Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Alive At The Batcave
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
In 1982, Bristol, England's Specimen relocated to Soho, London, where they played numerous shows at the infamous club The Batcave. While together, the band only released singles and an EP, though in 1997, two full-length c... more »
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In 1982, Bristol, England's Specimen relocated to Soho, London, where they played numerous shows at the infamous club The Batcave. While together, the band only released singles and an EP, though in 1997, two full-length compilations were issued. On July 11th, 2008, the original line up from 1983 appeared live at The Batcave along with Sex Gang Children and DJ Hamish. To mark the event, the show was recorded and is now available on this CD.
Specimen's return to the Cave 25 years later
Van Morgan | 05/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Discovering Specimen in 1985, the Batcave and its scene were a sort of taboo pleasure for an American teen such as myself. New-wave was a welcome fresh breath from glam rock, and goth was gelling as a subset of the darker side of the new idols. As usual, Britain laid the newest paths and if you knew where to look you could catch the scene. Setting itself apart inside the Batcave scene, the Specimen captured the best elements of glam rock with a very dark style. Their garb was solidly based in leather and fishnet, mascara and a campy morbid motif, and it struck a chord with those who enjoyed edgy goth sensationalism.
Compared to other bands of the time, I always sensed that they were all about *fun*, campy, hedonistic, fun, yet with a serious focus on the music above the style.
For me, as I've come to define them, they are what the Rocky Horror cast could have been if they continued on as a band.
Gothic, cheeky, rocking, dramatic, fun, dark, memorable soundscapes.
Turns out they released a CD "Electric Ballroom" in 2007, which leans to the electro-glam, and is a step away from what you'd expect. Yet I really enjoy "Nothing Lasts Forever" and "White Space" as keeping with their legacy. A grade of C for that effort.
Now here they return to the Batcave in July 2008 to reclaim what they started, and they show that they really do have the intensity to make it worth the trip. As I've always felt, they are intense enough about their music, and they have the chops to make the show a statement of intent. The guitar and drums are forceful and focused enough to pull the whole band through an impressive set of 12 tunes: all of the Batastrophe EP, four of the in-between singles, and one from Electric Ballroom.
The CD sounds wonderful; clean and raw, a tad guitar-heavy and keyboard-thin, but close your eyes and you'll swear you're in the front row.
The only negative I can aim at this is that the keyboards, which were tastefully implemented in all their recordings, are quite sparse in this concert.
On the plus side, I'm amazed that these guys care so much to give such a muscular show. It comes through and makes me glad to have endured the wait.
If it included my two faves from Electric Ballroom and left out the distracting swearing, it would be an A+. As a whole, I'd give it a solid "B" as a recording and a show, and I have to reiterate that I'm very glad they've returned to the stage, as they are an intense and intriguing band in any time warp. Good job, guys."