The Pineapple Thief - 'Hold Our Fire'

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The Pineapple Thief - 'Hold Our Fire'

The Pineapple Thief are a force of nature on stage and 'Hold Our Fire' does an excellent job of capturing that phenomenon.

Whether through the introduction of drummer extraordinaire Gavin Harrison or simply through sheer bloody persistence, The Pineapple Thief have slowly pilfered their way into the hearts of Prog fans across the globe. Released in 2018, 'Dissolution' propelled the band into the Prog big leagues, hence the fact that their latest live offering is a straight run-through of that rather nifty piece of work (minus introductory track 'Not Naming Any Names') should come as no surprise. It also shouldn't shock anyone that 'Hold Our Fire' illustrates exactly why the likes of 'Try As I Might', 'All That You've Got' and 'White Mist' work so well in this setting.

Bruce Soord is the group's main man, so it's no accident that at first glance everything revolves around his fragile yet bullish vocals and violently loved guitars. However, dig deeper into the vibrancy of 'Far Below' and you'll find the atmospheres are just as likely to emanate from the understated keyboard contributions from Steve Kitch or the prowling bass work of Jon Sykes. The Pineapple Thief are augmented by a session guitarist when they perform live, but George Marios doesn't just take up his bandleader's slack. Instead, on stage Soord is often the strumming acoustic scene-setter who concentrates on building the scenery from which everything else sparks and pops, including his own impassioned but supremely told stories.

It's testament to 'Dissolution' that 'Hold Our Fire' doesn't come across like one of the many "compromise" live albums that recent years have thrown out. A new angle often sought in the hope that the routine of releasing an onstage outing after every studio effort isn't viewed as simply keeping the financial wheels turning. Such is the strength of this material that the eight songs brought together from the same source simply make for a scintillating set-list that flows naturally and never allows the intensity to drop, even if there are some fade-outs between tracks due to them not all being captured on the same evening. However, this aspect does ensure that the performances are peerless and that the sound quality is nigh on perfect without ever sounding sterile or "corrected".

One non-'Dissolution' song is allowed to slip through the net, '3000 Days' from 'Someone Here Is Missing' rounding out what is a completely captivating and invigorating experience. The Pineapple Thief are a force of nature on stage and 'Hold Our Fire' does an excellent job of capturing that phenomenon.

Steven Reid

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