Album Review

The Inspector Cluzo – The Organic Farmers Season, unplugged live 2020: Album Review

The Inspector Cluzo – two Gascon boys – have enhanced the unplugged recording style and stirred in a touch of pandemonium in this live recording from Spring 2020.

Release date: 16th October

Label: Caroline

Format:  CD / vinyl / DL

The last time I heard a live note was in the depths of the Manchester Soup Kitchen, an atmospheric, little room as far remote from the nearby Arena as you could get (our review here). There couldn’t have been many more than 30 people there. It was one of the most outstanding performances I’d witnessed. It was The  Inspector Cluzo playing that night as a duo without the additional strings and keyboard heard on this performance. 

This recording from the Théâtre de Gascogne, Mont de Marsan, blends all the material from their last studio album, Brothers In Ideals (reviewed here) and other Cluzo classics like The Run, Lost in Translation, Lou Casse theme and Fishermen, replicates the unique atmosphere and excitement that a live Cluzo show gives you.  The ever-changing vocalisms are unlike any other. Charismatic, soulful and passionate, leaving nothing in reserve. Compelling from beginning to end. 

Listening without being previously aware of the band, you’d be forgiven for thinking there are two different vocalists. You could say he’s borderline schizophrenic but to see and hear live is a stunning and intense experience. Every song on this setlist is like a musical adventure. An amazing exhibition that excites your aural senses.

The drum set up may be minimal but every inch of it is used to be subtle, jazzy and bluesy, strongly rocky too with oodles of French flair and panache.

The addition of marvellous keyboards and strings adds colour and warmth to the duo’s performance and it is a pity they weren’t in Manchester. Mind you there would probably have been more on stage than in the audience and I suppose these erstwhile farmers had to leave someone behind to mind the livestock and maintain the tractor…

I’m so glad that they included in the set their homage to Neil Young with a  Cluzo style interpretation of Hey Hey My My.

If you wish to introduce yourself to the unique Cluzo sound this is the ideal listen for you, but be prepared to approach with an open mind. When you’re hooked like me, once you’ve heard one song you can’t wait to hear and see what they’ll do in the next. Yes, they can be an acquired taste, but from the haunting whistling, multifarious guitar rhythms; the falsetto pitch and the raunchy growling  and warbling, this is a stupendous performance.

It was slightly more manic in Manchester but this intimate and more subdued performance is just as memorable and I can’t wait for them to hit our shores again. Hopefully in a larger venue and more deserving sized audience. This unplugged performance may be less raucous but still full of zeal, fire and energy.

Ahead of album release the band are set to launch a new single, Brothers In Ideals – Unplugged Live, which is also accompanied by an immersive live video.

Listen to the unplugged Brothers In Ideals here:

The Inspector Cluzo online: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter

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