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Carl Palmer - The Carl Palmer Band : Live In Europe CD (album) cover

THE CARL PALMER BAND : LIVE IN EUROPE

Carl Palmer

 

Crossover Prog

3.25 | 8 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The seemingly endless enigma

The ELP focused set list here entices the inquisitive to enter in the hope of hearing Carl's take on some of the band's classic material. With titles such as Tarkus, Toccata, The Barbarian, Hoedown etc., only the most disciplined of ELP fans could resist the temptation to give this DVD a try.

I have to say up-front though, I was very disappointed. Firstly, a quick look at the line up reveals that Carl Palmer's band consists of himself plus a bassist and a lead guitarist; that's it! No keyboards, no vocals, no acoustic guitar, and so forth, every song has an identical instrumental composition (except for the solo spots of course). Very occasionally, when keyboards are deemed essential for the introductions to Tarkus and Fanfare for the common man, recordings are used.

Now, Paul Bielatowicz is unquestionably a highly gifted guitarist. His fret work is blisteringly fast, and he can shred with the best of them. The problem is that every song features the same tone of lead guitar playing the keyboard and/or the guitar parts. This quickly becomes very tedious and frankly dull. In addition, the guitar sound has not been captured well here. It lacks depth or character, leaving an impression of coldness. This is made apparent by the studio rendition of Trilogy by the band, which backs the closing credits. The guitar sound here is far richer and much more satisfactory.

The bass-work of Dave Marks is equally proficient his capabilities being highlighted during his solo spot.

Carl is in fine form of course, with as much energy as ever. His eternal youthful enthusiasm endears the partisan audience, and as ever he gives every last ounce of energy. For this who hoped to witness an exhibition of drumming virtuosity though, this may perhaps also be a bit of a disappointment. The principal instrument virtually throughout is the ubiquitous lead guitar, Carl only delivering one solo spot as such, at the end of the gig.

Presentation wise, the DVD is poor in terms of modern standards. No information is given about the location or date of the gig, which lasts for less than 90 minutes. There are no DVD extras such as interviews or behind the scenes featurettes.

It is always great to witness Carl giving his all in concert. This DVD however will only truly satisfy a limited audience. Others, like myself, will be puzzled as to what Carl was intending to achive here.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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