|IQ - Half As Good As Dead (PRRP035)|
|Recorded at the Marquee Club, London, UK. Very good audience recording.
From the info file:
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HALF AS GOOD AS DEAD
May 16, 1984 (The Marquee Club- London, England)
1.1 Eloko Bella Neechi 1:51
1.2 Awake and Nervous 8:09
1.3 Fascination 6:44
1.4 For The Taking 5:38
1.5 My Baby Treats Me Right Cos' I'm A Hard- Lovin Man All Night Long 2:04
1.6 The Enemy Smacks 15:20
1.7 Through The Corridors 3:12
1.8 Widow's Peak 9:01
2.1 It All Stops Here 8:24
2.2 The Last Human Gateway 20:06
2.3 Now I'm Here 4:24
2.4 Stomach Of Animals 3:51
2.5 Interview With Peter Nicholls and Martin Orford:'The Naked Radio Show', Plymouth Sound, May 27, 1984 (Including 'Awake And Nervous') 13:19
Peter Nicholls - Lead Vocals
Paul Cook - Drums
Mike Holmes - Guitars
Tim Esau - Bass Guitars
Martin Orford - Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Crashing Through The Sky
By 1984, IQ were regular fixtures at The Marquee. The prestigious club on London’s Wardour Street was without doubt the band's home from home and
they were always assured of a rapturous welcome there from their devoted and enthusiastic fans. On May 16th, the band played what was to have been
their last British show for a while as their management company had lined up some American dates for them. In fact, these dates fell through and it
would be another nine years before IQ finally set foot on American soil when they appeared at Progfest in Los Angeles in 1993, but essentially this
performance at The Marquee was by way of saying a temporary farewell to their home audience.
Sensing the occasion, IQ turned in a powerful and determined performance, delving into their history to revive some seldom heard live tracks.
Opening with an edited version of 'Eloko Bella Neechi', the band blasted through a thunderous version of 'Awake And Nervous' before revisiting their
earliest group-written track, 'Fascination'. The perennially popular 'It All Stops Here' (an Orford composition dating back to the band's earlier incarnation
as The Lens), together with 'The Enemy Smacks' and 'The Last Human Gateway', ensured that the crowd were treated to a non-stop barrage of classic
material. Peter's emotive 'For The Taking' set the scene for perhaps the most surprising addition to the set list: Martin's pastoral piano solo 'My Baby Treats
Me Right 'Cos I'm A Hard-Lovin' Man All Night Long'. The inclusion of this rarely performed piece meant that the band's debut album 'Tales From The
Lush Attic' was performed in its entirety that night, something that happened only once or twice after that. The band also played 'Widow's Peak', the
first new number to be completed for their 1985 album, 'The Wake'.
Being such regulars at The Marquee, IQ had developed a penchant for playing a different cover version as an encore each time in order to add some
variety and an element of unpredictability to the set. Tonight they turned their attention to Queen's 'Now I'm Here', which they delivered with their usual
fire and energy. A memorable evening was rounded off in manic style with the frenetic crowd-pleaser 'Stomach Of Animal'.
The performance of these rare songs makes this such a fascinating document from a vital period in the band's history. While the quality of this tape
was far from perfect to begin with, we at PRRP have done our very best to turn this into a great listening experience. So travel back in time more than
20 years and relax in the company of Mike Holmes, Peter Nicholls, Paul Cook, Tim Esau and Martin Orford. Outside of the somewhat hastily released
(much to the band’s dismay) 'Living Proof' album in 1985, very few top quality recordings featuring this particular band line-up are actually circulating
nowadays, which makes this one even more enjoyable.
Also included as a bonus track on disc two is a rare interview conducted with Martin Orford and Peter Nicholls later that month. Now you can find out
why Martin was thwarted in his plans to become a classical pianist and why Peter wore all that greasepaint in those days.
And just what are the lyrics for 'Awake And Nervous' all about anyway ?
Notes from the Re-Master
The biggest problem with this show was the hiss and other noises. Multiple techniques were needed to remove most of the offending sounds.
Disc 2, by the way, needed a different noise reduction profile than disc 1 suggesting a different tape source? The audience was a bit noisy so crowd noise
was reduced as well. Whistles, claps and general yelling were reduced where needed. Tonality was generally good but the treble was boosted a bit to
There were a number of dropouts in the show, most of which were easily corrected. One occurred right in the middle of track 2, disc 1 but the
patch makes this, now, undetectable. Dynamics were adjusted for optimum effect where needed. For the interview track, the Female interviewer voice
and Martin's voice needed a de-esser filter given their vocal characteristics. Clicks and pops were also removed both from the interview and the show.
Finally, the show was re-tracked and balanced. No speed correction was necessary after comparing the tracks with known commercial live references.