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Daryll-Ann | DA Live (Excelsior)
And I thought Built To Spill Live was to be the exception. Live albums, surely, are a throwback to the triple gatefold world of Yes, Santana or Kiss? It would appear not and on the evidence of BTS and now Daryll-Ann's, only slightly more imaginitively titled, DA Live we should be thankful for their re-emergence from the shadows of 70s indulgence. Retaining the all-too-frequently absent gig-atmosphere thanks to Frans Hagenaars and Ron Goris' full-on mix, the opening eight tracks stem from a Jan 2000 show at Amsterdam's legendary Paradiso. Biased towards material from 95's Seaborne West album (the last to receive a UK release) - namely Stay, The Doctor & I, Allright and H.P. Confirm - plus a couple from their darker classic Weeps (the blistering opening/closing pairing Tools R Us and Always Share) and one apiece from their sought-after debut Renko and I Could Never Love You EP (Mirror Mind and the re-worked title track respectively), the band are in sparkling form, Anne Soldaat's always expressive, unique guitar-style very much to the fore, controlled abandon his forte. The remaining six tracks all originate from last year's beautiful Happy Traum full-length, here in a trio of radio session settings including the closing duo of Desmond Don't Go and Trip The Stairs back in front of an audience in Apeldoorn. Happy Traum was recorded as a trio of Soldaat and the Paulusma brothers Jelle and Coen, the absence from the studio of regular rhythm section Jeroen Vos and Jeroen Kleijn (bass and drums respectively) making these alternate versions that much more interesting. Kleijn shines on Everybody's Cool an undoubted highlight of HT and, now, DA Live and the lilting Riverside also benefits from the added rhythmic dimension. Semi-'Unplugged' versions of All By Myself and Surely Justice are more interesting than essential, though Jelle's voice is in fine form and Soldaat's McGuinn-like soloing on the latter reminds us of their recent live homage to The Byrds. This all-too-limited edition is selling fast in their native Netherlands, and copies are scarce in the UK (as ever, London's Minus Zero Records can help rectify the absence of Daryll-Ann on your shelves - 020 7229 5424) but this is one live album well worth seeking out.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000