The Legendary Flower Punk - Beatroot 2020

10 songs
161:40 minutes
***** ****


2020 was a really bad year for live music. As soon as the coronavirus pandemic hit hard, everything was shut down. For Russian psychedelic rock band The Legendary Flower Punk, this was also a catastrophe because they spent months and months organising a European tour, which was then cancelled just like that. Instead of just giving up, the musicians locked themselves in their rehearsing room and jammed and jammed and jammed until the lockdown rules sent them home.

Their sound engineer Igor then cut it all up into sixteen virtual sets, one for every show that was planned. These albums can be purchased on the band The Flower Pot Bandcamp page, and what I really love about them is how they all have a similar visual theme, thus showing that they belong together.

Few people might want to buy all the shows, so that band decided to create a compilation with the best moments of their tour which has not been. The album contains ten tracks, and has a length of more than two and a half hours! Two songs are from last yearís album Wabi Wu which was released on the renowned Tonzonen label. Six of the songs are from the self-released Zen Variations from 2016, and two tracks seem to be previously unreleased.

The opener Wabi Wu, the title track from their excellent last album, is not much different from the studio version. But next up is White Magick Zen which sees its running time quadrupled in this live version, and thatís exactly where the charm of this live compilation comes from. What Deep Purple did with Space Truckiní and Led Zeppelin with Dazed And Confused back in the early Seventies is taken to a whole new level with Beatroot 2020. Only three tracks are less than ten minutes long, and Party Zen even makes it to nearly forty minutes. Now this could become tedious pretty quickly, except that The Legendary Flower Punkís modus operandi is quite ingenious: they always start with the actual song, and then see where the jam is taking them. Sometimes itís quite danceable, then it can also be rather abstract, and yet they always find their way back, ending their songs always on an upbeat note.

I really donít want to get into too many details. Itís just the kind of compilation where you can lie back and enjoy the trippy ride. And the best for last: it may only be a rehearsal room recording, but the sound quality is incredibly professional. Furthermore these live versions display much more energy and drive than their studio counterparts. Itís really a shame that this tour had to be cancelled, because there is no doubt that The Legendary Flower Punk are an exceptional live band that should appeal to every diehard psychedelic rock fan.

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