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Van Der Graaf Generator

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Van Der Graaf Generator Live at Metropolis Studios album cover
4.53 | 42 ratings | 3 reviews | 52% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Interference Patterns
2. Nutter Alert
3. Your Time Starts Now
4. Lemmings
5. Lifetime
6. Bunsho
7. Childlike Faith
8. Mr. Sands
9. Over The Hill
10. We Are Not Here
11. Man-Erg
12. Interview Section

Total time 89 min

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, keyboards, guitars
- Hugh Banton / organ, bass pedals
- Guy Evans / drums

Releases information

Filmed and recorded in late December 2010 at Metropolis Studios London

DVD ITV Studios Home Entertainment ‎/ Classic Rock ‎3711534533 (2011, UK)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Live at Metropolis Studios ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(52%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Live at Metropolis Studios reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Sometimes into the recording of their A Grounding in Numbers album sessions, the group bowed to the demand and decided to play a single concert at the Classic rock Legends venue at Metropolis Studios. Braving the freezing winter, something like 100 fans arrived at the venue and made for a fairly informal gig, since they shared the same small room with their semi-gods for a mass. The Generator hadn't played together live in around two years, so it was a challenge, one which they succeeded brilliantly with a rather extensive set of tracks, including three "numbers" (pun intended) from their upcoming album.

With Hugh and Peter sitting on the opposite side of the stage, facing each other, leaving a spot between them of the latter's guitar playing, this left an interesting view to Guy's busy- as-ever banging on skins and cymbals ever so inventively. The show starts very strongly with the superb Interference Pattern (one of Trisector's many highlights) and followed up the still-amazing Nutter Alert from their second-last Present album. The crowd is quite appreciative and doesn't seem to mind that the show will mainly concentrate on 21st Century material. They discover the future opening track of the upcoming Grounding In Numbers album, Your Time Starts Now, which will probably become a semi-classic track in the future. The other tracks coming from that album (Bunsho, Mr Sands) will get equally good reception from the fans, but clearly they still yearn for the timeless classic. It's clear that with the three-man formation, the band's centre of gravity has shifted slightly towards Banton's side of the stage (reinforced by Hammill's front-centre presence when playing guitar), as Hugh is dancing on his stool playing both the organ and the bass part through the pedals? and when he gets a chance also fills in a line that belonged from the now- gone quartet times.

The always abrupt Lemmings gets an almost brutal rendition, being readapted for a three- piece group. Yours truly thinks that the show-closing Man-Erg will come down much better and smoother. Childlike Faith also gets a smooth sax-less adaptation, much appreciated by everyone. The rest of the set is made-up from other stand-outs from Trisector including the awesome and lengthy Over The Hill and the more up-front Lifetime. Overall a very successful night, with an excellent sound and performance, which IMHO is significantly superior to their previous DVD from Amsterdam's Paradisio, which is always a tough all to sonorize properly. So if you should have to choose between Metropolis and Paradisio DVDs, I'd probably advise you to to go with the former and newer release.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As someone who lives in the parts where it is very unlikely to see VDGG playing live, I must say this film presents an amazing visual experience.

Reduced to a trio, these guys are forced to shift the instrumental tasks in order to find a new balance between them and they do it perfectly well. This is especially evident on old numbers where Banton fills some of Jackson's (otherwise irreplaceable!) reeds parts. He provides an awesome sound with his keyboards (organ) and bass pedals. Evans is remarkable as ever, providing drumming and percussive patterns filling every possible "gap" in the space. Hammill, besides singing and his famous "yelling", plays Roland electric (or is it called now "electronic") piano and electric guitars (very interesting to see him in this role) in several tracks.

Camera and direction are excellent in providing visuals of different angles of the band on stage and of the small dedicated audience in what looks like a cozy club atmosphere. They performed several new songs, unfamiliar to me, but after I heard them live, rest assured I am prepared to buy the new studio album "A Grounding in Numbers" from which they had been taken from. After the show, there is additional footage with all three of the band evoking the past band experiences and explaining their future plans.

This DVD is a must for every devoted VDGG fan, while I would strongly recommend it to anyone wishing to see what truly means to "progress" and stay artistically true to themselves at the dawn of the 21st century's 2nd decade.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars A bunch of people had the opportunity to see the band in a studio, close like they were in your own home. The recording of the show in the studio have probably has to do with the excellent DTS sound of this concert. The picture is in high definition. There is no visuals, but who cares when you see and hear this legendary band in a small venue.

The band have decided to move forward by playing most of the material from 2005 to "The Grounding Numbers's" CD. Only 3 old songs are played. I always been seduced by the unique voice of Peter Hammill and the sounds of the keyboards of Hugh Banton. Banton complex playing is the perfect fit to go with the simplicity of the piano and guitar playing of Peter Hammill. Vander Graaf music while very well structured allow for some almost improvise segments where the music is getting loose with extended piano and guitar passages. The old song "Lemmings" is a illustration of this, with the guitar intro of Peter Hammill, who looks like a musician that is learning to play, and when the legendary guitar riffs kicks in with the rest of the band to join him, it all seems to connect harmonically.

Like it's the case in most of Live recordings, the songs are all very good here, but my favorites were "Nutter Alert", "Childlike Faith" and "Over the Hill", the last two containing some nice tempos changes and different atmosphere, and finally the old classic "Man-Erg" that offers some nice heavy and dark moments.

So this DVD/2CD package is a improvement from the latest but still good "Paradisio" DVD. I would recommended both, but the DTS sound and the picture quality of this one, make it more enjoyable. And i was happy to hear some new songs, showing that this band is still capable after many years to make beautiful music.

Also in the DVD, some interesting and recent interview with all three members of the band.

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