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Woven Hand - Live At Roepaen CD (album) cover


Woven Hand


Prog Folk

3.05 | 2 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars First live album of the Woven Hand group, recorded in a Dutch church (not much wonder when you consider DEE's zealotism) in the wake of their then-recent release The Threshingfloor promotion tour. As you'd expect, a sizeable part of the set list is from that album, but surmising few from the previous Ten Stones album (Kingdom Of Ice only) while the earlier three are generally represented by two or three tracks. An extended line-up (that features extra percussionist ? djembe - Loukas Metaxas) takes place in front of the church's altar under some fairly minimal (read simple) lighting scheme. Having seen the band twice before, I'm definitely not optimistic when sticking this release's DVD (borrowed from the library) in my player, because I think that WH's concerts (seen them twice) are somewhat of a bore, not only because the band is quite static, but their repertoire sounds too "samey" and it's pretty hard to tell one song from the other in their studio version, so in concert, this flaw is rather enhanced.

And surely enough, DEE sits down on his stool and will not be moving for most of the concert, apart from the odd bumcheek switcheroo to reach for his second guitar or his mandolin (no banjo in this concert). Only contrabassist Humbert seems less static, and not just when reaching for his acoustic guitar (three or four tracks in the course of the evening). DEE is the only addressing the public, but it's much less than minimal: he will only say two or three words (in Dutch, to show the crowd that he's at least done some kind of effort). The least we can say is that the crowd is not really returning much undue or overwhelming adoration: polite applause with the odd unfollowed whistle, but absolutely no passion or enthusiasm.

Candles and purple curtains don't really help out making this concert anything close to a mass either; it seems that most of DEE's engaged lyrics are mostly lost on an otherwise fairly Anglophile Dutch crowd. As for the setlist proposed, at first sight/listyen, I was happy enough to recognize three tracks from my fave album Mosaic, but unfortunately, they were unfortunately drowned in a sea of sameness. Indeed the set doesn't seem to feature any highlight or major crowd favourites, and worse, except for Humbert and Metaxas, they seem to be going through the motions. I can't reall tell you if the set-closer Whisthling Girl really provoked the crowd to call out for an encore, as the footage cut seems to imply, with the Off The Cut track offered as a afterthought, more than a reward to a passionate public.

So my initial fears were indeed confirmed, because overall this DVD (didn't bother with the Cd, since it's exactly the same concert) proves a fairly boring affair, which is even a tad dismaying, since DEE's voice sounds so engaged and emotional, but WH's music fails to really deliver the gusto and lacks somewhat the guts one could expect from a supposedly so-impassioned composer. Not sure this is the kind of DVd that will prompt inquisitive fans to check WH live, but this writer surely thinks that this film is a fairly reliable witness to the band's general very-average stage presence.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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