Farewell Milky Way (All Music Guide)

by François Couture

After performing each year at the Melkweg (“The Milky Way” in Dutch) since 1984, The Legendary Pink Dots gave their final performance there (at least at the time) in 1994. VPRO Radio had recorded the concert, but it took six years to release it, almost hot on the heels of another live LPD album, Live at the Metro. Luckily, these two albums present entirely different setlists and, if Live at the Metro has a slightly more interesting (and diverse) selection of songs, Farewell, Milky Way boasts better sound quality. The performance itself is excellent, the whole band giving it their all. Said band included at the time bassist Ryan Moore and guitarist Martijn de Kleer, Neils van Hoornblower, in addition to the unremovable Edward Ka-Spel and Phil Knight (aka The Silverman). The set list relies heavily on the group’s then-recent albums, especially 9 Lives to Wonder. That album’s epic “9 Shades to the Circle” becomes the centerpiece of the live set, showcasing Ka-Spel’s eery storytelling talent. Other highlights include the early classic “Vigil-Anti” (from 1984’s The Tower) and a take-no-prisoners rendition of “Demolition 13.” Neils van Hoornblower shines throughout Farewell, Milky Way, whether adding aerial flute lines to quiet songs (“Bella D.,” “On Another Shore”) or honking out ferocious grunts in “Demolition 13.” The very good recording quality makes this a must-have for the fan and a good choice for the casual listener, especially since The Legendary Pink Dots’ discography is a bit thin on live documents.

(The date of this review is unknown.)


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