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Camel - The Opening Farewell - Live At The Catalyst (DVD) CD (album) cover

THE OPENING FAREWELL - LIVE AT THE CATALYST (DVD)

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 58 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The actual farewell has been cut!

I am pleased that I finally have this DVD in my hand after a long wait. Recorded in 2003 and officially released in 2010, this DVD features the first night of the last (ever?) Camel tour. Or rather, it is a kind of "preview" concert before the proper tour commences. The location is a small club or studio which brings the band close to the small but greatly appreciative audience.

The front cover of the DVD is deceiving as it features a photograph of a set list sheet from a different night of the same tour. Neither Arubaluba, Fox Hill, Never Let Go nor Lawrence are actually featured on the DVD despite being listed on that sheet. What is actually here though is 15 out of the 17 songs that were played on the night of recording. For some unknown reason Arubaluba and Fox Hill as well as the encores Never Let Go and Gods Of Light were cut despite being played that night (as confirmed by David Minasian, the producer of this and other Camel DVDs, in the PA forums). The recording of Fox Hill from this night has been officially released on the Camel Footage 2 DVD, but it could easily have been included here too. Maybe it is unfair of me to focus on what is not here instead of what is actually here, but truth be told that it is some of the most interesting tracks that have been left out. Most of the surviving songs have already been featured on other official live recordings by the band. The opportunity to offer the fans and collectors some rare tracks is thus sadly somewhat lost here. Gods Of Light would have been particularly interesting to hear and see in 2003 as previous versions of this pre-Camel song are very old.

With the exception of The Single Factor, Harbour Of Tears and Rajaz, every Camel studio album is represented in the set list. The show opens with a great version of the classic Lady Fantasy from the Mirage album. What follows is a series of good to fantastic renditions of some of the band's most frequently played tunes, quite a few of which were featured on the previous live releases Coming Of Age (DVD and double CD) and Never Let Go (double CD). Andy Latimer and Colin Bass takes turns behind the microphone and even if I think they are both good singers, age is leaving its marks on Latimer in particular. His vocals are adequate, but occasionally he seems a bit nonchalant and whimsical in his vocal performance and not caring as much as he perhaps ought to. His guitar playing, on the other hand, is beyond criticism as usual. There are some really excellent guitar moments here.

Keyboard duties are taken care of by Tom Brislin who has also played with Yes (as can be seen on the Symphonic Yes DVD). He does a very good job. The drummer is Denis Clement. The whole band seem to be enjoying themselves a lot while playing these songs, as does the audience hearing them. And no wonder, as this music is simply excellent. Anyone who likes Camel at all is fully guaranteed to enjoy this DVD! However, I personally think that the two aforementioned live releases Coming Of Age and Never Let Go (both of which I have rated with five stars each), are even better than this one. Having at least one of these live recordings is absolutely essential, but if you already have those two The Opening Farewell is "merely" another excellent addition to your Camel collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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