Beggars Banquet Records – 2001 – 69 minutes

Live albums: contractual obligation, self-indulgence or worthy endeavour? Recorded at three shows in Washington DC and New York, 'Luna Live' fits into the 'worthy' category, no more, no less.

'Live' is Luna's sixth album since their emergence from New York in 1992. In the nine-year interim, albums like 'Lunapark', 'Pup Tent' and 'Days Of Our Nights' have helped the band build up a solid if unspectacular fan base. Heavily entrenched in the rich guitar-soaked ethos of New York rock, Luna sound like Velvet Underground (Lite), avoiding the lyrical excesses of Lou Reed.

Without the aegis of studio gadgetry, simplicity is of paramount importance; and Luna do the simple things well. Guitars, bass and drums combine to produce an album of thoughtful, melodic alt-rock. Highlights include 'Tiger Lily', 'Hello Little One' and '4th of July'.

Notwithstanding the obvious shortcomings of Dean Wareham's voice, 'Live' is a pleasing résumé of Luna's strengths. Would I go see them on the strength of it? Yes.

Tom Grealis

Tracklisting: Bewitched – Chinatown – Friendly Advice – Pup Tent – Sideshow by the Seahore – Anesthesia – Tiger Lily – 4000 Days – Hello Little One – Moon Palace – Lost in Space – 23 Minutes in Brussels – 4th of July – Bonnie and Clyde