TWISTED ILLUSION - I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)
“You alright people? Are there any twats outside?”
It’s not exactly your standard introduction to a gig, but then TWISTED ILLUSION isn’t exactly a standard kind of band. And Matt Jones certainly isn’t your standard frontman. Happily confrontational and sharp tongues he invites heckles and seems to feed on them. If you baulk at the C-word then frankly he’s not going to be your cup of tea. But in this overly sanitised age, he is an unfiltered and unedited breath of fresh air, a counterpoint to the identikit norm.
Much of that applies to this live album too. It is a warts-and-all recording, nothing is cut, nothing has been touched up and nothing altered which gives it a kind of documentary feel rather than a showcase of the band's songs, the familiar to and fro between band and audience seemingly as important as the music itself. Which is not to say that the music is in any way lacking - it’s not, in fact the renditions of their complex prog tunes are played with pinpoint accuracy - it’s just that if you want to just relax and let the music wash over you this is not the album for you because just as you start to lose yourself into it, up pops Matt Jones again swearing liberally at whoever catches his eye.
All of this gives the album an immediacy and exhilarating - almost bootleg - feel that most, more sterile live albums lack. And, shorn of the more conceptual surroundings of the studio albums, songs like ‘Moment of Lucidity’ and ‘Apocalypse #LOL’ are able to stand on their own merit, giving them a new lease of life. And live favourite ‘Hatred is a Virtue’ is a testament to their proficiency as both musicians and songwriters.
In truth as an introduction to the band, it probably isn’t a great one. Beginners would be better advised to go and check out the albums instead. And it’s not exactly a lesson in slick professionalism; the opening two songs are beset by a lack of effects (as Jones remarks “we rely on a specific blend of ego and reverb...”) but that isn’t really what this album is about. It’s an album for the fans, the hardcore that have been there since the start. It is a sort of thank you note from the band to the completists, something to keep them going before TWISTED ILLUSION unleashes the next part of their ‘Excite The Light’ trilogy next year. And on that level, it works just perfectly. For the rest of us, ‘I Have Music, I Have Life’ serves as a fascinating snapshot of the live show of a band that are proud to stand apart from the norm.
Imitate Me: Part 1
Hatred Is A Virtue
Moment Of Lucidity
Online and Inline
Twisted Illusion are:
Matt Jones – Vocals / Guitar
Mark Wagstaff – Bass / Vocals
Matt McDade – Drums
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