Live Three (2003...b) [Coil...CD]

01 Anarcadia: All Horned Animals
02 Amethyst Deceivers
03 Slur
04 A Cold Cell
05 Broccoli
06 Paranoid Inlay
07 Sick Mirrors (Version)
08 A.Y.O.R.
09 Backwards


Recorded in Bologna, April 6, 2002.
Also issued in the Live Box.


This documents a Spring 2002 show performed in Bologna. It was an interesting period for Coil performances, as Thighpaulsandra temporarily left the line-up to tour with Spiritualized. To make up for his noticeable absence, Peter and John enlisted Mike York and Cliff Stapleton to fill in with hurdy-gurdy and Breton pipes. This new, exotic instrumentation adds an unstable, organic element to the performance that works well with the setlist chosen for these shows. The disc opens with the ritualized workout of "Anarcadia: All Horned Animals." If you've heard The Remote Viewer EP, these ethnic-inflected drones will sound very familiar, not entirely dissimilar from Taj Mahal Travellers or The Magic Carpathians at their most psychedelic. "Amethyst Deceivers" is here again, one of four slightly variant versions available in the box set. The classic track "Slur" from Horse Rotorvator is given a faithful rendition, but Balance's voice is not quite equal to the job of singing this one, and Marc Almond's backing vocals are sorely missed. Balance dedicates "A Cold Cell" to all the prisoners of the world, as well as those "in prisons of their own making." It's always been a haunting song, and the live version enhances its lonely, melancholic atmosphere. Track six is an accomplished recreation of "Paranoid Inlay" from Musick To Play in the Dark 2, even though the tracklisting on the back of the digipack omits it completely. "Sick Mirrors (Version)" is a meditation on the concept of remote viewing utilizing dense Middle Eastern melodies. The song seamlessly segues into a frighteningly intense version of "A.Y.O.R.," the second of three songs in this set that may have been destined for Coil's long-promised-but-never-delivered Nothing Records album, now referred to as The World Ended a Long Time Ago. "Backwards" ends the set, a joyous psychosexual EBM bacchanalia, with Balance uttering some of his most transgressive lyrics: "Fuck me in reverse/Normal is perverse/Everything's backwards." This disc would be perfect were it not for a rather nagging problem with the mixing, which seems to favor Balance's vocals and pushes much of the music into a muddy, nebulous background. Even with the technical difficulties, Live Three is an essential chronicle of one of Coil's most inspired shows. - Jonathan Dean

Coil's Live Three is a show from Bologna, in 2002. At the time, Thighpaulsandra was on leave from Coil, touring with Spiritualized. In his place, John Balance, Peter Christopherson and Ossian Brown brought in Mike York and Cliff Stapleton. York's Hurdy Gurdy and Stapleton's Breton Pipes bring a wonderful new element to Coil's sound, a subtle feeling that everything is slightly unstable or askew. This time, three otherwise unavailable tracks appear, making this album essential for fans. "Anarcadia: All Horned Animals" is a ritual invocation to the muse, a dark-ambient beginning to the show, similar to the "Zwolf" EP by Coil's alter-ego ELpH. "Sick Mirrors (Version)" is a tribal percussion piece with Middle Eastern melodies and Balance's signature spoken-sung vocals. "Backwards, " the title track to the lost album that was to appear on Trent Reznor's nothing label, is a great groover, with a bouncing bassline and an absolutely ranting Balance in full-command of the stage. Of the unreleased tracks on all four live tracks, this is the best. Definitely worth picking up for both casual and hardcore fans. - James Mason...From Allmusic

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we miss you Jhonn...