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Mostly Autumn - The 'V' Shows CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn

Prog Folk

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Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars Bryan Josh's dream to give the music additional, visual, dimension came true on "V" shows: screen projections, light and laser show accomplish the sound perfectly. Guest musicians, Troy Donockley (pipes, mandolin, guitar) and The Regent String Quartet, help to enrich band's sound (which was never poor).

Tracks 1 - 8 and 12 are from the "Passengers" album . In this conceptual album MOSTLY AUTUMN share with us their thoughts of life, death and rebirth.

"Evergreen", "Heroes Never Die", "Never The Rainbow" and "Mother Nature" are truly some of band's best songs. You can also find in extra features (besides a couple of promo videos) another band's masterpiece, "The Night Sky" - the song which is actually older than the band itself. Old MA fans surely know this story, but for others these memories from 2001 Bryan Josh interview might be interesting: "In fact "The Night Sky" ... was done in my head really. I was in the Lake District 10 years ago and I was marvelling at the mountains, the snow and the stars and the whole thing just happened." He also recalled that he imagined each sound of this song, he only didn't have the band to perform it (it was 1991).

All MOSTLY AUTUMN trademarks are here: emotional singing, sometimes gentle, sometimes rocking, wonderful guitar and keyboard solos, good musicianship from all band members and guest musicians. If we remember the history of great rock bands, most of them had charismatic frontman, which is so important for any band's success. MOSTLY AUTUMN have at least two charismatic persons, Bryan Josh and Heather Findlay. Can't agree with those who say that the band needs more trained singer than Bryan - his voice is an important part of MOSTLY AUTUMN sound (what if DIRE STRAITS found a better singer?...).

In my opinion the artistic level of MOSTLY AUTUMN is close to GENESIS, PINK FLOYD and other great bands. Therefore it is always interesting to listen how the band makes covers. I like MOSTLY AUTUMN interpretation of GENESIS "Afterglow" because it sounds even warmer than the original.

Sound is good (stereo, DD 5.1 and DTS options are available). Picture quality is good enough too, but worse than on limited 2DVD edition of the same show. Minus 1 star for the picture and for Heather's dressing style, usually she looks better (but it's subjective).

Report this review (#54438)
Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This was a DVD that one of my kids insisted I buy for him. Being a growing fan of the band myself, I was happy to oblige. It’s always interesting to see a band actually performing songs that you’ve only heard before on CD or the radio. In this case the band plays pretty much the entire Passengers album, which I don’t own. So it was nice to be able to hear that music for the first time, but a bit disappointing not getting to see more of their familiar work.

The band does throw in versions of the more well-known “Evergreen”, “Heroes Never Die”, “Never the Rainbow” (my personal favorite), and “Mother Nature”, all of which are excellent and more than do justice to the originals. Also included is a cover of “Afterglow” that I found to be very warm and engaging.

The DVD case states that the ‘V’ Shows were marked by a “mind-blowing light show, multiple laser display and amazing film projections”. Unfortunately, light shows rarely project well to DVD, although by using your imagination you can see that the laser displays would have probably been pretty cool. There are only a few snippets of the film projections spliced in here and there, and mostly only superimposed over shots of the band playing, so that effect is pretty much lost as well, but this isn’t really much of a detractor. There was one film clip during “Distant Train” that I recognized as a scene from Fritz Lang’s 1926 silent-film classic ‘Metropolis’ where the slaves are being marched off to their work under the city. As an aside, this was a great film about the dehumanizing effect of city life and the oppression of a class society driven by capitalism and greed, so it was a mildly appropriate choice for that song.

Anyway, the sound on the DVD is excellent, with 5.1 channel Dolby and DTS Surround- Sound. I only wish my home entertainment system were up to the task.

The film quality is very good, but the shot selections leave a bit to be desired at times. Many of the shots of the band are too far away, and the camera at Heather Findlay’s feet gives a weirdly distorted view of her head that makes it seem misshapen. That was a bit of a distraction.

Overall this is a very good purchase, especially if you can’t get your hands on the 2-disc limited edition set. It could have used a bit more coverage, and the ‘extras’ are largely limited to three short promo trailers that weren’t great, but were mildly interesting. I would have liked to have seen some interviews, or even clips from early concerts or old videos, but this is perhaps just nitpicking. An very good addition to your video collection, but misses the mark as essential.


Report this review (#85049)
Posted Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Beatiful,beautiful.

The display of the band in the stage is fantastic.

So armonic,so compromised with the music and audience.

The couple Josh -Findlay is fenomenal.

Heather is the most beatiful singer of prog i,ve ever seen and she really takes advantage with all her other virtuous to her beauty(voice,clothing,dance,instrumentation.. etc...)

Is not fare to compare MA to PF,Genesis etc...They are unique .

They made a perfect combination ofsymph prog,folk prog,psych prog and pure rock and roll .

Arrangements are fantastic .I love the the incorporation of classic and folk music instruments

They are mostly orientated to the mature and well cultivated audiencie.


Report this review (#122260)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mostly enjoyable but short of great.

Here's a show which brought a wide variety of elements to the table which could make it appealing to a good percentage of our readers. You have the pop sensibilities of an All About Eve combined with the Celtic Folk vibe. From there you inject a bit of the vocal intimacy of Over The Rhine and of course the blast of obvious Dave Gilmour rock guitar influence. (Dave Gilmour must be like the prog version of chicken. You know how people will say just about anything "tastes like chicken." In prog reviews it seems that about everything "sounds like Gilmour." I'm guilty of it myself from time to time but in this case it is quite true-Bryan Josh more than references Dave here, he sometimes appears to attempt channeling him.)

From there Mostly Autumn is exciting enough on its own power with the heartfelt vocals, dazzling guitar, flute, strings, and powerful drumming. I comment here on the performance and not the material itself of which I'm not all that familiar. As mentioned the show is more than entertaining enough but has some flaws as well. Individually the vocalists can do quite well but sometimes together their harmonies sound a bit off. The mix at times could be atrocious with the guitar ridiculously loud and undisciplined cymbal crashing that all but drown out the flute or strings in a few places. The light show was nice and not overly distracting but the selection of camera shots could be downright irritating at times, I remember Josh being blocked often in the early going by his mike stand-a little detail which should easily have been noticed by someone. Lindlay is a strong presence and a decent vocalist but not among the very best. The same with Josh, he's quite good but both vocally and instrumentally he lacks the smoothness of Gilmour. While it's not fair to compare apples to oranges the point is that in my opinion the talents of Mostly Autumn are good but not timelessly great.I think they are a blast to watch but not quite to the 4 star level, at least in this show. By far the best moments were the quiet ones when the band stopped trying to rock heavy and simply let the atmosphere of the strings, flute, and keyboards have a chance to compete above the din. There were two MA's on the stage in this show, the softer one did incredibly well, the heavier one has some work to do with the presentation of their sound. 3 stars.

Report this review (#161593)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2008 | Review Permalink

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