Est. 1999

logomaji1.gif (23692 bytes)

I raise my hand and touch the wheel of change
taking time to check the dial

                                                                      Home      Articles     Messageboard  


CAT STEVENS - Live in Sydney ’72
Reviewed by Tarquin Budgerigar

A super rarity this one! I got this one from a friend who had incredible luck obtaining it. An illegal vinyl release produced in Australia, probably much rarer than the handful of vinyl releases that were etched in the States in the early ’70’s.

It’s cover is of typical bootleg mentality, lots of song titles listed wrongly and spelling mistakes. This can be forgiven by the delightful cover illustration - a rather cosmic pen and ink portrait of Cat credited to one Michelangelo.

Quality-wise it’s better than the average audience recording even though Cat sounds ever so slightly speeded up. Either that or he was on helium at the time!

The venue sounds like a fairly large auditorium, lots of echo that must have infuriated Steve at the sound check. The audience is very appreciative throughout this impressive extract.

His opening song is The Wind, brief and faultless. He then introduces Lady D’Arbanville, chatting about the film that was made to promote the single with Patti herself. "She’s no actress but she’s very good", he quips a little nervously. It’s an upbeat version, quite different to the studio cut. Into White follows and it’s unusual too. Cat and Alun provide nifty guitar and Jean Roussel adds some very pleasant keyboard flourishes. Due to the sound it’s difficult to tell if Del Newman’s strings are synthesised but it does sound like an authentic string section. Alan James provides electric bass.

He begins 18th Avenue saying "it’s a new song". It’s breathtaking - the timing is perfect, the band is impeccable and the venom in Cat’s voice is something to behold. There’s no delicacy with this one and the animated strings are uplifting!

I Think I See The Light follows on and it’s super-charged. Largely different to the recorded version, Jean Roussel’s keyboards have a different feel and again it’s very tight.

A brief tune up and then Cat jests, "…and now we slow things up with a gentle praise to the Lord!…No, please don’t take me seriously". Morning Has Broken

rolls out. The guitars are up front and Jean’s playing is a lot different in feel to Rick Wakeman’s. If I Laugh is vibrant, it’s very economically strummed but still manages to have depth with just the right amount of tension. He introduces Trouble as "an old song", it’s charming and simple. He’s had enough of his illness and pulls himself through the verses very nicely. Sitting is received with rapturous applause and screaming even - shades of Beatlemania!

Someone asks for I Wish, I Wish, which Cat obliges with. He sings it boldly and even though it deviates from the melody we know on Mona Bone Jakon, it’s still great pop! There’s a pleasant piano break and Gerry Conway beats out the skins forcefully. Cat’s knackered and calls out "calamity"! He says "’ere there must be some poofs in this audience" in broad cockney - there’s something visual going on that as a listeners we’re not privy to. Cat and Alun debate the tuning, it takes them awhile to get started on How Can I Tell You. When they do commence it’s just right, the guitars subsiding and Cat’s voice in despair, almost tearful.

There’s a brief fade and they’re gone, this one’s triumphant - highly recommended!



This site is best viewed on "800 x 600" screen resolution.
Site Creator - Christine Chenevey   
Special Thanks To:   Jill Mallow, *Keith Balaam, George Brown, Linda Crafar, Bruce Lawrie, DJ Illingworth, Gerardo Roman, Chris & Annie Abrams, Patricia Squillari, Harry Schmieder, Sue Vukson and all who have contributed either with material or support to help make Majicat magical.
* This site is dedicated in the memory of Keith Balaam. ---<----<----@