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Pendragon - Past And Presence CD (album) cover





4.03 | 62 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Past and Presence comes less than an year after their last DVD ...And Now Everybody To The Stage, and is recorded in the same place (Poland) and the same theatre, but it is a completely different affair. This time the group is celebrating the 21st anniversary of the release of their debut album, The Jewel (recently remastered). And they bring some of the original members of the band to play with them.

And what a celebration it was! The band seems to get better and better live with every DVD release. The lights, effects, sound and general stage performances are all above anything they did before on video. The band never seemed so at ease in front at an audience and yet they play with such cirurgical precison you wonder if they´re a actually mimicking to a CD. Original members John Barnfield, Julian Baker and Rick Carter are all in good form and add their skills to the songs with equal effectiveness as the current line up (well, almost!). Only drummer Nigel Harris is absent in the show, but not from the DVD: he did join Pendragon in a club in England and he is featured on the bunus footage, playing 3 songs with them (the bar had a much smaller stage, of course, but the sound quality is incredibly good and up to the main show)

The Jewel is hardly Pendragon´s best CD but all the basic elements of their sound are there from the very beginning and when the band plays those songs live they bring new life to them, showing some subtle and bright colors the original production was not capable of. Amazing! And not satisfied to play the entire album, they also included their early singles and b sides. Honestly I never thought that I´d ever see them playing obscure tunes like Dark Summer´s Day and Armaggedon, much less the instrumentals Excalibur and Please. All done with the usual passion and guts you´d expect from this great band.

A wonderful perfomance, the group proved they had enough power in the early songwriting not to rely on their later classic stuff (specially The Masquerade Overture) to hold the attention of the audience for more than an hour and a half. Actually, nobody missed them at all! I wish Pendragon´s next move is to do the same thing to their second released, Kowtow.

Past and Presence is a must have for any neo prog fan, and music lovers in general. 4,5 stars really. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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