As a second encounter with Barnsley's badly named Gaia (and they're not even crusties!) is thankfully a little more promising but still cuts a firm trench in the middle of the rock/pop highway.
Sound desk recordings are famous for their BIG..G..G REVERB..B..B, dodgy levels and risk of bum notes... fortunately all factors are avoided but the CD badly needs mastering and the gig at the end of tunnel effect doesn't do many favours.
In Gaia's handbook of rags to rock riches it must advise to open your set with your longest and most boring song (all 7 minutes of it!!!). By the 400th bar you can almost hear the crowd rooting in their pockets and ordering pints. Things do pick up and "Hole inside" ups the pace. You can't help but wonder why, having made the error of playing their opener live, the band failed to take the opportunity to ditch it from this release. "Saving Grace" is the jewel in the crown with its big sound and soaring outro - quality stuff. It's a height that is rarely reached again. "Southern Comfort" does its best to add some grit and the band warm up as the set progresses through closers "Love Me Do" and Verve-esque guitar effects heaven "Turn the Other Way".
With "Saving Grace" and "Turn the Other Way" Gaia have two truly excellent tunes to champion but the supporting cast still blurs into the background of what has gone before.