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The Maida Vale Sessions compiles four of Broadcast’s live performances at the famed West London studios between October 1996 and August 2003, charting the band from their first year together to near-international recognition as their sound continued mutating.
Even in their embryonic state, Broadcast appear fully formed on their first session for John Peel in 1996, performing three early singles along with a near-complete sketch of ‘City In Progress’ four years before its proper release. Less than a year later, Broadcast were already toying with the public’s perception of them in their 1997 Evening Session. Known for her cool, withdrawn delivery and hesitancy towards live performances, Keenan brings a sweeter, more confident warmth to the live version of ‘Come On Let’s Go’ alongside three propulsive performances of the band’s work between their Work and Non Work and The Noise Made by People eras.
The latter sessions, recorded in 2000 and 2003, audibly track their psychedelic pop transitioning into exhilarating, noisy decay as the group pared down to the core duo of James Cargill and Trish Keenan. ‘Pendulum’ and “Colour Me In” come off even more brassy and commanding here than on HaHa Sound, while their cover of Nico’s ‘Sixty Forty’ ends the collection on a shoegazing high, signalling the experimenting to come with Tender Buttons. More than cementing their chameleonic sound though, this compilation stands as both a career-spanning look and introduction to Broadcast’s powers as a live act.