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The Snakes - Bernie Marsden & Micky MoodyThe Snakes - Bernie Marsden & Micky Moody
Album: Live In Europe
Label: Talking Elephant
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.mickymoody.com
Website: http://www.berniemarsden.com

Having resurfaced recently with reissues of the 'Real Faith' and 'The Night The Guitars Came To Play' live album from the Moody & Marsden pairing, Talking Elephant continue developing the M&M legacy with another archive live release. The studio release 'Once Bitten' is where M&M and The Snakes literally shed the skins but 'Live In Europe' delivers the familiar, the tried and trusted. A whole album of Whitesnake classics - the good but fortunately not the bad or the ugly - gotta love 'em - all easily identifiable from their song titles and the cavalier use of the apostrophe - 'Slow An' Easy', 'Ready An' Willing' and (or possibly an') 'Rough An' Ready' all immediately identifiable

Johnny Lande, a singer from Norway who does the Coverdale parts to a tee - minus the barely disguised innuendo although he does manage to sneak in a yelp as 'Sweet Talker' kicks in. In fact it's the opening blast of 'Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues' and that familiar twin guitar intro to 'Sweet Talker' straight from the legendary Hammersmith gigs combined with the landmark 'Trouble' from the early days which provide a trio that's hard to top.

The top twenty hits are in there - the stomping 'Don't Break My Heart Again' and 'Fool For Your Loving' (hands up who had the7" picture sleeve version with a luminous snake) plus what's often seen as one of the highlights of a Whitesnake set in 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City', although personally, a tune which was always a bit overrated . Nonetheless, it gets covered with aplomb and with respect as does everything else, true and faithful-ish to the originals to the extent that if no-one told you it wasn't Coverdale on vocals, then you'd have no reason to believe it wasn't the deep husky tones of old Dave.

Naturally, it's the Moody/Marsden pairing which light up the set and give the songs and the act its authenticity. A case of keeping the classic 'Snake songs and the flame alive while the current incarnation of the band follows another purple shaded and arena filling direction. In the meantime, this album is very welcome.

Mike Ainscoe