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Camel Moondances album cover
3.93 | 63 ratings | 7 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

Camel Live in Concert at the Hammersmith
Odeon, April 14, 1976
1. White Rider
2. Lunar Sea
3. Preparation
4. Dunkirk
5. Another Night
6. Lady Fantasy

Camel Live in Concert at the Hippodrome,
September 22, 1977.
1. First Light
2. Metrognome
3. Unevensong
4. Rhayader
5. Rhayader Goes To Town
6. Skylines
7. Highways Of The Sun
8. Lunar Sea
9. Rain Dances
10. Never Let Go
11. One Of These Days I'll Get An Early Night

BONUS TRACKS: Autumn & Riverman

Total Time 120 min.

Line-up / Musicians

Camel Live in Concert at the Hammersmith
Odeon, April 14, 1976:
- Andrew Latimer / guitars and vocals
- Andy Ward / drums
- Doug Ferguson / bass
- Peter Bardens / keyboards

Camel Live in Concert at the Hippodrome,
September 22, 1977:
- Andrew Latimer / guitars, flute and vocals
- Andy Ward / drums
- Richard Sinclair / bass and vocals
- Peter Bardens / keyboards, synthesizers
- Mell Colins / saxophones, flute, percussion

Releases information

Rare concert footage from a Camel performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976. Also includes the entire 1977 performance at the Hippodrome (BBC Sight and Sound)

Bonus audio: Autumn (1974) and Riverman (1975) with a slide show of early band photos.

2007 (c) Camel Productions

Thanks to BrunoSamppa for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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CAMEL Moondances ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CAMEL Moondances reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars After the live compilation DVD's Camel Footage I and II and the live DVD Total Pressure (1984 concert), Camel Productions has released this live DVD (running time 2 hours) featuring Seventies live footage: the 1976 Moonmadness tour in the London Hammersmith Odeon and the 1977 Rain Dances tour in the London Hippodrome. Although there is only one year between these two concerts, there are remarkable differences in the line-up and the sound.

The 1976 concert delivers a line-up with Andy Latimer, Peter Bardens and the rhythm-section Andy Ward/Doug Ferguson. Most of the 6 compositions clock around the 10 minutes and contain flowing shifting moods, drenched into a wonderful 24-carat symphonic prog tradition and embellished with excellent solos on keyboards and guitar: swirling Hammond organ, flashy Minimoog and exciting slide guitar (strong psychedelic undertones) in White Rider, a pitchbend driven Minimoog solo and an accellaration with fiery guitar runs in Lunar Sea and strong interplay of powerful Hammond and sensitive guitar in Dunkirk and Another Night (including a spectacular Hammond solo). But my absolute highlight is the 'classic' Lady Fantasy: swirling Hammond runs, a fluent rhythm-section, flowing changes of atmospheres, a beautiful part with Fender Rhodes electric piano and warm guitar and in the final part that sensational eruption with a mindblowing Hammond organ solo (wonderful images from the late Peter Bardens), this looks like a perfect tribute to him!

The 1977 concert contains Richard Sinclair on vocals and bass and the famous Mel Collins on saxophones and clarinet, he succeeds to give an extra dimension to the Camel sound (like in Lunar Sea). Other changes are the keyboard sound of Peter Bardens (more string-ensemble and less Hammond organ) and the more song-oriented approach of the band since the release of the album Rain Dances (the band plays 6 of the 11 songs of that album). We can enjoy Andy Latimer with his Gibson double-neck guitar, the same as Jimmy Page uses during Stairway To Heaven and Andy also plays flute on Rhayader. I have never been a fan of Rain Dances but Camel delivers tasteful versions and lots of good solos on guitar (fiery in Never Let Go and One Of These Days ..), saxophone and clarinet (Unevensong and Lunar Sea), Minimoog (Highways Of The Sun and One Of These Days ..) and Hammond organ (Never Let Go). The bonustracks are 'studio audio recordings' in the original line-up line-up: Autumn (1973) and Riverman (1974), "no fillers, all killers" as Greg Walker uses to say!

From all released Camel DVD's, I am mostly delighted about this one, mainly because of the 1976 concert (perhaps Camel at their artistic pinnacle) with that outstanding version of Lady Fantasy! My rating: 1976 concert 5 stars and 1977 concert 3,5 stars.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a treat for Camel fans this DVD is, featuring not 1 but 2 concerts from the seventies, though as the total disc time is 2 hours no doubt in abridged format.

The first was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976 and is more than likely to be most people's favourite of the 2, capturing the band at the height of their Symphonic excellence with the classic Latimer, Bardens, Ward and Ferguson line up. The picture quality is good with plenty of different camera angles, though bassist Doug Ferguson is strangely absent from most of the shots, barely getting a look in. The sound is also good though it hasn't been mixed to 5.1 so you'll have to settle for stereo. The band put on a great performance; particularly enjoyable is Andy Latimer's searing guitar playing and Pete Barden's keyboard work as they play through a crowd pleasing set. Highlights are a superb version of Lunar Sea from the Moonmadness album and Lady Fantasy from Mirage and not forgetting excerpts from the Snow Goose in Preparation and Dunkirk, all excellent stuff.

Moving onto the 1977 concert at the Hippodrome which I remember seeing originally aired on the BBC Sight and Sound In Concert series back in the seventies. By now Doug Ferguson was out, being replaced by Richard Sinclair on bass as well as sharing vocal duties. Mel Collins was also added to the line up on Sax and Flute adding another dimension to the sound that no doubting his musical prowess, in all honesty they didn't need. The set leans heavily on the then current Rain Dances album and finds the band, no doubt looking for more commercial success, in more mainstream territory and whilst the album was okay it pales in comparison to the first four, thus despite a strong performance it is not as enjoyable as the 1976 show. We also get another enjoyable version of Lunar Sea and more excerpts from The Snow Goose to keep fans of the early stuff happy. As with the 1976 show the sound and picture quality is good.

As a bonus there are 2 unreleased tracks from the original line up, Autumn and Riverman. They are accompanied by a slide show and are both enjoyably mellow and melodic pieces.

Any fans of Camel will not be disappointed with this DVD, particularly for the 1976 concert which is excellent, though the 77 show is certainly worth a look too. Well worth adding to your collection.

Review by lor68
4 stars Well here you find a very interesting video retrospective witnessing a couple of famous concerts regarding the old line-up by Camel...featuring Andrew Latimer, Doug Ferguson, the unforgettable Peter Bardens and Andy Ward, without forgetting Richard Sinclair and Mel Collins. If you regard of the old BBC sessions concerning their performance at London's Hammersmith Odeon or their concert at the Hippodrome- dated 1977- you can listen to the Hammond organ excursions and other melodic lines at the minimoog too, performed by P. Bardens...but of course it's the perfect support to the pshichedelic and spacey guitar by Andy (inside "White rider" for instance, but also in their various instrumental numbers). That's the reason why a clever keyboardplayer coupled with the magic touch by Mr Latimer (talking about his guitar solo in "Lunar sea" or in the famous flute solo within "Rhayder", just to mention a few jewels!!...),seem to be the best features to contribute to the perfect music "alliance". They were able to create an intelligent sound of classic prog! Of course I prefer the modern gigs, like that one and unforgettable within the "Coming of Age" Live Tour concert, but never mind cause the present DVD is a must-have for the collectors of the best derivative and melodic prog band in the vein of the classic Genesis line-up and the symphonic period concerning the band Pink Floyd- as well. Moreover I like to make a special mention regarding the harmonic and rhytmical machine created by Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson together and... well you don't need to add anything else, so choose this classic number, even though I suggest you to buy also their last modern live gigs!!
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Camel's sixth DVD named Moondances released in 2007 as name implies conteining two concers, while promoting Moonmadness in 1976 and in 1977 Rain dances. First concert is filmed in 1976 in Hammersmith. Well this concert was for me a little deseppointing, because the prestation of the band is ok, the way they play without bursting moments as a concert must be is quite boring in places. I mean they are very good and talented musician but the almost whole show is forgetable, maybe Lunar sea or White Rider are the best moments here. Too flat, no comunication with the audience, it sounds like live in studio. For this concert 2.5 starsThe second part of the DVD is from the concert they made in 1977 at the Hippodrome while promoting Rain dances. With a diffrent line up, Richard Sinclair on bass and vocal replaceing Fergusson and on sax the excellent Mel Collins. Now , this concert is much better then the first, even some peoples say that the band best period is around 75-76, with this prestation they show that they are still in bussiness. Rain dances was a good album in Camel's discography, even in places were more towards canterbury because of Sinclair background, this album was good recived and is among better albums of the band. This concert is no diffrent, all musicians shines here, Sinclair voice is very smooth and fits ok in the Camel sound, alternating with Latimer's voice this concert is a winner, at least for me. The keys, the drums, sax all is more with balls and is clear that they play for pleasure. Pieces like Metrognome, Unevensong, Rhayader are perfect ex of good and enjoyble concert all the way. I prefer this one over the 1976 show by miles, here the band is better in musical terms. So , I will give 3.5 rounded to 4 stars, because I've always liked Camel's music, this DVD is definetly a good one and spoted Camel in one of their best moments.
Review by Starhammer
3 stars Soporific live act? It Must Be a Camel.

The recording is taken from two concerts, 1976 at the London Odeon featuring Latimer, Bardens, Ward, Ferguson and Collins, and 1977 at the Hippodrome featuring the same line-up with Sinclair replacing Ferguson on bass.

The Good: Great set list including most of my favourite tracks. The first concert feature two songs from each of Mirage, The Snow Goose and Moonmadness. The sound quality is surprisingly good and has a strong but balanced mix. The second travels further afield harvesting material from the debut as well as the recently release, Rain Dances. The lighting and cameras are more balanced making for easier viewing. Musicianship on both performances is outstanding and singing is spot on.

The Bad: 1976: The camera can be a bit suspect at times, with extended close-ups of Andrew Latimer's face, beautiful though it is, taking precedent over actual instruments. In addition the trippy, video cross-fading is very distracting. Whilst Camel's music is typically mellow, the performance itself is nearly sleep inducing and this is effect if only amplified by the barely existent stage lighting

1977: The production isn't as strong with the keyboards sometimes getting lost in the mix.

The Verdict: Whilst recent recordings are arguably more polished, if you're after 'classic era' Camel then look no further.

Review by Matti
4 stars CAMEL is one of my oldest prog favourites, I found them as a teenager shortly after Genesis, Yes and other essential bands. Well, isn't Camel essential too, easily among the Top Ten of the 70's British prog groups? That said, it feels funny that I have never before seen any live material. This DVD I borrowed from my friend.

The first set (roughly 50 minutes, I presume) is from Hammersmith Odeon, April 1976, featuring two tracks from the albums Mirage, Snow Goose and Moonmadness. The choices are pretty good, except that Snow Goose's 'Preparation' is a bit overlong interlude before the effective 'Dunkirk'. The emphasis is on the soaring instrumentality in the classic Camel spirit, and the tight, dark mooded song 'Another Night' fits perfectly to the set, followed by the wonderful 'Lady Fantasy' from Mirage. The sound quality is OK, but the picture is quite shady and dark, concentrating on the musicians at close range.

The Hippodrome concert from September '77 feels fresher and brighter in every way. Bassist Doug Ferguson is replaced by Richard Sinclair who also handles most of the vocals. I have always appreciated his clear and elegant singing (for example in CARAVAN's In the Land of Grey and Pink) which is actually just like a better version of Andy Latimer's voice. The then new album Rain Dances forms the majority of that gig. It's one of my Camel favourites; the group really updated their sound with the additions of Sinclair and saxophonist-flutist Mel Collins, and with the increase of Canterbury-like jazziness. Earlier albums are represented too. 'Rhayader / Rhayader Goes to Town' is much better excerpt from Snow Goose, benefitting from two flutes.

The reappearance of 'Lunar Sea' doesn't bother me at all: one can compare the two versions. For me this line-up is much more competent. Again the show doesn't have any visual spicing up, but to see the quintet playing this great music live is more than enough. The music's all that matters. And the debut album's highlight 'Never Let Go' is like tailored for this line-up!

As bonuses one gets two rare tracks: Autumn (1974) and Riverman (1975) with a slide show of early band/album/poster photos. Neither of them I had heard before - how come?!? I only know that the latter was the sole recording from the cancelled project inspired by Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha ; Camel chose Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose instead of Siddhartha or Steppenwolf. Both songs were good in their melodic peacefulness. Also the slide show is very nice extra.

Of course I'd like to see more Camel DVD's but I can definitely recommend this one to all fans.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Unevensong

Moondances features footage from two separate live concerts, one from 1976 and one from 1977. As such it captures Camel in two different stages of the band's evolution - first right before and then right after the major transition that took place between the Moonmadness and Rain Dances albums (the albums to which the DVD title "Moondances" alludes). The change was both in musical terms and in terms of personell.

The earlier footage is from a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on April 14th 1976 and features the original line-up of Andy Latimer, Peter Bardens, Doug Fergusen, and Andy Ward. While the music is fantastic and the footage interesting, it is far from complete. Only six songs are included and we are missing out on about half the show. The whole set included Song Within a Song, The Great Marsh/Rhayader/Rhayader Goes to Town, Air Born, Chord Change, The White Rider, Lunar Sea, Preparation/Dunkirk, Another Night, and Lady Fantasy, while the programme featured here begins from The White Rider. Perhaps the previous songs were not filmed, but the whole show has been released in audio format as bonus tracks on the 2009 2CD "Deluxe" edition of Moonmadness. (The 2002 remastered CD that I own has only Song Within a Song, Lunar Sea, and Preparation/Dunkirk from the same show).

The other concert was filmed at the Hippodrome, Golders Green, London, on September 22nd 1977 and features the line-up including Richard Sinclair and Mel Collins in addition to Latimer, Bardens, and Ward. With Sinclair taking lead vocals and Collins adding sax, the sound of the band was very different during this time and altogether more jazzy. Most of the Rain Dances material is good, but I dislike how this line-up treated earlier material. The worst example is what they did to Never Let Go which sounds all wrong here. Not the right direction for Camel. This is fun to see, but it does not compare favourably with the classic Camel of the original line-up. At least this programme is complete.

The DVD also holds two bonus audio-only tracks from 1973 and 1974 respectively called Autumn and Riverman. These were previously unreleased and are not available elsewhere. The reason that they are here is not clear, but it is nice to have these rare tracks.

Overall, this is a good DVD, and probably the best source if you wish to see 1970's Camel in performance. However, for me the visual aspect is only interesting once or twice for historical reasons while the audio has timeless appeal. In the case of the 1976 recordings these are, as mentioned above, available in more complete form elsewhere. In terms of DVDs, I think that the more recently filmed Camel shows presented on Coming Of Age, The Opening Farewell, and In From the Cold are all much better than the present one.

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