Van Der Graaf Generator – Live at the Paridso 2007 DVD Review

Posted: April 19, 2010 by kingcrimsonprog in Music Reviews, Prog, Prog DVD
Van Der Graaf Generator - Live at the Paridso 2007

Van Der Graaf Generator - Live at the Paridso 2007

Van Der Graaf Generator’s live at the Paridso 2007 is certainly worth getting if you’re a big VDGG fan, because there are a shortage of VDGG DVDs about, most of which are the same ‘Godbluff live,’ concert in a new box with a new title.
As a modern DVD from prog legends VDGG it will certainly hold interest to see how material from ‘Pawn Hearts,’ and ‘Godbluff,’ will sound without the trademark saxophone (as discussed in the brief but very enjoyable extra, an interview with Peter Hammill)
The band’s performance is certainly worth 5 stars, with powerful and delicate material played with finesse and abandon, the band really belt out some of the louder moments hammering drums and bellowing vocals like it was still the mid seventies, making for a very interesting watch.
The DVD as a DVD though, isn’t up to the standard of many other prog and classic rock DVDs available, coming only in 4:3 and with only a stereo option available, and the camera work while basic and honest is sometimes a little unprofessional and it seems like the camera at the back of the audience keeps being bumped into, although this is a very petty complaint, but worth mentioning. You do get a lot of shots of musicians playing their instruments which is a huge concern as it is always annoying watching a concert DVD and spending most of your time watching the band’s faces, the audience and the lighting and never seeing a guitar string or foot pedal.
The sound isn’t bad, but again it is not exactly superb considering what other concert DVDs can sound like, and the mix somewhat underplays Peter Hammill’s vocals which can be distracting with a band like VDGG who place such importance on lyrics and vocal intonation.
Finally there is the track listing, which is very good. While some people may complain that there is no ‘Refugees,’ no ‘Darkness 11/11,’ and definatly no ‘A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers,’ and I would personally have been very happy to see ‘Arrow,’ and ‘Still Life,’ but the choice of songs on offer was very clever, the band seemed to chose songs that suited the trio line up well as well as adding some new material to freshen things up.
The Tracklisting is:
1. Lemmings
2. Place To Survive
3. Lifetime
4. In the Black Room
5. Every Bloody Emperor
6. All That Before
7. Gog
8. Meurglys iii the Songwriter’s Guild
9. Sleepwalkers
10. Man-Erg
11. Scorched Earth
Overall this is a pretty decent DVD of a very good concert and you could probably add one star on if you’re a big Van Der Graaf Generator fan. It may not be a great place to start off with if you’re just getting into the band but its worth taking a look at if you’re already a fan and definatly if you’re sick of buying that Godbluff concert over and over.

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