The Sensational Alex Harvey Band




album review


The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

BEFORE THE eruption of punk, the late Alex Harvey was one of the few who kicked a little vitality into the live music scene. His performances could frighten as much as entertain the passive audiences of the time, unaccustomed as they were to such a demonstrative figure.

While his band touted a basic rift-laden fare, Harvey would embellish the material by enacting a series of roles both manic and humorous, combining his early rock and blues roots with elements of Brechtian theatre.

On record, though, SAHB lost much of their spontaneity messily trying to incorporate those theatrical touches into the music. This compilation gathers items mainly from the early '70s when the band were poised on the brink of major stardom. The highlight is a working of the Tom Jones hit 'Delilah', warped and perverted into an existentialist essay. The nadir is the uniquely tasteless 'Gang Bang'.

SAHB fans will already own the tracks herein (save perhaps 1969's 'Midnight Moses'). Others will simply think that 'The Legend' is an NME writer.


mick sinclair

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