Sanguine Hum -
Live In America

(CD / DVD 2014, 60:14/ 110 min, Troopers For Sound TFSD009)

The tracks:
  1- The Trial(5:29)
  2- Cat Factory(3:36)
  3- The Ladder(3:40)
  4- Before We Bow Down(4:27)
  5- Earth Song With One Sugar(6:32)
  6- Son Of Cheese(5:17)
  7- Nothing Between Us(5:51)
  8- Derision(6:12)
  9- Double Egg(4:13)
10- Son Of Bassoon(2:59)
11- Diving Bell(5:20)
12- Coast Of Nebraska(6:34)

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One of the most interesting new progressive rock bands with a rather original sound is undoubtedly the British band Sanguine Hum. I loved their two studio albums Diving Bell (2012, see review) and The Weight Of The World (2013, see review) a lot. Therefore I was rather excited when I read the news that they were about to release a live CD and DVD recorded at the Rites of Spring Festival 2012, better known as RoSfest.

Maybe I was a bit too excited to watch their concert recorded in Gettysburg on May 6th, 2012. At first I was a bit disappointed of what Joff Winks (guitars, vocals), Matt Baber (keyboards), Andrew Booker (drums) and Brad Waissman (bass) had achieved on Live In America. Music wise this one-hour long CD is okay; it sounds good so I have no complaints about that. However, my eyes wanted to be entertained as well. On watching the DVD, I saw a band at the Majestic Theater that played a bit static throughout the concert. The musicians hardly moved from their places while performing a selection of their debut album − the second album wasn't recorded yet − and songs from Antique Seeking Nuns and the Joff Winks Band, two former bands in which they played.

Their first performance in the USA with drummer Paul Mallyon, who was surprisingly replaced by No-Man member Andy Booker, could have been done with a bit more show effects. The quality of the footage could have been better either. Nowadays the standards are of a much higher quality level. I guess they had audio and video recordings of this unique performance and they eagerly wanted to publish it for their fans. For that reason I'm glad they did. The additional footage of the rehearsals in the hotel and the audio interviews with the musicians are fine extras; no more, no less.

I really hope that Sanguine Hum will release a concert on DVD in the near future that gives a much better view of this wonderful band. They certainly deserve this because, as I said before, currently they're one of the most interesting new prog bands. In the meantime I'll play the two above-mentioned studio albums and Live In America!

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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