The Icicle Works

BBC Live in Concert

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There are three reasons to own the Icicle Works' BBC gig, and two of them were initially from the same LP. The studio versions of "Who Do You Want for Your Love?" and "Evangeline" can be heard on the band's 1987 LP, If You Want to Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song, and the live renditions neither improve nor weaken the originals. Ian McNabb's voice loses none of its power in a concert setting; like Michael Been of the Call, McNabb's huge, booming vocals expand the sound of his band. It's easy to get swept by the romantic lyrics of "Who Do You Want for Your Love" and "Evangeline" because of McNabb's emotional fervor. The welcome addition of "Understanding Jane" increases the album's appeal, but overall the set list is disappointing. Why was "Little Girl Lost," from the Icicle Works' worst LP, Blind, performed, but not the anthemic "Hollow Horse" from The Small Price of a Bicycle? Casual fans will be upset by the exclusion of "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)"; in fact, the Icicle Works' self-titled debut album is completely ignored -- there is no "In the Cauldron of Love" nor "Out of Season," two of the group's most memorable tunes. Even the U.K. Top 40 hit "Love Is a Wonderful Colour" is strangely absent. The other tracks here simply don't generate that kind of excitement. Clocking in at little more than 30 minutes, the title is misleading; this doesn't have the length or breadth of a real concert. For completists only.

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