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Camel - Pressure Points - Live in Concert CD (album) cover



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erik neuteboom
2 stars This is Chapter Five in MY BIGGEST PROGROCK DISILLUSIONS. This video was the first live- footage I could purchase from Camel, my expectations were very high because I witnessed Camel many times in the Eighties and most of the songs on the tracking list from this video are from that wonderful period. Unfortunalety this video turned out to be a disappointing experience, mainly because (this is very subjective and chauvinistic!) Ton Scherpenzeel (one of the best Dutch progrock keyboard players) is often ignored by the camera crew. After I had seen the video my conclusion was that or the camera crew was drunk or they didn't know anything from the Camel music: when Ton Scherpenzeel delivered one of his short but great soli on keyboards, the camera crew put a camera on the other keyboard player who was only playing some supported chords. This happened not one or two times but almost the whole concert when Ton Scherpenzeel was showing his tasteful role in Camel. WHAT A SHAME!!
Report this review (#37514)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ok it was the period regarding the issue of "A Stationary Traveller" and this latter perhaps was the most AOR-oriented album by Camel; nevertheless you can find also a pretty version of "Rhayader"/"Rhayader goes to town", taken from "The Snow Goose", plus an interesting short instrumental -"Sasquatch"- always from "A Stationary.", without forgetting another hit-single of that time - entitled "Wait"- directly from "I can see your house from here" (another AOR album.): this pleasant song at the end contained such a fine keyboard solo performed in a Duo and probably it was the most convincing episode regarding of all their "commercial" albums. Moreover I appreciate the arpeggios at the Prophet by Scherpenzeel (ex Kajak), as well as his skill, perfectly fitted into the powerful style by Latimer: their approach was unforgettable, especially when They alternate the light progressive songs with some melodic/easier breaks-through, always in a remarkable particular the final section was well represented by a classic mini-suite like "Lady Fantasy", even though the execution of something else (for instance "Ice") should have been more comfortable, talking about their most inspiring tunes to be inserted into their programme.never mind cause it's a minor question after all: the present live was powerful anyway, especially if you regard of the early eighties and being one of the best sessions (a few lives by Rush and Asia perhaps were aligned to it.); even though I'm still waiting for my personal re-mastered version of "Pressure Point" .However, in spite of being not equal for example to the incomparable double live album entitled "A Live Record", it can complete the best discography from Camel.try it at home, also in the video format, but for instance "A Coming of Age" and the already mentioned "A Live Record" are much better than this "Pressure Points"...make your own choice as usual!!
Report this review (#46014)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars 1.8/5.0 I have to agree with erik neuteboom on this one; as much as I like Camel this DVD is not very good. For me too this was my first Camel DVD and I was disappointed as the first 75% of it is simply boring to death with lot of 'new' songs (back then) which are simply bad. The remaining 25% is good, with some excerpts from "The Snow Goose" and of course "Lady Fantasy", but even there there is more emphasis made on the face Andy Latimer makes when he plays guitar then anything else. Moreover, the keyboards sound too much like a keyboard of the 80s (of course the show was in 1984, but still, what a horrible sound!). As much as "The Snow Goose" theme is great on the original album, on this DVD it sounds like if your little sister was playing it on her 40$ Fischer-Price toy.

Overall, the show is not that great, the songs are not, the way it was recorded is not good either, and the instruments chosen do not contribute to keep alive Camel masterpieces. The fact that the crowd was nearly sleeping before "Lady Fantasy" is another sign that this was probably not the best show to put on a DVD. But still, this is Camel, and I had fun watching/listening to the last songs! 1.8/5.0

Report this review (#74192)
Posted Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Pressure Points dvd was captured in London's Hammersmith Odeon on Camel's tour supporting the Stationary Traveller album, a huge step up after the disappointing Single Factor made under unbearable circumstances. Due to some lighting and sound problems, this release contains only about half of the songs performed that night, absent are for example such gems as La Princesse Perdue, Never Let Go and Drafted. Despite that Pressure Points is a good live documentation from Camel in their most 80s sounding form, but only when eyes closed. When you open them, you see really cheap looking drama film clips between live shots, apparently meant to support the story of the album. I don't know how great they looked in their day, but today they just add an unwanted comedy flavor. As painfully amusing they are, I'd still prefer watching the musicians do their thing, which is sometimes pretty effectively ruined by the editor who all too often decides to follow the rhythm players instead of the soloist. But the songs are good and played very well, there just aren't very many of them. Since their latest dvd Total Pressure contains this same concert in its entirety without the ridiculous drama footage, this release is nowadays totally useless for the casual fan. This one is recommendable only for collectors/completionists and some weird perverts insisting to see the drama crap mercifully cut out from the latest release.
Report this review (#122781)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars After listening a lot of times to the very good "Pressure Points" live CD, I expected more from this DVD.

But this concert DVD is marred by the use of almost "soap opera" visuals in the songs from the "Stationary Traveller" album, which are shown most of the time in these songs, which being very good songs, are marred by these "Telenovela Scenes". Fortunately, the rest of the songs are not marred by these cardboard scenes, but...again, the camera men, or maybe the director of the camera men, are many times "lost in space", because when the musicians are playing solos, the camera men look for which member is doing the solo until they find who was playing that solo! So, I wanted to see Ton Scherpenzeel very good keyboard solos, but for the most part the camera men show Chris Rainbow, who was mostly playing backing keyboards, instead of showing Scherpenzeel or Ritchie Close or even Peter Bardens, who also played lead keyboards in some songs.

But, for the other part, the video shows how good is Andy Latimer as guitarist, with him playing lead guitar with feeling in almost all the scenes on which he was caught by the cameras. The other musicians are very good too, of course. But, the video is very dark, and sometimes is not easy to see clearly. So, the video lacks adequate illumination, but the sound is very good. The set-list is also very good, but the very eighties look of the musicians makes this video a bit dated. The "Stationary Traveller" album was very much directed to the Pop Rock market, so maybe their recording label adviced the band to have an eighties look, like Genesis, YES and other Prog Rock bands in those years who had to struggle to follow the fads to survive. This was the last project of the band before Latimer and Decca went their separate ways.

I hope that the "Total Pressure" DVD, which was released recently, has a better image. I have read the reviews about this new DVD, which also has addtional songs, and they say that the "Soap Opera" scenes were not included. I also hope that DVD has been improved in the quality of the video, using technology to make it less dark in the images.

Report this review (#132530)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Not as good as i thought!

This time i am not that enthusiastic with this review, because after having watched it twice, it didn't leave the best impression on me, so i believe that with the existence of other Camel or any other band videos, i will not watch Pressure Points again, well i am not that keen on watching DVD's, the time i spend for them may be 2-3 hours per week and i am sure anyone would prefer watching something more exciting.

This concert is from 1984 recorded at The Hammersmith Odeon, with a running time of 80 minutes and that combines some visual clips while playing some songs, first of all i believe i should say that most of the songs played here were from their 80s albums, so you can imagine that their best repertoire is not shown here by any means, or well at least in my opinion, they might be people who like more their 80s music than their 70s, who knows.

But well, there are some good concerts despite the poor musical repertoire, i mean some bands can make a hell of a show with some of their unknown or weaker stuff, but this time Camel did not make it, to my eyes and ears, the show lacked of enthusiasm in both, the band and the audience, so there are some parts where the concert is simply dead, in a metaphorical sense of course, and does not provokes anything on the watcher, at least it happened to me, naturally there are some few parts that i enjoyed, but as i told you before, having watched it twice, were good enough to realize this was not what I wanted or was expecting, nor what i would recommend.

Just for the record, I'd like to mention some of the songs performed here, "Vopos"; "Wait", "Stationary Traveler" or "Sasquatch", and in the last part, they wanted to wake up the audience with some Snow Goose moments and finishing with the always amazing Lady Fantasy.

So in my personal experience, there are only few worth watching moments, the rest is boring and uninteresting, so my final grade is 2 stars, recommendable for Camel fans and collectors.

Enjoy it, or not!

Report this review (#219675)
Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars As the omonimous live album, this is something deeply radicated in the 80s. First of all most of the songs are from Stationary Traveller, but as I have written in the review of the mentioned live, some are not well served by Chris Rainbow, as it sings one octave higher than Latimer and on songs like "Fingertips" his voice is unappropriate.

I see that this DVD version incldes Lady Fantasy. On the VHS that I purchased at the time it was released, it was not present.

What is very awful IMO is the "movie" that's alternated to the stage sequences. The direction is quite poor and the actors are not very credible. Also I don't see anything that can make me think that the city around is East Berlin.

This cause a quite good song like "Long Goodbyes", that's functional as closer to the studio album, to appear like the soundtrack of a poor soap-opera.

The closure (in the VHS version) is the best thing as Pete Bardens comes on the stage to play "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes to Town" from The Snow Goose. Unfortunately, if I remember correctly, the fantastic guitar solo of the original version is played by Mel Collins' sax here. Not that he's a bad musician, but it's like playing the solo of Comfortably Numb with a Kazoo. Inappropriate.

So even if I liked it when it was my first Camel video, I can suggest it only to tha fans who wants to hear an alternative version of Stationary Traveller.

2 stars

Report this review (#382468)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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