Hard Rock Café, Stockholm, Sweden, 11th February 1988
May Be Love
The Only Feeling
Roll It Back
Black To White
Field of Fire
Plus (from Swedish Radio P3, 1985):
Field of Fire (live)
Midnight Sun (live)
Field of Fire (early 7" mix)
"It's Rock music, it's not Rock'n'Roll. It doesn't roll - it goes THUD!
We got some guitars that sound like Richard's stepped on a chicken..."
Who put the Rock in Television? My money's on Lloyd, and here's proof if you need it.
Richard Lloyd gleefully rocks through 18 songs and sounds like he's having a terrific time. Judging by the audience reaction, so is everyone else. Let's not forget that Sweden is home to one of Television's most loyal fan bases and (as Lloyd reveals in the interview on Disc 2) it was a call from Sweden which resulted in him travelling there to make the "Field of Fire" album with Swedish musicians - some of whom appear here on the live tracks from '85.
This is muscular, melodic rock music taking in songs from "Alchemy" and "Field of Fire" plus other Lloyd live regulars including, of course, the old Television favourite Rocky Erikson's "Fire Engine" - taken here with none of the spikiness of the Television version but more like a white 12-bar blues/rock song. There's also "Downline" which is introduced with "it may be on the next record" but which eventually found its studio release 12 years later on "The Cover Doesn't Matter". (Actually, that means that it was on the next record...)
Listening to this recording is like listening to the unofficial version of "Real Time" and it sure beats it hands-down for excitement. This is not just down to Lloyd's great playing but also the sympathetic support of a quartet of musicians including David Leonard (who also appears on "Real Time") on guitar and Jay Dee Dougherty on drums. Catch the frantic and urgent rush of "Watch Yourself" and "Lovin' Man", for example, and you'll see what I mean; Leonard's guitar is sharp and close behind Lloyd and the bass and drums lock the songs down tight. Now and then Lloyd's pop sensibility rises to the fore, as in the version of "The Only Feeling", with its loping, almost-reggae-ish rhythm and classic pop feel. Or "Roll It Back", which reminds you of the Beatles in rocking mode. Or even "Lost Child" which sounds like a perfect example of what we, in our younger days, used to call "Power Pop" (but don't let that put you off).
If, at times, the drumming gets a bit one-dimensional and threatens to drag a song down (as in "Misty Eyes" which needs a little less punch and a little more dynamic), Lloyd has the knack of rising over it with a guitar tone that lightens things up. The version of "Alchemy" here is, simply, great; taken a little faster than on the album, sharp and very, very tight.
"Fire Engine" sounds like The Sensational Alex Harvey Band's live version of "Faith Healer" crossed with The Talking Heads (I know, but it does). "Spider Talk" races along like some kind of rock machine (and that's meant as a compliment) with the guitars meshing together like lurching clockwork. "Field Of Fire" gives Lloyd (and the band) room to breathe and stretch a little and he plays some driving, spiralling guitar lines. "Lowdown" pins down the feeling that's been nagging at me throughout the set - it's exactly the same feel as the Rolling Stones at their best. It doesn't sound at all like the Stones but the guitar motif / drum swerve surely owes something to the Richards/Watts rhythm engine.
Sorry Richard, it does rock but it rolls as well, and it rarely, if ever, just goes thud! Trust me.