The Boys

Live at the Roxy Club

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One look at the track listing makes clear there's something very, very odd about this album. Reputedly recorded live in April 1977 at London's most notorious punk club, the Boys bizarrely run through a set featuring songs that wouldn't appear on disc until the release of their third album in 1979. What's up with that? The answer is that Live at the Roxy Club is a misnomer, and the date is dead wrong. In fact, what we have here is a recording of an exultant gig the band played in France in 1980. Although the band was wilting at home, in Europe they were flowering into near superstars, and the difference is obvious; play this set against the one they performed for the BBC around the same time to hear the difference for yourself. In England, the Boys went through the motions, in France they sprang back to life, with all the insouciance, insolence, and high energy that they first exhibited...well, back in April, 1977. But it was hard to maintain that momentum before Britain's overwhelming indifference and, with spirits drooping ever lower, a year later the band gave up the ghost.

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