And Also the Trees

Le Bataclan

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Recorded at a live performance in the Paris theater of the same name during the Klaxon tour, Le Bataclan is neither a bootleg nor an official release per se, put out in a limited-edition run mainly for their fan base. This said, it sounds rather like a bootleg, with an at-times muddy mix and that "recorded in the audience" ambience; compared to the crisp Evening of the 24th, this album is an unfortunate comedown on that front. Having Simon Jones' vocals consistently lost in the music makes things especially frustrating at times. Besides that, however, Le Bataclan showcases the band just as well as Evening, and the audience is just as appreciative, if not more so, for the Trees' by now extensive catalog of material and unique sound. The focus throughout, understandably, lies on The Klaxon; with five of its songs featured, along with other recent material such as "Red Valentino" and a majestic take on "Prince Rupert," with fine keyboard work by touring member Emer Brown. The Trees reach back all the way to "Shantell" for their final song of the show, though, while other long-established tunes as "Slow Pulse Boy" and "Gone...Like the Swallows" make rapturously received appearances (indeed, half the Virus Meadow album is played at the show). The band, meanwhile, are the band, as always -- skilled, and both powerful and subtle as the song or mood demands it. More for the hardcore fan than the casual listener -- not least because of its hard-to-find nature -- but still a fine demonstration of the Trees' unquestioned abilities.

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