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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Renaldo and the Loaf - Long Time Coming [Klanggalerie - 2018]

Now here’s something you don’t often get- a punchy, varied, well-recorded & wholly enjoyable live record. Long Time Coming sonically chronicles the first every concert from British avant pop two-piece Renaldo & The Loaf, that happened last year in Vienna. The CD brings together the bands complete live set of fourteen tracks- it works perfectly as both a primer/ celebration of this band's fairly unique sound, as well as a effective flowing album- live or otherwise!.

Renaldo and the Loaf started their sonic life on the south coast of UK in the naval city of Portsmouth in 1979- bringing together Renaldo Malpractice (aka Brian Poole) & Ted the Loaf (aka David Janssen). The pair brew-up a bizarre, surreal & fairly distinctive blend of avant-grade pop, wonky (off) world music, and general sonic quirkiness. The projects initially run was between the years 1979 & 1988, then they regrouped again in 2006- going on in 2016 to release their extremely worthy come-back album Gurdy Hurding (also on Klanggalerie).

The CD is presented in a glossy fold-out six panel mini gatefold- which takes in a selection of shots from the bands live performance and a short write up about how/when the concert happened. All making for a fairly sparse, but effective bit of packaging. 

The album nicely jumps around the pair back catalogue in a nicely consistent, varied yet balanced manner. So we open up with "BPM", from their 'official' 1981 debut Songs For Swinging Larvae- this begins as a creepy & reverberating drone, before slowly building up with the pace with circulating harmonic churns, Renaldo's buoyant-getting- manic vocals, tight beat textures, and chopping fairground like chimes & organ runs. By track three we’ve moved onto a track from the pairs comeback album Gurdy Hurding- and this comes in the form of "Scent Of A Turnip"-  with it’s skittering electro hurdy-gurdy textures, wailing & waving harmonies singing ‘Mash it up Sniff it in’,  and weird flute 'n' manic guitar scuttle breakdown. At the album's midpoint we set down on a track from the band's second album 1983’s Arabic Yodelling, and this is "Green Candle"- here we find a mixture galloping & clip-clop beat textures & Arabic flavoured jaunting organ- all topped with a vocal line that shifts from spoken & mysterious-to-manic & high. With track ten, we’ve seemingly get a previously unreleased track in the form of "Corset Vendor"- which is a sort of blend of woozy Alien rag-time, and unsettling psycho ambience- with ribs of jaunting harpsichord, and Renaldo singing ‘Lace me up, as tight as you can’. The shows encore is possible one of the pairs most deranged & oddly  danceable moments "Hambu Hodo", from the 1987 album Elbow Is Taboo- which finds Renaldo performing a rather wonderful of mixture of deranged chanting, bizarre throat singing, and sing-song vocals, over a bounding & rounding bass line, and snapping-to-bounding percussion- a perfect end to a near perfect record- which is certainly to leave one with a slightly manic smile on their face.

I can’t think of many/any bands who have released a great comeback record like Gurdy Hurding, then gone onto release an equally great live album a few years after- but that’s exactly what Renaldo and the Loaf have done with Long Time Coming. Hats off to Mr Pool &  Mr Janssen for such a great show, and well done for Klanggalerie for arranging the show & putting this CD out.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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