Mickey Jupp

Live at the BBC

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This collection of four separate 1978 and 1979 BBC sessions does what live BBC collections should: preserve and present evidence of a performer in a somewhat different light than what's heard on the artist's records. It doesn't lean exclusively on the repertoire Mickey Jupp recorded for his initial pair of solo albums in the late 1970s (though there are a few highlights from those records here, like "Switchboard Susan"), and you also hear him playing with four entirely separate groups of musicians. There are Jupp's own versions of songs covered by Dr. Feelgood, those being "Cheque Book," "Down at the Doctors," and "So Long" -- in fact "Cheque Book"'s done twice. There's the only known recording of the Jupp composition "Wrong Food." And, most pleasingly of all, five of the songs from a 1978 session are done acoustically, with Mo Witham the only musician aside from Jupp (though a version of "Cheque Book" attributed to the same session, oddly, features a full band). The sound's a bit thin and coarse, but is well above the standard required for ease of listenability. All those pluses logged, it's still difficult to imagine this having a wide appeal beyond the converted pub rock devotee. It's not cliched blues-rock, but it's somewhat journeyman if accomplished bluesy rock, and Jupp's a better writer than singer. Jupp does sound more engaging and personal when working in the acoustic format of that one session, making it fortunate that this portion in particular was captured for eventual release.

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