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Kansas - Leftoverture Live & Beyond album review

Keep calm and carry on, wayward son

Kansas - Leftoverture Live & Beyond album artwork

Kansas already have multiple concert albums to their name, but this latest release offers plenty to distinguish it from the pack. It’s the first live release featuring new vocalist Ronnie Platt, who joined in 2014, and over a marathon two-disc set, the group play 1976’s Leftoverture, the album that made them stars, from start to finish. Song selections favour their classic 70s releases, going back as far as Journey From Mariabronn from their debut, although they tackle three cuts from 2016’s The Prelude Implicit, which fit comfortably among the hits. Rhythm In The Spirit features scorching guitar licks from Richard Williams and Zak Rizvi, while The Voyage Of Eight Eighteen is an ambitious epic, with violinist David Ragsdale taking the spotlight. Disc two, Leftoverture, kicks off with the immortal Carry On Wayward Son, as anthemic now as it was four decades ago, with Platt matching Steve Walsh’s range. What’s On My Mind has a swaggering hard rock strut, and Magnum Opus lives up to its title, all pomp and glory, minus the meandering intro of the version from Two For The Show. The band sound superb and the playing is tight, punchy and energised. A worthy addition to their legacy.

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.