Capturing a concert held at London's Hammersmith Apollo in March of 2011, several months prior to the release of his re-interpretive record New Blood
, the double-disc Live Blood
sounds very similar to the subsequent LP and its 2010 predecessor Scratch My Back
...as well it should, as all the performances are based on the same austere arrangements. Gabriel
is fascinated by subtleties that lie within an orchestra, so the music on Live Blood
doesn't pummel, it creeps, slowly working its way underneath the skin. As such, Live Blood
doesn't feel quite as visceral as Gabriel's previous live albums do: it's pitched at the head, not the heart. That means that it requires concentration without quite demanding it, so it can be difficult to meet Live Blood
halfway, and its sly, delicately textured rewards are ones to appreciate and ponder, not to cherish.