Recorded live in Wales last year whilst Geordie icons Tygers of Pan Tang were out on the road in support of their most recent Bloodlines album, Live Blood is as good a modern exposition of the art of the live album as you’re likely to hear in 2024.

Produced to a bright, punchy sheen that allows everybody their place in the sun, Live Blood is also blessed with a superb, well-paced track listing that really gives a great sense of what it’s like to be at a modern-day Tygers show.

What that means is you get a decent (just over half the total of songs played) wedge of classic Tygerage mixed in with enough tracks from the band’s Mighty Music output to keep newbies happy. Of the old stuff, Slave To Freedom is given a particularly muscular run through, whilst that loveable old chestnut Love Potion Number.9 gets a rapturous reception from the boisterous crowd.

The new material is performed with fire and a steely glint in the eye; it’s clearly important for guitarist and keeper of the Tyger Flame Robb Weir that the band underlines how relevant the ToPT are to the modern market; with songs as good as Edge of the World and A New Heartbeat there’s no danger of any misconception, but one thing this recording does underline is just how good this band is in 2024, with the current lineup gelling together superbly to present a united front of excellence throughout. Vocalist Jacopo Meille is particularly effective throughout; Blessed with a powerful set of pipes, he handles the old school metal with ease and adds a classy, self-assured sheen to the more melodic material, whilst his compatriot Francesco Marras brings some most welcome six string star quality to proceedings.

To my ears at least, this is the best Tygers lineup (rounded out by the thunderous rhythm section heroism of drummer Craig Ellis and newish bassist Huw Holding) since the days of The Cage, and the only peeve I’ve got about Live Blood is the absence of my personal fave feline groove Rendezvous. Still, that’s my problem rather than yours, and if you love proper British heavy metal played with just the right amount of pomp and circumstance, then you’ll have a fine old time with Live Blood. Highly recommended!

Live Blood
releases on April 26th.