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Van Der Graaf Generator - Live at the Paradiso 14:04:07 CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.69 | 87 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars 'Live at the Paradiso' is such a treasure with the VDGG band returning to the big stage and celebrating the return of the classic lineup with a CD and DVD. The DVD is the preferred choice here but this is still great to listen to without the visuals. It begins with the mesmirising 'Lemmings', sounding a bit strained but still a classic in all respects. Hammill seems to have the obligatory microphone issues being that this is the first song, as there are audio dropouts, though this is fixed for the rest of the concert. The guitar is rather odd, almost sounding out of tune but it is great to hear that organ of Hugh Banton, and the drumming of Guy Evans is powerful. The real star is Peter Hammill on vocals, guitar, and pianos; he is the piece of the VDGG puzzle that really must be present or it all falls apart. The absence of sax legend David Jackson is infuriating as he is one of the main drawcards and he is missed on several songs where the organ attempts to replace him to no avail.

Having said all that there is still enough here and so well played to make this a worthy purchase. Songs such as '(In The) Black Room', 'Every Bloody Emperor' and 'Gog' are always going to be powerhouse performances, even if they are not as good as the studio versions. The unusual choice of 'World record' epic 'Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild' is very welcome as it is rarely heard live and unedited. The nest is yet to come at the end of the concert with the incredible 'The Sleepwalkers', 'Man-Erg' and 'Scorched Earth', all quintessential VDGG tracks in their own right. This is not as good a live album as 'Vital' or 'Real Life' but it is certainly a wonderful thing to hear them play these tracks all these years on and they still sound as creatively vital and innovatively fresh even in their golden years. The DVD is far superior and identical as far as audio so that is the better choice.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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