Navigator Records [Release date 08.04.16]
Bellowhead formed in 2004 and since then they have headed major UK and international festivals, selling out tours of major concert halls and selling in excess of 250,000 albums. Their last studio album, ‘Revival’ debuted in the UK album charts at number 12 – not many folk acts manage that feat.
Sadly after lead singer Jon Boden decided to leave the band decided to finish as well. Mind you in true Bellowhead fashion they did it their way and in style, with two massive farewell tours. The first leg of their farewell tour from last November appears across the two CD’s here, with the DVD featuring the full concert from Leicester’s De Montford Hall.
They cover their back catalogue and there are so many great songs to enjoy. Personal favourites include a run through ‘Roll Alabama’, ’10,000 Miles Away’ and ‘Black Beetle Pies’ (sadly this one lacks the nice and gory intro that usually accompanies the live version).
The in between song banter is all but removed on the CD’s, I guess to cram as many songs in as possible – 29 in all – and that each night would have had a slightly different between song chat. The setlist is sure to please even the most demanding fan and the sound recordings are of a high quality throughout.
The DVD is a real treat, capturing a whole set and from one show. The band seem to have as much fun on stage as the audience are and a Bellowhead gig is always a lively affair. Having been lucky enough to see the band live three times I am glad they have this fantastic live memento for their fans.
One of the biggest folk bands in recent memory and they had the wide appeal to tap into a younger audience, whilst delighting the older folk fans. They will be missed and here’s hoping a reunion tour is not that far down the line. *****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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