Grateful that this one saw the light of day
Futsal Guy | Tokyo, Japan | 01/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It Bites wasn't proggy enough or pop enough or pretty enough or even around long enough to hit it big, but damned if this was not a group with chops -- and juice. The juice is what's on full display in this recording of a Tokyo show that just happened to fall out of somebody's closet one day. And here it is, readily available for our consumption, 16 years or so after the fact.
Led by Frank Dunnery's Gabriel-esque voice and Holdsworthian fretboard wizardry and the writing talents of the band -- most notably John Beck on keyboards -- It Bites left behind a small but astonishingly durable body of work. Their best and longest song "Around the World in a Day" is conspicuously missing, but the second best, "Old Man and the Angel," is not, and that alone is worth the price of admission. "Yellow Christian" is also a standout, and the inevitable "Calling All The Heroes" and "Still Too Young To Remember" are also featured.
Check out the size of Dunnery's hands and his ease in singing over complicated guitar parts! Kind of makes one wonder why he dropped this gig so completely and took up life as a troubador and astrology expert (or some such nonsense).
John Beck's keyboard work is hard to appreciate because it's kind of lost in the mix. Unfortunately his vocals are not; I wonder if the technology is not around to sweeten those up a bit because they really take away from what is otherwise a stellar set.
I would have given this one five stars if it had included the entire set.