Highly cherished and widely respected prog-rockers Mostly Autumn parted company with original female vocalist Heather Findlay on 2nd April last year after an announcement to that effect a few weeks previously. And 2nd April would be the occasion of her last ever show with her long-term band mates at The Assembly in Leamington Spa. That momentous occasion in the history of Mostly Autumn has been captured on a double disc set which contains a plethora of the band's classic tunes, both old and new. I've always been a little ambivalent to the opinion-slitting beast that is the live CD - sometimes it can offer a great introduction to a band's repertoire if discovering their music for the first time but, at other times, there's an element of cashing-in on an established fan-base that will purchase anything their favourite act releases and a live CD can be a quick hit of income. I would argue the former is undoubtedly true here for newcomers to Mostly Autumn's music as the wide array of material from their canon of work is a fine representation of what they have to offer. For established fans, there is no element of cashing in at all - rather this is a fitting and poignant farewell to Heather as well an important and pivotal moment of time in the band's history that Mostly Autumn aficionados owe it to themselves to own. And beyond just mere adoration, nostalgia and sentimentality, 'That Night in Leamington' is one of the best sounding, well compiled live releases I've ever had the pleasure of hearing - an apposite, aurally stimulated memory for "That Night" and of a closing chapter for the band. Knowing that this was the final time Heather will most likely sing these songs with her former band buddies adds extra emotion to songs that are already filled with affectively moving parts - particularly 'Carpe Diem' which opens the second disc, a song I've always found to make the hairs rise on the back of my neck anyway. This is emotionally stirring stuff and the inclusion of 'A Farewell From Heather' at the climax of the recording is a nice touch as she addresses the crowd at the end of the show with a touching eulogy to both her fellow musicians and fans. 'That Night in Leamington' is nothing short of awesome and I reiterate - this is, quite simply, one of the best live albums released by any band ever. Buy this now!
Mostly Autumn Records
THAT NIGHT IN LEAMINGTON
Review by Mark Holmes
62:04 & 78:34
18th April 2011
DISC ONE: 1) Fading Colours; 2) Caught in a Fold; 3) Flowers for Guns; 4) Unoriginal Sin; 5) The Spirit of Autumn Past (Part II); 6) Simple Ways; 7) The Last Bright Light; 8) Passengers; 9) Shrinking Violet
DISC TWO: 1) Carpe Diem; 2) Winter Mountain; 3) The Dark Before the Dawn; 4) Answer the Question; 5) Nowhere to Hide; 6) Half the Mountain; 7) Mother Nature; 8) Above the Blue; 9) Heroes Never Die; 10) Evergreen; 11) A Farewell from Heather
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a fitting and poignant farewell to Heather as well an important and pivotal moment of time in the band's history that Mostly Autumn aficionados owe it to themselves to own."