X-Ray Spex
"Live At The Roundhouse London 2008"

(Future Noise Music 2009)X-Ray Spex - Live At The Roundhouse London 2008

Strike while the iron is hot, or so the saying goes. For bands of yesteryear, the iron appears to be scalding hot as one band after another line up to do a reunion with live concerts, new albums and DVDs. For some, it's a great decision where it seems like not a day has passed since the band last played together. For others, time hasn't been so good to them and recapturing the chemistry and the sound is an impossible task. British punk rockers X-Ray Spex fall in the previous category. Their 2008 reunion for a show in London sounds and looks great.

During the concert, which runs just over an hour long, the band runs through the entirety of "Germ Free Adolescents" (minus "Plastic Bag") along with some additional tracks. Frontwoman Poly Styrene keeps herself focused, bouncing around, somewhat aloof, to the music, and offering little commentary other than announcing song titles and offering thanks. While "Live At The Roundhouse London 2008" is a nice collection, the fact that the CD and the DVD are the exact same material is slightly disappointing. Don't bother looking for any extras or bonus features as there aren't any.

For many reunited bands, it's just a matter of feeding egos. Judging by "Live At The Roundhouse London 2008," that couldn't be farther from the truth for the X-Ray Spex. The band's reunion show is indescribably easy on stage - almost like a well oiled machine despite the years out of service. Although it's a little cleaner, a little neater and a less rough than it was the first time around, by the end of the recording, you get the distinct feeling that this group of musicians that are just glad to be playing their well-loved tunes.

B+

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