Review Archive

Tinderbox – ‘Live At The Cottage’ pulls you into its atmosphere

(November 25, 2014)

Live albums range from ‘off the desk’ recordings that sound as if you’re listening to a band LATC-Album-Coverplaying in a giant bucket to superbly engineered examples of how well a ‘live’ recording can replicate a live environment. ‘Live At The Cottage’ reflects every nuance of the spectacularly inventive, dramatically delivered music expected from Tinderbox. The intricate acoustic weave of strings entwine a fabric that creates a textbook vehicle for the exquisite vocals. Playing on ‘Live At The Cottage’, Tinderbox are Monique Houraghan (vocals) Dan Tucker (guitar, ukulele, backing vocal) and Bob Burke (guitar, backing vocal).

Listening to this album you can feel the magnetism of personal chemistry flowing through the band, nothing else could deliver the presence that pours through the songs. Highly-accomplished musicianship, intensely emotive vocals and precise songwriting, all reflected through twelve soul-searing tracks. Fans of Tinderbox will find customary treasures rubbing shoulders with unfamiliar gems coming together forming a memorable experience. The album kicks in with the aspirant ache of ‘Waiting For Summer’ before leading into the band’s musical journey with the compelling narrative of ‘Homeward Bound’ (a Tinderbox original, not that one) while ‘Down The Track’ offers a readily-identifiable personal exploration of living life. An essential strength of this album lies in its ability to lead you through many facets of Tinderbox, there’s powerful, nerve-touching expression to ‘The State of Play’, fragile hope within ‘Leave The Light On’, deeply affecting reflection in ‘Days of Innocence’ – and throughout Monique’s voice implores your attention.

This is a live album that takes you beyond the recording and pulls you into its atmosphere. You’re sitting alongside the band. Listen to ‘Live At The Cottage’ in a quiet room, tolerate no disturbance, absorb the ambiance – and you’re there with them.      

‘Live at The Cottage’ releases on 28 November 2014 and Tinderbox have a UK tour planned for April 2015 and you could do yourself a lot of good if you head for at least one of their venues, I will. Tour and album details here:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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