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Pendragon Past And Presence album cover
3.92 | 71 ratings | 5 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Higher Circles
2. The Pleasure Of Hope
3. Leviathan
4. Victims Of Life
5. Armageddon
6. Fly High Fall Far
7. Excalibur
8. Please
9. Oh Divineo
10. Alaska
11. Dark Summer's Day
12. Circus
13. The Black Knight
14. 2AM
15. Stan And Ollie

Bonus video:
Interview with Nick Barrett and John Barnfield
Behind the Scenes
Nigel Harris on drums at Riffs Bar, UK, 28th Oct 2006

Also includes:
- Photo gallery
- Biography
- Discography
- Desktop images
- Weblinks
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Barrett / vocals, guitar
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals
- Peter Gee / bass, backing vocals
- Rik Carter / keyboards, backing vocals
- Julian Baker / saxophone, guitar, backing vocals
- John Barnfield / keyboards
- Joe Crabtree / drums

Releases information

DVD Metal Mind Records MMP DVD 0104 (2007) Poland

Limited Edition Digipak DVD+2CD Metal Mind Records MMP DVD 0105 (2007) Poland
(The 2 Bonus-CD's contains the same tracklist as on the DVD)

Thanks to Grendelbox for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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PENDRAGON Past And Presence ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PENDRAGON Past And Presence reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Last week I watched an old video that contains a BBC documentary about the year 1977. Of course it was about the rise of the punk music and their venomous remarks towards progrock music: too important visuals, the musicians as small and tiny figures on stage, the self-indulgence during the soli and the great emotional distance between the musicians and the fans. When the neo-prog movement emerged in the early Eighties you can suggest that they had learned from the critical punk remarks: less indulgent and more direct music, more rock elements and especially more contact with the fans, even a kind of 'cult-following'.

I had to think about this while watching the Past And Present DVD because for me Pendragon is perhaps the best example of the neo-prog movement, even more than early Marillion and IQ: Pendragon plays straight-forward progrock, quite simply but with emotion and very tasteful, driven by neo-progrock veteran Nick Barrett with his warm, very distinctive vocals and sensitive and powerful guitar work. From the very first song on this DVD there is a great atmosphere (community singing, handclapping and screams of excitement) in the wonderful opera-like concert hall and the band plays inspired and enthousiastically. I am impressed by the beautiful lightshow with lots of blue and green layers and some amazing light effects. The sound is good and during the concert we can welcome all former band members because of the 21st anniversary of the album The Jewel: keyboard player John Barnfield (with his Memorymoog and Mark Kelly-like flights), multi-instrumentalist and co-founder Julian Baker (founded Pendragon in 1978 with Nick) and between the 6th track till the 'encores' there is keyboard player Nick Carter who delivers a great job. My highlights are the catchy Flying High, Fall Far (Nick changes his awful looking blue Fender Strat for a wonderful orange Gibson Les Paul guitar), the instrumentals Excalibur and Please (howling guitar runs), the beautiful and compelling Alaska (pleasant atmosphere and strong interplay), the 'classic' The Black Night (again howling guitar and lush keyboards) and the final song Stan And Ollie (prog and roll with fiery guitar and all band members on stage, great atmosphere!). A special moment is when Nick walks into the crowd to sing and then many fans start to take pictures from him while he is embraced or they put hands on his shoulders, who dare to say there is no contact between musicians and fans during progrock concerts?!

For me this is a neo-progrock document, I love the nostalgia and it's a great performance by the band, not to be missed by any neo-progrock fan!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Past and Presence comes less than an year after their last DVD ...And Now Everybody To The Stage, and is recorded in the same place (Poland) and the same theatre, but it is a completely different affair. This time the group is celebrating the 21st anniversary of the release of their debut album, The Jewel (recently remastered). And they bring some of the original members of the band to play with them.

And what a celebration it was! The band seems to get better and better live with every DVD release. The lights, effects, sound and general stage performances are all above anything they did before on video. The band never seemed so at ease in front at an audience and yet they play with such cirurgical precision you wonder if they´re a actually mimicking to a CD. Original members John Barnfield, Julian Baker and Rick Carter are all in good form and add their skills to the songs with equal effectiveness as the current line up (well, almost!). Only drummer Nigel Harris is absent in the show, but not from the DVD: he did join Pendragon in a club in England and he is featured on the bunus footage, playing 3 songs with them (the bar had a much smaller stage, of course, but the sound quality is incredibly good and up to the main show)

The Jewel is hardly Pendragon´s best CD but all the basic elements of their sound are there from the very beginning and when the band plays those songs live they bring new life to them, showing some subtle and bright colours the original production was not capable of. Amazing! And not satisfied to play the entire album, they also included their early singles and b sides. Honestly I never thought that I´d ever see them playing obscure tunes like Dark Summer´s Day and Armageddon, much less the instrumentals Excalibur and Please. All done with the usual passion and guts you´d expect from this great band.

A wonderful performance, the group proved they had enough power in the early songwriting not to rely on their later classic stuff (specially The Masquerade Overture) to hold the attention of the audience for more than an hour and a half. Actually, nobody missed them at all! I wish Pendragon´s next move is to do the same thing to their second released, Kowtow.

Past and Presence is a must have for any neo prog fan, and music lovers in general. 4,5 stars really. Highly recommended!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very pleasant and tasty neo-prog show. When the show started and all these old guys were jumping around looking a bit cheesy I started getting worried. But I ended up won over by their obvious love of melody and jamming. The band brings out some ancient members for sort of a reunion show to the delight of the adoring audience. They do an admirable job but the real story is Barrett. Vocals are just spot on, always pleasing in a Jon Anderson way but a few notches lower in a more comfortable range. His guitar playing is a feast for the senses, way out front in the mix and just the perfect amount of squeal to it. He plays with much emotion and blends so nicely with Nolan's keys. The relatively new drummer Crabtree is also formidable in the live setting, adding some real punch to their sound. The visual production is great as is the sound, crisp and clear with one exception. I felt that the bass player was much too low in the mix-I like to feel some bass and I had trouble here. I'm not real familiar with Pendragon's albums so my review is on the live performance more than the material itself, but I will say that the music is pretty good. Certainly a recommended view for neo fans and symphonic fans who like the more pop side of prog. 3.25 stars.
Review by Warthur
3 stars Pendragon's Past and Presence captures a very special concert put on by Pendragon in celebration of the band's history. Recorded in Poland as a special treat for their very appreciative Polish fanbase, the concert saw a host of past members of the band making special guest appearances - with all the current and ex-Pendragon members present taking to the stage for show closer Stan and Ollie (a good call, since the song was essentially written as a goof-off piece to round off the band's sets with a happy party number, much like Marillion's Margaret).

Aside from 2AM from Kowtow (present as one of several encores), the songs here are all vintage Pendragon from their very earliest days - you have all the tracks from The Jewel and the Fly High Fall Far EP here, plus some delicious rarities otherwise only available in inferior versions on the Once Upon a Time In England compilations. Two decades have come and gone since the band recorded the versions of the songs we're most familiar with, and the additional experience really does show. Many of the songs here blow the original studio versions out of the water - even songs which sounded pretty decent on the original recordings, such as The Black Knight.

I'd go so far as to say that this show is, perhaps, the best way to experience Pendragon's material from before The World came out. Certainly, I would strongly encourage people to pick up the limited edition version which comes with a 2CD audio version of the show, because the audio stands up really well on there and I actually find I listen to the CD more than I watch the actual show. The main limitation here is that the material in question is a bit rough and naive, but the band couldn't really fix that without abandoning the idea of a nostalgia show.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Pendragon - Past and Presence This very eagerly awaited DVD has finally arrived! The packaging, whilst up to Metal Mind's usual high standard is breathtakingly beautiful and very impressive even without it's precious contents! This is the DVD of the concert to mark the 21st Anniversary of The J ... (read more)

Report this review (#119530) | Posted by Wilcey | Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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