Deja Vu State (Night Life NL-001/002)
Nagoya City Kokaido, Aichi, Japan – December 15th, 2000
Disc 1 (46:25): Blackbird, Earthquake, Roy’s Toy, The Pump, Brush With The Blues, Blast From The East, Dirty Mind, Nadia, Psycho Sam, Rice Pudding – Right Off, Savoy, Loose Cannon
Disc 2 (40:41): Star Cycle, You Never Know, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Angel (Footsteps), A Day In The Life, Where Were You, Blue Wind, Outroduction
Jeff Beck toured rather extensively in 1998 and 1999. But in 2000 his only live shows were played over a period of two weeks in Japan in December and the Nagoya show on the fifteenth was the last. On Deja Vu State Night Life, a minor label established to release shows from this tour, use an excellent DAT stereo audience tape of the whole show which has wonderful dynamics in the music and atmosphere with the audience response.
The sound quality and the presence of the outroduction at the end of disc two, which features the post concert announcements and the taper leaving the venue suggest this is the work of Gryphon whose tapes have been released lately on Tarantura.
Beck is joined by Jennifer Batten on guitar and midi-guitar and Randy Hope-Taylor on bass, both of whom played on the latest studio album Who Else! Andy Gangadeen plays drums.
The first three songs come from the latest album You Had It Coming. The release date was pushed up early in Japan for November 15th, a good two weeks before his arrival to capitalize on the tour. It wouldn’t be released to the rest of the world until the following February.
The quiet “Blackbird” serves as a short introduction to the death-metal sounding “Earthquake” and the more techno oriented “Roy’s Toy.” Neither are firmly grounded in those genres, but the style flirts heavily giving both tracks a very heavy nineties sound.
It is surprising just how much of the show is devoted to the newer songs. “The Pump” is the first older tune played and benefits from Batten’s addition of the midi-guitar, giving it a much different feel than Hammer’s arrangements.
“Brush With The Blues” and the Asian-tinged “Blast From The East” from Who Else! follows, the first two songs from that album performed in the set. But he goes back to the new songs with “Dirty Mind” and “Nadia,” two of the strongest songs on the album.
A straight readings of “Star Cycle” and “You Never Know” are pieces of nostalgia and bassist Hope-Taylor is given a change to jam a bit. The Muddy Waters cover “Rollin’ And Tumblin'” is the only song with actual vocals. The song has been covered much and Beck’s work features an incongruous military beat underneath the blues melody.
The gorgeously melodic “Angel (Footsteps)” is followed by “A Day In The Life.” This is the same instrumental arrangement he recorded for the George Martin compilation In My Life released in 1998 and is still a major feature of Beck’s live set.
A six minute long “Blue Wind,” where Beck throws in many different styles of fills and the audience scat along, closes the show. The outroduction is fifty-one seconds long. Overall this is a very nice release by Night Life. The only complaint is the short running time of dics and hoping bonus material could have been included. It is packaged in a double slimline jewel cases with inserts printed on both sides with photos from the tour.