Thanks to a speedy turnaround at Thunder HQ, the 2013 Christmas show is already available to purchase and relive at our leisure. Wolverhampton punters should have these in their greasy paws already, but for the rest of us who weren’t lucky enough to attend they’re now available from the Thunder web store.
The album is split into two sections, as was the original live set-up.
First of all Thunder “Sit down for a bit” and do the warm-up/acoustic set. It’s always great to hear classic tracks presented in a more minimalistic fashion. If you were a fan of the mid-90’s explosion in MTV Unplugged releases, Metallica’s Load-era acoustic live sets or more recently Ginger Wildhearts extensive acoustic tours; then this will be right up your street.
‘Pinball Wizard’ and the twangy blues of ‘Robert Johnson’s Tombstone’ are real highlights from this opening performance. As ever, the vocals are the main tool of an acoustic set and Thunder fans will only be too aware of the gravelly tones of Danny’s voice and their suitability to this environment. ‘Higher Ground’ and ‘When I’m Dead and Gone’ finish off the laid back half of the disc before the quick change-around to the electric performance.
Thunder make a big (re) entrance with ‘She’s So Fine’ to get the party properly started and don’t look back from there. ‘Fly on the Wall’ also is a suitably big song to welcome in the bigger sound.
The contrast of the two ends of the track-list here make for two mini-albums in reality and were this pressed on vinyl you’d undoubtedly have a two disc gatefold of two the different halves of the night. But, on an old fashioned CD it’s all bunched together, which certainly packs in some variation to the listen.
These songs are taken from Christmas shows and there is always a special atmosphere at mid to late December gigs. It just always seems special. That translates well to the album here, and although the band are tight, there’s an element of celebration and fun intertwined into the recording.
How to finish the show off? ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ of course!