Another 'teaser' live release from Damien Rice
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 04/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In October, 2007, "Live at Fingerprints Warts & All" was released, an 8 track live in-store performance, recorded in late 2006, and focusing equally on his "O" and "9" albums. Only a month later this release came out of the blue, another short live album.
"Live at Union Chapel" (8 tracks; 36 min.) was recorded in 2003 on the "O" tour, and hence focuses on that album, with 5 tracks: "Delicate", "The Blower's Daughter", a ferocious "Volcano", "Amie", and the traditional "Silent Night", an astounding a-capella version by vocalist Lisa Hannigan. The remainder songs on here are non-album tracks "Then Go" and "Baby Sister" and "Be My Husband". Let me be upfront and state unequivocally that this is a superb collection of songs: Damien Rice and his band are in peak form throughout. (It's regretful that Lisa Hannigan's role on the "9" was severely dimished, in my opinion).
For my money, if the choice is between "Live at Fingerprints" or this, there is no contest: "Live at Union Chapel" wins hands down. But why this release only has 8 tracks, I haven't a clue, and it's a shame. This could have been a 5 star release, but I can't rate it more than 4 stars because of the startling lack of additional material (only 36 min. long?). And why this is released now (as opposed to, say, 2004), again no clue. That said, if you have a chance to see Damien Rice in concert, do not miss the opportunity! I saw Damien and the band (including Lisa) here in Cincinnati in Spring 2004 on the "O" tour and it was a most memorable evening. For that reason alone "Live at Union Chapel" is an excellent memento of that for me."