Wormwood Live

Recorded "all over Europe" during the 1999 summer Wormwood tour here, at last, is the official live release and very nice it is too. Sonically it could be a little weightier but this is a pretty good document of an amazing show. If you've heard the album but not the live versions buy this, many of them are totally different and most of them knock the socks off the originals. You may read the tracklist and ask where your faves like "Hanging By His Hair" have gone. Fear not, these are incorporated into suites of songs like "David" and "Abraham".

Although not for the first time, it's still refreshing, and (at the very least) interesting to hear The Residents functioning as a fully-fledged touring rock group. They'd already done something similar with the Live at the Fillmore set, two years earlier, but on Wormwood the musicians function, I think, even more as a group. This is presumably due to Wormwood having been composed for this kind of interpretation in the first place. That, and the very act of rehearsing for, and performing on, an international tour, allows the musicians to work smoothly together - tight enough when required, but confident and loose enough to kick out the jams when the opportunity arises. Absolutely superb cover design, by the way - let down somewhat by the flimsiness of the packaging.