Sound — 8
This is a fine live album with Blur on energetic form as they play to an adoring japanese audience (screaming girls contribute and bandmates names are generally shouted with a manic zeal!) and they seem to bombard their way through a long setlist of their hits commenting on british life. The setlist is particularly stong as the faster and rawer numbers from Modern Life is Rubbish gain a new punky feel and the songs from The Great Escape and Leisure benefit from a feel of emotion and drama. The band play very enthusiastically and clearly enjoy playing together. Damons voice is actually pretty consistent, though he sounds a bit too british at times. The Alex and Dave rythym section is also very strong but it's withdrawn bespectacled guitarist Graham Coxon who really shines here. He frequently sends out dazzling rays of feedback and also puts his skills with hammer-ons and unconventional bending techniques to good use in the solos. He's a solid rythym and lead guitarist and is severly underrated as proved on this CD.
Lyrics — 9
Its Blur so the lyrics are of course pretty good. A lot of the words gain a new lease of life on stage and Damon and Grahams voices sound quite strong here compared to other gigs. Some very nice melodies on songs like Tracy Jacks and She's So High and the lyrics to songs like He Thought of Cars and The Universal seem more affecting and emotional live. Pretty Solid overall.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I think this is a good live album and it stands up well to other british artists live albums from the britpop era. To be honest I don't think they mess up any of the songs so most of the songs are impressive to me live but tracks like Tracy Jacks, Popscene and She's So High do sound very good to me. Occasionally Damons voice isnt great and he's a bit to wannabe cockney sometimes but that's just nitpicking really... you'll love him or be annoyed by him. If this album were stolen I would definately replace it as it's a japanese import so be prepared to shell out good cash to have it in your hands! still I reccomend this to any Blur fan as you'll love it! Well worth the dosh!