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HIGH ABOVE THE SUBTERANIA CLUB 2000

Gong

Canterbury Scene


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Yet another filmed 90's concert performance, this one with a slight twist since both Malherbe and his usual replacement Theo Travis. With the now indispensable Howlett on bass and the stainless team of Daevid and Gilly, this is what the usual concert has been giving in the last decade. Rather different than the filmed performance for the Classic Rock series (see my review on that one) since it comprises the tracks from the Zero To Infinity album, yet still able to display the full lunacy of the group. So the new tracks have been worked into the concert concept, but the plain fact is rather evident if not all too obvious: the new songs do not bring anymore to the ancient classics. So the ultra Gonghead might just get a kick out of discovering the new tracks done live, but the more classic fan or the casual fan might just find this performance less interesting for their tastes. For them I can only suggest them the other DVD , the Classic Rock Presents series. In this one, Daevid is still leading the insane circus with a huge hat with the crazy web address www.[%*!#]off.com and Malherbe is in top form and still blowing some of the weirdest instruments ever including weird whistles and he is simply astoundingly brilliant playing his doudouk solo and Magdalene with their strong Arabian feelings. But the concerts take a definite twist with the Angel's Egg classic suite of Flute Salad to the Outer Temple and the show ending on the crowd pleaser Master Builder.

In the bonus, you can see an ever-youthful and gleeful Daevid chatting for less than 10 mins. Overall, a very pleasant DVD with its share of small surprises even if only in the details, I have a preference for this one over the CRP series one, but strangely do not rate it as high.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#94198)
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
3 stars As the title suggests this DVD captures the gig at The Subterania Club in 2000, but there is also a superb interview with Daevid Allen where he manages to totally lose the French interviewer where he starts talking about the holes in his memory being the most interesting part. Sadly the interview isn't very long, but to make up for it there is over ninety minutes of the concert. The club is small, but the crowd are very appreciative of the band. Even after all these years early members such as Gilli Smyth and Didier Malherbe are still involved, as well as Mike Howlett who has had quite a lot of the intervening time off for good behaviour.

Listening to the crowd reaction and cheers during "Outer Temple Gliss" it is as if time has rolled away. There aren't many musicians who can lay claim to being active over such a long period of time, and Daevid was in his Sixties already when this was recorded, and showing no sign at all of slowing down.

This isn't a high tech recording, but it wasn't a high tech event and the result is a warm entry into a small club where the Gong family are present and it is a privilege to watch them at play, albeit at a distance.

Originally appeared in Feedback #72, Feb 03

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978681)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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