Tygers of Pan Tang

Live at Nottingham Rock City

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Obviously, the concert document lost a lot of impact in the video age. But back in the '70s, a live record was a career requisite that could break the band and the bank. The Tygers of Pan Tang came at the tail end of that era, and Live at Nottingham Rock City preserves an early-'80s show when the cats were at their peak. Against doctor's orders, the sick unit (save six-string sizzler John Sykes, in perfect health and form) takes the stage and tears through several fresh tracks from Spellbound, the Tygers' sophomore smoker that most consider their apex. The Tygers' debut, Wild Cat, recorded with a different singer, remains an endearingly ragged rager pushing brawn over brains, but new vox kid Jon Deverill's more accomplished howling does the early tunes proud, and fellow newbie Sykes (already on his way to greener pastures) also adds polish but never at the expense of passion. Live at Nottingham Rock City fell out of print two minutes after release, but stands as a concise study of the classic live LP (sans excessive solos, luckily) and a shining document of a tempestuous talent at its prime.

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