This documents 2 Budgie Reading Fest gigs, and the band is in top form. The sound is solid, not perfect, but doesn’t diminish the strength of this band. My favorite Budgie LPs are the early ones, and this early 80s lineup keeps flying high by rocking hard and mixing classics w/some of their better 80s tunes. Check this out if you dig Budgie!
1997 comp with 14 live recordings from the ’80 & ’82 Readingfests. Includes ’Breadfan’, ’Napoleon Bona Part One And PartTwo’ & ’Panzer Division Destroyed!’. Double slimline jewel case. A New Millennium release.
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Alright here’s the deal. Alot of people are going to review these two show and whine about how there aren’t enough ‘old’ songs in the setlist. While it’s true that many of the 70’s-era BUDGIE tunes are omitted, this is precisely what makes this collection so awesome. By 1980, BUDGIE had evolved into a hard rockin’/New Wave of British Heavy Metal-ish monster with a new sound which blended elements of the 70’s BUDGIE sound with their more modern and straight forward rock sound as demonstrated on the “Power Supply” LP. So basically, these two shows represent a distinct ERA for BUDGIE and should be judged soley on there OWN merit and not against that of BUDGIE’s 70’s stuff. The early-80’s BUDGIE sound had changed drastically since guitarist Tony Bourge’s departure in the late-70’s. Bourge’s eventual replacement, “Big” John Thomas was a much more straight forward hard rock guitarist, although as technically able as Bourge. Just check out his interpretation of Bourge’s blistering solos on “Napoleon Bona Part One and Part Two” during the first Reading Fest show(DISC ONE). WOW!!! They’re almost BETTER than Bourge’s original solos!!! Which illustrates the point I just tried to make. These shows are awesome when viewed as a different era, although as “Napoleon” and “Breadfan” demonstrate, BUDGIE could still rip the 70’s tunes out. The highlight of the first show is probably “Panzer Division Destroyed!” which shows how metal BUDGIE had gotten by 1980. “Crime Against the World” and “Wildfire” show BUDGIE’s newer, more commercially viable hard rock sound. THe second show is also amazing featuring awesome versions of “Truth Drug” and an explosive “Panzer Division Destroyed!” The SOUND QUALITY on BOTH shows is AWESOME. Probably 9 out of 10. Just raw enough to convey the energy and vibe of the shows. There don’t seem to be any studio corrections or clean-ups which adds to the authentic feel of both shows. The crowd sounds extremely enthusiastic and BUDGIE is tight(!) and energetic, proving once and for all that they were an amazing live act. Bottom line, if you have an open mind and aren’t simply looking for a ‘Greatest Hits Live’ LP or a rehash of the “Never Turn Your Back on a Friend” LP, you will LOVE this live collection. It is NOT only for completist, as it offers(especially on the first set) a good glimpse at the large range of BUDGIE’s material(70’s and 80’s). So drink a few beers, take a few pulls off the hookah, crank it up, and enjoy an excellent live glimpse into the most underrated period of BUDGIE’s history!!!
This set captures some of the band’s Reading festival performances of 1980/1982. It focuses mainly on thier current material, of the time; so, you won’t find a lot of variety or “classic” Budgie tracks. The band’s performance is just fine, spirited and reasonably tight, but, they suffer from lack of a second guitarist (unlike much of the “Heavier than Air” collection), sounding thin much of the time. This problem is worsened by the major lack of low end; Burke’s bass is pretty much inaudible without major eqing. All in all, not very satisfying, even for Budgie fans. Try “Heavier than Air” for a better retrospective of live Budgie.