Larry Norman - The Norman Invasion

Wednesday 26th January 2005
Larry Norman - The Norman Invasion
Larry Norman - The Norman Invasion

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12500-1694
LABEL: Solid Rock SRD790
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Dougie Adam

For those who say that Larry's concerts are pretty much the same songs year after year and his solo live albums are similar this is worth checking out because it gathers together some of the rare and one off performances from the Tourniquet Tour in August 2001. As it turned out this was Larry's final tour before his health deteriorated and he was forced to almost retire from giving concerts. This CD collects songs performed at three of Larry's most notable concerts in years for having adventurous set lists: Cavern Club, Edinburgh Festival and his final Belfast concert, plus there is one track from a very focussed and tight opening night in Manchester. 'The Norman Invasion' deliberately sets out to ignore many of the popular songs which made up the core of Larry's set list night after night on the tour and many of the songs which have appeared on most of his live albums. Most of the songs on here have only been on one other Larry live album and a few are appearing on an official live album for the first time. The proceedings begin on a light hearted note as Larry sings some of his early childhood compositions, haphazard and amusing covers of some songs associated with the Beatles at his Cavern Club gig and an acapella performance of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady! As the CD progresses we find Larry delving far back into time and playing some songs from 'Bootleg' for the first time live in nearly 30 years, reading the poem "First Day In Church" which opened the 'Street Level' album, throwing in a few tracks from 'Home At Last' which have never really featured in his live sets and then moving on to newer material like "Messiah", "Leave It Up To God To Handle". Two of the highlights are weightier compositions "Feed The Poor" (one of only two songs from the 'Tourniquet' album to be played on the Tourniquet Tour) and the first ever performance of "Children Of Lugoj" from the 'Belfast Bootlegs' four CD project in aid of Romanian orphans. Over the course of the CD a huge range of musical styles and emotions are covered from the throwaway light hearted "She Had Me By The Hair" through the tender and still impressive "Pardon Me" (another highlight) and on to the hard hitting new work which shows Larry can still write and perform with the same power he did when he was making waves in the '70s. The CD booklet also shows a lot of care. a foldout poster design with photos from some of the concerts as well as photos from the Norman family snaps of the tour. Another disc with further rarities from the same tour is in the works and will hopefully feature a few more guitar songs as well as some very rare piano tracks and one or two band numbers from the Cavern and Manchester gigs with Cava. This first instalment still represents a special CD from a special tour.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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