Waterdeep - Live At The New Earth

Saturday 1st April 2000
Waterdeep - Live At The New Earth

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1048-31098
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

The history of Waterdeep is the history of a band who for five years slogged away successfully building a reputation as an independent band. Many nights on stage as a live act means that the band have fashioned themselves into a tight, versatile, live unit. Recorded on March 31st 1998, this is the last album they released as an independent band prior to signing to Squint and so the live show marks a farewell to that portion of their career. It simply shows a band on home territory going through their paces and it isn’t hard to understand why Squint would want to snap them up. It opens up with the two pronged attack of “Sacred” and “Everyone’s Guilty” with Don Chaffer’s raw vocals exploding from out front of the band. Every track is a winner but there is something glorious when the band kick back into a groove on the 12-minute epic “Come To Me” which then explodes into a full-on musical workout allowing the band to completely stretch out. “Gospel Train” is a smokin’, soulful new interpretation of an old familiar theme delivered with conviction and all of the songs are given the extended treatment. Another highlight is “I’m Afraid I’m Not Supposed To Be This Way” which is transformed from its simply acoustic studio recording into an atmospheric powerful ballad. Punctuating the album are instrumental jams that the band played whilst the tapes were changed to continue the recording of the “proper” songs and even these add to the power of the overall project. The album closes with the outright worship of “Holy” leaving the listener with no doubt about the band’s real heart. On the strength of this, the band’s musical genetics are more bound up in the uncompromising rock of the ‘70’s than the drum machines or Seattle derivations of currant bands. Waterdeep are the Grateful Dead of Christendom, connecting with their audience and letting the music out. Very special.

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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