...saturday night, round ten
Rating: 7/10

This is supposed to be the document which marks You Am I as the Australian Live Band of the '90s, and while there's little here to disprove the band's claim to the title, there was never much chance of getting the true atmosphere of a You Am I show to tape. At least this is evidence that it wasn't all shimmying, windmilling, beer swilling and acerbic repartee. Nor did Tim Rogers get by on X factor alone. Instead wear here a rock band at its best - the playing is tight when necessary, fast and loose the rest of the time, the communication between members is absolutely instinctual, and the guitar cuts through with tone to burn.

It's also a great perspective on the band's musical history. Between tracks three and four ("Jaimmie's Got a Gal" and "Stray") we get to join the dots that plot the band's slow evolution from rough and ready from-the-hip rock band to self-aware (perhaps too much so, many would argue) pop rock completists. The best news is when you throw them all together, special instrumental additions aside, the three-piece line up sound and the ever present energy become great levellers. There is a cohesive thread, R&B with rock/roots swagger and a sharp tongue.

There are no surprises - the Bo Diddley improv gee-up Rogers offers before "Stray"; the funk workout intro and breakdown to "Minor Byrd"; the pedal steel counterpoint on an upbeat reworking of "Heavy Heart". And the concluding "How Much Is Enough" remains a crowning moment. Live albums are often a tough call, especially one coming from a band which routinely releases albums realistically representing a band putting itself to tape. But this stands, and stands tall.

Simon Wooldridge