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The Enid - Live at Hammersmith Odeon CD (album) cover


The Enid


Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 4 ratings

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The Megastar
4 stars THE ENID's concerts at the Odeon Hammersmith supporting the "Touch Me" album, are regarded by many people as the band at their peak. Both in terms of popularity, and also musically. The previous five years had seen THE ENID gradually build a large and dedicated following of fans, and released 3 classic instrumental symphonic progressive rock albums.

The band's record company at the time, PYE, had decided to have one of these concerts recorded for possible commercial release later. Duly video company Trillion were in place for the Friday 2nd March with five cameras to capture the "event" that was an ENID concert at the time. Unfortunately PYE ( which was in financial difficulties the time ) changed its mind about the video release and had all the tapes wiped. Everyone thought it had been lost forever. Then miraculously a couple of years ago, the former ENID guitarist Francis Lickerish discovered ,with the audio recordings, a VHS tape copy of a rough video mix of the concert made on the night. The 30 year old video footage was then transferred to DVD and re-dubbed with the accompanying audio.

Given the original source material, there are many technical problems with the DVD. Firstly is the picture quality which is very soft with not too much detail. Also there are numerous drop-outs, glitches, and tracking errors visible on the screen throughout the show, Occasionally ( as on "Dam Busters/Land of Hope and Glory" ) the video is slightly out of sync with the soundtrack. Unfortunately the video mixing only seems to use 3 of the 5 cameras used that night, the two hand-held cameras on stage, and one at the back of the theatre. It is clear that the visual mixing was performed by someone who did not know THE ENID's show before hand, because they often cut to a musician who has just finished playing or has yet to start. In terms of performer coverage the keyboardists Godfrey and Gilmour and drummer Storey are well catered for, Whereas the guitarists Lickerish, Stewart, and Pack only make occasional distant appearances. Regretfully the video is also incomplete, "Albion Fair" and Francis Lickerish's spoken introduction to "Fand" are missing ( probably due to changing the tapes on the video machines )

Yet despite all the technical drawbacks once you start to watch the concert you are quickly swept up in the joyous, celebratory, mood of the night. Starting with the flag waving of the National Anthem, to the "Last night of the Proms" style finale there is much to enjoy. Throughout the evening we are presented with track after track of classic instrumental symphonic progressive rock played to a very high standard. One aspect of THE ENID's performance that the DVD really highlights is the extraordinary keyboard set-up that they use. At times six limbs can be seen pirouetting in a carefully choreographed dance over a wall of synthesisers and keyboards. Sometimes three hands playing the same keyboard, then in an instant one would change the synthesiser setting just before someone else would start playing it. On the whole the result is fascinating and a marvel to behold. Apart from the "serious" instrumental tracks the "wackier" side of THE ENID's repertoire is also covered. Firstly with Dave Storey's bizarre version of "Summer Holiday" performed as a percussion solo! Followed by Robert John Godfrey's near legendary performance ( you can't call it singing ) of "Wild Thing" as an encore.

All in all, this an essential purchase for any fan of THE ENID, doubly so because it is only known footage of the classic line-up of the band from the seventies. For that reason I am giving it four stars.

The Megastar | 4/5 |


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