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:: King’s X - Live Love In London (Deluxe Edition)

It’s taken more than twenty years, but King’s X have finally given the fans the one thing they’ve been asking for throughout most of their career – an official live DVD! Not surprisingly, King’s X chose The Electric Ballroom in January 2009 as the perfect setting to film their live performance, given that the UK was the first place in the world to fully embrace the trio’s unique brand of rock, and where the band still retain a strong and loyal fan base. With twelve studio albums worth of material to choose from, and an energetic sold out crowd to play to, its hard not to have the expectation that ‘Live Love In London’ was going to be the definitive live King’s X release ever.

But unfortunately, as good as ‘Live Love In .London’ is, it’s not quite the perfect release I was really hoping for. Performance wise, King’s X is in pretty good form, if sounding a little flat in places. But given that the band have been playing together for more than thirty years, the odd bum note and flat vocal can be overlooked for the most part. Set list wise, no King’s X live release is ever going to please all fans, especially given the fact that the band have twelve studio releases to their name. But what’s offered here is a fairly solid nineteen track set list, with a large collection of their early classics offered up, along with some of their more recent material to keep things varied (The band’s ‘XV’ album from 2008 is well represented with four tracks on offer here).

In terms of highlights, the opening track ‘Groove Machine’ is the perfect show opener, while ‘Move’, ‘Pray’ and ‘Go Tell Somebody’ maintain the strong groove vibe that dominates the band’s sound these days. Elsewhere, the crowd completely take over on vocals for ‘Goldilox’, which is certainly something different and unexpected, while the extended thirteen minute jam of ‘Over My Head’, ‘Lost In Germany’, ‘Looking For Love’, ‘Black Flag’ and the closer ‘Moanjam’ are further efforts worthy of a special mention. Audio wise, this DVD (And the accompanying double CD that comes with this package) is perhaps a little bass heavy (which tends to give the band a bit of a muddy sound), but given that the band are primarily a bass driven band, and that this is a live recording, it’s really not that unexpected.

In a lot of ways, the fault with ‘Live Love In London’ isn’t so much with King’s X (Apart from ‘Visions’, which was perhaps should have been left on the cutting room floor), but more those involved with the filming and the post-production team. The first real problem with this DVD is the stage show lighting. They aren’t all that well placed on stage, and all that does is give the film a really dark feel. Another problem is the grainy looking film. Sometimes digital can have too much picture clarity, but this just looks too much like video. The third and final problem is the editing. The quick speed editing is more than a little irritating, and does nothing to enhance the show whatsoever.

In terms of extras, ‘Live Love In London’ is a bit of a letdown, with little more than a couple of minutes of random ‘Behind The Scenes’ footage, and ‘Fall On Me’ and ‘Everybody Knows A Little Bit Of Something’, both of which are samples of what can be expected from ‘Gretchen Goes To London: Live At The Astoria 5.6.90’. Personally, I was hoping for a little more.

The one redeeming feature in the extras is the audio commentary to keep an ear out for. Despite having never really been a real fan of audio commentary, its inclusion on this DVD is nothing short of fantastic. It’s informative, silly and downright funny, and quite possibly the biggest highlight of the whole package. Overall, ‘Live Love In London’ is a solid release, and one that King’s X fans will be pleased with, given it’s something they’ve been pleading the band to do for some time. The problem is that while it’s cool, I was kind of hoping for something just a little more visually exciting, and something that offers just a bit more than a couple of minutes of excess footage. As a huge King’s X fan, I can’t help but feel that this is a great release, but at the same time, just a little disappointing.

DVD Extras

Audio commentary
Behind-the-scenes footage