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Canned Heat: Live At Montreux 1973

The glory of the blues-base.

Recorded live as the latest and greatest incarnation of West Coast blues jam band Canned Heat was falling apart, this is nevertheless a very good listen.

No greatest hits apart from On The Road Again, which opens the set, there’s some material drawn from 1973 album New Age and a few future classics like Let’s Work Together, a topical slow blues Please Mr Nixon and an incendiary long-form jam Shake’n’Boogie.

Some of the songs feature Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown: the band had hooked up with the blues legend while on their European tour and recorded an album released as Gates On The Heat.

Canned Heat were always better live than in the studio, and this is a particularly special recording.

Allan McLachlan spent the late 70s studying politics at Strathclyde University and cut his teeth as a journalist in the west of Scotland on arts and culture magazines. He moved to London in the late 80s and started his life-long love affair with the metropolitan district as Music Editor on City Limits magazine. Following a brief period as News Editor on Sounds, he went freelance and then scored the high-profile gig of News Editor at NME. Quickly making his mark, he adopted the nom de plume Tommy Udo. He moved onto the NME's website, then Xfm online before his eventual longer-term tenure on Metal Hammer and associated magazines. He wrote biographies of Nine Inch Nails and Charles Manson. A devotee of Asian cinema, Tommy was an expert on 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano and co-wrote an English language biography on the Japanese actor and director. He died in 2019.