STYLE: Jesus Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13320-3001 LABEL: SRD-605 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 RRP: £14.69
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Larry Norman's health problems have dogged him for a decade now and as he approaches his 60th birthday, he has continued despite his health to try to work on his music. The truth that his life is really about ministry continues to come more sharply into focus as his ability as an artist is weakened. Those who saw his only British date in the summer of 2005 will want to get hold of this as it'll bring back memories. On the first CD Larry plays a solo set, singing songs and chatting at length to the audience who had travelled to the gig from all over the world. His British gig could be the last he ever plays. Listening to this, he sounds vocally frail and sometimes distracted but his spirit is still strong. Larry chats and introduces his sisters who sing with him and the African Acapella Choir who perform one of their songs. On the second CD Larry plays piano so you get to hear some rarer songs like "One Way", "I Am Servant" and even a show tune and Larry gets nostalgic about his past, his family and his music. The final segment of the show features a band including blues guitarist Mark Lemhouse accompanying Larry and singing his own song. The CD was recorded straight to disc from the concert and given to those who attended. That explains why the concert rambles at times and why the sound quality in the final 20 minutes is so poor while the band perform "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus", "Twelve Good Men" and other songs. Again this is not the best quality live Larry Norman CD but it could be the last time a live gig is recorded. For that reason, it takes on a historical significance. Listening as a vocally weak Larry fights like a warrior to finish the gig is a moving experience but even here there's a bit of humour as he sings the Stones' song "The Last Time". Going out with a riotous version of "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music" seems like a good way to bow out. It's a treasured memento for fans who were there and a good reminder of a similar gig for those who made it to Portsmouth a month later. Don't know whether we'll see him on these shores playing live again.
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