The Haddington Tapes

Released 29 March 1999

2 CDs
This is an official Company Scotland bootleg. Recorded live at the Haddington Convention, 1998

01. Lucky [Dick/Boult/Simmonds]
02. Mr. 1470 [Dick/Paterson/Boult]
03. Family Business [Dick/Simmonds]
04. Medley [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley]
(a) Hotel Hobbies
(b) Warm Wet Circles
(c) That Time Of The Night
05. What Colour is God? [Dick/Wilson]
06. Brother 52 [Dick/Wilson]
07. Assassing [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley]
08. Credo [Dick/Simmonds/Boult/Usher]
09. Tongues [Dick/Simmonds/Boult/Usher]

CD 2
10. Cliché [Dick/Simmonds]
11. Perception of Johnny Punter [Dick/Wilson]
12. Medley
(a) Kayleigh
(b) Lavender
(c) Heart Of Lothian [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley]
13. Giz A Bun (traditional)
14. Worm in a Bottle [Dick/Boult]

Phew... Received the Haddy-Tapes CD yesterday and listened to it (with a bottle of fine German beer ;-D) yesterday evening.
The setlist did not really grab me at first, but what an error this was! The keyboard stuff on Mr. 1470 alone is worth the money for the CDs! And the performance of PoJP (which I never heard live before) would be worth buying another copy... ;-D)
Fortunately I read the booklet right at the beginning and noticed the spoiler that Fish's voice had suffered from the long day and thus was not at its best at the concert. With most songs this works out ok, but especially in the long awaited return of HH/WWC/TToTN and the Kayleigh/Lavender/HoL medley the "lack of some high notes" as stated in the booklet becomes a bit annoying...
Nevertheless, a fine CD, the recording quality is excellent, both CDs are between 50 and 60 minutes each, the only reason why not the whole concert is released is (as Fish has stated before) that the sound engineer changed the ADATs with a very bad timing (in the middle of the Assassing/Credo/Fugazi/White Feather medley, thus this fades out in the drum solo) and used an unformatted ADAT for Internal Exile/The Company and thus these tracks are missing. All in all an essential official bootleg release!
Andreas Erle, 31 Mar 1999

The annual Company conventions always tend to become something really special, however 1998 must have been the most special convention ever. After a few pints too many Fish had decided that this year he would perform three acoustic concerts around lunchtime, as well as a 2hrs + show at night. The afternoon concerts, complete with the chatter and drinking caused Fish's voice to be already destroyed before the evening show even started!
This performance on this recording definitely isn't his best performance, as due to lack of proper rehearsing and the stress of the day Fish couldn't remember half his lyrics. The band however plays surprisingly well (considering it was the first time in 8 months that they were playing together again) and the multi-track DAT recordings are of the best quality ever appeared on an official Fish bootleg. This must have been the reasoning for putting it out on a record, despite the fact that the sound engineer screwed up and failed to change the DAT tapes in time, thus missing about 25 minutes of the performance.
The unfortunate timing of the sound engineer caused that the second half of the Assassing / Credo / Tongues / Assassing / Fugazi / White Feather medley had to be omitted, as well as the final 3 minutes of Worm in a Bottle. Because he had forgotten to 'format' a third tape the last three songs of the concert, Sugar Mice, Internal Exile and The Company are omitted as well.
It's really a pity that all these songs didn't make it to the album. Although the big medley is also available at Tales From the Big Bus the quality on that album is a far cry from the superb quality of these recordings.
Nonetheless you still have plenty of other good songs on the album. The version of Mr 1470 is definitely the best ever, and even Fish's lousy voice can't destroy his first performance since 1988 of the Hotel Hobbies / Warm Wet Circles / That Time of the Night trilogy (one track on the album).
Other highlights are the aggressive versions of Brother 52 and The Perception of Johnny Punter, the impromptu lyrics of Gis a Bun and the extended version of Lavender. Also the one-off return of Frank Usher results in one of the finest versions of Cliche ever.
And who cares about the indulgent drum solo of Dave Stewart during Worm in a Bottle going out of time? People who were there will remember that he was drumming with only one hand at the time, while with the other hand he was holding the bottle of wine he was drinking! 7+ out of 10.
Bart Jan van der Vorst (DPRP), December 2003

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