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Camel Coming of Age album cover
4.53 | 128 ratings | 8 reviews | 69% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rehearsal (bonus footage)
2. Soundcheck (bonus footage)
3. Opening Titles / Lunar Sea
4. Hymn to Her
5. Rhayader
6. Rhayader Goes to Town
7. Drafted
8. Docks
9. Beached
10. Spirit of the Water
11. Ice
12. Sasquatch
13. Fan Interviews (bonus footage)
14. Mother Road
15. Needles
16. Rose of Sharon
17. Irish Air
18. Harbours of Tears
19. Cobh
20. Send Home the Slates
21. Under the Moon
22. Watching the Bobbins
23. Eyes of Ireland
24. Running from Paradise
25. End of the Day
26. Coming of Age
27. The Hour Candle
28. Closing Credits / Irish Air

Total Time 140 min. approx.

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Latimer / guitar, flute, keyboards, vocals
- Colin Bass / bass, vocals
- Foss Patterson / keyboards
- Dave Stewart / drums

- Mae McKenna / vocals (17)

Releases information

Recorded live in 1997 at Billboard Live, Los Angeles, California on March 13, 1997

VHS (1998)

DVD Camel Productions, CP008DVD (2002)

Thanks to NotAProghead for the addition
and to Pekka & NotAProghead for the last updates
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CAMEL Coming of Age ratings distribution

(128 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(69%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (6%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CAMEL Coming of Age reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For my 200th review for our esteemed progressive site, I decided to dedicate this opinion to an amazing musician, who I never had a chance to see live (one of my 5 wishes rubbing the lamp!) and with him recovering from a major operation, probably never will. Hence, the selection of Camel's Coming of Age¯ live DVD, a masterful visual testament of Andy Latimer's contribution to modern progressive music and a thoroughly rousing testament to his well deserved legendary status. While the recordings over the last 3 and a half decades have withstood time and word, it must be said that seeing his artistry is even more compelling when witnessed in a concert setting as Latimer expresses so much with so little, each note seemingly wrapped in a shawl of emotion , literally sparkling at the seams. This is what live prog should look like, no elaborate props, no shining lasers and no special FX, just four dedicated virtuoso musicians luxuriating in the expression of their craft, transmitting profound feelings through their instruments, fingers, hands and lungs. No ego, no attitude, just powerful passion and gut wrenching delivery. Long time friend and captivating musician Colin Bass has been a Camel member since the mid-70s and his contributions are awe inspiring throughout. Keyboardist Foss Patterson has always been around, floating from Camel to Fish (likes animals, I guess) whenever either needs a touring maestro, his reputation greatly enhanced in watching and admiring his grimacing synth solo work, a sight to behold! Dave Squeaky Stewart is another member of the Camel to Fish convention, supplying dynamic drum work that remains faithful to the Andy Ward tradition while displaying a supple bravura.

Finally, the sympathetic Andy Latimer shines like few guitarists can, his entire body trembling from the incredible intensity of his melodies, the deepest emotions etched on his grimacing face. There are few musicians who are as overtly expressive as Carlos Santana or as breathtakingly gorgeous as David Gilmour, but Latimer offers up an incredible combination of both these masters, dispensing one searing melody after another with utter honesty. Obviously, Camel fans will need little encouragement to wallow in bliss (the fan interviews in the middle are priceless, especially that middle aged female babe who proudly confesses to many sultry trysts while listening to Camel, hmmmm) as the 2 hour long affair is divided in epochal stages chronologically moving from the early days of Mirage, Snow Goose, Moonmadness and Nude, with added renditions of Drafted, Sasquatch and the truly magnificent "Ice"¯ (at the end of which his entire being shudders VISIBLY, as if in orgasmic release), to a post-interlude selection of pieces from Dust & Dreams and Harbour of Tears. I have shown parts of this DVD to the ignorant masses and the reactions have been revealing, mainly comments like "hey, this is way more cool than Pink Floyd"," these old guys can sure play with feeling"¯ and "that old fart sure can play a mean guitar". These rather infantile remarks from non-fans provide the prog world more than enough illumination to rekindle our deepest affection for one of the genres truly fantastic personas, as well as one of the true gentle souls that has graced our lives for so long.

Not only is this ship of the desert worthy of such lofty praise but this timeless DVD should be coveted by those who like me, have never seen them live, as well as worshipped by those lucky enough to have. My already sky-scraping opinion has taken a quantum forward leap in admiration. Let's all wish Andy a speedy recovery.

5 palm trees.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
5 stars Harbour Of Camel

I first saw this DVD about three years ago when I was living in Ireland for two months over the summer. Little did I know beforehand that the Harbour Of Tears concept album, performed here in its entirety, had a very strong connection to Ireland. This turned out to be a very moving experience for me, walking around the Irish country side during the day time and listening to the Harbour Of Tears performance in the evenings.

Dust And Dreams had been the best Camel album for a very, very long time and Harbour Of Tears continued this new found direction for the band. These two albums are two of the very best Camel albums ever and both albums are represented on this DVD; Harbour Of Tears in its entirety, as I said, and a small portion of Dust And Dreams is here too.

The set list on this filmed concert is basically the best of Camel 1976- 1996. At first I was somewhat disappointed that they didn't play anything at all from their first two albums, no Never Let Go or Lady Fantasy here. But I soon got over this when I heard these magnificent performances.

The first part of the set consists of "some old favourites and stuff" to quote Andy Latimer speaking to the audience. Most of the songs played here are better than on the studio recordings. The material from the Nude album is especially enhanced. I have always felt that album is a bit tame and subdued; here the numbers from Nude really rock! Also Hymn To Her, a song I didn't pay much attention to before, turn out to be great here. The selection from The Snow Goose also significantly benefits from being played live. These songs are given new life here. Ice, an instrumental from the I Can See Your House From Here album, is breathtaking. And the band makes no mistakes playing these old classics, the performances are spot on. Latimer's guitar work is better than ever.

The second set is basically a short bit of Dust And Dreams followed by the whole Harbour Of Tears album. The Dust And Dreams songs sound better here than they did on the studio album, primarily because of the improved drums. Dust And Dreams had a somewhat sterile drum sound, typical of the early 90's. Here the drumming is more lively and "genuine" for lack of a better word.

From a visual standpoint this concert might not be the most interesting, depending on what you want from a concert experience. There are no video screens, fireworks, aeroplanes flying across the auditorium (see Pink Floyd's P-U-L-S-E DVD); no flying pigs; no dancers, midgets, jugglers, etc. Personally I think that the most rewarding concert experience is to see talented musicians playing their instruments and that is exactly what we get here. I very much like this very intimate setting, the band performing in a small club like this close to the audience. This is a very intimate and moving portrait of this brilliant band.

The bonus features consists of the band rehearsing and sound-checking plus some interviews with people who attended the show. The latter feature is completely dispensable and probably fun only for those who are interviewed and the people who know them personally! The rehearsal footage is interesting for hardcore fans but not something I would watch more than once or twice.

I'll bring this review to a close now. This DVD really brings out the very best moments from those Camel albums from 1975 to 1996 making this into one fantastic show! If all you know from Camel is their first four albums, this DVD is an excellent place to start if you want to explore later Camel stuff.

Extremely recommended!

Review by friso
4 stars Camel - Coming of Age DVD (1998)

Showing us what it is.

This is perhaps the best Camel dvd to date. It has a two-part set-list. In the first halve of the concert Camel plays repertoire of all over there career with a focus on the Snow Goose and the strong middle section of the Nude-album. In the second halve the band plays the at the time newest album, Harbours of Tears. The first halve is a bit more exciting then the integrated version of Harbous of Tears, but the latter has a sort of different quality. The emotional matured song-writing, the extremely symphonic passages and strong songs like Mother Road and Watching The Bobbins are very up-lifting.

The band sound extremely professional, without making a single mistake. The vocals are good, though perhaps Camel never had amazing vocals. It's part of their atmosphere. The guitars are amazing throughout. In fact, I have troubles with finishing the dvd because I want to play my own guitar! Truly inspiring, emotional guitar playing. Andy Latimer is one of my favorite guitarists and this dvd is truly a good example of why that is so. The other band-members do fine job to. The sympathetic Colin Bass does a great job on both vocals and.. yeah bass-guitar. The keys by Foss Patterson are accurate, but a vintage sound would have been better. Finally, the drums are good and on some instrumental passages a great achievement.

Though the band is perhaps one of the most professional bands of the progressive genre, their image is.. .well it's absent. The footage, the people involved, it is really a realistic view on a concert. There isn't much light-show, it's just a great band playing their great music. Somehow this feel right with the music, but it is important to know if you are considering to purchase this dvd.

Conclusion. A great, realistic live performance of a great band in great shape. The track-listing is good (perhaps not perfect) and the footage is relaxing. Four stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Camel's towering performance creates a truely emotional experience

Camel's Coming of Age DVD begins with a fly on the wall style mini documentary showing the band in rare form rehearsing for a show. They discuss various chord structures and movements to get that distinct Camel sound and they play full pieces effortlessly. It is a wonderful start to this fabulous DVD. The sound check follows which is basically the band preparing prior to a show on a stage with an empty auditorium. We see the roadies getting the gear ready and the band taking off on a couple of numbers. Then the actual show starts and they begin with classic Lunar Sea played to perfection and then Latimer announces that the band are going to do two sets, one will feature songs from the new albums and the first will be more familiar classic material. They begin with a few tracks from Snow Goose to rapturous applause and it's great when Rhayader is heard, familiar to any Camel addict. An essential rendition of a classic.

The harmonies are accomplished on the track Drafted which begins slowly and then builds to a captivating Latimer lead solo. The lighting in the concert is basic blues and melancholy shades with touches of red lights occasionally to bounce off. It is a fairly standard concert visually but the main drawcard is of course the music. The sound quality is well executed and ultimately the songs are all chosen carefully and make up a lengthy set list with some surprises along the way. A few of these tracks I had never heard before as they were from the recent albums but that was an endearing aspect of the concert. Most songs were quite moderate in tempo and featured soaring lead solos, Latimer being the main star, but the band members all blend beautifully together on every track. The flute is a nice touch especially on peaceful serene pieces such as Spirit of The Water. There are images of water rippling on this and it enhances the emotional resonance of the music.

The audience is quiet and captivated during each track but burst into applause and occasionally are rapturous after each song, ending with well deserved standing ovations. The music tends to draw you in due to the highly polished emotional soundscape that is created. There is a high degree of patience as the songs build gradually to crescendos. Latimer certainly has to be one of the greatest prog guitarists on the planet, he absolutely sparkles on this DVD. The cinematography never gets inj the way of the performers and is a rather concentrated focus on each of the members and there are no effects to get in the way. During Ice dry ice drifts across the stage at appropriate moments but there are no visual enhancements, apart from a large screen above the stage to show the band, but no pretty pictures as far as I could tell. Ice is a true highlight of the concert with a scorching lead solo as good as you will hear and gains a standing ovation. Latimer absolutely wrenches every note out of his singing axe and it is spine tingling to see him emotionally delve deep into the music as he plays. A plethora of fade ins are used and some overlaps of band members so that we can gain a full visual experience; it really is beautifully edited with love and reverence to the band. Audience members are only shown occasionally, but the main focus is on the stage.

Latimer wears a black Moonmadness T Shirt; Foss Patterson on keys has a black T and a wide sleeve royalistic leopard skin style robe looking majestic and as regal as Wakeman; Colin Bass on Bass is clad in black; and Dave Stewart the drummer wears simple black. They are genuine legends of prog and present a commanding performance on stage. They are all business when they launch into one track after another and there is often a huge jam session. Occasionally Latimer addresses the audience.

To break up the first set there are fan interviews, and to hear from the fans is always a treat, some travelled 1500 miles to see them. There are old fans, female fans as well as male, one in particular that is easy on the eye, and some middle aged fans as well spout their admiration; they really encompass the adult generation. When asked of what is the favourite album the fan's response is mainly Snow Goose, and Moonmadness, as one would expect.

The second set begins with a rocker, the delightful riffing Mother Road. The newer material features more vocals and less jamming but are no less captivating. I like listening to this new material as many I do not have in my collection. They are very catchy songs with infectious melodies and brilliant virtuoso musicianship. Harbour of Tears is the main album featured played from beginning to end, wonderful as I did not own the album, and Dust and Dreams gets some exposure too, along with other recent releases to the time of the concert. A nice surprise is to hear the Irish sounds of Mae McKenna on Irish Air, that features scintillating flute and smoke over a lonely moon is seen. The sheer beauty of this track is unsurpassed, and has the power to relax the senses, lulling you into a peaceful dream. The guitar is divine and those gorgeous vocals; and as Harbour of Tears begins we see footage of Latimer walking across Irish landscapes, with old boats ready at their moorings, and the farewelling throng of crowds, archival footage and very appropriately ethereal. The music is entrancing with sustained keyboard passages and guitar swells with blue lighting cascading down; it is a visual and aural feast. Overall this was a pleasant excursion into the revered territory of prog legends Camel and I would return to this experience often. A triumphant concert and one of the best examples of how to do it right. Style over substance, music over effects, band members over extraneous imagery.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Excellent live performance! The setlist presented here is not as varied or chronological as in "Never Let Go" or "Pressure Points", but it is a good selection from some of Camel's best studio output. I didn't really like the rehearsal and soundcheck parts, so I skipped those halfway. But the res ... (read more)

Report this review (#2436996) | Posted by judahbenkenobi | Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Coming of Age.what a great DVD .this is just fantastic. this is a great live experience .every song is great.the first haft it has some classics tracks [like lunar sea or ice ] and the second half it has the best song of dust and dreams and harbor of tears [two excellence albums & ... (read more)

Report this review (#184764) | Posted by martinprog77 | Sunday, October 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars No Doubt , like Solid Gold , there's no more room to talk about Latimer's & team , Reviewing my friends reviews about Camel satisfies my hunger to the truth , and my only truth is that Coming of age , in addition to few DVD releases between the period 1998 & 2008 , arriving somewhere ( ... (read more)

Report this review (#178244) | Posted by trackstoni | Saturday, July 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Good band, amazing show, great guitar work! Let´s not discuss the music on this DVD - this is already done with the reviews to the almost identical CD-issue. From a visual standpoint, it is quite a mixed bag: on the one hand, we see a great band with an exceptional Andy Latimer on guitar, f ... (read more)

Report this review (#80734) | Posted by Dieter | Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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