Recorded live in the Summer of 1991 at London's Town & Country Club, the Hux label's BBC Live captures all of the volatility, humor, and wounded sarcasm that the Violent Femmes bring to each and every predictably unpredictable live show (bassist Brian Ritchie traditionally dictates the set list in real time). The group had just released Why Do Birds Sing?, a return to the snarky guitar/bass/snare drum attack that fueled their classic self-titled debut nearly ten years before, and were experiencing a bit of a comeback with "American Music" and its accompanying video. The crowd is rabid and knowledgeable, belting out each and every word, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition between the sentimental strains of "Good Feeling" and the murderous "Country Death Song." The group's ability to mix devout Christianity with sex, drugs, and rock & roll without seeming the least bit contrived has always been both a virtue and a hindrance. The Violent Femmes have always been a polarizing band, but you wouldn't know it listening to a gaggle of British girls yell out ""Jesus Walking on the Water"" during the guitar intro to "Kiss Off." Great stuff for longtime fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger