Newcastle 1977 (Zion-010)
Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle, England – July 26th, 1977
Disc 1: Intro, Walkin’ All Night, Fat Man In The Bathtub, Red Streamliner, Oh Atlanta, Day At The Dog Races, All That You Dream, Mercenary Territory
Disc 2: On Your Way Down, Skin It Back, Old Folks Boogie, Rock And Roll Doctor, Cold Cold Cold, Dixie Chicken, Tripe Face Boogie
This show in Newcastle was part of a small string of shows that were being recorded for Little Feat’s forthcoming live LP, Waiting For Columbus. The source is an excellent soundboard with a great balance between instruments. It sounds heavily compressed and the level runs a little in the red occasionally but the recording still retains its depth with a wide range of frequencies.
The band is on fire, giving it their all for the recording with Richie Hayward really driving the band. The tape cuts in at the start with one of the guys mentioning they’re recording in two cities (the other being Washington D.C.) and makes reference to London, so this actually could be one of the Rainbow Theater shows. By this time in Little Feat’s career the boogie R&B blues style was progressing into a heavier fusion-oriented direction. “Red Streamliner” and “Day At The Dog Races” are good examples of this here. The Tower Of Power horn section is called up for “Mercenary Territory”, a song described as never being played before, and also for “On Your Way Down”, “Skin It Back”, and “Old Folks Boogie”. “Skin It Back” is outstanding and really benefits from the horns. The band stretch out quite a bit during “Dixie Chicken” with extended Bill Payne piano spotlight and segues into “Tripe Face Boogie” which is running full throttle when the tape unfortunately cuts off. Any encores that were played are absent.
Newcastle 1977 captures Little Feat at their musical and commercial peek. Even though Paul Barrere and Bill Payne were a large part of the songwriting, many feel the band were never the same after the death of Lowell George in 1979. Their ability to just groove and jam was always interesting and anything but aimless. It’s nice to see a silver label still have a spot for a band like Little Feat in their catalog. Highly recommended, these guys play their asses off.