The Plimsouls: Beach Town Confidential – Live at the Golden Bear 1983

The Plimsouls touring “Everywhere at Once” live in 1983

Fan’s of Peter Case’s early work with the Nerves and Plimsouls have been richly rewarded over the past few years. The Nerves’ original EP was issued in enhanced CD form as One Way Ticket, a rare 1977 Nerves live set was released as Live at the Pirate’s Cove, a transitional project with Paul Collins as The Breakaways was released as Walking Out on Love, and a blistering 1981 Plimsouls live set was released as Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal. The latter fleshed out the Plimsouls early ‘80s live set that was first essayed in 1988 on One Night in America. The group’s posthumous release catalog is now further expanded with this punchy stereo mix (from the original 24-track recording) of a 1983 show at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California.

By ‘83, the Plimsouls were a band with a catalog that included an EP and two full albums, all of which are drawn upon for a set list that reaches back to the EP’s “Zero Hour” and “How Long Will it Take?,” and “Now” and “In This Town” from their self-titled debut album. The core of the set draws from their then-current 1983 release for Geffen, Everywhere at Once, including the only released live recordings of “Hobo,” “Oldest Story in the World” and “Magic Touch.” Even more intriguing is the only known Plimsouls recording of the Peter Case original “Who’s Gonna Break the Ice,” a tune that was likely to have been the band’s next single. The set is filled out with a delectable selection of covers that includes The Creation’s “Making Time,” Moby Grape’s “Fall on You,” Thee Midniters “Jump, Jive and Harmonize” the Flamin’ Groovies’ “Jumpin’ in the Night,” Bo Diddley’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” and the Everly Brothers’ “Price of Love,” the latter with the Williams Brothers on lead vocals.

Case was in great voice and seems particularly enthused about the cover songs. But who wouldn’t be jazzed by the opportunity to sing favorite songs in front of this band? The Plimsouls had long since honed themselves into a superb live unit, transcending the major label gloss of their then-current album with hard-charging rhythms equally powered by David Pahoa’s bass lines, Lou Ramirez’s hard-pounded drums and cymbals, and the buzz of dual electric guitars. This set hasn’t the unbridled enthusiasm of their earlier live albums, but it more than makes up for it in energy and craft. Alive delivers the CD in a digipack with a six-panel booklet that includes vintage pictures, credits and an historical quote from Greg Shaw. [©2012 hyperbolium dot com]

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