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The Call Featuring Robert Levon Been: A Tribute To Michael Been

Like father, like son.

The Call were one of the 80s’ great “nearly” bands, cult favourites but never quite crossing over, despite support tours with Peter Gabriel and Simple Minds.

They paused as that decade ended, reformed in ’97 then called it a day, with writer-singer-bassist Michael Been going on to act, score films and be sound-engineer for his son Robert’s band – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Working in that capacity, he died of a heart attack, backstage, in 2010.

In April 2013 Robert Levon Been and the surviving trio played some West Coast shows in his honour. There’s a real rush to hearing Robert sing and play his dad’s parts here as they rediscover the urgency and drama of The Call’s classics. I Still Believe, Let The Day Begin (used as Al Gore’s campaign song in 2000) and I Don’t Wanna hit the perfect midpoint between U2 pomp and Comsat Angels precision. Emotional and electrifying.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.