The Black Soul Gentlemen bootleg offers an okay radio broadcast from an Italian show during the Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen tour. The performance is decent, if a bit somewhat meandering, which pretty much comes with the territory of most Whigs shows. Singer/guitarist Greg Dulli injects enough barbs from to keep things interesting in lieu of the mediocre recording. Battling a language barrier and introducing "Retarded" to an inactive crowd, he muses, "This song is from our first record called Up in It. You ever heard of it...on Sub Pop? Does anybody care? No? Okay." Quality-wise, there's an uneven emphasis between the guitars of Dulli and Rick McCollum, and John Curley's bass gets completely lost from time to time. A major deciding factor in the purchase of Whigs' bootlegs is the covers; on most occasions, the track listings provide no indication of what they might be, since the Whigs often incorporated verses and snippets into their own material. Add uninformed bootleggers to the pot, and there you have the lack of info. Such is the case here. A fair amount of the lyrics to the Spinners' "I'll Be Around" is tucked inside of a breakdown during "Turn on the Water." Lyrics from Prince's "When Doves Cry" gets mixed into a nine-minute version of "You My Flower." And to a much lesser extent, Dulli throws in a couple lines from Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" during the Supremes' "My World Is Empty Without You," as well as Madonna's hop-to-it snips from "Into the Groove" and "Express Yourself" during a rip-roaring "Miles Iz Ded." As far as the overall set list is considered, it's favored toward Gentlemen, with a fair amount of attention paid to the records that preceded it.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman