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Oliver Wakeman Coming To Town - Live In Katowice (DVD) album cover
3.36 | 4 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Don't Come Running
2. Dangerous World
3. The Agent
4. Calling for You
5. Three Broken Threads
6. Burgundy Rose
7. Mother's Ruin
8. Enlightenment
9. If You're Leaving
10. I Don't Believe in Angels
11. Wall of Water
12. Walk Away
13. Coming to Town

DVD extras include :
- an interview with Oliver Wakeman
- photo gallery
- biography
- discography
- desktop images

Audio - 5.1 surround
Total running time 100 minutes

CD (swing case DVD+CD edition only):
1. Don't Come Running
2. Dangerous World
3. The Agent
4. Calling for You
5. Three Broken Threads
6. Burgundy Rose
7. Mother's Ruin
8. Enlightenment
9. If You're Leaving
10. I Don't Believe in Angels
11. Wall of Water
12. Walk Away
13. Coming to Town

Line-up / Musicians

- Oliver Wakeman /keyboards, piano
- Paul Manzi / vocals
- David Mark Pearce / guitar
- Paul Brown / bass
- Dave Wagstaffe / drums

Releases information

Metal Mind Records Cat. No.: MMP DVD 0137 and MMP DVD 0138 (DVD+CD limited swing case edition)

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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OLIVER WAKEMAN Coming To Town - Live In Katowice (DVD) ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OLIVER WAKEMAN Coming To Town - Live In Katowice (DVD) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Another Katowice concert classic

The 31st October 2007 was quite a night at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland. On that night, the charming old building hosted not one but three fine gigs. The centrepiece of the night was Clive Nolan's Caamora making their debut presentation of his ambitious "She" rock opera. Supporting this were Pallas and the Oliver Wakeman Band. Oliver and Clive have worked together several times in the past, so it made a lot of sense for Wakeman's band to play that night, their music being of a type which was bound to please the partisan but appreciative audience. Recordings of the Caamora and Pallas performances have already been released on DVD, so with the arrival of this DVD the unique night has now been captured in full.

Given that Caamora's set ran for the best part of two hours alone, it is perhaps surprising to find that we get a full set of 13 songs from Oliver here the gig running to about 75 minutes.

This is the first DVD release for Oliver, who chooses the band environment for the excursion. Hence this is not simply an exercise in keyboards wizardry, but a full blown rock band presentation. The five piece line up focus mainly on the 2005 album "Mother's ruin", on which guitarist David Mark Pearce and drummer Dave Wagstaffe also performed. No less than eight of the nine tracks on that album feature in this set. The remaining numbers are taken from Oliver's two collaborations with Clive Nolan, "Jabberwocky" and "The Hound of the Baskervilles".

The set gets off to a rousing start with the first track on "Mother's ruin", "Don't come running". There is a sort of Rainbow feel to this song, with singer Paul Manzi sounding reasonably like Ronnie James Dio. While Wakeman's relatively modest keyboards array is naturally fairly predominant in the sound, equal prominence is given here and throughout the gig to Pearce's guitar work. Pearce's style is similar to that of Nick Barrett of Pendragon, the overall sound often being reminiscent of that fine band. The mood soon changes for the fine ballad "Dangerous world" from "Jabberwocky", the lead guitar being particularly appealing here. Manzi turns his hand well to the four Jabberwocky songs included here, displaying admirable versatility with songs originally performed by a variety of singers. The sole track from "Hound. . ." is the instrumental "Three broken threads", which offers Wakeman and Pearce the opportunity to compare dexterity.

There are a number of fine ballad style songs throughout the set, including the excellent title song from "Mother's ruin". Towards the end of the gig the band seem conscious of the number of ballads and the desire of the audience to party when introducing "If you're leaving" (Also from "Mother's Ruin"), promising "a few fast ones after this". The song is a superb Journey like number, Manzi now sounding admirably like Steve Perry. Given that he did not sing on any of the songs here when they were first recorded, great credit is due to Manzi for the way he adopts them as his own. He also makes an excellent front man too.

"Wall of water" is introduced as the "epic track from the last album" ("Mother's ruin"), the song running to around 11 minutes. Even here, while Oliver does slip into some of the family magic, it is more in the form a Yes like Wakeman/Howe duel, the lead guitar remaining equally prominent. The gig climaxes with the crowd pleaser "Walk away" ("Mother's ruin") and the encore "Coming to town" ("Jabberwocky"), Oliver describing the latter as one of his favourites.

While the Wakeman name will naturally attract interest from fans of Oliver's illustrious father, he is very much his own man. He tends to avoid the flamboyant excesses of his father (on stage at least) preferring to remain towards the rear of the limelight. Rick's influences can naturally be found in Oliver's style, but the band environment means that he is happy to simply take his place as a contributor to the overall sound of the band. This in turn results in a highly satisfactory set of great diversity, played flawlessly by a quintet of fine musicians.

The sound quality is superb throughout, the 5.1 surround sound capturing the well balanced sound with great precision. The main DVD extra of interest is a 25 minute interview with Oliver, which shows him to be articulate, interesting, and a right chatterbox!

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars

In 1976 I was watching the just released movie Yessongs in a small cinema and went to Vintage Keyboard Heaven during Rick Wakeman his solo performance: wearing long blond hair and a glitter cape, Rick stunned the audience with his virtuosity and creativity, especially the Mellotron part is mindblowing symphonic rock magic, goose bumps! I turned into a huge Rick Wakeman aficionado and one year later I succeeded to see 'the caped crusader' live during the Going For The One tour, one of the best progrock gigs I have ever seen with Rick Wakeman parading between his huge array of keyboards, including 5 Minimoogs! More than 30 years later Rick Wakeman has two grown up sons who are both professional keyboardplayers, I had seen Adam on the DVD Live In Buenos Aires (with father Rick) but I was not familiar with the work of 'other son' Oliver.

Well, watching this concert in Poland by The Oliver Wakeman Band, it's incredible to notice how much Oliver looks like his father Rick, both visually as musically: if I listen to Oliver his sparkling piano runs and his flashy synthesizer flights and look at his face and way of playing, I tend to think that "it's Rick Wakeman Junior!" But seriously, in the Extra's you can find an interview in which Oliver tells about his love for Jon Lord and Deep Purple, listening to this live DVD that influence is very obvious: singer Paul Manzi can be described as a 'laidback version of Ian Gillan' while the powerful rhythm-section and the heavy guitarwork sounds as the foundation Jon Lord had in Deep Purple. But Oliver doesn't use the organ sound very much, he colours the melodic rock music very tastefully (but less abundant than his father) with a varied sound, from dazzling and fat sounding synthesizer runs (spectacular solos in Don't Come Running, Three Broken Threads, I Don't Believe In Angels and the titletrack with sensational use of the pitchbend button) and sumptuous classical orchestrations (The Agent and Three Broken Threads) to dreamy or sparkling (like in Dangerous World and Enlightenment) work on the piano. Despite those excellent keyboard escapades Oliver remains a teamplayer but looking at the camera positions, it's quite obvious why the band is named The Oliver Wakeman Band! Watching this live DVD I got more and more impressed by the very tasteful and professional melodic rock, from fluent mid- tempo songs to compelling bombastic or moving ballads and Heavy Prog (like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Steve Perry era Journey). I am also very pleased with guitarplayer David Mark Pearce, he sounds like an archetypical rock guitarist but more varied, in the track Enlightenment he got room and he used it to the limit! And in The Agent and the epic Wall Of Water the interplay between the guitar and keyboards is awesome and exciting, this band rocks.

So don't expect progrock or keyboard driven music, just enjoy this alternating and pleasant melodic rock, embellished with an inventive lightshow. My rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Mother's Ruin live

This live concert was recorded and filmed in Poland in October 2007 and features Oliver Wakeman and his band. The set list relies heavily on Oliver's most recent Mother's Ruin album with no less than eight out of nine songs from that album being performed here. But we also get five songs from Oliver's collaborations with Clive Nolan with four of them from Jabberwocky and one from Hound Of The Baskerville. Perhaps surprisingly, we get nothing at all from the all instrumental album Oliver did with Steve Howe called 3 Ages Of Magic which in my opinion is his best effort. But maybe is would be hard to perform those pieces without Howe. Anyway, what we get here is appealing and I think that this DVD is a great way to get acquainted with both Mother's Ruin and Jabberwocky. Indeed, I think that the songs here sound invigorated and improved compared to their original studio versions. Jabberwocky suffered from having different vocalists on different tracks making it a bit incoherent and also some distracting narration by Oliver's famous father (who is a great narrator, but as with all narration on musical albums I tend to get tired of it after the first listen).

The set is varied, alternating between rockers, ballads and instrumentals to great effect. The band is good with drums, bass, guitars and vocals by Dave Wagstaffe, Paul Brown, David Mark Pearce and Paul Manzi respectively. Needless to say, the keyboards are all handled by Oliver himself. For those who are new to Oliver's music it should be pointed out that he has picked up more than a few tricks form his father, but has also developed a personal style from Rick's teachings. The music itself, however, is more melodic Hard Rock than classic Wakeman-esque Symphonic Prog. Though, this is keyboard driven melodic Hard Rock with progressive touches. Oliver thanks his family, Steve Howe, Karl Groom (of Threshold and Shadowland), "the Starcastle guys", Bob Catley (of Magnum) and Clive Nolan among others in the liner notes. These names certainly give some indication about his inspiration. Guitarist David Mark Pearce thanks Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and others. It is funny that he actually even looks a lot like Yngwie Malmsteen hair, clothes and all!

This is a good live performance captured in high sonic and visual quality. This DVD proves not only that Oliver is a great keyboard player but also that he has gathered a very competent band around him to perform some fine material. It will probably not appeal to all Prog fans, but for those who are interested in Oliver's career this is a fine addition to your collection.

As a bonus feature there is an interview with Oliver.

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