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ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Live At Roadburn

Ok, you'll probably think that I am biased with this one anyway (and I actually might be), so let's get this over with:

ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Live At Roadburn (bone coloured vinyl) (2017)

Writing about recordings of concerts I've attended is easy, in the way that I can just refer to my previous concert reviews. But that's also a little cheap.

However, before we get to the bias part where one of my favorite toy camera photographs of this year's Roadburn Festival (it was indeed the very first live picture I've shown on facebook when I was back home, because I was so proud of that particular set) landed on this record's back cover, let me give you a piece of evidence, that I surely would have ordered it anyway - and that I would be as enthusiastic about it - by fully citing the conclusive sentence of my live review:

"Thursday night was the only time I tried to put the shows I had seen into a ranking immediately afterwards in my hotel room. Esben And The Witch got the circle with the number 1 in it!"

Given that I had only known a couple of videos from my pre-festival research and the trio had to compete with strong stuff like Subrosa performing one of my favorite albums of the last years, that was - and still is - a strong claim.

But listening to this record over and over again only solidifies this notion.

Sometimes performances happen that have this magic in them, where everything falls together in the right way. Starting with the setlist which sandwiches three normally-sized tracks including the band's signature song "No Dog" between the two thirteen-minutes-plus tracks "Sylvan" and "The Jungle", everything is just perfect on here.

Even beyond the beautifully executed, raw emotion that can be felt in the music and bassist / singer Rachel Davies's mesmerzing voice, there was this vibe of sharing a special moment together in the Green Room of the 013. And that vibe truly translates onto the album.

Esben And The Witch themselves put it into the following words:

"When we heard the live recording back it felt like a fitting testament to the years we have spent together, writing, recording, travelling, sweating on stages, sitting in airport bars, sleeping in the van, lugging gear, all of it. This, in the rawest sense, is a document of where we found ourselves on a day in April, eight years after we first started out together."

I'm almost tempted to end here, even though I've written close to nothing about the kind of music EATW are actually playing. Maybe that is because I don't want to exclude anyone from a show which felt so including and connecting by throwing out genre keywords, which could potentially throw off some people.

So instead of me going on about restriction and explosion, vulnaribilty and strength, still waters and overwhelming waves... just check it out on Bandcamp!

"Live At Roadburn" is physically available on white vinyl, limited to 500 copies worldwide.

Get you're hands on this as long as you can, because it is a beauty. And I'm not talking exclusively about that live photograph, which undebiably is pretty ace.

The cover artwork is as reduced as it is clever, just showing one symbol for each song, which you can also find accordingly on the labels of the record:

I love evertything about this live album. This is pure haunting witchcraft. Let it take hold of your soul!

Highlights: Sylvan, The Jungle, No Dog

And while you're already here, why not show you the rest of my picture gallery again:

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