sword" is naturally a highpoint in mid-set, the following "In the skin" from the instrumental album "Nouveau Calls" (get it? - No vocals) being substantially extended from its studio counterpart through improvisation. Likewise, "Why don't we" (from "Here to hear") is given a spirited 8 minute run through, the twin guitars offering wonderful echoes of the past.
As we approach the conclusion of the album, a third track from "Argus", "Blowing free" is dusted off and given an 8½ minute workout. The song has lost none of the energy it had when it first appeared, indeed this version may well be the definitive live rendition. The album closes with "Living proof" from "Just testing", a track which appears to be a live favourite but which leaves me rather cold.
In all though, this is a superb live album featuring the classic twin lead guitars of Wishbone Ash. The track list may be largely unfamiliar to those who lost the band after the mid 1970's, but the songs here are all worthy of the Wishbone Ash name, and indeed many benefit from exposure to the live environment.
1. The King Will Come (7:18)
2. Strange Affair (5:36)
3. Standing In The Rain (6:13)
4. Lost Cause In Paradise (4:57)
5. Keeper Of The Light (3:42)
6. Throw Down The Sword (6:03)
7. In The Skin (8:33)
8. Why Don't We (7:55)
9. Hard Times (4:54)
10. Blowing Free (8:29)
11. Living Proof (5:25)
Total time 69:05
- Andy Powell / Guitar and vocals
- Ted Turner / Guitar and vocals
- Andy Pyle / Bass
- Ray Weston / Drums