"You got to tell the children the truth, they don't need a whole lot of lies, 'cause one of these days, they'll be running things"
2000 - 2009 releases
LIVE IN OTTAWA
Released 2001 (Dagger Records) - Mail order only
Killing Floor/Tax Free/Fire/Red House/Foxy Lady/Hey Joe/Spanish Castle Magic/Purple Haze/Wild Thing (incomplete)
This time Dagger Records take us to a Canadien performance (March 19, 1968 - second show) recorded just five days after the Clark University gig already featured on a Dagger release. These very good quality soundboard tapes have circulated for years on bootlegs albums such as the aptly titled "Magic Fingers"(which sounded a bit speeded up).
This is a great show with The Experience in good spirits and playing well. There is a lot of tape hiss but the sound is nice and raw with Jimi's guitar right in your face. The mood is similar to that on "Stages 68" (Paris Olympia) finding Jimi bubbling with energy and humour, his playing rich with inventivity, despite the usual equipment hang-ups. At one stage Jimi treats us to his impersonation of Bill Cosby (he was in the audience that night). "Hey Joe" features the band's "1948 re-arrangement". The totally wild version of "Purple Haze" had appeared previously on the officially approved Univibes release "Calling Long Distance" released in the nineties. "Wild Thing" unfortunately cuts out early as the tape ran out (they should have left it off). Great version of "Tax Free" in there.
A helluva good JHE live album, this was nominated for a Grammy in the best "archive release" categorie! I kid you not.
> Note that this CD runs a little to fast! To compare, see the "Purple Haze" that was on the Univibes CD "Calling Long Distance" which was at the correct speed. Hopefully Experience will correct this error on day.
I don't think the photo of Jimi is from 1968. I beleive he only started wearing headbands like that in 1969. That aside, the montage is great and the typo neat, making this a tasteful cover - 9/10
> All the Dagger Records releases
Higher generation source!
Since this Dagger release, a higher generation source turned up in collector's circles. It features a more balanced sound and Mitch's drums come across more clearly.
Excepts from the first show released on Dagger Records' "Live 68 - Paris/Ottawa" - see further down
LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT - BLUE WILD ANGEL
Released 2002 (MCA)
CD 1 God Save The Queen, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Lennon/McCartney), Spanish Castle Magic, All Along The Watchtower (Dylan), Machine Gun, Lover Man, Freedom, Red House, Dolly Dagger, Midnight Lighting
CD 2 Foxy Lady, Message to Love, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Ezy Ryder, Hey Joe (Roberts), Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), In From The Storm
SINGLE CD VERSION ("Highlights") - God Save The Queen, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Spanish Castle Magic, All Along The Watchtower, Machine Gun, Lover Man, Freedom, Red House, Dolly Dagger, Hey Baby (new Rising Sun), In From The Storm)
This time we get the whole of Jimi's depressing set at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. Some tracks were previously released on "Isle Of Wight" (in 1971) and "Isle Of Wight 70" (in 1988). I'll say it again, a high fidelity recording of a bad gig.
Jimi just didn't want to do this tour but his management insisted. He would have prefered to be back in New York working on his up-coming album, in his brand new Electric Lady Studios (the opening party of which had taken place shortly before). Jimi, Billy and Mitch hadn't played a gig since Mauii, Hawaii a month earlier and they had to play this festival without even having had the time to rehearse.
Due to his confused state of mind coupled with his drug problems, Jimi was in a shocking state here. A couple of days earlier his old girlfriend Kathy Etchingham found him terribly ill in a London hotel (with cold turkey symptoms). Before the Isle of Wight appearance, Jimi was said to have passed out in a garden somewhere, so he eventually came on at something like two o'clock in the morning, in front of a cold and exhausted audience. To top it all, the P.A. was a mess, with the security walkie-talkies and radio emissions leaking through the amps. Jimi just struggles through the set and this is a gruelling listening experience. There are one or two interesting moments when, through the torment and exhaustion, we get flashes of his usual genius. "Machine Gun" has its moments, "Red House" too, but overall, one finds oneself wincing as Jimi fumbles his intros, rhythms and solos, his vocals sounding tired and strained. In the film we see that he threw his guitar down in disgust and fatigue as he left the stage. Under such difficult circumstances, it is amazing that he did deliver such a long set. He must have felt that he owed a lot the British audiences having played only three concerts* on the islands since the glorious days of 1967. So his efforts, against all odds, are to be applauded even if the concert was not rewarding.
With a host of great recordings in their vaults, from all stages of Jimi's success, it was a pity that at this stage, Experience Hendrix wasted time with this lacklustre set which doesn't do anything for Jimi's reputation. Live footage of the show also existed of course, enabling them to put out a video at the same time (a standard proceedure with just about every live release). Astucious marketing wins over good taste.
See also DVD
*The three UK appearances of 1968, prior to Isle Of Wight were: Woburn Pop Festival July 6, 1968 and the two Royal Albert Hall, London shows (18 & 24 February 1969 ). The Woburn show finally appeared on Dagger Records in 2009.
A nice passionate shot of Jimi at the gig. I never understood the "Blue Wild Angel" title but fellow Hendrix fan Andrew from Glasgow informs me that on the DVD, Jeff Dexter (the M.C. at the festival) asks Jimi how he wants to be introduced and Jimi answers "Blue Wild Angels" ! - 8/10
THE 1970 EUROPEAN TOUR
This festival performance was the first of seven 1970 european performances. After this Isle Of Wight performance in the early hours of the 31st of August, he played later the same day (!) in Tivoli Gardens, Stockholm and played better. Things picked up the next night in Gothenburg, Sweden but on September 2nd at Aarhus, he abandonned the concert after just two songs (an ugly reminder of the Madison Square Gardens incident of the previous January). Miraculously, he came back for a terrific performance at Copenhagen, only to slump the following night with a dreary performance in Berlin. His last concert at Fehmarn Island Germany showed more promise as he was perhaps finally coming into his stride after he had got over the shock of being plunged into a tour that he simply wasn't prepared for.
PARIS 1967 / SAN FRANCISCO 1968
Released 2003 (Dagger records) - Mail order only
Stone Free , Hey Joe , Fire , Rock Me Baby , Red House , Purple Haze , Wild Thing
Live At The Olympia Theater, Paris, France, October 9, 1967
Killing Floor , Red House , Catfish Blues , Dear Mr. Fantasy (Part 1) , Dear Mr. Fantasy (Part 2) (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) , Purple Haze
Live At The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA. February 4, 1968 [Second Show]
A nice surprise from Dagger Records with these fantastic soundboard recordings of The Experience on fine form.
The Paris 67 recordings are superb, the atmosphere being similar to the 1968 show of three months later (already released as "Stages 68") with Jimi in very good humour, cracking jokes, chatting to the audience and generally having a ball. Noel also chips in with humourous comments and he dedicates "Catfish Blues" to "the Faces", meaning The Small Faces who were in the audience with P.P. Arnold and Mama Cass ("P.P. Cass & The Small Arnolds" as he calls them at one point).
Two numbers from this 1967 gig were included on the 2000 box set:"The Wind Cries Mary" and "Catfish Blues" which faded out due to sound problems, spoiling the recording on the night. "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" and "Foxy Lady" suffered the same fate and are also absent here. Those losses are more than compensated by another great "Rock Me Baby" (the only other live one released being from Monterey) and more importantly "Stone Free" (the only early Experience concert recording of the song released to date !). "Red House" was previously on "Live & Unreleased"/"Lifelines".
For the Fillmore gig Jimi apologises that the band don't have their own PA, but the sound captured on tape is just great and he is bubbling with musical ideas even though the performance is rather laclustre and plodding in parts. Jimi does sound tired out as he speaks over the microphone and even the audience seem half asleep. Incredibly, Mitch Mitchell leaves the drum seat to Buddy Miles who sits in for an instrumental cover of Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (Buddy Miles Express were support band to The Experience around this time). So Jimi, Buddy and Noel take off for a fascinating free-form jam (which is unfortunately cut in half as the tape had to be changed in the middle !). A precious document. Tape length apparently also posed a problem for "Purple Haze", which cuts out just before the final crunch.
Advice: if you have already bought "Blue Wild Angel", sell it and buy this.
Bravo Dagger !
> You can see Jimi performing "Wild Thing" at this Olympia show on the "Experience" video - see Film section
> The unfortunate "Foxy Lady" from the Olympia concert can be heard on the bootleg "Je vous aime beaucoup".
> The Paris tracks turned up in 2009 on coloured vinyl as part of a re-release luxury pack of "Live 1968: Paris/Ottawa" (see further down).
A nice treatment for this graphically pure design. A good complete package too - 8/10
You can listen to this gig on-line at Wolfgang's Vault
> All the Dagger Records releases
LIVE AT BERKELEY (2nd show)
Released 2003 (MCA)
Introduction, Pass It On (Straight Ahead), Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Lover Man, Stone Free, Hey Joe, I Don't Live Today, Machine Gun, Foxy Lady, Star Spangled Banner, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Ever since "Hendrix In The West", we had been waiting for a more complete representation of the Berkeley shows and the arrival of this album was very exciting. I would have preferred to see a single CD compiling the best of both shows but it is histroically interesting to hear a complete show even if not every song hits the mark.
On the 1970 tours, Jimi introduced many new songs that he was in the process of putting together in the studio. In the liner notes, Mitch points out that the band used the stage to develop new songs, Jimi by then enjoying a looser approach to performing (which perhaps perplexed his audiences and still troubles some listeners today). Here, we witness Jimi's sketchy lyrics to "Pass it On", a song which only a few weeks later took form to became "Straight Ahead" (check "Atlanta 70" from "Stages"). At this stage, the song is a little confused and uncertain. It's followed by a nice little "Hey Baby" which segues into a fabulous "Lover Man" (the best ever version). "Machine Gun" is good, but doesn't match the definitive Filmore Band Of Gypsys version.
Jimi puts in a bunch of classic Experience crowd pleasers here but they do sound a little hurried and lack passion. "Hey Joe" is marred by sound problems (walkie -talkie interference like at the Isle Of Wight Festival), his vocals drop out at one point on "Foxy Lady" and he forgets the words when he comes back in (he certainly wouldn't have released a lot of this stuff). Interestingly, during "Voodoo Child", he raps a few lines from another embyonic song "Keep On Grooving" which he eventually incorporated into "Midnight Lighting". Again, it doesn't come off all that well. So all in all it's a up and down ride, punctuated as usual by some stunning guitar playing. The sound is amazing with Jimi finding a unique tone for these performances and Mitch's drum fill the space beautifully.
Interesting that the cover (inspired from a bill poster at the time ?) announces "The Jimi Hendrix Experience", even though Jimi had theoretically abandoned that group name since June 1969. Jimi's manager, Michael Jeffrey knew that the crowd pulling name was The Experience and he communicated that to the promoters, he wanted to kill all confusion that might relate to the Band Of Gypsys fiasco. Jeffrey had really wanted Noel out out there aswell for this tour and he had even set up a Rolling Stone interview (in early 1970) with Jimi, Mitch and Noel, to announce a reformation but Jimi finally retained Billy Cox for his 1970 work. In an another 1970 interview Jimi had in fact evoked the possibility of keeping the Experience name, but I beleive he was calling the band The Cry Of Love on the last tour. Whatever, it is strange and confusing that the Hendrix Estate retain the original group name for this release, thus breaking a discographic tradition. For us all, The Jimi Hendrix Experience will forever be: Jimi, Mitch and Noel.
The rather scrappy film "Jimi Plays Berkeley" was cleaned up for DVD re-release (a lousy film but some footage is essential) and also featured these audio tracks as a bonus ! See DVD.
> 2012 The re-release on Blue-ray and DVD release features 15 minutes of previously unseen concert and documentary footage.
The album is also getting re-released on CD and 200g vinyl (the Legacy vinyl is apparently far superior to the previous MCA vinyl version).
Previously released tracks:
"Lover Man" - previously on "In The West"
"Machine Gun" - previously on "Johnny B. Goode" Video Soundtrack album,
"Stone Free" - previously on "Band Of Gypsys 2"
"Hey Joe" - previously on "Jimi Hendrix Concerts"
"Hey Baby" - previously on a rare Japanese pressing of "Band Of Gypsys 2".
"I Don't Live Today" - previously on "Sacred Sorces I - Live Forever"
I'm not that keen on the bill poster approach here. Looks like a wrestling contest. Something richer would have been more appropriate. - 4/10
THE FIRST SHOW
With this second show released, all we can ask is ... what about the first show ? Well unfortunately Jimi had tuning problems on various numbers and this must be why Experience Hendrix didn't go with it for a stand alone album. However, virtually all of the first show has been made available on various releases:
Fire - Live Forever (Sacred Sources 1)
Johnny B. Goode - Hendrix In The West, Singles Album, MCA purple box etc...
Hear My Train A Comin' - Rainbow Bridge, Blues,...
Freedom - Jimi Plays Berkeley VHS free mini-CD
Red House - Variation On A Theme: Red House, Jimi Plays Berkeley VHS free mini-CD, West Coast Seattle Boy.
Message To Love - Live Forever (Sacred Sources 1)
Ezy Ryder - Band Of Gypsys 2, Jimi Plays Berkeley VHS free mini-CD
Purple Haze : Jimi Hendrix (Film Soundtrack) (vinyl only)
The Star Spangled Banner - complete in the film Jimi Plays Berkeley
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - edited down on the DVD Jimi Plays Berkeley)
...no trace of Foxy Lady or Machine Gun officially.
Note that the unofficial but widely distributed label Radioactive Records - see Unofficial Releases section.
LIVE AT THE ISLE OF FEHMARN
Release date December 13, 2005 (Dagger records) - Mail order only
Killing Floor, Spanish Castle Magic, All Along The Watchtower, Hey Joe, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Message To Love, Foxey Lady, Red House, Ezy Ryder, Freedom, Room Full Of Mirrors, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Here come Dagger again with this very historic concert. Jimi's very last* on September 6, 1970 during the Love & Peace Festival held on the Isle Of Fehmarn in Germany. Again, the posters at the time said "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and the Hendrix Estate perpetuate that annoyingly, attributing this CD to that group. This is of course Jimi, Mitch and Billy!
Recordings of this concert have circulated among collectors for many, many years. Dagger claim that this is a newly discovered tape that was until recently in the possession of the promoters. It is not soundboard unfortunately but from two michrophones that were suspended above the stage. Dagger do state that the quality of their release is similar to their previous Oakland Colisem CD, but this a little better I feel, even if the vocals are slightly diminished. Note however that the beginning of "Purple Haze" is missing here.
This final European tour, which Jimi didn't want to do, was pretty catastrophic. It began with the disappointing Isle Of Wight show and continued through some good bad and ugly (Aarhus) concerts to Fehmarn Island in Germany, where the tour was abandoned as Billy Cox became ill (he does look troubled in the booklet photos). The performance at Fehmarn is among the best of the short tour as Jimi was perhaps coming into his stride, his playing precise and more enthusiasatic. Copenhagen is considered to be the best performance of the tour (unfortunately it was professionally recorded).
As he takes the at Fehmarn stage, he is jeered at by some irate bikers but carries on regardless, responding to them with "Killing Floor", which he had recently re-introduced into his set-list at Gothenberg five days earlier (he hadn't performed the song since early 1969). The set continues in good fashion through sun, rain and fighting in the audience. Towards the end, you feel that Jimi is hurrying things along a little. At the close of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" after singing "If I don't see you no more in this world..." the wild man of rock rears his head for the very last time for a flashy teeth picked guitar climax. Goodbye Jimi.
*After this last gig Jimi did briefly appear as a guest at a gig by Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London , on September 16 only two days before his death. He only jammed loosley on "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road". The following night he was supposed to accompany Mitch to a jam with Sly Stone but uncharacteristically he didn't turn up. Eric Clapton also planned to meet Jimi to give him a left handed Stratocaster that he had bought for him.
The speed error
Confirming the observations made by certain specialistes, Dagger and Experience Hendrix admitted that the early copies of the CD were mastered too fast ! Some sort of error in the transfering. They rapidly corrected the error and sleeveless replacement copies were sent out to those who received the early pressings (future collector's items ?).
A very bootleg-like approach, very much like The Who's classic "Live At Leeds" but compensated by a nice booklet as usual (within the Didgipack), the cover of which is a moving portrait of a jovial Hendrix reclining in the grass at Fehmarn Island. - 1/10
I in fact prefer the audience recording of the concert (which has been widely available in shops for the last year as a bonus on the unofficial Burning Airlines release "LA Forum - 26th April 1969"). That recording, despite the interference of wind and rain, features much clearer vocals and guitar from Jimi, so his emotions come over much better.
Even better is the three source "merge" version, circulating among collectors as "Away From This Rainy Cloud" (ATM). It creates a stereo effect and all instruments and vocals come across well.
> All the Dagger Records releases
Included in the book "An Illustrated Experience) - September 11, 2007
Interview, Fire, Red House, Foxy Lady, Interview - Clark University, March 1968
Keep On Grrovin' - Record Plant, November 1969
This CD is included in the new book from Experience Hendrix "An Illustrated Experience". Nothing new however, the Clark University recordings and interviews are already available from Dagger Records as is the Record Plant jam (on "Morning Symphany Ideas").
> Read this Univibes review of the book and CD
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE LIVE AT MONTEREY
Release date October 16, 2007 (Universal)
Killing Floor (Burnett), Foxy Lady, Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan), Rock Me Baby (King/arr. Hendrix), Hey Joe (Roberts), Can You See Me, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Wild Thing (Chip Taylor)
After all the rumours that Albert Hall 69 was set to be the next official release from Experience Hendrix (see below), the estate opted for an update of the classic show that slew the States. We have already had some tracks remixed by Eddie Kramer which were included on the MCA 2000 box set and the "Voodoo Chile" compilation. So now, with the whole show, how does this new edition compare to the previous editions ? I compared it to the old releases and it went something like this :
1. "Historic Performances…" (Experience/Otis Redding) vinyl on Reprise - fantastic sound, drums very clear and crisp but perhaps too much stereo separation.
2. "Jimi Plays Monterey" vinyl and CD - a more central mix, Jimi's voice stronger but Mich's drums a bit duller than the previous.
3. MCA 20004 CD Box - Clearer drums this time though still not as sharp as the Reprise vinyl !
The new edition does have nice crisp sound, especially as far as the drums are concerned and almost as good as the old Reprise vinyl extracts. On "Jimi Plays Monterey", Alan Douglas had enhanced Jimi's voice which gave impact and presence to the recording but here the mix is normal with his voice a little back but more part of the whole.
This time we hear the master of ceremonies introduce Brian Jones to the stage for his own announcement and the inter-song chat from Jimi is now complete (edited down on "Jimi Plays Monterey").
Although this new release might be an anti-climax to veteran fans, it's great news that this explosive show is again widely available after such a long absence* and even better news is a the new DVD of the show ! - See DVD section.
*This set had been available in 2004 on the unofficial release "No More A Rolling Stone" from Purple Haze Records and in a bizarre jumbled form from ITM Media in 1992. The show is also in the "Monterey International Pop Festival " 4 CD box set on Rhino/Essential Records. My Monterey summary
What a fantastic cover photo. I discovered this side angled shot of the guitar sacrifice last year and fell in love with it straight away. Nice typography also. The interior and 24 page booklet of this and the DVD are very nicely done. Here are a few pages - 10/10
Check this site for more details www.hendrixatmonterey.com
LIVE 1968 - Paris/Ottawa
Release date September 5, 2008 (Dagger Records)
L'OLYMPIA THEATRE IN PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 29, 1968
Killing Floor, Catfish Blues, Foxy Lady, Red House, Drivin' South, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, Little Wing, Purple Haze
CAPITOL THEATRE, OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA - MARCH 19, 1968 [1st SHOW]
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fire, Purple Haze
At last a new Dagger Records release ! This is a great CD but we have already had most of it before ! Yes, that Olympia show is the same one that was in the "Stages" box set. That was of course an expensive purchase at the time so the recording was not that accessible. However, since the 90s, that recording has been in the shops many many times on unofficial labels (see list below) so its release on Dagger, which usually supplies us with genuine rarities and previously unheard of recordings, is rather surprising and very disappointing.
Those who do not already possess the show are in for a real treat however. The concert was recorded in early 1968 at the famous Paris Olympia Theatre where we find the Experience riding on a crest of a wave. The band are in such good humour on this clear mono recording, which captures the excitement of the European concerts of the epoch. It's a delight to hear Jimi in such a playful mood. Interesting that on "Red House" , Noel plays his bass parts on a six string guitar (borrowed off Kieth Richards backstage) just like on the original studio version (that track had appeared a year earlier on "Lifelines"). There is a rare live performance of "Drivin' South" also, which ends dramatically as Jimi creates the sound of a car screaming towards us. A great little show and what a set list !
The real event on this CD is the addition of three songs from the first set at Ottawa in 1968 (Dagger have of course already put out the second set, see further up). Extracts of the songs can be heard on the Authentic Hendrix site and they sound great. Only three songs however. Does this mean that this is all there is ? Here is the setlist for the first show (according to Ben Valkhoff's book "Eyewitness": Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fire, Foxy Lady, Red House, I Don't Live Today, Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary . Tony Brown's "Concert Files" does not mention the last two tracks there.
On Ebay recently, an ex Electric Lady Studios engineer offered for sale some copy tapes that he had made in 1975. The tapes had been authentified by Experience Hendrix who where following the sale, to make sure that the tapes remain simply collectors items. Exerpts of the recordings were on-line and they revealed that the content was essentially work-in-progress studio tracks, very similar to all the material now circulating as bootlegs. However, one track caught my ear. It was a version of "Little Wing" that has never surfaced in any form before. It sounded to me like a studio rehearsal at first. I informed the seller, who promptly withdrew the track from the sale in respect to his obligations to the Hendrix Estate. He was informed by John McDermott that the song in question was from the first show at Ottawa ! "Little Wing" has never been mentioned in archived set lists as being played during the first show. If that is the case, why isn't the track on this CD ? Is the song incomplete ? Does Jimi mess it up ? Perhaps this product was already in fabrication before they had the time to insert the song. Maybe one day the track will resurface and the mystery will be solved.
All in all, this will be a very good CD but let's hope that in future, Experience Handrix will feed us with much rarer recordings rather than use Dagger as an outlet for re-releases ("Jimi By Himself", "Stages 67", etc.,…).
Paris Olympia 68 previously on "Stages 68" and the following unofficial releases:
- "Astro Man" (Burning Airlines)
- "Live At Paris Olympia" (Radioactive)
- "Axis Bolder Than Love" (Purple Haze)
- "Live & Unleashed" (Rock Of Ages Export)
Is that Jimi at Ottawa ? It's a very nice cover in any case - 8/10
This album was re-released on Dagger Records in 2009 as a luxury package with a T-shirt, poster, badges etc, plus a coloured vinyl pressing of the tracks from the Paris 67 show which had already appeared on the "Paris 1967/San Francisco 1968" Dagger release of 2003.
LIVE AT WOBURN
Release date JULY 2009 (Dagger Records)
Introduction, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (cut), Fire, Tax Free (cut), Red House, Foxy Lady, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Purple Haze
What a pleasant surprise it was to find this CD announced for release. Hendrix fans around the planet have been holding their breath in anticipation of the official release of the entire Albert Hall 69 concert and up pops this legendary, previously uncirculated concert recording. For decades, this was known to be in the possession of master Hendrix archivist and writer Caesar Glebeek, who held on to the tape, waiting to share it with us all when the copyright claim would expire (50 years after the artist's death). Then came the announcement that the tape had been sold at Christies to an unknown buyer. I had the impression that it was not Experience Hendrix but finally, here it is on Dagger. Many thanks to them for getting this to us so rapidly.
Through 1966 and 1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at around 165 British venues. From then on, Mike Jeffrey maintained bookings in the United States and its more lucrative stadium venues. This performance was important back in 1968 as it was the band's only UK date of that year. The following UK concerts were to be the February 1969 gigs at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
So here we are at one of the earliest rock festivals in Britain on July 6, 1968, the Woburn Music Festival in Bedfordshire, England. Also on the bill during the two day festival were John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner, Geno Washington, Pentangle, Roy Harper, and the man who inspired Jimi to play "Hey Joe" back in 1966, Tim Rose ! The Experience were top of the bill for the Saturday evening show in front of 14,000 people. This came right in the middle of a "holiday period" for the band (as far as concerts were concerned). They had wound up their last tour with a gig at the Zurich Beat Monster Festival at the end of May and would not return to the gig circuit proper until the end of July. So this festival appearance does catch them a little out of their stride.
The performance was not professionally recorded but it is very good quality soundboard, despite the presence of a few technical glitches and buzzings at the beginning. Jimi and Noels' vocals are very clear and the guitars come over well. Only Mitch's cymbols lack sparkle. As was often the case with hastily prepared festival set-ups, the sound system sounds pretty disastrous at the beginning of the set. Jimi and Noel apologise for the technical hang-ups all the way through. Unfortunately, after famous D.J. Emperor Roscoe's introduction,"Sgt. Peppers" cuts in only 30 seconds from the end as the tape recorder was a little late in starting. "Fire" has a wonderfully furious beginning as if Jimi is forcibly challenging the dodgy P.A. system. To drown out the buzzing, he improvises heavily over the usual opening riffs. Great stuff.
"Tax Free" has some very nice wah-wah explorations from Jimi but the end of the song is missing. "Red House" is pretty unspectacular but interesting as always. At one point, Jimi slows it right down and settles into improvisation as if he were alone or in a small club. He gets very laid back until he brings it back for a rather hurried end."Foxy Lady" is on automatic pilot but with some great soloing before"Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" chugs in rather hesitantly. This was a new addition to the set of course and the band don't seem to have it fully nailed down. Jimi seems to have tuning problems and the sound gets pretty muddy. Finally"Purple Haze" has a nice long feedback introduction, continues through the rough sounding P.A. and finishes with a very long tooth-picked solo, which was obviously a visual treat but doesn't satisfy on record.
So, not a "great" performance but a welcome addition to any hard-core fan's collection.
A pretty simple patchwork of photos of Jimi performng at the concert. - 7/10
> This comes in a simple jewel box with a standard black inner tray, so no nice see through graphics as with previous Daggers (credit crunch logic ?). A 12 page booklet which thanks Caesar Glebeek for his help and research.
> To Live releases 2010 +
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