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Live Lounge (Radio 1) - Review

Live Lounge

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

OVER the course of her career BBC Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley has consistently championed live music and her Live Lounge has become an integral part of her show.

The sessions enable artists to show exactly what they’re about – live and unrehearsed – so that listeners can truly appreciate what a band or singer sounds like in the flesh.

Over the course of its success, the Live Lounge has even encouraged artists to deliver cover versions of their favourite songs – some of which have given rise to some genuinely excellent surprises.

Who’d have thought, for instance, you’d hear The Automatic covering Kanye West? Or Franz Ferdinand taking on Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For?? Or even Corinne Bailey Rae putting an alternative spin on Editors’ Munich?

With such a rich collection to choose from, it’s little wonder that the BBC have finally decided to release a double CD containing some of the best moments from the Live Lounge sessions.

What’s more, it’s a truly essential collection of classic songs, great cover versions and genuinely well performed live versions from some of the leading names in the industry.

Hence, Foo Fighters get to perform DOA, Coldplay deliver The Scientist and OutKast put forward a polished version of their hit Ms Jackson.

As accomplished as such moments are, however, it’s the cover versions that provide some of the definite highlights of this particular listening experience.

The Kooks take on Gnarls Barkley’s Cazy, for instance, is great, as is The Automatic’s take on Kanye’s Gold Digger – a trick you might never have thought they were able to pull off.

Razorlight’s Golden Touch is memorably re-assembled with a gospel-backed chorus, the Sugabages deliver an all-girl, sassy spin on Hard-Fi’s Living For The Weekend and, as previously mentioned, Franz Ferdinand conjure a completely insane version of Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For? that really has to be heard to be believed (it even manages to tail off into Billy Idol’s White Wedding).

Of 38 tracks, there’s plenty to savour and only the odd dud (in my opinion), such as Will Young removing the feelgood factor from OutKast’s Hey Ya completely and Natasha Bedingfield trying gamely to recreate the emotion of Coldplay’s seminal The Scientist without much success.

But as quickly as they’ve arrived, they’re banished from the memory by the quality of songs such as Oasis’ Songbird, KT Tunstall’s Other Side Of The World and Mylo’s In My Arms. Hell, even James Blunt manages an eye-opening version of If There’s Any Justice.

As live compilation albums go, this is a corker.

Track listing:
Disc: 1

  1. Foo Fighters – DOA
  2. Arctic Monkeys – Love Machine
  3. Snow Patrol – Run
  4. The Kooks – Crazy
  5. Razorlight – Golden Touch
  6. Corinne Bailey Rae – Munich
  7. The Automatic – Goldigger
  8. The Editors – All Sparks
  9. Boy Kill Boy – Maneater
  10. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
  11. Embrace – How Come
  12. James Blunt – If There’s Any Justice
  13. Natasha Bedingfield – The Scientist
  14. The Kings Of Leon – Molly’s Chambers
  15. Jamie Cullum – Frontin’
  16. Sugababes – Livin’ For the Weekend
  17. Lemar – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
  18. Will Young – Hey Ya
  19. Hard Fi – Tied Up Too Tight
  20. Oasis – Songbird

Disc: 2

  1. Coldplay – The Scientist
  2. Lily Allen – Smile
  3. Keane – With Or Without You
  4. K T Tunstall – Other Side Of The World
  5. Franz Ferdinand – What You Waiting For
  6. Pink – Family Portrait
  7. Outkast – Ms Jackson
  8. The Futureheads – Hounds Of Love
  9. Jamelia – Numb
  10. Dizzee Rascal – Jus A Rascal
  11. Lemon Jelly – Nice Weather For Ducks
  12. Mylo – In My Arms
  13. My Chemical Romance – Song 2
  14. The Coral – Dreaming Of You
  15. Maximo Park – Gone Missing
  16. The Bravery – Honest Mistake
  17. The Streets – Let’s Push Things Forward
  18. Basement Jaxx – Romeo
  19. Orson – Push The Button
  20. 50 Cent – In Da Club