• Sun. May 26th, 2024
Uriah Heep released their Live at Koko London 2014 live album in February 2015.
Uriah Heep released their Live at Koko London 2014 live album in February 2015.

 

One of the greatest bands to emerge from the United Kingdom in the 1970s was Uriah Heep. These legends combined everything from hard rock and metal, to progressive rock and blues, giving them one of the most distinctive sounds of any band of the day. They have persevered in many shapes and forms over the years, and sadly, many members have passed away as the times have changed. Heep is still active to this day, in a lineup that includes original guitarist Mick Box, as well as vocalist Bernie Shaw and keyboardist Phil Lanzon, both formerly of the band Grand Prix. The latest studio album, Outsider, came out in June of 2014.

Even over four decades later, Heep is still active and touring the world on a regular basis, with a strong and solid fanbase in numerous countries. This latest live release from the band, recorded in London as a “homecoming” of sorts following a lengthy world tour, features the band on stage before countless excited fans. But, how does this release measure up, and how do these aging rockers fare on a live stage?

If you are a long time Heep fan, you will be pleased to know that they are still a group that impresses on the live stage. I caught one of their shows back in 2011 before the passing of the great Trevor Bolder, and can honestly say that they are an impressive live band; the organ sounds in particular help them to stand out from nearly every other band around, past and present alike.

This two-disc package features a mixture of old and new cuts alike. Shaw is clearly comfortable in his role is the band’s lead vocalist, a position he has held for three decades now – hardly the new kid on the block anymore, he has been the singer for Heep longer than all of their other vocalists combined! The rest of the band is in fine form throughout this performance, which features a great mix of past and present tracks from this legendary British rock outfit.

Unfortunately, an extremely annoying problem rears its ugly head over the course of this album – there are “fade outs” after every few songs. Why the hell would you do this? It completely robs the disc of a live feel and comes off as a major flaw in what otherwise could have been the definitive “modern day Uriah Heep” concert disc. A live album should never have fade-outs anywhere, except the beginning and the end (and if you are reissuing an older live album, where the sides on the original record started and ended).

Despite the “fade out” problem, this is a great concert from Uriah Heep’s current lineup. Bernie Shaw has proven himself to be one hell of a frontman, and Mick Box is still rocking on the guitar well into his 60s. Fans of the band will enjoy this mix of old favorites and tracks from the band’s most recent releases done up well in a live setting by the band’s current incarnation. Recommended!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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