Os Mutantes Live — Barbican Theatre, London

Live records are a hard sell. Live reunion albums are less appealing still. But a double-disc set commemorating the momentous reunion of one of the most fun bands of the ‘60s, who haven’t played for 30 years and whose fan base has since spread across geographic and generational divides? You could spend hours talking yourself into pressing the "play” button. Despite the high stakes, this record is disappointing for one reason only: it’s hard to get over the fact that you weren’t there. Even without Rita Lee, the band’s original female lead, Os Mutantes still have it. The band’s reputation has grown vastly over their decades-long hiatus, particularly over the last ten years. The 2006 Tropicália Festival at London’s Barbican multi-arts venue served as the culmination of the mounting excitement spawned by the memory of the Brazilian eccentrics. Sergio Dias and Arnaldo Baptista (the two remaining leads) have clearly been reinvigorated by their belated international reception. They come across as the same kooks they always were, and their age betrays itself in the best of ways: where their original records were deliberately messy, their current backing band are astoundingly tight (but far from rigid). The energy is spellbinding; it seems obvious that the band are overjoyed to be back onstage and eager to consolidate their new status as international icons. (Luaka Bop)