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Written by: Rebecca Vermae Clark

Live! At the Cottage is the fifth album release from the band Tinderbox. This is the bands first live recorded album and as with every live album, it is unique to the band. Live albums are normally difficult to get right as the live environment chosen to record in is not always forgiving or complementary to the music. However Tinderbox managed to produce a pleasant live album which is recorded so well you feel the warmth and closeness of the performance. You feel part of that audience, who are in the moment being treated to a nice beer and an enjoyable evening of entertainment.


The starting track ‘Waiting for Summer’ gives a welcoming introduction to the album and is a perfect example of the quality of music you will encounter throughout the entire album. Monique shows off her exquisite smooth vocals, with every lyric, making her beautifully singing sound easy. Monique reminds me of a mixture of the singers Cara Dillon and Juliane Regan, and no, that is not because of the Irish twang. The pictures placed in your head by the lyrics makes you feel that they sing well told stories.  The guitar playing is musical enough to enjoy as a casual listener and technical enough to keep you interested. The recording captures the sounds of the instruments amazingly well and portrays the purposely created strong melodic platform, of which, allows the vocal line to balance on top.


You learn a lot about Tinderbox from this live album. The band explains background stories in between tracks. This reveals the bands closeness with each other, their fans and most important their music. Tinderbox are definitely a band that enjoy creating and performing music. The song ‘Homeward Bound’ (not a cover - as explained on the album) shows how the band soak up all their experiences on the road and how it affects them and inspires their music.


This is a well recorded live album. I would serve this album with a warm fire, huge comfy chair and a glass of Scotch Whiskey. Close your eyes and be carried away to the intermate gig at the Cottage.

Please visit Tinderbox's website