Review Summary: A spectacularly emotional performance that isn't held back by it's many technical flaws; they only add to its authenticity.
This is the second release from Giles Corey this year, after his EP, Hinterkaifeck, which was released earlier this month. This live album, recorded on an attendee’s iPhone at the last of three shows Barrett played in Connecticut recently, consists mostly of songs from the EP previously mentioned, as well as the Giles Corey self-titled and three “covers” of HANL (Have a Nice Life) songs.
Dan Barrett delivers a very real performance here. He frequently makes mistakes, and owns up to it, banters with the audience, and he stops playing “The Icon and the Axe” more than halfway through because he couldn’t remember it. In most cases, mistakes like this wouldn’t be forgiven on a live record, but for this album, it only adds to its authenticity. Barrett isn’t on a stage performing for thousands; he’s in a warehouse performing for a little over a dozen people who just want to hear him sing.
The songs themselves are fairly straightforward. The Giles’ songs sound just as they did on record and the HANL songs are mostly acoustic covers of the original song. There are no frills or improv, Barrett simply plays the music as it was intended to be heard. The sound quality is surprisingly very clear, despite that it was recorded on in iPhone in a warehouse, which are very fitting circumstances considering Barrett's "studio" albums are recorded at home.
Live in the Middle of Nowhere is an authentic, emotional release that stays true to what Giles Corey and the Enemies List label are about. It's more of an officially released bootleg than an actual live album. Fans of Barrett (and HANL) will appreciate, and likely love this album. Considering that Barrett has now put out two releases within less than a month, I think this speaks monuments about the future productivity of the Enemies List label, which sadly, was very quiet last year.