November 7, 2009 – 4:12 am

Not quite the Second Coming but this 1993 reunion tour by the original Velvets came largely unanticipated. This soundboard recording is the only one, outside of the official release, to have surfaced.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

European Tour 1993 [Nothing Songs Limited NSCD-009/1/2, 2CD]

Live at The Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 2, 1993, plus studio rehearsals. Released on bootleg in June 2007. Ex SBD stereo but there are manufacturing errors or error in the master cassette source.

This is the second night of the VU’s surprise reunion tour of Europe in 1993. “Surprise” because no one knew Lou Reed had settled his differences with both John Cale and Sterling Morrison. The latter over royalties.

Reed’s leadership towers in a setlist devoid of experiment. The famed VU soundscapes are limited only to some inspired work on Hey Mr Rain, where the guitars get a chance to shine. That’s John Cale handling vocals on all the songs that were sung by original singer Nico. Cale gets another moment when the lengthy The Gift is recited, a bit more upbeat than the monotonous drone of the original. Moe Tucker also gets to sing two cute numbers.

Fans were divided over the benefit of this reunion. On one side were those ecstatic to see the band play once again. Nostalgia conquers all shortcomings. Others pointed to the triviality of it all. Just two new songs after more than two decades in retirement, one of which (Velvet Nursery Rhyme) was really unbearably cute.

As the FoggyNotion fan site remarked: “Did they destroy their own myth, as many people were afraid they would? Well… yes and no. Morrison, Tucker and Cale are in good shape, as is Reed the guitar player. It’s his swerving vocals on the slower tracks, however, that are nearly unbearable.

“Which isn’t to say there are no highlights: check out I’ll Be Your Mirror, I Heard Her Call My Name, White Light /White Heat, the Cale-sung I’m Waiting For The Man and the incredible feat of an impeccably recited The Gift.”

In 2007, after a long list of variable quality audience recordings surfaced since the 1993 trek, a soundboard finally surfaced in a Japanese bootleg put out by Nothing Records. An otherwise superb recording was marred by what appears to be skips and sound problems on the original live recording. The skips are thankfully brief and isolated to a few songs.

The bonus of a rehearsal session is tagged at the end of the show on Disc Two. Also in excellent soundboard quality, this session also has its faults. Some knob twiddling is underway and sound and vocals are cut abruptly on some tracks. This does not appear to be a messed-up pressing but on the source cassette.

We have identified all (maybe missed a few?) the irregularities so readers can decide if they still want to listen to this show. An audience recording of this same show is also circulating. You can read about the audience version here . Enjoy.
- The Little Chicken

Thanks to Lincoln Park Mark for sharing the tracks.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Real Good Time Together (5.1MB)
Track 102. Venus In Furs (8.3MB)
Track 103. Guess I’m Falling In Love (skip at 1.04m) (5.8MB)
Track 104. After Hours (3.8MB)
Track 105. All Tomorrow’s Parties (9.6MB)
Track 106. Some Kinda Love (10.3MB)
Track 107. I’ll Be Your Mirror (5.3MB)
Track 108. Beginning To See The Light (7.6MB)
Track 109. The Gift (15.4MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 110. I Heard Her Call My Name (6.3MB)
Track 111. Femme Fatale (skip at 2.19m) (5.5MB)
Track 112. Hey Mr. Rain (10.0MB)
Track 113. Sweet Jane (skip at 4.19m) (6.5MB)
Track 114. Velvet Nursery Rhyme (2.2MB)
Track 115. White Light/White Heat (6.2MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. I’m Sticking With You (5.0MB)
Track 202. The Black Angel’s Death Song (6.4MB)
Track 203. Rock And Roll (abrupt start, some garbled noise in first 10 seconds, skip at 3.11m) (6.7MB)
Track 204. I Can’t Stand It (incomplete, fades at 1.19m and merges into Tk 5) (1.8MB)
Track 205. I’m Waiting For The Man (7.3MB)
Track 206. Heroin (13.8MB)
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Track 207. Coyote (7.9MB)

Rehearsals (it is unclear why the vocals suddenly drop off mid-song on some tracks. But this is a rehearsal and perhaps there were interruptions or equipment was also tested)
Track 208. Venus In Furs (song interrupted at 1.40-1.46m. Not an error) (5.7MB)
Track 209. I’ll Be Your Mirror/Beginning To See The Light (sound drops at 0.40m-0.59m. Skip at 1.28m. Vocals switched off at 5.32m - 5.48m and from 5.56m - 6.02m) (9.7MB)
Track 210. I Hear Her Call My Name (Vocals switched off from 0.15m to 1.29m) (4.2MB)
Track 211. Femme Fatale (skip at 1.42m; vocals switched off at 2.31m to 2.33m) (4.2MB)
Track 212. Hey Mr. Rain (distortion at 1.07-1.12m) (5.7MB)
Track 213. Sweet Jane (This song is cut and is only 1.13m long. The ending is garbled) (1.7MB)

Disc 2: Tks 8-12 studio rehearsals, 1993

Lou Reed - guitar, vocals
John Cale - bs, keyboards, viola, vocals
Maureen Tucker - drums, vocals
Sterling Morrison - gtr, bass (passed away Aug 30, 1995)

The official release of the European tour settled for recordings from June 15 to 17, 1993 at L’Olympia Theatre in Paris, France. The best tracks from the second and third nights were assembled and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig and released as Live MCMXCIII. Buy it here.

  1. 9 Responses to “SOME LIKE IT VELVET”

  2. This sounds good and the performances are decent. I have that official reunion CD and thought it was mostly crappy. I can’t get rid of it either, I’ve tried selling it numerous times. I enjoyed this more, maybe because I wasn’t expecting too much. Just an observation: except for The Gift John Cale shouldn’t sing, he’s awful. Also “Pale Blue Eyes” is not included/ was not performed in this set which is a shame, it’s one of the group’s best songs. Overall, worth hearing. Thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Nov 7, 2009

  3. Nice collection, it sounds like the reason the vocals and instruments come and go is because the engineer at the desk is soloing and muting different channels. Love the site

    By Alun on Nov 8, 2009

  4. Nice sound quality here. An enjoyable reflection of feelings passing. The Velvets stand alone as emotional pioneers in the Rock era. Thanx……..

    By Timmy on Nov 8, 2009

  5. I enjoy your music, Lou, but West coast Rock RULES !! So shove it up your NYC arse. Eddie lives forever !!

    By Taurus19 on Nov 10, 2009

  6. Thanks for this. I thought I’d heard everything by the VU, but this new to me. Funny how opinions differ. This reunion was a real disappointment to me, but it was bound to be.

    I think Lou’s vocals are terrible too and his guitar playing is not that great either. John Cale should have been given more to do. At least he can still produce decent music.

    By Jonathan on Nov 12, 2009

  7. Thanks! Great boot. I like what’s goin’ on here, even Lou’s vox.

    Best wishes BigO

    By Kevin on Nov 19, 2009

  8. Great show! I also loved The Clash 1982 (thanks for posting my request).


    By TDC on Nov 25, 2009

  9. I was at this gig. Lou’s comment after Femme Fatale was in response to some wag in the crowd shouting out “Where’s Nico?”

    By Ian38018 on Dec 3, 2012

  10. Here in July 2016 I’m getting “no permission” errors on 106/115/203/208, I was really looking forward to hearing this version of White Light White Heat, is there anywhere else to get those tracks? Thanks!

    By Fran_k on Jul 31, 2016

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