Uriah Heep – “Live At Koko” 2CD / DVD (Frontiers Music)
One of the big 4 hard rock bands in the 1970s along with Zepp, Sabbath and Purple, Uriah Heep’s brand of English prog hard rock has sold in excess of 30 millions albums worldwide. Although growing less commercially appealing in the 1980s compared to their peers, Heep’s cult status instead grew, where the band have maintained a strong fan base that sees them constantly tour in the world, playing hits from the 70s and 80s, such as ‘The Wizard’, ‘Free ‘n Easy’ and their monster hits ‘Easy Livin’, ‘July Morning’ and ‘Lady In Black’, in addition to putting out albums to this day. With founder guitarist Mick Box still at the helm of a ship that has changed so many crews over time it’s not worth bearing on, the main point is that Box has never let his band slip in over 4 decades. Following the release of the band’s last release “Into The Wild” in 2011, Uriah Heep embarked on a monster world tour playing to nearly 150,000 people in 58 different countries. The culmination was in London in front of their home audience, performing an exclusive show that was recorded in HD for a release in double CD/DVD and, for the first time, on Blu-ray. Totaling some 18 tracks the production is nothing short of technical perfection, allowing 30 year veterans Bernie Shaw and Phil Lanzon to shine prominently in the mix with their vocals and 70s hammond organ respectively. Despite being the sole original member, Box’s guitar is never tempted to hog the limelight, being ‘very ‘eavy…(yet) very ‘umble’ in providing an unmistakeable backbone to the band along with his shining breaks and solos – true rock stardom if I ever saw it mate. This 2CD / DVD goes well beyond a live best hits compilation of those long standing aforementioned hits, but more importantly captures the sight and sound of an era in British hard rock that few are still preaching, let alone practicing.