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Van Der Graaf Generator - Real Time CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 182 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The great Graaf together!

Live on stage!!!

A perfect choice for my 2100th review and, I promise, the last one for 2008. I dedicate it to my friend Febus who was always teasing me for my love and passion for the Graaf and PH. He always found that I was too generous with them. But I am just found of them; that's how our conversations used to end while talking about this great band.

What an enchantment to discover this album some time ago. At least the sound recording is decent (which was scarcely the case on ''Vital''), the band is not completely stoned as they were on some previous releases, and there aren't any long and useless improvisation.

No. Nothing as such: the track list is splendid and brings you in their world of music since the early beginnings (''Refugees'') to their last studio album at the time (''Bloody Emperor'') amongst some other ones.

Peter's voice is still loaded with passion and sounds as fresh as it could be. Being during ''Scorched Earth'' or during the splendid opener ''The Undercover Man''. Maybe if you are like me, you would miss a few great songs from the band, for sure.

But if you want to see and listen to ''The Plague.'', you'll have to watch their DVD ''Godbluff Live''. And if, like me, you are orphan of ''Still Life'', you will definitely rush out to ''Maida Vail''. And there won't be any way out for the ones willing to listen to ''Pilgrims'' in a live version. Nor ''House With No Door'' nor ''Emperor In His War Room'' nor .But I guess that if I was willing to listen to each great songs of theirs, I would need to buy them for a private concert. What choice is there left? But to listen!

I wouldn't be too harsh with the Graaf, since one of the songs I will have played at my burial party is wonderfully rendered here: ''Refugees'' of course. A highlight in their career, a wonderful song, a passionate musical moment, a splendid cry to freedom, an hymn to humanity. Nothing less than that my prog friends! Even if the studio version was more intimate and honestly better, it is such a pleasure to listen to this jewel again that one can only bow. Thank you very much guys! You're so great.

Most of the versions played here are rather faithful to the original studio track, with some live passion added of course. Emotion as well, obviously.

There is one non Van Der Graaf song available on this live set. Well, not quite actually. It is one of the most Graaf number out of Peter's solo repertoire. This brings us back again in time ('73). But what a nice journey!

And the time machine is well on its way since the band is bringing us all of a sudden within their latest studio album (at the time of this live set). The second best by far IMO from ''Present'': the wonderful ''Nutter Alert''. Almost as inspired than ''Every Bloody Emperor'': it is another song of anthology. But these are not lacking on this double live CD.

The second disc is quieter but features as well some of their best songs even if ''Masks'' probably does not belong to the cream of the Graaf. Still, it was one of the good song out of ''World Record''. The second track from this album is the tranquil ''Wondering'' which is OK but definitely not of the calibre of the other imposing numbers.

Because the other four songs featured on this second CD are just phenomenal, with a special mention to ''Childlike Faith.'' and ''The Sleepwalkers''. But ''Man-Erg'' has always been a fave of mine, so I am excessively biased and moved while listening to this live set. As would have the audience, I guess.

Both encores are quite different one from another. The heavy and powerful ''Killer'' and the light and melancholic ''Wondering''.

Almost a masterpiece in terms of track list as well as performance. A pity though that the band didn't tour for long in this legendary line-up. Nine out of ten. Congratulations to James for his great review. To have witnessed this concert must have been quite an experience!

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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