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Camel - Moondances CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 60 ratings

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4 stars What a treat for Camel fans this DVD is, featuring not 1 but 2 concerts from the seventies, though as the total disc time is 2 hours no doubt in abridged format.

The first was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976 and is more than likely to be most people's favourite of the 2, capturing the band at the height of their Symphonic excellence with the classic Latimer, Bardens, Ward and Ferguson line up. The picture quality is good with plenty of different camera angles, though bassist Doug Ferguson is strangely absent from most of the shots, barely getting a look in. The sound is also good though it hasn't been mixed to 5.1 so you'll have to settle for stereo. The band put on a great performance; particularly enjoyable is Andy Latimer's searing guitar playing and Pete Barden's keyboard work as they play through a crowd pleasing set. Highlights are a superb version of Lunar Sea from the Moonmadness album and Lady Fantasy from Mirage and not forgetting excerpts from the Snow Goose in Preparation and Dunkirk, all excellent stuff.

Moving onto the 1977 concert at the Hippodrome which I remember seeing originally aired on the BBC Sight and Sound In Concert series back in the seventies. By now Doug Ferguson was out, being replaced by Richard Sinclair on bass as well as sharing vocal duties. Mel Collins was also added to the line up on Sax and Flute adding another dimension to the sound that no doubting his musical prowess, in all honesty they didn't need. The set leans heavily on the then current Rain Dances album and finds the band, no doubt looking for more commercial success, in more mainstream territory and whilst the album was okay it pales in comparison to the first four, thus despite a strong performance it is not as enjoyable as the 1976 show. We also get another enjoyable version of Lunar Sea and more excerpts from The Snow Goose to keep fans of the early stuff happy. As with the 1976 show the sound and picture quality is good.

As a bonus there are 2 unreleased tracks from the original line up, Autumn and Riverman. They are accompanied by a slide show and are both enjoyably mellow and melodic pieces.

Any fans of Camel will not be disappointed with this DVD, particularly for the 1976 concert which is excellent, though the 77 show is certainly worth a look too. Well worth adding to your collection.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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