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Pendragon - Concerto Maximo CD (album) cover





4.45 | 103 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars As good as Gold

Pendragon fans have been rather spoilt in recent years with regular DVD releases featuring the band on stage. The question is therefore, do we actually need another one for 2009. After becoming acquainted with "Concerto Maximo", I have to say the answer is emphatically yes. This is a quite astonishing set running to over 2 hours, which gathers in songs from throughout the band's 30 year history.

To celebrate that anniversary, Pendragon headed for Poland, and the Wyspiański Theater in Katowice, a location which has become something of a second home to Clive Nolan in particular. The concert was recorded by Polish prog label Metal Mind Productions, who have gone to great lengths to present what they captured with care and attention to detail.

The set serves to introduce new drummer Scott Higham (who recently worked with Nolan on his Caamora project), who looks for all the world as if he has been playing with the band for years. The rest of the band will never be submitting themselves for a prettiest band of the year contest, but the energy and enthusiasm they convey throughout the show is as palpable as it is enjoyable. Many of the songs are among the longest and most complex the band have released, with familiar titles such as "The walls of Babylon", "Queen of hearts", and "And we'll go hunting deer" being among the 17 which make it onto the set list. The highlight for me is the wonderful "The shadow" from the "Masquerade overture" album, but in all honesty the magical atmosphere of the event is maintained form beginning to end.

While other bands often overload their sets with material from their latest album, Pendragon include a couple of songs from "Pure" but these blend in almost seamlessly with songs which are significantly older.

The Polish audience are enthusiastic and appreciative, while generally avoiding the temptation to seek their moment of fame during the quieter sections.

If the DVD did not already offer superb value in terms of the length of the concert, it is further enhanced by some fine interviews with the band members, plus the usual static text and pictures sections featuring the band discography etc.

In summary, this has to be one of the finest prog DVD releases to date. The filming and direction are spot on throughout and the sound quality is excellent. The fact that the music is of the highest quality too simply results in the definitive Pendragon DVD release.

On a personal note, I was delighted to enjoy the privilege of seeing the band when they visited my home town (Glasgow) in May this year.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |


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