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Peter Gabriel - New Blood - Live in London CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.15 | 54 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm surprised to be only the third one to write about this DVD. The cover picture is bad (blood cells, right?) but the contents are most unique and interesting. I generally enjoyed it even if the album Scratch My Back failed to impress me. So, as you probably know, Peter is accompanied here by a large orchestra and no electric instruments of a rock band are used at all. That means the music has been given a whole new treatment. Funny thing is, often the difference doesn't seem so radical, mainly because for the vocal performances there are no big differences on many songs. On the other hand that's a pity (because the listener is already prepared for major differences), but on the other hand, it might turn out to be alienating (both for the liestener and for Peter Gabriel himself) with more radical changes in everything.

It's a hard task to compete with the rock approach familiar to the fan, but probably this project doesn't even care about that. And as someone said in the the extra film "Blood Donors", there have been people who have enjoyed this concert but who are not fans of Gabriel albums at all. Over all mr. Metcalfe has done a fine job with the arrangements. The orchestra is used very thoughtfully: instead of full, string-heavy orchestral sound the arrangements favour more delicate nuances and variety. Gabriel is also accompanied by his daughter Melanie and youngish Norwegian artist Ane Brun (mainly on backing vocals but each gets a duet; Ane is great on 'Don't Give Up').

Track selection is very good, with seldom heard early jewels like 'Intruder', 'Wallflower', 'The Rhythm of the Heat' - plus 'San Jacinto', Red Rain' & 'Mercy Street', three of my all-time favourite PG songs. Generally this selection is quite far from the hits / best known songs, though inclusions such as 'Solsbury Hill', 'Biko', 'In Your Eyes' (with guest vocals of African lady Sevara Nazarkhan) and 'Digging in the Dirt' are wise. Gabriel has notably grown older (in a charming and elegant way!) but his vocals still work like hell.

The visual side is a bit too digital and postmodern for my taste, but quite well in balance with the artist and his own style. Despite that 'coldness' in the visual effects, the concert does have some warmth, and I'd recommend this to Gabriel fans.

Matti | 4/5 |


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