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Black Widow Demons of the Night Gather to See Black Widow Live album cover
4.40 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews | 58% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In Ancient Days
2. Way to Power
3. Come to the Sabbat
4. Conjuration
5. Seduction
6. Attack of the Demon
7. Sacrifice

The track listing is the same for both dvd and cd

Line-up / Musicians

- Kip Trevor / vocals
- Clive Jones / saxophone & flute
- Jim Gannon / Guitar
- Zoot Taylor / keyboards
- Geoff Griffith / bass
- Clive Box / drums
- Astaroth / dancer

Releases information

Mystic Records (Mys 666). The package contains a dvd and a cd of the band's performance for the German tv programme Beat Club in 1970

Thanks to paulindigo for the addition
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Buy BLACK WIDOW Demons of the Night Gather to See Black Widow Live Music

BLACK WIDOW Demons of the Night Gather to See Black Widow Live ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(58%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BLACK WIDOW Demons of the Night Gather to See Black Widow Live reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I like numbers. I like rounded numbers.

While I was thinking about this 2,000th review, I thought of several releases: the triple DVD set from The Who (Tommy, Quadrophenia and a bonus live DVD), the great Floyd one (P.U.L.S.E.), a six CD box set from Purple (Listen, Learn, Read On) that features some unreleased historical live performances or the new and extended Song Remains The Same by who you know. But I finally decided a few weeks ago to get this one instead.

An unknown release of a little known band that I quite enjoy. A good old band I should say. The Sacrifice show live from Black Widow released in 2007. It comes as a dual work: one CD and one DVD. The CD for the car and the DVD for each home playing of course.

Because what you need is to SEE it!

Before I talk about the content, let's have some historical facts about this very good band which hasn't been very fortunate in their career to say the least. The liner notes that go along with this release is of important historical matter. They are written by Clive Jones (sax & flute) and the information below mostly come out of it (but not only).

It speaks about the genesis of the band which is well known from the devoted fans: the Pesky Gee story, the pre-release of Sacrifice in 69 with Kay Garret on the vocals and the split of the band.

What is less known is that the band thought of a full show about the Sacrifice album and wanted it very much to be as satanic as the lyrics. They asked the guidance of Alex Sanders (who was incidentally voted king of the witches in '65) to construct the show and make sure that it was as authentic as possible.

After a few shows, the press was quite shocked and titled don't let your kids see this show. This led to a huge publicity for the band who were playing full house concerts. Still, the confusion came to the minds of the people. Two bands with the word black in their names, both managed by the same person (Pat Meehan). It was the start of the problems for Black Widow.

The second (and probably the most important one) is that Sacrifice was released the same week as Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel). The latter one sold so much, that the record company (CBS) only pressed BOTW for three weeks to supply the demand and so was the Sacrifice album lamentably . sacrificed. It had climbed to the 32nd spot of the chart.

Their supporting US tour was cancelled because of the murdering of Sharon Tate. To have a band promoting some black magic on stage was not really to the liking of the American authorities. And guess which band replaced them? Sabbath!

As Clive writes, he remembered a live performance for a German television called the Beat Club and contacted one of their responsible to check whether they would still have the footage. And they said: yes but that it was in poor condition and that they would need some time to clean it. Clive was very anxious while he got the final product and very surprised when he discovered what he saw.

Instead of a short live track, he was confronted with the full Sacrifice concert. He had completely forgot about this show which they played in the studio without any audience, before the actual and true live performance. This show is now available to everyone, and believe me: it is widely recommendable.

The sound and picture (black & white) are not excellent, but remember that it was filmed in '70. What you get here is no less than the whole of the Sacrifice album. But no more.

The opening number In Ancient Days is completely reworked and starts with a long spoken incantation (remember this is supposed to represent a black magic performance) said by Jim Gannon (the guitar player) and there is as well an extended sax solo in the middle part which was not featured in the original version. To be honest, I am not thrilled with the sax solo (sorry Clive). This track has been extended to a mere fifteen minutes!

Come To The Sabbath is more oppressive in this version and the link with Tull even more obvious. Visually, one should have expected some weird scenes, terrible images: but nothing as such actually. It is quite a contrast to see the childish faces from Kip and Jim singing so weird lyrics. This version is wilder than the original (especially the closing section).

What is impressive of course is to look at the film. Of course, in 2008 these could be seen as pretty much standard but I guess that in '70, this must have been quite shocking. The circle on stage delimited with four lit candles (representing four demons) which Kip is using by staying either inside or walking around it, the black costumes of course (even if it is a BW rendition, one can see that the band wears black clothes), the ritual ceremony, and the crescendo of the show.

During Conjuration, Kip is miming some ritual again and seems to be very inspired during another spoken incantation by Jim. He actually invites the demon Astaroth to enter the scene and Seduction can start. This track features the entrance of a wonderful apparition in the form of what is supposed to be the demon Astaroth. A nice and blonde young lady in a white and fully transparent very thin white dress.

It is the moment for Kip to dance around the circle with her; and the spot light doesn't leave any doubt about the nudity of the dancer below her dress. Both are miming a rather erotic part. Please consider that the young lady is technically nude and that it was filmed in '70.

Attack Of The Demon is not as sweet of course. Kip is bare-chested now and the rhythm of the dancing is more frenetic: there are a lot of close-up during this sequence (I don't particularly like this effect). Both actors playing around or within the circle. There is a fine call/response from Jim as well (he is actually doing both himself: guitar + vocals). A fine performance.

The clou du spectacle or highlight if you prefer, is of course the fifteen minutes long Sacrifice. It features a great instrumental part which allow Kip and the dancer to perform another good part. Kip is finally hypnotizing her and while she falls on the ground, he takes off the little white and thin dress to show the nice body entirely naked... He then goes into a trance for over five minutes and ends up by killing her in an explosion of wild music and psychedelic light effects.

Sacrifice is over!

I was thrilled to get this DVD and I am quite satisfied with it. Such a great trip back in the early seventies... It is a rare and extraordinary (which means out of the ordinary) moment of music. Four stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars YES 5 STARS To me, the Sacrifice album is a watershed in rock music. It's a crossover of prog & burlesque. Even more so with this live version commited to celluloid posterity for us to enjoy. Because it's live; some tracks contain plenty of instrumental improvisation. While not of the upper e ... (read more)

Report this review (#163953) | Posted by Clark Ashton | Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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