(All Album Reviews by matma_84)
Seven years after his last official live release Typical it was about time for Peter Hammill to release a new one. Veracious contains duo performances with long time collaborator Stuart Gordon on violin, recorded on three different nights between 1999 and 2004. Most of the songs are from Hammill's newer albums and all but two are appearing for the first time on live record.
The disc kicks of with a beautiful version of "A better Time" with very nice, kind of folky violin by Stuart. A classic. Next is a fantastic darker version of "Gone ahead", one part of his latest, "Incoherence", and one thing can be said: "I'd wish he'd played the whole studio album with a grand piano and not with an electric one."
Then we switch to the guitar and are truly "Driven". "Nothing comes" is a nice well played ballad on piano but nothing special. "Amnesiac" is one of the highlights of this set with its acoustic punk energy interrupted only by some emotional violin. "Nightman" follows with its kind of riven music and indeed a very dark night feel. Interesting, although not my cup of tea. “Like Veronica“ is an aggressive tour de force about violence against women. Seeing and hearing Hammill and Gordon perfom this song live was one of the most intensive experiences in my life, nothing more has to be said.
The next one is an unimpressive version of “Bubble“. “Easy to slip away“ is an emotional ballad which originally appeared on Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night and now benefits from Gordon's violin. The version of “Primo on the Parapet“ is much better than the one on There goes the Daylight but it's still not one of my favourites because of its strange noises and toughened structure. After this Hammill delivers one of the softer songs of his punk epos Nadir's big Chance “A Shingle Song“ which today can be considered as a classic Hammill ballad.
The last song is a version of “A Way out“. It doesn't differ to much from the one to be found on Typical. So we can say we get a solid performance although I like the last-mentioned better.
To sum up, I can say a very good live album and memorabilia, if you've attended one of his shows during the last couple of years and also a fine introduction for those interested in exploring his later work.
4 out of 5