LIVE UK TOUR 1975 (2003)

1 The Show Of Our Lives (4:42)
2 Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (9:52)
3 The Dabsong Conshirtoe (12:30)
4 Virgin On The Ridiculous / Be Allright / Chance Of A Lifetime (14:23)
5 Love In Your Eye (18:22)
6 For Richard (16:50)

Richard Goughlan (drums, percussion)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
Geoffrey Richardson (viola, flute, guitar)
Jan Schelhaas (keyboards, vocals)
Mike Wedgwood (bass, vocals)
2003/CD/Major League Productions/MLP03CD/UK

This live recording was made a few months after the band had released "Cunning Stunts" in 1975. By that time keyboard player David Sinclair had left the band and was replaced by Jan Schelhaas. It is the same line-up that would record "Blind Dog at St. Dustans" a year later. Although this is not the most famous period of the band, live they were very good. And so is this live recording. It contains the obvious classics (For Richard, Love in Your Eye) and of course tracks from "Cunning Stunts" (The Show Of Our Live, The Dabsong Conshirtoe). The tracks are very long, so there is plenty of room for instrumental interplay. The sound quality of the recording is excellent, so I recommend this to every Caravan fan.
Agemo 4/5 14.04.2006 (PROGARCHIVES)

Always have and probably always will love live albums, specially archive releases,such like this one. 'Live UK' was recorded for a radio program that took place on December 5, 1975 at the Nottingham Polytechnic, following the release of their 'Cunning Stunts' long-player. Six tracks, with a duration of more than 75 minutes of really great '70's progressive. Noticed here that keyboardist Jan Schelhaas has replaced group co-founder David Sinclair. Considering that factor, this disc isn't a bad choice at all. Sound is good. Cuts I liked best were "Show Of Our Lives" and the two 17-minute plus epics "The Love In Your Eye" and "For Richard" (my personal Caravan favorite). Give it a spin.
Mike Reed 4/5 28.10.2005 (AMAZON)

Don't miss this gem!
Caravan -- what a band!!! This album is a relative rarity for some unknown reason that probably has more to do with the vagaries of the music business than with the album itself, but don't let that prevent you from enjoying it. Although this configuration of Caravan may not be considered their best by some, it's still an outstanding band that is head and shoulders above the vast majority of its contemporaries. The music on this CD just gets better and better after each play, which is typical of Caravan's music... The album contains The Show Of Our Lives (4:41), a traditional intro song of Caravan, and 5 long songs (Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss: 9:53, The Dabsong Conshirtoe: 12:30, Virgin On The Ridiculous/Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime: 14:23 (an extraordinary rendering of this Caravan classic song), Love In Your Eye: 18:22 (with special twists and turns of this other Caravan concert classic), For Richard: 16:51 (in a very good version)), which have always been Caravan's forte and give the band time to expose, expand, amend and twist the long legs of their music. What's not to love? 'Nuff said... Pull out the hammock, pour your favorite drink, relax, play this CD, and have a ball.
Viva Twain 5/5 01.05.2012 (AMAZON)

Caravan is definitely one of the great names from the Canterbury scene and as already mentioned they are still active and even celebrate their 35th anniversary in 2003. This year will also give us a new album, which is being preceded by CD (re-) releases of much of their known and unknown older material. One that fits in the latter category is a live recording for a radio broadcast as part of their 1975 UK tour. This album contains six predominantly long tracks that give a good impression of the essential Caravan. During the period of this recording Geoff Richardson was a member of the band and his viola largely dominates the performances of the classic Caravan songs on this album. Next to Geoff, who also plays flute and guitar, the line up of the band was as follows: Richard Coughlin: drums and percussion, Pye Hastings: guitar and vocals, Jan Schelhaas: keyboards and vocals and Mike Wedgwood: bass and vocals. The concert opens with the very suitable “The show of our lives” (4:42) and although I can not confirm that this is indeed THE (best) show Caravan ever gave, it certainly is a good one and the recording that is made of it is also of good quality. The opening track is a more pop and vocal oriented song that has a beautiful melody. Track 2 “Memory Lain, Hugh Headloss” (9:52) is a Caravan classic, as is track 3 “The Dabsong Conshirtoe”(12:30). Both pieces are very representative for the repertoire of this band: long epic works, with pleasant vocals, a variation of (instrumental) themes and much room for solos on guitar and keyboard and, on this performance, also on viola. Sometimes, especially on their more early works, these solos tend to become a bit freaky. “The Dabsong Conshirtoe” features up tempo parts with more heavy, rock and roll like guitar riffs as a basis for viola and keyboard solos. The third part of this piece contains a short flue part that is reminiscent of Focus. The finale of this “concerto” is also typical Caravan: a repeating (guitar) theme guides the rest of the band to a more or less bombastic eruption of sounds. In spite of these sometimes heavy parts by and large the music radiates a rather relaxing atmosphere, mainly because of the easy vocal parts with nice harmonies, as in track 4. This is a compilation of three songs, “Virgin on the ridiculous”, “Be alright” and “Chance of a lifetime” (14:23). Beautiful melodies and typical instrumental parts with long organ solos based on classical patterns (could this be Procol Harum?).The second part of this medley gives us an intro with percussion that shifts to a “driving” rhythm. It finishes easy with nice guitar and viola solos that build up as a sort of bolero. The electric piano, which we hear more on the other songs during this concert, really contribute to the relaxing atmosphere. “The love in your eye” lasts more than 18 minutes (18:22) and has the same pattern as the previous songs. A few solo parts on this song are in the vein of Camel, especially where the keyboard solos are accompanied by rhythm guitar. Especially in this song the solos tend to become freaky and might get you lose your attention; at least it does to me. But let’s not forget that this is a recording from 1975, a period in which these sort of instrumental explorations were common property in the progressive rock scene. The last track on the album “For Richard”(16:50) is announced by the band as “a more dynamic and traditional Caravan piece”, although I think it doesn’t differ much from the other pieces, apart from the fact that this one is fully instrumental. It opens quite easy, but builds up right from the start with nice percussion and much pleasant viola play. Again the typical instrumental finale with it’s repeating basic theme, this time starting with a long synthesizer solo that sounds like an organ, supported by rhythm guitar that evolves into a fuzzed guitar and organ duet. A nice closing to a good concert, which gives a good overall impression of the music of this band and the music that, was produced during the mid seventies in the Canterbury scene. Perhaps not too interesting for those that have not much knowledge and affinity with the progressive bands of the past, but certainly for those that have.
Wim Verweij 01.04.2003 (PROGVISIONS)

This vintage performance is particularly noteworthy for Caravan enthusiasts due to the unique personnel featuring an early appearance by keyboardist Jan Schelhaas, who replaced co-founder David Sinclair after the recording of Cunning Stunts (1975), but prior to the band's support tour in the fall and winter of 1975. The show contained here took place December 5th, 1975, at Nottingham Polytechnic for the expressed purpose of a radio broadcast in support of the album. As such, the set fittingly commences with a spot-on reading of the LP's opener, "The Show of Our Lives." Matching the attendees audible enthusiasm, Caravan give the mid-tempo rocker a thorough and energetic workout, despite a moment or two of questionable vocal intonations from Pye Hastings. His guitar craft, however, is nothing short of stellar. The well-defined mix on this CD accentuates his electric fretwork as he dances behind the solid rhythm section of Mike Wedgewood (bass) and Richard Coughlan (drums). Live UK Tour 1975 (2003) also includes a healthy sampling of earlier material, most notably a full-throttle throw-down on the medley of "Memory Lain, Hugh" and "Headloss," as well as the equally inspired coupling of "Be Alright Now" and "Chance Of A Lifetime," all of which were derived from the excellent For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973) studio platter. Caravan reach slightly further back for a sinuous reading of "The Love in Your Eye" from Waterloo Lily (1972), and all the way to If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You (1970) for a driving and well jammed out version of the typical Caravan show closer, "For Richard." The single CD is accompanied by an eight-page liner booklet with a biographical essay and previously unpublished photographs. While the ultimate live Caravan release remains Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (2002), both hardcore collectors and curious listeners are particularly well-served by Live UK Tour 1975.
Lindsay Planer (ALLMUSIC)