Cardiacs - The Special Garage Concerts, London, Autumn 2003, Volumes One and Two 2 x CDs
Alpha DCD 031
This is the last Cardiacs CD to be reissued and available again in the post-Cardiacs era. Somehow, Cardiacs are a band that really shine live, and this 'special concept' live album shows that once more.
This is the only album they recorded and released during their time with Kavus Torabi as a member and many of these tunes have never been heard by anyone but the most fanatical Cardiacs fan who saw them prior to 1983 (meaning, not many).
What the experts say:
"Between 17–19 October 2003, Cardiacs recorded three special concerts at the Highbury Garage venue in London. As Jon Poole was by now also the bass player for The Wildhearts, he was replaced for the concert by Kavus Torabi (formerly guitarist and singer for Monsoon Bassoon, Torabi was also a long-standing Cardiacs’ associate who'd served as their guitar technician since the mid-1990s.)
For these concerts, the band delved back into their distant past, abandoning virtually all of their available back catalogue in favour of exclusively playing songs that had been performed prior to 1983. These were taken mostly from the cassette albums (The Obvious Identity and Toy World, but also included songs such as An Ant, Hopeless, Gloomy News and Hello Mr Minnow (which had never been officially recorded before and had only ever been played at concerts in the late '70s/early '80s). A two-volume CD set of recordings from the three shows – The Special Garage Concerts Vol I and The Special Garage Concerts Vol II – was eventually released in 2005."
What the art-officials say:
"In the summer of 2003 Cardiacs were charged with the unenviable task of casting a wincey eye back. Way back to before Sarah hung up her little saxophone, before Tim Quy broke the nausea rule, before THE CONSULTANT and Miss Swift held the reins. Way, way back. For that coming October’s ‘Special Garage Concerts’, Cardiacs were expected to wipe the grime of the dusty archive from thirty-two tunes everyone had long since forgotten about. Cardiacs dutifully frittered away the waning days behind locked doors, exhuming songs from clanking, obsolete machinery and reams of faded manuscript. Music from the band’s conception in 1976 to their ‘coming of age’ in 1983 was given the dressing down THE ALPHABET BUSINESS CONCERN had always wisely insisted it deserved.
With the arrival of autumn the songs had somehow taken on a raw, definitive bent. Haphazard approximations you may have previously heard performed by wide-eyed, puny youths were given deftness, muscle and swagger by the four grizzled and worldly-wise men proudly standing their ground under the Cardiacs banner today. This nostalgic arsenal was duly recorded over three consecutive nights at London’s sizeically challenged ‘The Garage’ concert venue. Privileged witnesses described the spectacle as "one-fifth loving recreation, two-fifths exercise in futility and four-fifths sheer brute force."
Cunningly encrypted on to two Compact Discs, as never they were meant to be, Volumes One and Two are a unique testament to pure bloody mindedness and musical irrelevance.
Both volumes contain music that has never previously been recorded and re-workings of other tunes that many of the faithful claim to have ‘insider knowledge’ of. They don’t have a clue."
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