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Barclay James  Harvest - John Lees Barclay James Harvest: Live In Concert At Metropolis Studios, London CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest

Crossover Prog

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Symphonic Team
3 stars After the day

This CD and DVD package features a recording of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest performing live in London in December 2010. (As I have only heard this recording through Spotify, I can only comment on the audio and not the video.) The band was appearing as a quartet in the absence of Woolly Wolstenholme, who was unable to appear due to illness, and who passed away nine days later. It is unclear to me who stepped up and sung Woolly's vocal parts, but whoever it was he did a decent job, though one certainly misses Woolly's voice. There is, on the other hand, no particular lack in the keyboard department. The band sounds complete despite Woolly's absence.

The set list contains almost exclusively classic songs from the 1970's and is rather similar to the one that was recorded in 2006 for the Legacy - Live At The Shepherd's Bush Empire album and DVD. Among the songs included here that were not also featured on said DVD are the very Pink Floyd-ish Nova Lepidoptera, Summer Soldier, and a new song called Ancient Waves (that presumably will be featured on the new John Lees' Barclay James Harvest studio album due in September this year). The best part of the concert begins with this promising new song and continues with strong renditions of Medicine Man and The Poet/After The Day, both of which are vastly improved over their original studio counterparts. While the early part of the show was fully competent, it is here towards the end, when they are warmed up, that they really shine.

This is a surprisingly good live effort, especially considering the circumstances with Woolly's inability to appear and his wavering mental health and all. Still, the overlap in content with the previous Legacy release (featuring Woolly) makes the present one less than essential.

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Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | Review Permalink

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