In a world where everybody and their roadie seems to be off to Toe Rag studios or seeking out analogue reel-to-reel tapes or old recording booths, all to get some much-vaunted “authenticity”, it’s good to see a band cut through that sort of nonsense just by being themselves for half a century.
Not that The Pretty Things need to be authentic – if by authentic, we mean a 1960s blues band from London who invented the concept album and surfed every musical wave from psychedelia to hard rock – but they just are. Which is why this fantastic, raw, thrilling recording of a 2014 revisit to their 1964 debut album is a brilliant thing.
With singer Phil May as good as he’s ever been and guitarist Dick Taylor (an original Rolling Stone, lest anyone forget) blueswailing like 1967 never happened, this reconstruction sounds more exciting and – alright – more authentic than a thousand narrow-lapelled blues-fuelled retro wannabes could ever be. A warm and wonderful live celebration.