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Mostly Autumn - Live at the Grand Opera House CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

4.18 | 21 ratings

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4 stars Review Nš 654

'Live At The Grand Opera House' is the sixth live album of Mostly Autumn that was released in 2004. It was recorded at the Grand Opera House in York, England. It represents the return of the band to their home town. 'Live At The Grand Opera House' was released in three different versions. It was released in 2003 a DVD with twelve tracks and another DVD, a limited edition, with nineteen tracks. It was released in 2004 a CD version, a smaller version with only ten tracks.

The line up on 'Live At The Grand Opera House' is Bryan Josh (vocals, lead electric guitars, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars and E-bow), Heather Findlay (vocals, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, bodhran and tambourine), Ian Jennings (vocals, keyboards and Hammond organ), Liam Davison (vocals, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, electric and slide guitars), Angela Goldthorpe (flute and whistles), Andy Smith (bass guitar) and Jonathan Blackmore (drums). The concert had also the participation of Troy Donockley (Uilleann pipes and electric guitar), of the choir of the members of The Micklegate Singers and of the 'Synthesis' String Quartet, as guest musicians.

So, the CD version of 'Live At The Grand Opera House' has ten tracks. The first track 'Caught In A Fold' was originally released on their album 'Passengers'. The second track 'The Dark Before The Dawn' was originally released on their album 'The Last Light Bright'. The third track 'Answer The Question' was originally released on their album 'Passengers'. The fourth track 'Goodbye Alone' was originally released on their album 'Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings'. The fifth track 'Passengers' was originally released on their album 'Passengers'. The sixth track 'The Gap Is Too Wide' was originally released on their album 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past'. The seventh track 'Distant Train' was originally released on their album 'Passengers'. The eighth track 'Bitterness Burnt' was also originally released on their album 'Passengers'. The ninth track 'Comfortably Numb' is a cover's song originally released by Pink Floyd on their album 'The Wall'. The tenth track 'Pass The Clock' was originally released on their album 'Passengers'.

So, as the CD version has only ten tracks, there are more nine songs that were performed on that live show and that don't appear on this CD version. Those songs are: 'Nowhere To Hide (Close My Eyes)', 'Heroes Never Die', 'Evergreen', 'Winter Mountain', 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past (Part 2)', 'Never The Rainbow', 'Overture ' The Forge Of Sauron', 'Greenwood The Great (Shadow Glades)' and 'Smoke On The Water', which is a cover song of Deep Purple.

With 'Live At The Grand Opera House', the Queens and Kings of the 'Pink Floyd Folk' presented a really big hit again and had themselves filmed in York's at the Grand Opera House. The live concert by no means has a stiff operatic atmosphere, only the hall is an opera house, but the atmosphere is relaxed and the audience is very enthusiastic but without compulsion. No wonder that. In reality, there's really something great to offer here by Mostly Autumn. A sell out crowd at the Grand Opera House waited to acclaim the returning heroes on a magical evening which featured the full majesty of an extended Mostly Autumn's performance augmented by a string quartet, a choir and the presence of the multi-instrumentalist Troy Donnockley. This is a very powerful concert of a major event in the musical evolution of the band as Mostly Autumn unveiled the 'Passengers' stage presentation. Probably, the Grand Opera House really is the best place to see Mostly Autumn live since it represents their return to their origins. In reality, Mostly Autumn is a top quality band, and one of York's true musical treasures. The choice of the repertoire for this live concert is excellent. The performance is top notch and there's also a lot of tonal depth when all seven performers are perfectly coordinated, which is almost all of the time, and they end the show on a cheery, Christmassy high. We have a fine selection of their own material up to 'Passengers' album and two excellent covers of 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Comfortably Numb'.

Conclusion: There's something unique but highly impenetrable about Mostly Autumn which leaves us mixed feelings after viewing a show of them for the first time. Formed back in 1996, the band despite numerous lines up changes, have carved themselves a niche by dedicating them to the progressive rock whose heyday was back in the 70's. They have endured despite never having a major record label primarily financing their own albums and tours. They undoubtedly attract a diehard but clearly selected fan base all over the globe. 'Live At The Grand Opera House' isn't an exception. The only thing I regret is that I don't have the limited version with the entire show. I always was a great fan of the band and my favourite studio albums are the first three. So, some of my favourite songs from the band that were performed on stage, were left out, like 'Nowhere To Hide (Close My Eyes)', 'Heroes Never Die', 'Evergreen', 'Winter Mountain', 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past (Part 2)' and 'Never The Rainbow'. However, 'Live At The Grand Opera House' has some amazing emotional music from a stunning prog rock band, unfortunately an underrated band, at the peak of their form.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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