The VERLAINES – ” Live at the Windsor Castle Auckland ” May 1986

Posted: June 6, 2022 in MUSIC

Dunedin, New Zealand band the Verlaines were in between their 1985 debut “Hallelujah All the Way Home” and sessions for what would become their sophomore album “Bird Dog” when they played Auckland in May of 1986. The gig was recorded in hopes of capturing a releasable live version of their tune “Slow Sad Love Song” for inclusion on “Bird Dog“, which didn’t end up happening as they’d hoped. The tapes of the full performance that surfaced more than 30 years later as “Live at the Windsor Castle, Auckland, May 1986” find the trio of Graeme Downes, Jane Dodd, and Robbie Yeats burning through material from that early phase of their run in strong, scrappy form. The entire presentation of the set crackles with an unpolished bootleg energy, down to the thin applause between songs from what sounds like a small but enthusiastic audience watching an obscure band rock a tiny club. Add in the less-than-high-fidelity recording quality and the Verlaines’ generally shambling approach to melancholy melodic pop, and Windsor Castle is the perfect document of where the band was at on that May night.

They tear through songs from their debut like the jumpy “For the Love of Ash Grey” and “Lying in State,” as well as tunes from the yet-to-be-tracked “Bird Dog“. Some of the band’s best songs from this era were their early singles, and live versions of “Doomsday,” “Pyromaniac,” and the slow-burning “You Cheat Yourself of Everything That Moves” are among the most exciting moments of this live set as well.

released June 6th, 2022

Label: Schoolkids Records

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