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Paradise 9

20th Anniversary 1997 ~ 2017 Live

Review by Gary Hill

This double disc live set from Paradise 9 celebrates the 20 years of their musical career. The sound here is probably closest to the space rock of Hawkwind. Nik Turner even guests at times. However, there is a punky edge to a lot of this. It wanders into other territory, too. The main issue I have is the vocals, which don't work so well for me much of the time. This is well worth having and enjoying, though. It's an intriguing set marking an important milestone for these guys. However, there is a punky edge to a lot of this. It wanders into other territory, too. The main issue I have is the vocals, which don't work so well for me much of the time. This is well worth having and enjoying, though. It's an intriguing set marking an important milestone for these guys.

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD1 These Days
              
Nothing For Tomorrow (McKella) - Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016

Space rock sounds bring this into being. From there it works out to a jam that has a lot of punk along with plenty of space rock.

Anyhow Anyway (McKella) - Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016
The general musical concept isn't much different here. This does have a bit of reggae element at play, though.
Ocean Rise (Matthars/ McKella/Thomas/Sampson) - Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016
I dig the cool trippy space rock sounds on this number. This definitely makes me think of something Nik Turner might do. This instrumental is classy for sure.          
Matter of Anti-Matter ( McKella/ Matthars /Thomas/Golland) - Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016
I dig the mix of punky sounds and space rock on this. It's a fun rocker that's one of my favorites here. It works really well.
Distant Dreams - (Matthars/ McKella/Thomas/Sampson) - Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016
Coming in mellower and quite space rock oriented, this is interesting. It grows out to more punky rocking stuff. I dig the harmonica on this.  The jam later in the track is so Hawkwind-like that it's scary.
Crystalized Moments (McKella) Live at Kozfest Festival 2016
I dig this killer rocker. It's perhaps less space rock oriented and leaning more toward the psychedelic rock end of the equation. Whatever you call it, it's effective and entertaining.
Shine On (McKella/ Matthars /Thomas/Collyer) - Live at Kozfest Festival 2016 09:00
I love the swirling, rotating stuff at the start of this cut. It works forward from that point with a bit of a punky rocking element.        
Points of View (McKella/ Matthars/Thomas/Sampson/Teers) - Live at Kozfest Festival 2016 ~ / Take Me To The Future (McKella/Matthars/Thomas/Sampson/Windmill)- Live at Blind Cat Festival 2016
This energetic rocker sounds like Hawkwind does The Clash. The extended instrumental jam later is like Hawkwind merged with Oresund Space Collective. The rocking jam "Take Me to the Future" is very much aligned with Nik Turner's Hawkwind concept.
State of the Nation (McKella) - Live at Kozfest Festival 2016
That whole punk meets Hawkwind concept is all over this. The space rock jam later in the piece really drives it into Hawkwind territory.
CD2 Those Days
          
Into The Ethers (McKella/McDonald/Collyer) Live at West One-Four 2000

I dig the trippy space keyboards that lead this out of the gate. The cut works forward from there in fine style. The saxophone later brings a bit of a jazzy kind of space rock sound.

I See You Dancing (McKella) Live at The Acoustic Revolution 1999
I am really not crazy about the vocals on this number. Beyond that it leans a bit toward Goth rock, but with some space in the mix. It's a slower, mellower number. It has some charms, but it's really not my thing.
Crystalized Moments (McKella) Live at Black Velvet London 2013
I dig the way this rises up from nothing. It has a cool groove to it. There are some interesting bits of saxophone. There is a definite texture that makes me think of things like The Cure, but with some real space rock added to the mix.
All Said and Done (McKella) - Live at The Acoustic Revolution 1998
I really dig the intricate picked guitar that starts this thing. The vocals work better here.   
State of the Nation (McKella) Live at the Amersham Arms 2014
Here is another version of the earlier cut. I like this one better. It has a bit of a raw punky texture. Yet there is also plenty of space rock here. Imagine if you put together an all-star band with members of Hawkwind and members of The Sex Pistols. It would probably sound a lot like this.     
700 Feet – Base jumper (McKella) - Acoustic Revolution, London John Bull 98
There is definitely a lot of punk rock built into this mellower cut. It's not one of my favorites on the set, but it works reasonably well.        
Bright World (McKella) Live at West One-Four – West Kensington London 2000 05:51
Punk and mellower space rock are merged on this number.   This feels a bit rough around the edges.
Glow - Live at The Acoustic Revolution 1999_ John Bull Gunnersbury London W4
Trippy psychedelia is the order business on this cut. It's a classy tune.
Points of View (McKella. Matthars/Thomas/Sampson/Teers) ~ Take Me To The Future (McKella/Matthars/Thomas/Sampson/Windmill) - Live at Black Velvet London 2013

This multi-part piece makes the epic of the set at over 17 and a half minutes in length. It comes in with some killer driving space rock. It moves forward in that sort of fashion. Nik Turner provides saxophone on this piece. It works out into some killer space instrumental stuff after the four minute mark. This gets into some pretty trippy territory as it works forward. They take it out around the twelve minute mark to the "Take Me to the Future" part. This is again quite Hawkwind-like and really works well. They work it out to more pure space at the end of the piece.

Falling For You (McKella) - Live at West One-Four 2000 – West Kensington London
Punk rock is a big part of the sound here. The piece has a lot of texture like rock bands like The Cure. It builds out into more of a space rock based thing as they work forward. It gets some good energy and creates a nice vibe.
These Days (McKella/McDonald/ Collyer) Live at Black Velvet London 2013

Nik Turner is back on this piece. It has a classy jazzy space rock sound to it as it drives forward. I can make out hints of things like The B-52s on this at times. They take it through some instrumental stuff before working back out to more straight-ahead rocking territory.

 
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