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Pendragon The Very Very Bootleg Live in Lille France 1992 album cover
2.37 | 44 ratings | 4 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Excalibur (6:16) - The R(B)est Of PENDRAGON
2. Total Recall (6:37) - Kowtow
3. Queen of Hearts (21:34) - World
4. And We'll Go Hunting Deer (7:36) - World
5. Solid Heart (9:58) - Kowtow

Total Time 52:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Barrett / guitars, vocals
- Fudge Smith / drums
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, harmony & backing vocals
- Pete Gee / bass, bass pedals, additional keyboards & guitar, backing vocals

Releases information

CD Released in 1993 Toff Records MOB1CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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PENDRAGON The Very Very Bootleg Live in Lille France 1992 ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

PENDRAGON The Very Very Bootleg Live in Lille France 1992 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Very very dispensable

It's interesting that, with all the fuss the music industry makes about illegal copying, it is considered a good marketing policy to label a quasi-official release as a "bootleg". This live album is not in fact a bootleg, but an official fan club release. The recording, which has not been remixed or dubbed, and thus has the feel of a bootleg, is taken from the band's performance in Lille in France in 1992.

Pendragon are primarily a studio band who seldom tour now, probably due to the numerous other commitments of Clive Nolan. Four of the five tracks included on this album originally appeared on their earlier albums "World" and "Kowtow", the opening track "Excalibur" being a something of a sought after rarity.

The band's reputation has been built on high quality albums of the neo-prog genre, with lush keyboard sounds supporting melodic vocals and incisive guitar work. The production standards brought to their albums give them a polished feel, and an air of quality. Unfortunately, most of those values are missing here, the sound being raw to the point of almost appearing amateur.

The main problems I have with the album are the drums which are much too predominant in the mix, and the vocals of Nick Barrett, which are far below his usual standard.

There are some enjoyable moments. Nolan plays some excellent synth on "Queen of hearts" the full length version (over 21 minutes) of which is included here, and "And we'll go hunting deer". Barrett has a bit of fun with vocal echo effects on "Solid heart" which at the time would have seemed quite innovative (along the lines of Queen's "Prophet song").

Pendragon's recent "Liveosity" DVD/CD release shows just how far they have come in live performance terms. This albums though is entirely dispensable, and should be avoided by all by the most ardent of fans.

Review by progrules
2 stars Just as I said in my review of Kowtow that the basic (=minimal) level of Pendragon is 3 stars I have to contradict myself with this live issue. Because however talented these guys are and however good their level is, with a live album it can always go wrong. When I bought and heard it I remember I was very disappointed with the overall sound. This really sounds like a bootleg though officially it isn't one.

One of the reasons I bought it was the presence of Excalibur, a song I didn't know yet and also Queen of Hearts, one of my very favourite songs at the time. And it even appeared to be the entire version so I thought, well, let's take it.

Even though the sound is poor, when you play this on a higher volume, it's not that bad. But I discovered another disappointment, one I hadn't expected. In some of the songs Nick Barrett is a little bit off tune, something I never heard before by this guitar master. It's just a few notes but it's detectable. In other live issues I never heard this and I have seen Pendragon about 4 times live and Nick Barrett is a flawless player.

Anyway, all in all this isn't exactly the best purchase I ever did so I'm afraid it will have to be shown in the rating, 2 stars (2,3).

Review by Warthur
2 stars Pendragon release live albums and DVDs fairly regularly, and for good reason: they're a great live act, their songs translate to the stage excellently, and Nick Barrett is a superb frontman.

Unfortunately, this isn't quite captured on The Very, Very Bootleg - perhaps named as such because the band weren't too thrilled with it. It strikes me as something knocked out to bulk out the Toff Records catalogue, to tide the band over until they could release The Window of Life. Don't get me wrong - despite the name, the production values aren't bad at all, and the band don't butcher their songs. It's just that the track selection is bizarre (two songs from Kowtow and nothing from The Jewel? Only two songs from The World?) and the warmth of, say, 9:15 Live simply isn't there - unlike that album, Nick's banter and interactions with the audience simply isn't included. It's good, but it's not great, and if you have The World you have better versions of the best songs on this already.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I know it's something rather periferal in Pendragon's discography. I know some folks will say, that sound could be better (I will rather say, that it sounds naturally, without any later studio work, which I find rather lying to fans). I can forgive every bad side of this recording just for one ... (read more)

Report this review (#5733) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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