Album: The Gossip, Live In Liverpool (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

The week's other live album doesn't feature an intrusive film director – but then, with Beth Ditto shouting "This is for the faggots!" before one track and "This is for the dykes!" before the next, it hardly requires commentary.

But the lack of an accompanying DVD hits The Gossip rather harder than it would the Stones: Ditto is such a volcanic stage presence that, despite her titanic vocal performance, it's hard not to feel a twinge of frustration listening to Live In Liverpool. The aforementioned Sapphic anthem "Swing Low" is the oldest song, most of the set being drawn from their breakthrough Standing in the Way of Control album, with the stolid, predatory boogie-stomp "Eyes Open" showcasing Brace Paine's drone-guitar chordings, and Ditto displaying a passion akin to Janis Joplin on quieter numbers like "Coal to Diamonds". There are idiosyncratic covers of "Careless Whisper" and Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?". The highlight is, of course, the surly disco pulse of "Standing in the Way of Control", its hook now clearly common property.

Pick of the album: 'Standing in the Way of Control', 'Eyes Open', 'Coal to Diamonds'

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