home
news
features
demos
live listings
DVD Reviews
forum





Rockin' The Wall Rockin' The Wall
(Wienerworld)

August 1961 and the Berlin wall was pretty much erected overnight trapping people on either side, it quickly became a very symbolic and focal part of the cold war until it finally fell in November of 1989 due in no small part, according to Rockin' The Wall to rock and roll music! 'Rock and roll is freedom' is the main thrust of the argument posited herein and at one point Quite Riot's Rudy Sarzo even tells us that 'rock and roll is [all about] the truth in one big power chord,' (blimey). So did rock and roll end the cold war? Of course not, did it help? Yes, in as much as it was a part of a much larger post war political movement driven by revolutionary 'new' things like teenagers and their fashions (it could be argued just as strenuously that jeans were as instrumental in bringing down the wall), dance styles, film and art. As a rallying call for the disaffected rock certainly helped in that it really pissed off old people and therefore those in power - as it continues to do today in fundamentalist Muslim countries - and this entertaining, educational and occasionally daft film does a good job of documenting a very turbulent time in our history.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Daryl Hall & John OatesDaryl Hall & John Oates
Live In Dublin (Eagle Vision)

If, like this writer, you have a fondness for Mr Hall and Mr Oates you may well approach this show recorded in 2014 at the Olympia Theatre with a little trepidation as one of the major components of Hall & Oates' appeal is Daryl Hall's terrifically soulful voice. Has it survived? or are we going to have to endure horribly clipped top notes and backing vocalist padding like buggery etc.? Well rest assured Mr H's tonsils are in perfect working order and if Mr O's voice hasn't the lustre it once had his harmonies are still spot on and the duo's perfectly drilled backing outfit are uniformly excellent throughout, and if things are occasionally a little on the smooth side let's not forget that Hall & Oates were never one's for angular jagged edges in the first place plus it's great to hear older, Philly soul driven material like 'She's Gone', 'Las Vegas Turnaround', 'Rich Girl', 'Back Together Again' and 'Sara Smile' alongside the more production heavy MTV staples like 'Maneater', 'Out Of Touch' and 'Family Man'. Extras include Hall & Oates talking about their current touring line-up and the joys of playing Dublin.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

BjorkBjork
Biophilia Live: Box Set CD+DVD (One Little Indian)

Not her most successful or satisfying album - Bjork’s ever questing spirit and her unwillingness to stay still or repeat herself was always going to throw up as many brave, failed experiments as inspired successes - Biophilia was an experiment in multi-media that, whilst not entirely successful, will almost certainly be seen in the future (alongside some of Todd Rundgren’s interactive efforts) as an important step forward in the meeting of audio, visual and interaction as this, rather more fully realised, version of the album performed live proves. Sporting the sort of lunatic get-up that would have been too much for Peter Gabriel in his most outrageous Genesis years (not unlike a rasta exploding from bubblewrap), Bjork totters around the stage amidst an organically unfolding live show - performed in the round with a choir - which is delightfully peculiar with carefully choreographed visuals and newly created instruments rubbing shoulders with the most up to date modern tech, in fact several of the tracks which seemed a little too slight on the album positively fizzle and crack in the live environment - the whirlwind break-beat clatter that winds up ‘Crystalline’ is even more goosebumping live. Add some major overhauls of old favourites and we are once again reminded why we love ms G.
Drew Bass

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Jeff BeckJeff Beck
Live In Tokyo (Eagle Vision)
(Eagle Rock)

Whilst his old mate and member of the Ex-Yardbird club Eric Clapton seems to have had a shot in the arm of late and been playing with rather more gusto Jeff Beck never really stopped playing up a storm throughout his whole career and whilst Clapton has often kicked back and embraced his past Beck has continually looked forward, always looking for new ways to take his guitar playing to other levels embracing rock, blues, jazz, funk even pop and techno, Becks’ love of music in all forms has ensured he was the least commercially successful of his peers but remains by far the most consistently fascinating and inventive player of his generation. Never one for flashy stage sets or massive light shows at 70 years of age Beck nonetheless still looks like a proper rock star and this show, filmed at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan is ostensibly a greatest hits set, which proves beyond doubt that age has diminished his chops not one jot, the man is positively fearsome - lest we forget this 90 odd minute show is almost exclusively instrumental and, despite being surrounded by a cracking band, is all about his incomparable guitar playing.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses
Appetite For Democracy 3D: Live at the Hard Rock Casino - Las Vegas (UMC)

Is anyone really still pretending that Guns n’ Roses is nowadays anything other than the Axl Rose solo band (hell the man gets though band members like most people get through lunch hours), and when was the last time he recorded anything half as interesting as the last few Slash albums? However, and it’s a big however, as long as he surrounds himself with good musicians, which he has here, then these songs are always going to soar, which indeed they do delivering a VFM almost three hour set featuring all the great old stuff. But what you really want to know is does the 3D work though eh? Well for those of you who get headaches watching 3D don’t fret it’s all here in 2D as well, but for the rest of us? Ah bugger it, it’s great (head straight for the explosion in 'Paradise City', woohoo!), and genuinely does make the whole thing seem more immersive. Add an interactive 3D photo gallery and a slew of band interviews and you have an all round worthwhile release. Still miss Slash, Duff and Izzy mind you but as that boat has long since sailed this is the next best thing.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Rolling StonesRolling Stones
From The Vault: L.A Forum, Live In 1975/Hamilton Coliseum, Live in 1981 (Eagle Rock)

A new series of live concerts from the Rolling Stones archive entitled ‘From The Vault’ is kicked off with two, genuinely fine, shows separated by just six years, which one you prefer will depend very much on just how ramshackle you prefer your Stones, the 1975 show winning the littered with mistakes stakes (possibly due to new boy Ronnie Wood coming to terms with the huge back catalogue) but possibly pipping the 1981 show for sheer, grin inducing, good time rock and roll energy (perhaps the ’81 show being the first ever pay-per-view concert broadcast upped the ante somewhat and everyone tried that little bit harder to hit the right notes, with resultant loss of ‘in the moment’ immediacy, although it doesn’t stop Keith from clumping a stage invader, bless ‘im) but in truth both rock like weebles and neatly document just how much of a show, and indeed how long of a show, the Stones delivered for your buck and long term fans will probably want them ‘em both. With restored and buffed up video and newly mixed audio by Bob Clearmountain these will also now elbow the scratty bootlegs doing the rounds into touch.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

SepulturaThe Bus
(Wienerworld)

Why are we reviewing a DVD about the Vee-dub you may ask, delusions of guest slots on Top Gear in the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car section? Nope, but if ever a vehicle was tailor-made for touring it is surely the Volkswagon Camper Van and this is something the film maker Damon Ristau clearly grasps early on as we are almost immediately introduced to touring musician Dave Manning who hasn’t paid rent in five years due an almost non-stop tour schedule in his home on wheels. It’s not all hippies in cowboy hats mind we also meet off-roaders who fling their four wheeled drive Syncro vans up and down terrain best left to goats, but it’s not long before Ristau is dragging the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia into the proceedings or following a huge camper van clone (built on an old fire-engine) to the Burning Man festival just to remind us that this is a counter culture vehicle with major musical (and surfing) ties, and here’s Dave Manning again, climbing on his bus roof to get at a keyboard case, or breaking out the stove to rustle up some beans. If you love the VW van you’ll love this.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Eric ClaptonEric Clapton
Planes, Trains And Eric
(Eagle Rock)

The last few times this reviewer has sat through film of an Eric Clapton show the best that could be said was that it was inoffensive which, given that the man was one of the great guitarists of his generation, was pretty sad. So it was with no real excitement that this DVD was popped in the slot and we find ourselves following the man and his band on the Far and Middle Eastern leg of his 2014 World Tour playing all the hits intercut with extensive interview footage about how as EC will soon be 70 this will probably be the last time he tours. Whether this is true or not (we’re betting not), it seems to have given him a boost of some kind because this is actually really good, with terrific performances of, amongst others, ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, ‘Cocaine’ and a wonderful acoustic version of ‘Layla’, Clapton both singing and playing with a great deal of passion - helped no end by the rhythm section featuring Steve Gadd and Nathan East. Including rehearsal and back stage footage this is a no brainer for EC fans, but it will also appeal to those of you that just have a passing fondness for his music.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The Doors The Doors
Feast Of Friends
(Eagle Rock)

Given the preponderance of Doors DVD material out there it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything else worth shelling out for and yet blow me down if this isn’t likely to elbow at least two of my existing Doors DVD’s onto Ebay as this sees Feast Of Friends completely restored from the original 16mm negative (colour-corrected and mastered in high definition with the original soundtrack remixed and remastered by long time Doors producer/engineer Bruce Botnick). Edited down from over 20 hours of film taken from concerts, recording studios, limos, planes, monorails, backstage dressing rooms and even private moments this version will finally consign all those nasty bootleg efforts to the nearest bin. Add to this Feast Of Friends: Encore a complimentary piece using rare Doors recordings and some great unreleased footage, The Doors Are open the previously released BBC documentary which originally aired in1968 catching the band in full flow at Camden’s Roundhouse (again with buffed up sound and vision) and finally The End a performance of 'The End' which is considered to be one their best performances caught on camera (filmed in Toronto, Canada in 1967) and includes an introduction by Noel Harrison and later interviews by John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Danny Sugerman.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The Australian Pink Floyd ShowGenesis
Sum Of The Parts
(Eagle Rock)

You possibly caught this on the telly box recently wherein all five members of the ‘classic’ line-up convened in front of a white photographers backdrop to reminisce about all things Genesis and beyond and in the main this does that pretty well and, once you’ve got past the queasy sight of Jonathan King shamelessly promoting himself, the story is laid out more or less as Genesis fans will already be well aware. Like Fleetwood Mac Genesis had two very different and very successful careers and as is often the case fans of the older (rock) version pretty much universally hated the newer (pop) version but, needless to say, the newer pop version sold bucket-loads more. There is a problem here however and it’s with poor old Steve Hackett who, for some reason, is sidelined throughout, tour guitarist Darryl Stuermer is given more screen time, and his huge solo output is totally ignored (Hackett has, understandably, since been quite vocal in his condemnation) whilst Tony Banks, whose own solo career has hardly bothered his accountant is well covered, as is Rutherford’s more high profile Mechanics work and, of course, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collin’s hugely successful solo work. Bonus features include over 30 minutes of additional interviews.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Grant HartGrant Hart
Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart (Wienerworld)

The ‘other’ one from the mighty Hüsker Dü (oh, OK, let’s not forget bass player Greg Norton) Grant Hart’s post- Dü career hasn’t scaled the heights of his old mucker Bob Mould but that doesn’t negate the huge influence his song-writing had on that band’s output, but sadly his drug use (and Mould’s drinking), led to the bands implosion in 1987 and Harts career pretty much spiralled downwards from that point onwards. He is clearly still pretty bitter about the past and his explanations, occasionally rambling, often disingenuous, reveal a man struggling to come to terms with it as other people are responsible for his drug use, other people are responsible for his poor parenting skills, other people, other people etc, etc. But that said Hart is very watchable, and clearly an intelligent and amusing storyteller (although, oddly, the suicide of Hüsker Dü manager David Savoy isn’t discussed). Much of the film is recorded in a room where Hart is storing what little remains of his possessions after a fire claimed his house, which kind of sums up his career, and you’re left with a feeling that there could still be something there if he could just come to terms with his past.
Ruby Palmer

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Bill Nelson and the Gentlemen RocketeersYes
Songs From Tsongas
(Eagle Rock)

Gathering two different concerts taken from their 35th Anniversary Tour in 2004, the last tour by the band to feature the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White (Bill Bruford fans may of course contest this), the first show being the concert from the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts which features an acoustic section (actually a very extensive acoustic section) performed on a stage set by designer Roger Dean, the second a show filmed in the rain in Lugano in Switzerland with neither stage set or acoustic section but which, in this writers view, is actually better. We all understand a bands need to reinvent their material to keep it fresh but I’m just not convinced that tracks like ‘Long Distance Runaround’, ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ or ‘Roundabout’ work acoustically, fortunately they’re back to full electric mode on the Lugano show, so you can make up your own mind. Of course the material is never going to stand up to the young turks who delivered the live onslaught of the mighty Yessongs but these more mature men still know how to play and the audience are clearly delighted with the results.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Deep PurpleDeep Purple
With Orchestra: Live In Verona
(Eagle Rock)

One of the first bands to embrace working with classical musicians on 1969’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra Deep Purple are no strangers to setting up in front of a full orchestra and this concert from the summer of 2011 sees them doing so once again. Let’s be honest Steve Morse is a fine guitarist but he’s not Richie Blackmore (mind you nor is Blackmore these days) and Don Airey, who certainly knows his way around a keyboard, doesn’t have the flair of Jon Lord (although he does a pretty good Keith Emerson impersonation), Hell even Ian Gillan hasn’t been able to comfortably reach those ‘Highway Star’ and ‘Space Trucking’ screams for many a moon now, but anyone who imagines they might see the same band that tore the roof off on those brilliant Made In Japan live recordings isn’t aware how the aging process works. But if the flat out rockers tend more towards the ‘rolling’ these days more groove oriented tracks like ‘Lazy’ work really well and the bands familiarity with working alongside great swathes of strings ensures that this is not just about emphasising the riffs and you really can’t knock the spectacular surroundings of the Arena di Verona Roman amphitheatre.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

UFOUFO
Too Hot To handle (1969 - 1993) (Wienerworld)

Rock and roll’s perennial nearly-men UFO have written some good (albeit lyrically pretty adolescent) rock songs in their time - ‘Rock Bottom’, ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Let It Roll’ are all rock radio staples – but even the most rabid UFO fans will agree that certain albums and line-up’s over the years have been a little pedestrian, fear not though as loads of the terrific live footage here is from the classic line up featuring UFO mainstays Phil Mogg, Pete Way and guitar wizard Michael Schenker which neatly outlines just what a good band they were in their day (can’t imagine they look back at their stage clothes with any fondness mind). Interspersing the live footage with the bands history as told by Mogg, Way and Schenker plus guest talking heads, including Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, the real story (which got pretty bloody) sadly lurks behind some polite reminiscences only occasionally surfacing in the odd barbed dig (read Neil Daniel’s biog for a more in depth look the bands penchant for self-destruction). Extra’s include some surprisingly muscular footage from a later Donington show (2001), featuring Mogg, Way, Schenker and Uli Jon Roth.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Elton John Elton John
The Million Dollar Piano
(Eagle Rock)

As you might imagine, given that ol’ Reg is the king of bling, the title of this DVD does indeed refer to the cost of the piano used throughout the show (in fact it cost 1.4 million, but the one million four hundred thousand dollar piano doesn’t have the same snappy ring), and it is a pretty natty piano with all manner of lighting shenanigans scooting up and down it’s grand exterior which, when synced up to the eye candy-esque strewn stage set, hugely lavish lighting and impressively choreographed video backdrops, make for a genuinely bonkers show, but perhaps the best thing of all is the hefty clutch of terrific earlier material that pepper a set built around all of the hits, and if he can’t quite hit some of the higher notes nowadays he’s still got a strong enough voice and the confidence to carry off any slight vocal rejigs which ensure all the songs ring true. It may have been some time now since he has released any truly exceptional new material, but with a back catalogue like this who cares? Great songs, great performances and a great show, can’t ask any more really..
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Randy BachmanRandy Bachman
Vinyl Tap Tour
(12 Hit Wonder/Farpoint)

Aaron ‘Ventian Snares’ Funk may have taken against his hometown of Winnipeg (check out 2005’s delightful Winnipeg Is a Frozen Shithole for more on this subject), but one thing of which the Canadian province of Manitoba can be rightly proud is being home to the mighty Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and whilst Randy Bachman is without Fred Turner and Arthur Overdrive (umm, are you sure about this? – Ed) on this solo set some BTO tracks do appear, as indeed does material from even earlier outfit Guess Who alongside a whole lot of pre song reminiscing, but as the DVD subtitle is Every Song Tells A Story this is flagged up early on as an evening of chat and music and Bachman fans were doubtless delighted to hear the roots of some of their favourite tunes. Bachman is an easy going likeable raconteur and the whole thing slopes along nicely and yes he does play, and give us the back story to, ‘American Woman’, ‘Takin' Care of Business’ and ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ alongside many more. Also includes a CD version shorn of the chat. As Smashy and Nicey would probably say, ‘let’s rock’.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

SepulturaSepultura & Les Tambours Du Bronx
Metal Veins: Alive At Rock In Rio (Eagle Rock)

Many of you will doubtless already be aware that Sepultura are a Brazilian thrash metal outfit (now fronted by an American vocalist Derrick Green after founder member Max Cavalera’s departure in 1996) but not so many will be aware that Les Tambours du Bronx (the Drums of the Bronx) are a seventeen piece French industrial percussion band created in 1987 who pummel seven shades of shite out of spray painted 225 litre oil drums (none of which last more than two performances) and this DVD is the result of the two bands live hook-up at the Rock In Rio festival and where better to marry thunderous thrash metal with equally thunderous walls of percussion than in the home of the bateria and some of the world’s most rabid metal fans? Chances are if you don’t like your metal high speed and grunted or aren’t a fan of clonking great walls of percussion then this ain’t for you, but if you have always wondered how you can make heavy metal even heavier (which in this case entails hitting lots of heavy metal very, very hard), then you will find plenty here to goosebump your arm hair’s and royally piss off the neighbours.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The Australian Pink Floyd ShowThe Australian Pink Floyd Show
Eclipsed By The Moon (TAPFS Europe Ltd.)

With a new(ish) Pink Floyd album galloping over the horizon (albeit one featuring old material buffed up as a tribute to the late Rick Wright), you might imagine that Gilmour, Mason and Co. are considering one last live hurrah in support, but not a bit of it, this it seems is the bands final hurrah. Fear not however as whilst the genuine article certainly seem, for the foreseeable future at least, done and dusted their Aussie counterparts are far from finished with this classic material, this particular DVD documenting their 2013 tour performing Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety (with a second disc of cherry picked PF delights), and, as always, the music is pretty much spot on and the staging equally impressive (still laugh every time I see that ‘Flamin’ Roo). There are good cover bands and there are bad cover bands but only occasionally are there great cover bands and the Aussie Floyd belong firmly in the latter select little enclave injecting just enough smart little antipodean touches to inject new life into classic tracks. If you want the full Floyd experience you really can’t do any better than these guys and gals.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel
Back To Front (Eagle Rock)

Even back in the days of no budget stage productions in scratty venues and on college tours, Peter Gabriel understood the notion of ‘a show’ and whilst his denim bedecked Genesis compatriots either sat or remained immobile Gabriel would be found sporting increasingly outlandish costumes whilst miming mowing lawns. It was no surprise then that when he went solo the augmenting of recorded material with meticulously planned live set-pieces was taken to a whole other level, and whilst everyone else opted for enormous banks of lighting rigs Gabriel opted for subtly choreographed stage movements, spending chunks of the show in the audience, riding bicycles, singing in phone boxes, clever use of colour and loads of humour. Basically you can pick pretty much any of Gabriel’s live DVD’s and you are in for a real treat but this (ostensibly a celebration of the 25th anniversary of his most successful album So filmed at the London O2), harks back to previous productions whilst cleverly updating them and includes several new songs alongside acoustic versions of old favourites, all the hits and of course we get So in its entirety. Oh and of course everything is played brilliantly by Gabriel’s 1987 superb touring line-up.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Roger Chapman & The ShortlistRoger Chapman & The Shortlist
Live At Rockpalast - Hamburg 1979: 1DVD +2CD (Repertoire Records)

OK, cards on the table here, the lines ‘wo-oh, rolling and tumbling sure ain't done me no harm’ bellowed by Roger Chapman in Family highlight ‘Burlesque’ are one of this writers top ten moments in rock music, so I guess I’m a bit biased where the delights of Chappo’s voice are concerned. Not everything Chapman has released has found its way into the Harper household mind (there are some decidedly middling Streetwalker albums), but I’m certainly predisposed to that gravelly warble and I’m delighted to say that this live set delivers in spades. Recorded in 1979 the set is composed mainly of tracks from his first solo album Chappo - which some fans had found a little too polished - all of which are given extended, far grittier ‘rock and soul’ review style workouts here thanks to a terrific band and Chapman himself being in fine vocal form. Even more of a delight is a very rare dip into the Family back catalogue for yup, you guessed it, ‘Burlesque’ which positively sizzles plus a high speed vamp through the Stones ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’. The box also includes a 24-page booklet with quotes and reminiscences from pianist & musical director Tim Hinkley and sax player Nick Pentelow.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Pink FloydPink Floyd
The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story
(Eagle Rock)

Not a new story certainly, but still a fascinating one, John Edginton’s documentary charting the rise and fall of Syd Barrett tracks down pretty much anyone who knew or worked with the man (including all the Floyd crew), to tell the story of a genuinely innovative individual who dramatically unravelled, losing his way in tandem with his band finding theirs. There’s little doubt Pink Floyd would not have existed without him, but after whatever bad trip tipped him over the edge it’s equally certain that they needed to leave him behind to continue working because when he got involved he did his utmost to scupper any headway they had made. The film is full of great footage - including home movies - and disarmingly honest interviews, the interviewees seemingly doing their level best to honestly relate, what is after all, a dreadfully sad story, and is now expanded to two discs. Nicely packaged with extra acoustic performances by Robyn Hitchcock and Graham Coxson and the full, unedited, interviews with all the members of Floyd (amounting to more than three hours of extra footage), this remains pretty much the definitive take on this story.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

DevoDevo
The Complete Truth About De-evolution
(Wienerworld)

And what is The Complete Truth About de-evolution? Well, as we understand it the idea is that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress (or de-evolve), as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society which may well have begun as a tongue in cheek manifesto upon which to build a (slightly) more accessible take on the sort of queasy art-rock championed by the Residents but the daft costumes, flowerpot hats and b-movie video’s would never have been enough on their own had there not been some substance to the material as songs like ‘Jocko Homo’, ‘Whip It’, ‘Come Back Jonee’ and of course their minimal stuttering take on ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ all proved to be just the right commercial side of weird becoming hugely popular in the new wave era. If ever a band was made for MTV that band was Devo and all the bonkers vids are here in their spazz dancing, primary-coloured, nerdy glory, alongside loads of extras including live romps through songs like ‘Uncontrollable Urge’ and ‘Mongoloid’ which prove that they weren’t half bad on stage either.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Wilko JohnsonWilko Johnson
Live At Koko (Cadiz)

With a re-recorded best of also just out (more here), there seems to be a positive avalanche of Wilko related material coming out right now (for obvious reasons), however if you really want to understand the appeal of the man you need to see him perform live - the spare, pre-punk, rhythm and blues electricity of Dr. Feelgood in particular is astonishing, almost violent, in its intensity – and making a basic instrumental trio work is perhaps the hardest live job there is (although helped exponentially in this case by Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe). That however is exactly what Johnson has always done and despite no longer being as young or fit as he was (and occasionally missing Lee Brilleaux’s coruscating harp solos) he still positively fizzes with kinetic energy throughout this classic strewn set. Extras include several live tracks and an excellent interview which is actually as good as the live show peppered with Wilko’s delightfully deranged intensity and humour and at over an hour far more in depth (dealing with numerous subjects including his impending death) than the usual tacked on fifteen minute jobs you get. In short if this was to be his epitaph, it’s a bloody good one.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Martin Hannett He Wasn't Just a Fifth Member Of Joy Division : A Film About Martin Hannett
(Ozit Dandelion)

OK, first up this is a long, long film, three hours and 47 minutes in fact, it’s far too long to do in one sitting and should have been split into two distinct halves (and seen a little more of the editing blade). That said there is still much here to merit picking up this documentary about the wayward genius that was Martin Hannett. For those that don’t know Hannett who sadly died on 18 April 1991 at the age of 42 due in no small part to his excessive drink and drug use, was the man who sat behind the desk for era defining Manchester albums like Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and Closer, and the Happy Mondays' Bummed. HWJAFMOJD features interview with (deep beath) Tony Wilson, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Dave Formula, John Cooper Clarke, Reni, Vini Reilly, Graham Fellows (Jilted John, John Shuttleworth), numerous other musicians, family and friends in fact pretty much everyone who knew the man and, in keeping with Hannett’s own occasionally unorthodox approach, makes no attempt at broadcast quality filming standards and is therefore probably only going to interest fans of the music, but if you are such a fan you will find plenty to enjoy here.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The BeatlesThe Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night (Second Sight)

Can’t imagine there are many of you who haven’t already seen this but it’s easy to forget just how packed with great music it is and if you don’t already own a copy then this pin sharp restoration packed with extras is definitely the time to add it to your music library. For those of you under thirty (or possibly Nana Mouskouri fans) who don’t already know, the plot finds the band bound for a London show on a train (well it might have happened!) they then lose Ringo (who disappears on a bike, naturally), but the police find him and all turns out for the best. Hmm, doesn’t sound too impressive when put on paper but believe me it’s a lorra lorra laughs and the tunes rock. Featuring a mono soundtrack as well as a newly created 5.1 surround and stereo mixes bonus features include In Their Own Voices - a new piece combining 1964 interviews with The Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage and photos; You Can t Do That: The Making of A Hard Day s Night (including an outtake performance by The Beatles); Things They Said Today - featuring director Richard Lester music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor plus loads more.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The ClashThe Clash
The Rise And The Fall Of The Clash (UDR)

Not, on the face of it, a new, or indeed untold, story (see Westway To The World), the USP of The Rise And The Fall Of The Clash is the unflinching, gimlet eyed stare into the nasty-minded, back stabbing, atmosphere fostered and encourage by manager Bernie Rhodes (and make no mistake Rhodes was both the reason for the Clash’s birth and the reason for their demise) with first hand information from friends, crew and people who were there including Mick Jones Terry Chimes, Pearl Harbour, Viv Albertine and later Clash members Vince White, Nick Sheppard and Pete Howard. So we follow the band from humble origins to huge American stadiums and then, via squabbling, in-fighting, drug problems and Rhodes Svengali style machinations, onto everything grinding to an ignominious halt. On the downside, like Westway To The World, there is precious little actual Clash music to be found here but as an addition and addendum to Westway... this fills in the gaps and properly rounds out the final two years in the desperately sad demise of a once great band who finally disintegrated in 1986 (after abysmal final album Cut The Crap), just ten years after their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols in Sheffield.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Bad CompanyBad Company
The 40th Anniversary (UMC)

One of those bands that tend to get overlooked when classic rock outfits are wheeled back out for reappraisal so this celebration of a band who had more hits than you may remember (some of ‘em stone cold classics) is well overdue and all three of the surviving classic line-up talk extensively - sadly Boz Burrell died in 2006. Perhaps their affiliation with the biggest band on the planet at the time – they were managed by Led Zep’s Peter Grant and were on the rock behemoth’s Swan Song label – was a double edged sword as, whilst they became a proper stadium filling draw, in less than ten years they were burned out (all of them agree that the death of John Bonham in 1980 put the brakes on pretty much everything). The film also includes a hefty nod to previous outfits Free and Mott The Hoople, although the Brian Howe and Robert Hart versions of Bad Company don’t get a look in here (albiet they were nowhere near as successful), but given the length of time those Paul Rodgers-less Bad Company’s existed their elbowing from BC history is a bit disingenuous. All-in-all however this is an interesting look at a fine bands history (also comes in a Classic Rock collector’s pack with a 132-page magazine edition).
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Dream TheaterDream Theater
Live At Luna Park- 2DVD+3CD (Eagle Rock)

Not as big a draw this side of the pond US prog/ metallers Dream Theater (formed in 1985 by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy), have nonetheless spent almost thirty years creating some stellar, often technically astonishing, music, the same three original members remaining together until September 8, 2010 when drummer Portnoy left the band and this live show, filmed during the final leg of their A Dramatic Tour Of Events world tour in July 2011 at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina features the, not inconsiderable, skills of replacement Mike Mangini (alongside current DT’s James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess). Obviously this is aimed first and foremost at fans but if you are unfamiliar with the band this is a great place to start as it features an incendiary (almost) three hour long set littered with classic DT monuments including four, under-rehearsed but nonetheless very successful, tunes performed with a string quartet, a terrific documentary, a trailer for the cinematic release, a ‘Behind The Scenes’ feature and the animated intro that fans were greeted with on the big screen before the band took the stage.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

The Dukes Of SeptemberThe Dukes Of September
Live At Lincoln Centre (429 Records)

The Dukes of September (great name) a resurrection of the New York Rock and Soul Revue which was originally active between 1989 and 1992 and featured the same three musicians (Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs), playing a combination of hits from their respective careers as well as a variety of covers. Reforming again in 2010 for touring purposes this show was, unsurprisingly, hugely popular with fans of a certain age and this live show recorded for television in 2012 positively drips with class as classic Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs numbers are effortlessly recreated by a seriously classy band. Okay, Fagen and McDonald have to stretch to hit those high notes nowadays (more noticeable in that warm hug of a McDonald voice), and occasionally the standard covers are a touch pedestrian but there are numerous highlights and ‘Kid Charlemagne’, ‘Peg’, ‘What A Fool Believes’, ‘Lowdown’ ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ and ‘Lido Shuffle’ are an utter delight. Pity there’s no extras (a backstage interview or some audience reactions would have been welcome additions), but really only a churl would take issue with such a classy hit list of grown up pop.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

Lou ReedLou Reed
Transformer/Live At Montreeux 2000: SD Blue-ray (Eagle Rock)

Despite being one of the grumpiest buggers to walk the face of the earth the recent loss of Lou Reed was a real tragedy, not least because you got the feeling that it was quite likely he still had a few surprises left up his rumpled black sleeve. However this SD Blu-ray twofer from Eagle Vision will certainly help ease the man’s passing, especially for all you audiophiles. For those of us who have wrecked their hearing with one too many Motörhead shows the ‘upscaled standard definition original material with uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound’ may be a little lost, but Blu-ray fanatics will doubtless luxuriate in the dramatically improved sound and vision, for the rest of us simply combining the terrific ‘Classic Albums’ documentary Transformer (although David Fricke’s utterances do get a little wearing) with a fine Live At Montreux 2000 concert film of Lou Reed s performance at the world famous festival – featuring material from his Ecstasy album alongside some older classics - is value enough. Also well worth tracking down is the SD Blue-ray Joni Mitchell twofer featuring the Woman of Heart & Mind documentary and Painting With Words And Music concert.
Ray Harper

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

US Festival’83 US Festival
(Wienerworld)

So the history bit; The US festival took place on Memorial Day Weekend 1983 and was the brainchild of Apple Computers Steve Wozniak (Jobs apparently thought the idea a duffer) featuring three days of new wave, heavy metal and MTV style pop acts and included performances from U2, the Clash, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Scorpions, INXS, Men at Work, Stray Cats, The Beat and more. Given the amount of material that was filmed one must assume there is a vault full of it somewhere (which is almost certainly never going to see the light of day due to contracts with the bands management), what you do have is an overall summation of the whole event with interviews and performances cherry picked from across the three day show. What you also have is a real moment in time as 1983 was at the height of MTV fever so acts like Divinyls, Stray Cats, Men At Work, Berlin, Missing Words and Quarterflash were certainly booked due to heavy MTV rotation (and lordy is there a lot of primary colours, spiked hair and trousers gathered at the ankle on show), that said Judas Priest, U2, The Beat, The Clash – featuring Mick Jones last live performance - and (oddly enough) The Scorpions all deliver quality moments.
The Oracle

Buy this DVD

******************************************************************

DVD Review Archive...

******************
Features Archive

features Interviews with Supergrass, Ryan Adams, Mark Josephs and our features archive.

more

******************
Live listings

live listings What's on and where Check the listings for all the latest news on where to go and why

more

******************
Album reviews

Our monthly roundup of all the latest album releases good, bad or ugly, we listen and then rate 'em

more

******************
Book Reviews

Book Reviews All the latest music related tomes, top shelf or under the counter, we read ‘em and then pass on the good (or bad) word

more

******************
Class act

A full page monthly retrospective look at the most Influential acts from the last fifty years

more

******************

twitter / totalmusicmag



Copyright: The Fearless Organisation 2004
Web site designed and built by Craig Goult at XUNY in association with CaPhun Ung at Phyo.net