Luna : Live!

Ex-Galaxie 500 types offer self-explanatory live set

Too often a contractual obligation, it’s a brave band that submits to the live album. So you have to admire Luna’s nerve in subjecting themselves to the ordeal. Because, after almost ten years in obscurity, you suspect they were glad to find anyone had turned up to the concerts at all.

Recorded at three shows in Washington DC and New York, Luna (singer Dean Wareham’s post-Galaxie 500 bolt hole) were never the most demonstrative

of bands. Amazingly, here

stripped of all studio extras, they’re less flashy than ever.

Simplicity obviously works to their advantage. True, with all unnecessary distractions gone you’re painfully aware of Wareham’s stretching for the

high notes, but from the leathery creak of ‘Bewitched’, to the arch pop of ‘Moon Palace’ via the rollicking fuzz of ’23 Minutes In Brussels’ it hardly seems to matter. Especially as the simple approach also leaves centre stage for Wareham’s sly tales of debauched mischief-making. Obsessed with black-clad New York cool, this is a must-have curio for the fans. For everyone else it’s a timely catch-up history lesson.

Jim Alexander