Wings – Live In Groningen (Darthdisc DD 009)

Live In Groningen (Darthdisc DD 009)

Evenementenhal, Groningen, Netherlands – August 19th, 1972

(74:18) Instrumental, Eat At Home, Smile Away, Bip Bop, Mumbo, 1882, I Would Only Smile, Give Ireland Back To The Irish, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, The Mess, Best Friend, Soily, I Am Your Singer, Seaside Woman, Say You Don’t Mind, Wild Life, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, My Love, Mary Had A Little Lamb

Live In Groningen is a 2001 silver pressed release of a newly discovered and distributed audience recording from Wings’ first tour in Europe in the summer of 1972.  The liner notes with the CDR release (which are not replicated on the silver) give the background story, stating:

“The Wings show on this CD was transferred from a previously unbooted open reel tape marked ‘Wings In Paris 1972.’ But collectors will recognize the performance, or at least, part of it. Sections of it appeared on the rare Oriental Nightfish vinyl bootleg [‘Eat At Home,’ ‘Mumbo,’ ‘Best Friend,’ ‘1882,’ and ‘I Would Only Smile’ on Oriental Nightfish (Hoffman Avenue HAR 169)], and a longer segment has changed hands on tape. In both cases, the show was identified as ‘Sweden.’ Actually, it appears to be neither Sweden nor Paris, although we cannot be entirely sure exactly what it is. McCartney makes no location references during the show, but us heard saying dank u – thank you, in Dutch. We have (at least) extractions from most of the 1972 Dutch shows, and the performances here do not match those.

“One show that had not made the rounds was Groningen (although we do have part of a sound-check). So putting 2 and 2 (or maybe 1 and 3/4) together, we’re guessing that this is that long lost Groningen Show. Or most of it. This tape plays a good deal longer than the copied down ‘Sweden’ tape, and it includes a true anomaly: A version of ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ – a song not known to have appeared on any other Wings set list – is heard where the band more typically broke into ‘Turkey In the Straw.’ The Tape is not complete. Missing is the closing segment, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed,’ ‘Hi Hi Hi,’ and ‘Long Tall Sally.’ Oddly, ‘Best Friend’ was missing from this source as well. But it had been included in the so called ‘Sweden’ tape, so the performance from that source was restored to its place here. – Neo, 2001”

The sound quality is fair to good with significant amounts of distortion except for “Best Friend” which is poor.  As a rare tape from a poorly documented period it is good, but the lo-fi experience means it won’t be played too often.  This has the set list from the era except that “Henry’s Blues,” which normally follows “I Am Your Singer,” was dropped.  The performance, a mixture of songs from the first two Wings albums, his latest singles “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” and several covers, is low key and delivered at a quick pace.  Live In Groningen comes packaged in a normal jewel case with the artwork duplicated from the circulating CDR release.   

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