The progressive rock outfit Circa: started in 2007 with an eponymous debut album followed by the DVD Circa: Live (2008). In 2009 they recorded HQ, and in 2011 the third studio album And So On (see review) appeared on which only Billy Sherwood (vocals, bass, guitar) and Tony Kaye (keyboards) remained from the original line-up. The original members Jimmy Haun (vocals, guitar) and Alan White (drums) had then already left the band. They were replaced by guitarist Johnny Bruhns and drummer Scott Connor.
Now two years later Circa: have released the first official live album called Live From Here There & Everywhere. The title suggests that recordings were made during different live performances, something that can't be heard while listening to the album. All songs sound rather coherent; especially the drums have that true live feel. Moreover, the performed songs sound much better than the studio versions which sound rather sterile and over-produced. This way the warmth and the emotions of the compositions are killed, but once played in front of an audience they emerge. The musicianship of the band members is rather strong and one highlight is followed by another. On several tracks Tony Kaye's keyboards sound very tasteful like the outstanding keyboard intros on Ever Changing World and Together We Are. Also his strong organ parts are a treat to the ears as you can hear on If It's Not Too Late and Remember Along The Way.
The guitar player either knows how to play a melodic solo! Listen to tracks like Together We Are, Half Way Home, True Progress and again Remember Along The Way. Strangely enough it's not Johnny Bruhns who plays these outstanding guitar passages, but multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood, who temporarily handed over his bass guitar to Rick Tierney. Well, Tierney is a fine bassist and I guess he'll stick to this instrument on the next studio albums of Circa:. Although all songs are of a high level I do have some favourites, namely Remember Along The Way and If It's Not Too Late, the two long pieces on this live album. Both tracks contain amazing instrumental passages performed on the keyboards and the electric guitar.
In conclusion I would say that Live From Here There & Everywhere is a very enjoyable and entertaining live album. People who are familiar with the band's studio albums and who enjoy the music of Yes are advised to listen to this great album. In fact all prog heads should give it a try!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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