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Camel - Total Pressure - Live In Concert 1984 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 53 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars The 80's is not my favorite decade, for Camel, and for any other thing. Why would I want to see and hear a live show from Camel's lowest points in its discography? The reasons were very simple: first, the only live recordings I owned by this wonderful band were a downloaded from YouTube video called Moondances, and 1975's A Live Record. Second, I wanted a live version of "Lies", because my copy of Nude (a remastered CD release) has a live performance of that album but is sadly lacking that track, my favorite of that album.

So here in PA I found out that not only did this DVD contained that song, but it had a surprisingly high rating. So after a thorough and difficult search I finally got hold of a copy.

What can I say about this concert video? I have to swallow my pride and admit that it was a lot better than I thought. Of course, it is far from perfect, and I wouldn't compare it to other, more recent concerts, like the latest one at the Royal Albert Hall, simply because I haven't seen any other. In spite of including mostly 80's material, I recognize the good performance these guys put out. The setlist has some good choices, like the inclusion of three tracks from Nude, one of my favorite Camel albums. There's only one track from each "The Single Factor" and " I Can See... " which is probably for the better, and the bulk of the setlist is taken from their newest album to that point, "Stationary Traveler" . Although I really didn't like that album very much, most of the songs included here sound better than the originals. A notable exception is "Fingertips" , which was an ok song in the studio album, but here Chris Rainbow's high-pitched voice ruined everything. There's only a few older songs, especially in the "Added Pressure" section, which is something a long time fan is sure to enjoy.

There are some issues with this DVD, or course. First of all, the poor camera work. I was never able to discern the actual position of the players on stage, since there was never a clear shot of it. Up to this moment, I'm only sure about Andy's position center stage; as of the rest of the band, I have no idea if they are left or right stage. And there's the poor direction and editing, in which the musician who should be in focus is sometimes left out. The very special guest, Pete Bardens, is never seen clearly, and as I said before, his position on stage is not clear either.

That leads me to the other deficiency. To my taste, three keyboards (and when Pete shows up, four keyboards) is just too much, especially for a band whose central figure is the guitar player. Maybe Andy was just trying to be humble, and to not take the credit for everything, but this time he went too far. There is nothing one single keyboard player can do with the right technology, even in the 80's. For the sake of tradition, two keyboardists were ok, but three, four, is just much more than I can tolerate.

A surprisingly good DVD, but still, not essential. 3.5 stars rounded to 3

judahbenkenobi | 3/5 |


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