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Twelfth Night


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Tarcisio Moura
4 stars what? No reviews on this one yet? Well, I bought this DVD in hope it would be a live performance of the classic line up. Fat chance: by the time this concert was recorded singer and poet Geoff Mann had left the band for about an year already, replaced by Andy Sears. The show is part of the famous Live In London series that were released in the mid 80´s and caught several new bands like IQ and Pallas, playing live at the famous The marquee club in England. It is a little short (around 59 minutes), but the images are excellent and the sound is quite good too.

I had a bad impression at the beginning of the show: bassist Clive Mitten´s heavy make up and new wave haircut made him look like a member of Kajagogo or Duran Duran. But if looks were not their forte, once they started playing they proved they could give a stunning performance. Besides, the repertoire had only killer songs. In fact, the only non Mann´s sutff they play is the very Marillion-like Art & Ilusion, which by the way is probably the best tune they recorded after their former vocalist had left the band. It is ok that Andy Sears doesn´t have Mann´s charisma, but through the show he proves to be a fine singer with a good stage presence.

It was really nice to see them doing great versions of complex stuff like We Are Sane and Creepshow with such ease. Mann´s distinctive vocals may have been more fitting for this kind of music, but Sears more than compensates that with convincing interpretations and some theatrics (not very unlike Fish, masks and all). The venue is small and quite intimate, with the audience (who seems to know all the words for the songs) quite close to the musicians. And, man, do they play well!! All members are excellent musicians, but fortunatly they are also team players with no noodlings or ego battles. Everything here works for the music. It is a pity they decided to stray away from the prog path soon after that, but that´s another story. Here they really shine, even at the absence of their legendary former singer.

Conclusion: this is not exactly the concert we all wanted to see from those neo prog pioneers, but it is still a very impressive show. I guess since it seems that there´s no footage of the band playing with Geoff Mann this is the next best thing. If you liked their masterpiece Fact & Fiction then this DVD is really a must have, with all its aforementioned faults. 4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Review Permalink

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