STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 151753-19421 LABEL: Phatmusic 0702811594036 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2014-06-10 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
This live album from Brighton-based worship band marks the end of a long and fruitful career spanning two decades. Back in March 2014, the band - joined once again by former guitarists Alan Rose and Mike Blow - performed two final concerts at Wessex Christian Centre in Bournemouth before splitting up for good and the result is an assured and poignant piece of work that acts as a suitable bookend to the band's output. Proceedings kick off in punchy fashion with the likes of "In Jesus" and the funk-tinged spiritual warfare song "Rise Up" which showcase the band's trademark supreme musicianship and Lou Fellingham's gently powerful vocals in all their glory. Throughout their existence, Phatfish have tended be trendsetters instead of followers in terms of worship output and tracks like "Faith Is Rising" and the melodic "This Is What My God Is Like" reflect a vast back catalogue of quality praise songs that will live on long after the band's final chord stops ringing out. There are some intensely beautiful spirit-filled moments with the stripped back "Amazing God"- containing a breathtakingly affecting vocal from Lou - and the stirring rally cry "Lift Up His Name" helping to make this both a spiritually and musically satisfying release. Keen to show their dexterity, the band offer up a variety of styles from the initially Celtic-tinged "What Would I Do?" to some measured heavier moments in the latter part of the same song and the likes of the pounding "Heavenbound". A bonus disc containing live versions of early funk-influenced tracks such as "Funkmine" and "Phat House" showcases the band's intent to go out with a bang and rounds off not only a hugely enjoyable release but also the career of one of the UK Christian music scene's greatest bands.
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In March 2014, PHATFISH held two historic concerts in Bournemouth, bringing the band to a close after twenty extraordinary years of ministry together. Since the mid 90's, PHATFISH have consistently written and performed songs of depth and insight about our Amazing God, underpinned with excellent musicianship.
The PHATFISH Live album was recorded at those special concerts with an enthusiastic crowd, and features many of their most memorable songs and anthems, many of which are now sung in churches around the world. A second 'bonus' disk captures more of the atmosphere and includes live versions of some of their early jazz-funk material as well as more recently penned performance-orientated songs.
This album is a must-have for PHATFISH fans, but perhaps more importantly will introduce a new generation to a treasure-trove of exceptional songs that will inspire faith and praise.