DOING a live tour to promote a live album may seem a tad odd, but then Velvet Underground veteran John Cale has never really observed rules.
Next Thursday's Leadmill stop on a 10-date tour tees up his double Circus Live album, something of a chronology of his 40-year career recorded on his last set of dates.
Along with new band Dustin Boyer (guitar), Joseph Karnes (bass) and Michael Jerome (drums), this ringmaster of the avant-garder leads an aural ramble that weaves and improvises through quintessential Cale album tracks and singles, including selections from VU.
Cale's latest journey began with the musicians brought in for 2005's black:Acetate album: Cale claimed he'd finally found the personnel to interpret his songs with "new twists, new dimensions and new emotions", none more so evident than Gun, originally appearing on 1974's Eno & Manzanera-produced Fear.
They went on to tackle everything from Femme Fatale, Warhol tribute Style It Takes, a capricious Pablo Picasso, the sweet groove of Hanky Panky Nohow from Paris 1919, Presley's Heartbreak Hotel and the viola swathed VU masterpiece Venus In Furs.
Cale's fresh enthusiasm also sees him combining with Juan Alderete of the Mars Volta on next single Jumbo In Tha Modern World and producing a second album for New York art-rockers Ambulance Ltd.