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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Sad Café - Live In Concert'
Artist - Sad Café

OK, I best get this out now, I guess: I have been a HUGE Sad Café fan ever since I heard songs such as 'Every Day Hurts,' 'Strange Little Girl,' and of course, 'My Oh My.' Nothing, save for some ELO and maybe a touch of April Wine could touch the band for me (at that time), so to have never seen them live, but now listen to what it would have sounded like (had I have been there at the show and closed my eyes - foolishly!), is a real gem of a treat today in 2014.

For those Americans not aware of them, Sad Café are an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1976, who achieved their peak of popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As noted above, they are still today best known for the UK Top 40 singles, 'Every Day Hurts,' 'Strange Little Girl,' 'My Oh My' and also 'I'm in Love Again,' the first of which was their biggest hit, reaching #3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979.

Funnily enough, the band also had two US Billboard Hot 100 hits with 'Run Home Girl' and 'La-Di-Da,' but did you know that their original lead singer was none other than legendary British heart throb, Paul Young? He went on to achieve massive chart success as a solo singer, but yeah, he was part of this band at the height of their fame also.

Indeed, the group formed as a result of the unification of rock bands Mandala and Gyro. Its founder members were the aforementioned Paul Young (vocals), Ian Wilson (guitar), Vic Emerson (keyboards), Ashley Mulford (lead guitar), John Stimpson (bass) and Tony Cresswell (drums). Over the course of the band's history only Young and Wilson were constant members, with other musicians amongst the band's ranks over the years including: Dave Irving (drums), Lenni (saxophone), Des Tong (bass), Michael Byron-Hehir (lead guitar), Steve Piggot (keys), Jeff Seopardi (drums), Paul Burgess (drums), Phil Lanzon (keyboards) and Alistair Gordon (keyboards).

Here on Sad Café - Live In Concert the hits are all present and correct, and the sound quality is so good, the playing so tight, that you could swear it was just recorded live at some fancy club! To my mind, listening to these tracks, it should truly capture the vibrant feel of what this band were all about live.

Recorded live at Manchester’s Apollo Theatre across three nights in 1980 this 2CD LIVE collection (complete with engrossing liner notes) showcases all the hits mentioned, along with cuts such as 'On With The Show,' 'Hungry Eyes,' 'Keeping It From The Troops,' 'Feel Like Dying,' and both 'Black Rose' and THE additional bonus track, ‘(I Believe) Love Will Survive.'

In truth, Sad Café always, strangely, struggled for chart recognition, but continued to write great songs, and perform to the top of the scale live, nonetheless.

CD Purchase Link