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Peter Hammill

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Peter Hammill In The Passionskirche - Berlin MCMXCII (video) album cover
3.91 | 13 ratings | 1 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Future Now
2. I Will Find You
3. Usher's Suite
4. Patient
5. Curtains
6. My Room
7. Ysabel's Dance
8. Traintime
9. Given Time
10. A way Out
11. Modern

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals , keyboards, guitar

Releases information

VHS K7017

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to clarke2001 for the last updates
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PETER HAMMILL In The Passionskirche - Berlin MCMXCII (video) ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (15%)

PETER HAMMILL In The Passionskirche - Berlin MCMXCII (video) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Of all prog bands I have been subjected, VdGG was one of those that took me the longest to really get into, and Hammill's particular voice was one of the main obstacles (Jaxon's distorted sax being the other biggie) and obviously Hammill's solo career was also suffering the same handicap. One of the first click (maybe the first one, really) was when I chanced upon a poster (the guy was sticking it in front of my eyes) that Peter was playing a concert that same night in a small Flemish club (this was a leftist semi- anarchist refuge) called Exito 13 in the heart of Brussels.

So with a unique chance (nothing better to do that evening) to see the man live, I was the first one at the door fearing line-up. This gig was obviously very badly organized and promoted as there was tops 25 people in the café (it was near-capacity), and I spent an evening listening to Peter's singing (which was not quite my thing back then) a bunch of songs, unknown to me. At the end of the night, at least I understood the man's voice and singing, but it took a few years more and really listening to Time heals (on his Over album) to get the final click. I could not replace exactly when this gig took place, but my guess is that it was around the same time as this concert footage in 92. Whether the set list was the same or not, I have absolutely no idea, since I knew next to nothing about his solo career, and to be truthful, I still only roughly a third of it nowadays, but I think I remember My Room being played. I don't remember paying an admission (or being asked one) and there was a rumour a few days later that he didn't get paid for this gig.

Seeing this concert footage recently brought back a few memories of that night, though. Peter is alone on stage with his keyboard and occasionally picks up his guitar and bares it all, figuratively speaking of course. Between each track, the concert footage is interrupted by an interview of Peter, where he discusses some fairly private issues, but these interruptions are not too long as to break the rhythm of the concert. One of the striking thing is that this set does not resemble Peter's then-actual album output (some of those albums that presented a real band and some with an awful drum machine), and indeed a fair bit of this set list is from his 70's albums and generally these are better accepted by the public, which usually reacts with a bit of delay, because the majority of the audience has to recognize which song is played (this was not helping me either, in that concert I saw).

Opening with the strong Future Now, then Peter switches to the electric guitar for a tedious I Will Find You. One of the first highlights of the concert is a partial rendition of his Ushers Suite (I always preferred the original one to the symphonic), where there is a sense of drama and poignancy that can almost draw some spine chills. I am pretty sure he didn't play that at the Exito 13. Patient is up next and with a mid-song solidly loud guitar passage, which clashes a bit with the rest of the concert, but fits the song fairly well. Back on his piano, Peter gives a fairly good rendition of Curtains, but it is completely eclipsed by the incredible My Room. Obviously a favourite with the fans, this track is one of Peter's crowing achievement and the concert's centrepiece. Poignant, assertive, solemn, attention-grabbing, jaw-dropping, driving chills down your spine and creating goose bumps, you feel as though as Peter stole a part of your soul once it's over (I felt that at one point that evening, which actually encouraged to persevere in his world), and you wonder how he will top that next. By picking up his guitar and Ysabel's Dance (not really familiar with this one), he sort of sacrifices it (but does not massacre it), in order to start anew after.

And Peter does manage to pick up momentum again with Traintime, a short but strong song, but the following Given Time fails to build on it (he almost loses it all). But the aptly-named A Way Out was probably the only solution (obviously Peter chose his tracks as his concerts developed) and as quiet as AWO is, it does grasp the attention previously eroded. Ending the show on Modern, a guitar song that fails to convince, but by that time, the evening is over. Obviously unnerved by the presence of the cameras, Peter's concert that night seems to be just another night, however different they might be, and this gives him a very human dimension, which confirms the man's oeuvre. Clearly Peter is much more at ease on the piano and his songs are much more evocative than on other instruments.

Of course my biggest regret is not having been familiar with Peter's material that evening, for if I had liked his oeuvre back then as I do now, this concert might have been one of the best I would've seen. Probably a very essential concert to enter Hammill's oeuvre, those who have a problem with him, would gain almost everything by seeing live, on an inspired night.

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