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Album that is Amazing fans; Band's latest release was a spiritual experience.

Byline: Debbie Johnson

AMAZING Grace is the fifth studio album for the band Spiritualized - but the first to be released on Spaceman Records. Spaceman Records is the self-titled record label of J Spaceman from the band.

They follow it up with a gig at the Carling Academy on January 24.

J Spaceman -aka Jason Pierce -is the front man of Spiritualized,one of those quiet bands that has avoided any space in the paparazzi press,or any mention by the 3 am Girls. They have simply got on with the task of selling records and being successful -which they have done in abundance.

Amazing Grace follows in the fine line of albums recorded at the rural Rock-field Studios. Each track was recorded live, with the band learning each song from scratch,and finished usually within a day.

Jason says the main point was not to come up with a perfect studio album, but to create the energy they usually associate with live shows.

He says: ``The band had become so electric through playing live,I wanted to be able to capture the best of that experience on the sessions.

``I made a decision from the outset that this record would not be processed.''

He adds: ``Once we had done the sessions I tried to refrain from embellishing anything. There are overdubs on certain tracks but they are pretty minimal.

``These are the songs in the most unaffected state that we could record them. ``Each track on this record sounds different.It's quite dislocated and fractured the way it goes from one style to the next.''

Further additions to the sound came from British jazz giants Evan Parker (sax) and Kenny Wheeler (trumpet) with whom Jason and John Coxon recorded as part of the Spring Heel Jack Project, Amassed.

The group's biggest hit came with Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space,and in the autumn of 1997,Spiritualized played a triumphant sold out show at London's Royal Albert Hall, the regular group augmented by strings,brass and a Gospel choir.

A year later they released Live At The Royal Albert Hall: October 10th 1997 as a double CD/vinyl release to ecstatic reviews. The group had also gained a huge reputation as a live act,playing all the major European festivals,as well as dates in the US.

They also initiated two fascinating one- off performances at The World Trade Centre in New York and the official Highest Show On Earth at Toronto's CNTower.

Since then,Spiritualized has gone from strength to strength. Individuals have taken part in classical music projects,and there has also been the release of a rarities album.

But it is the culmination of a series of raw live gigs that led to the most recent album.

Jason says: ``These songs are more emotionally naked,just as they are musically naked. There is no sound other than what we play. With `Amazing Grace'I really wanted to make a punk record in that it's about getting it down as it happened and capturing something that is very moving.''

HEAVENmay be a place on earth -and you can ask Belinda Carlisle all about it when she plays at the Liverpool Academy (university)on May 8.

CAPTION(S):

PUNK FEEL: Jason Pierce -aka J Spaceman -loves the sound of his latest release
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2004
Words:554
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