Get on with It: Live

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Having fully settled into their stripped-down acoustic size, Chumbawamba document several months of touring with a live album. Interestingly, there aren't that many songs from their last disc; instead it's a skip through not only through their back catalog, but their traditions. Of much greater importance now are the harmonies they've honed over the years -- indeed, there's quite a bit of unaccompanied singing where they acquit themselves very well -- with the music more as a backdrop to the voices. The four-piece is filled out by accordion, which thickens the sound nicely. "On eBay" becomes a comment on the looting of Iraq's treasures, as well as a musing on greed (as does "Buy Nothing Day"), while the political fist shows itself constantly, whether on a reworked "Homophobia" or "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire." About the only song that doesn't fare as well here as in the studio is "Jacob's Ladder"; the original used samples intelligently, and here they're replaced by live, less subtle playing. That said, the band has the audience in the palm of its hands, getting them to sing along and being thoroughly entertaining, with their wit and acerbity very much intact. They're still impossible to resist. At a little over 45 minutes it might seem a little short in today's age, but the length feels right. And a good time was had by all, it seems.

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