As one of their signature songs, finding a decent live video of The Chameleons playing “Swamp Thing” shouldn’t be as hard as it is, not including phone clips taken from their just-completed Deja Vu tour with The Mission over the last couple months; those shows were great and it’s wonderful that Mark and Reg are playing together again – I hear rumblings of new material – but I’m talking about the original lineup.
Compared to the wealth of live recordings from their earlier days, their Strange Times era is disappointingly undocumented. There is the Live In Toronto live record, taken from their Spring 1987 tour, but the band split up later that year and I’ve not found any videos from that era.
But the process of looking for one was unexpectedly fruitful, as it turned up this digitized playlist compiling a number of cuts from the band’s Ascension DVD. Released in 2006, it captured the band, who reunited in January of 2000, at the tail end of their 2002 North American tour in San Francisco, where they played both an electric and acoustic set across two nights in October 2002 at The Great American Music Hall. Obviously it’d be great if the whole set could make its way online someday, but until then, this is a pretty good document of one of the last times the original lineup of the band would ever play together.