No less a rock Zelig than Joe Boyd – who witnessed iconic, game-changing performances by Dylan at Newport and the Floyd at UFO – nominates The Move as one of the most consistently on-the-money live acts of the 60s. By the decade’s end, the controversy-courting, axe-wielding, cherry bomb-chuckers of yore had matured into radical improvisations, but were still largely perceived as pop princelings – and had even endured a mortifying, penitential spell in cabaret. Mercifully, Live At The Fillmore 1969 finds an unfettered Move luxuriating in their own heaviosity, and proves that even when tucking into long-form raga-rock, they lost none of their murderous Brummie directness.
With only three original compositions included (I Can Hear The Grass Grow, Hello Susie and Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited), the Shazam-era quartet of Roy Wood, Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan and Rick Price devote the bulk of the set to voluminous versions of the covers that comprised that album’s Side Two set-pieces. The ars nova track Fields Of People is tilled into a 17-minute soundscape, while the Tom Paxton staple The Last Thing On My Mind is salvaged from scampi-circuit squareness and transformed into pealing 12-string Byrdsong. Oh, and there are two Nazz covers here; and everything is captured in startling fidelity.