Sailor - finally live!
Peter A. Taylor | Taiwan | 01/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even without the bands founder, primary composer and lead singer Georg Kajanus at the helm, this live effort recorded from a concert(s?) in Berlin in 1996, fares really well. It's a pity that a live album of the original members (Kajanus, Henry Marsh, Phil Pickett and Grant Serpell) performing was never released during their heyday of the mid-late 1970's. Sailor, have always been an acquired taste, and once you're a fan you tend to be fairly committed. As a fan, I was always bemused and disapointed by the often unfair treatment of the bands music given them by the cliquey Music press of the period (NME etc.) Early reviews tended to be better than the later ones. This may have been because Sailor, essentially I believe a concept art rock group, were only seen through the exposure of their hit singles the Roxyesque"A Glass of Champagne", "Girls, Girls, Girls", and to a lesser degree "One Drink Too Many" and the earlier excellent "Traffic Jam". Hence, they may have been unfairly lumped together with the plethora of pop bands at the time. Many of their art rock cohorts, Roxy Music, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Be Bop Deluxe, Sparks etc. were more favourably received by the music press. Sailor's musicians at the time were all proven performers having played in bands before the Sailor concept began (Grant Serpell was the original drummer for the Jazz rock outfit Affinity, Kajanus a founder member of the well received folk group Eclection etc.). With Kajanus gone for this much later live performance recording (his replacement being the talented Peter Lincoln who has worked with amongst others Cliff Richard and Shakin' Stevens), one could be excused for anticipating a rather lacklustre effort. However, this album would prove this expectation wrong. Whilst no one could replace the unique (and Bryan Ferry like ) vocal style of Georg Kajanus, Peter Lincoln does a great job and shows his own vocal style to be not only quite adaptive but extremely varied. It's a pity this album doesn't feature his later excellent rendition of the James Taylor song "Frozen Man", which is featured on the live dvd. Highlights on the album I consider to be Phil Pickett's great version of the Bertoldt Brecht "Mack the Knife" song, "Give Me Shakespeare" the single from the bands fifth album "Hideaway", and of course the bands signature tune "A Glass Of Champagne". Enjoy this album, and if you can get the dvd , and with a bit of luck we may eventually see the release of the much anticipated "Hidden Teasures" box set?, featuring rare songs from the bands archives and perhaps some new material (apparently due for release sometime in 2005- we hope!)."
Sailor - Live in Berlin
John W. Hart | Watertown, NY United States | 02/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you love Sailor buy this CD. Its the culmination of over twenty years of unique Sailor Music. I had the opportunity to see Sailor live in Brussels in 1975 and this CD has all the energy and fun that I witnessed all those years ago. Despite having some new members, the music is fresh and vibrant. They perform as though the music is new. I can't wait to see them "live" again just to listen to that "Old Nickelodean Sound""