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Riveting live album, plus bonus disc of 1978 concert

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The live album was mandatory in the ’70s and early ’80s – proving, despite punk’s rewriting of the rules, that you could hack it onstage and weren’t just relying on studio trickery. Magazine hold up competently, though the mix of their 1980 concert at Melbourne Festival Hall adds an inadvertent sense of dubby, post-punk space.

The juxtaposition of ultra-futurist Howard Devoto – a fugitive from a Roswell autopsy – and Dave Formula’s anachronistic Hammond organ place them on a very 1980 cusp, as does their ice-age obsession (“Permafrost”) and visionary eclecticism, covering Sly Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”.

DAVID STUBBS

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