Lizard - In Concert

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Black Rills Records
Catalog Number: BRR009
Format: CD
Total Time: 144:52:00

A piece of history in a box. That's how we could describe this double disc because even though the quality of the recording is below the standard level, this set is nevertheless an interesting release for the diehard prog lover. Released in a limited run of 600 copies, you get 140 minutes worth of long, stretched-out themes from a Swiss band that although their entire career remains an obscure matter (the material on this double disc was released on vinyl in the early eighties), perfectly connects with the big names from the underground. Especially a name like Gentle Giant can be heard all over the place in order to fill in the Lizard statement. Wonderful Hammond sounds blur the often below par singing of Dominique Schmid whilst guitarist Mathias Grob often has to battle with the bass of the Squire-in-waiting Peter Büttiker that pierces you to the very marrow. It looks like it has never been the intention to ever release these compositions on a commercial level because the recording suffers from over modulation yet the old layers of varnish on a piece of antiques often gives an extra amount of brilliance.

A song like "Plus Qu'un Instant" includes a certain ELP atmosphere, whilst the French vocals obviously take the Ange direction. Keyboard player Kurt Widmer is given the opportunity to try out all of his synths, before guitarist Matthias Grob delivers a fair amount of smokin' guitar during the improvisation. Once the electric piano is introduced in "Afterwards" it sounds as if the band creates a marriage between The Snow Goose, material from the band Flyte, the early albums by Machiavel, and the main melody from the Nazareth classic "Love Hurts." Guitar and synth are at their very best during "Bubble Brain" where the end gets rather funky, even including the almost obligatory drum solo hunted by a hurried bass guitar almost resulting in "The Fish" by Lizard! "Zèbre" has to be a poetic tour-de-force where the music becomes atonal whilst the Hammond organ is being attacked the Jon Lord way. The title of the next instrumental piece which almost stretches for half an hour is chosen in a very appropriate way. "Jam" is indeed a long jazzy piece which is build around a collection of compromises which give each single musician the opportunity to shine in his solo glory. The set closes with "Going On," filled with loads of rhythm changes thereby extra underlying the typical analogue symphonic rock.

Now and then Lizard had some pretty good ideas yet they had it difficult to keep that idea short and direct. Instead they delivered long pieces of music which didn't keep the listener interested throughout. Their only feat of arms seems to be a concatenation of various live recordings recorded in 1980 and 1981 during their concerts in Switzerland. Because of the varying sound quality this album therefor remains reserved for the real prog diehard hence the run of 600 copies!

Disc One: There On The Floor (11:50) / Don't Know (11:03) / Plus Qu'un Instant (16:20) / Trop Tard (2:54) / Last Day (10:51) / Afterwards (16:35) / Ending (6:04)

Disc Two: Bubble Brain (17:44) / Z?bre (11:25) / Jam (26:55) / Going On (13:07)

Peter Büttiker - bass, pedals, vocals
Tommy Brunsting - drums, vocals
Matthias Grob - guitars, vocals
Dominique Schmid - lead vocals, sax, percussion
Kurt Widmer - keyboards, flute, vocals

In Concert (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CH

Added: March 6th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 9426
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

Lizard - In Concert
Posted by matigrob on 2012-07-09 13:37:25
My Score:

this music is now available at it is a pretty unique prog rock band from switzerland, 1977-79, characterized by believing in the "real moment" (thus a live double album and improv parts), huge dynamics and technical creativity: due to lack of money they built their own equipment, including guitar effects, mixing desk, bass synth, digital delay and light! (the hammond, clavinet and melotron was only modified though :-) inspiration came from Genesis, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd... but the sound is not close to any of those the recording quality is very limited (two mikes and a Revox at the mixing desk) but its authentic and it was mastered by legendary Bob Katz!