Crawler

Live: Agora Club 1978

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The ashes of the blues-rock might that was once Free are down to flickering embers on this previously unissued live set by Crawler, a spin-off of Back Street Crawler (who were themselves a spin-off of Free). Many of the songs in this show were taken from their debut album, though there are also selections from a solo Rabbit Bundrick LP, Back Street Crawler's 2nd Street, and two cuts ("Keep on Running" and "Worn Out Dream") that Crawler never released on their 1970s albums. It's treadmill, sometimes yawn-inducing journeyman bluesy British hard rock. By the standards of that genre, it has some pluses. Singer Terry Wilson-Slesser has the requisite husky, macho tones, yet, unlike most such frontmen, he doesn't overdo the histrionics. Well-traveled keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick gets into occasional imaginative electronics, particularly on the long track "Blue Soul." The band's a little more serious and downbeat in general than most of their like-minded competition from the period. It still isn't an interesting record, though the sound is good. Its appeal to committed fans is guaranteed by the inclusion of detailed historical liner notes by Free Appreciation Society head David Clayton.

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