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Wucan - Live at Deutschlandfunk

Posted on the 17 January 2023 by Ripplemusic
Wucan - Live at Deutschlandfunk

Once upon a time (the 1970's), the live album was a statement of status. Every touring band would release one. The list of "Classic" live albums could fill the shelf of any serious collector.

These magnificent slices of excitement came wrapped in a glorious gatefold, and far-out album art, or, in the case of Hawkwind's opus space ritual, in a fold-out cover so elaborate it transcended a mere vessel to hold your vinyl and became a desirable piece of art.

These recordings of a band in a live setting could make a band's reputation or break them into the mainstream. See Deep Purple made in Japan, and Kiss Alive! for example. However, they were sometimes less than honest, as Live could be a very loose description of the finished product. Such as Thin Lizzy's renowned "Live andDangerous" post-production touch-up, or Priest's "Unleashed in the East." renamed as unleashed in the studio

Eventually, the live album fell out of favor and became devalued to become a mere contractual obligation or cash-in stop-gap until the artist's next studio album emerged. The Pandemic, of all things, has brought the live album back from the dead. All Them Witches and Kadavar released live studio albums during this period. But it does beg the question, as good as they were, isn't that just a live rehearsal?

With the resumption of actual live gigs, a batch of live albums is set to be released. First out of the traps is Wucan - Live at Deutschlandfunk. It was recorded under difficult circumstances. The performance took place under strict guidelines for an audience of forty people during the lockdown on December 20th, 2021.

For a start the fact the band played songs from the not then released "Heretic Tongues" and the crowd's reaction to these plus known songs speaks volumes to the strength of this material. Also, the enthusiasm of the crowd belies the small attendance.

Wucan - Live at Deutschlandfunk

Starting with the one-two punch of "Kill the King" and "Farther Storm," the band is heavier than in the studio. The Vocals of Francis Tobolsky is nothing short of a powerhouse that could level buildings.The whole band plays as if their life depends on it.They stretch out on "Looking in the past," building a heavy funk groove that allows guitarist Tim George to let fly. However, the quality level never dips. The songs hit hard and whip by like a greyhound in full flight.

They step off the pedal for The Rat Catcher. It replaces the raw power of the other songs with enough drama and twists to make up for this. "Night to Fall" and "Far and Beyond" flow into each other, bringing a psych meets Moroder groove to the proceedings.

Finishing up with a nineteen-minute opus, "Wandersmann" is gutsy. It shows the band's confidence in their abilities and displays everything that makes Wucan unique. The soaring vocals, the razor-sharp guitar playing, and the tight as an otter's pocket rhythm section. It moves from loud to almost folky and back again. Finally, it climaxes in the fastest and wildest moments on the album.

I started by stating that a live album was once a statement of status. Judging by this performance, It is clear Wucan is not only road tested but arguably one of the most electrifying live acts on the scene today. And the pacing and delivery of the set are stunning. The energy the band puts out could power the national grid.They go for the kill and slay the audience.

The statement that Wucan has made here has reaffirmed what the impact of a great live album can do. Leave the audience present and the listener (at home) exhausted and wanting more-an absolute triumph.

-Bobo Coen

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