Finally, some Auto Da Fe on CD ! Anyone who has listened to the band on scratchy vinyl LP's for years will enjoy the quality of this album.The original recordings made by the BBC are very clear and they reproduce well to give as high a quality sound as you would expect from studio sessions. Having said that, this is VERY live.'In Concert' (the series for whom these gigs were taped ) had a good reputation for coming up with decent acts and the fact that these are obviously smaller venues means you get a great feel to the whole thing. The drums resonate and Phil's bass, when it appears, is often mixed high. There's the occasional bit of feedback to. You are actually at the gig ! Gay always claimed Auto were better in concert than on record and 'Songs for Echo' goes some way to proving this.Her vocals are much more free, she can improvise and the musicians are at liberty to wander where the song allows which results in some much better instrumentation than on the original vinyl releases.An idea that I was very dubious about when Gay first mentioned it was putting two versions of 'The Merchant' on. I have to accept now that this is a bold decision as both are completely different and include fantastic solo's ! Trevor Knight's keyboards are simply excellent.
For diehard Auto fans, it's good to know that even if you have all the previous records, you'll still get a chance to hear three or four songs that you won't have owned before. In addition, there are others like 'Cellophane Rain' that benefit from being live and all the biggies are included as well.'November November' had just been reissued at the time of the concerts (1983) and so was introduced as 'the new single', 'Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart' closes the CD and the big one - perhaps their best ever track 'Man of Mine' features Phil on backing vocals as well as bass.For me, this is the highlight because I always thought the LP version left Mr Lynott far too much in the background. In the live version, his voice is much more prominent and that is all to the good because the whole track is so much stronger for it.Thin Lizzy fans should go for this album big-time.... it's great to hear him playing live again and this is a fine showcase.
So what of the overall package ? Well, weighing in at one hour long, Hux have done justice to the two appearances they had to select tracks from . As previously stated, I had doubts about including 'The Merchant' twice but those vanished as both versions are so different and the decision to axe one of them would have been very difficult - especially as they are stronger than some of the other included material.Perhaps, the second half of the CD is livelier, it picks up pace as it goes along and of the two gigs that comprise the record, the second is a much better performance.
Credit should be given to Hux Records to for making such a good job of the cover.It would have been easy to bang out the album with little production and effort but, as with the actual material, a good deal of energy has been put in. Sleeve notes (by Colin Harper) and period pictures put the music into context with some lyrics included in the booklet (maybe the rest would have been nice - they are on Hux's website)
Overall, this is a great job.I'm pleased that Auto Da Fe are on CD and that such care has been taken to look after and present their musical legacy and the fruits of their successful partnership with Phil Lynott.