Live 2 Infinitea

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Live 2 Infinitea was recorded live during Gong's European tour in Spring 2000, following the release of the studio album Zero to Infinity. Although it does serve as an addendum to the 1995 live set The Birthday Party, it delivers more than that. Special care has been taken not to duplicate tracks already included on the latter (except for "Inner Temple," but this one is really only a frame for jamming) and once-discarded old obscurities like "Zero the Hero and the Witch's Spell," "Tropical Fish," and "Selene" get an inspired (and much welcomed) treatment. The remainder of the set is taken (and derived) from Zero to Infinity, including the energy-packed "Zeroid" and "The Mad Monk." The band is a lot tighter than in 1995 and original members Daevid Allen (vocals, guitar), Gilli Smyth (vocals), Mike Howlett (bass), and Didier Malherbe (saxes, flute) are joined by Soul II Soul drummer Chris Taylor, saxophonist Theo Travis, and the enigmatic keyboardist Gwyo ze Pix. Travis blows some mean solos and contributes the jazzy number "Yoni on Mars." Except for the disappointing song "Bodilingus" (well performed but simply weakly written), this disc is fabulous Gong candy for the fan. While The Birthday Party was drowning in its own nostalgia, Live 2 Infinitea presents a band still very active, engaging, and relevant. Sound quality is excellent, although some crowd noises are intrusive on "Zeroid."

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