Donegan on Stage [Lonnie Donegan at Conway Hall]

by: Lonnie Donegan

The original Lonnie Donegan On Stage was a four-song EP recorded at the Conway Hall in London in January 1957, and released early the following year, comprising "Muleskinner Blues," "Old Hannah," "On a Monday," and "Glory." Subsequently reissued on CD as Live 1957 -- The Complete Conway Hall Concert, with bonus tracks drawn from other shows recorded that same year, the set was then repackaged once again as On Stage. Four further numbers from the Conway Hall show are accompanied by recordings from the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall, and the ensuing production is so seamless that there could be no better representation of the Lonnie Donegan group in full flood, at the very peak of its commercial and creative powers. The excitement explodes out of the opening number, "On a Monday," and doesn't let up all the show long. No less than 15 songs hurtle out of the speakers. "Old Hannah," "Muleskinner Blues," and "Ella Speed" are early highlights, while a rush of hits in the latter part of the show ("Cumberland Gap," "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O," "Gambling Man," "Putting on the Style") is simply sensational, a blur of energy and excitement that leaves the listener drained, even after all these years. [Contains bonus tracks.] ~ Dave Thompson

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