Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
George J Woolley RD | Williamsburg, Virginia United States | 10/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent picture & sound. This incarnation has Daevid Allen, Gilly Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Theo Travis,Mike Howlett, Chris Taylor, Gwyo Zepix,Basil Brookes, & Steffe Sharpstrings. They are as good as,if not better than 70's Gong,& with this amazing clarity of color & sound you are At The Show !"
Are you kidding ??
T. D. Smith | Martinsburg, WV | 05/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you know who George Clinton is....well then maybe you can dream up of what an elder statesman of WHITE FUNK might look like. That would be Daevid Allen (spaced out guitar and vocals, great costumes). Not that there is such a thing as White Funk or Black Funk (Hey its just music)....its not a bad comparison, just check it out and see. Daevid Allen was creating great jazzy-spacey-hard-catchy stuff since the late 60s and his crew here all stand on their own. Steve Howlett on bass, groovin. Didier Malerbe on woodwinds, insane. I can't remember the rest of the groups names, but I should. Insanely trippy, happy and fun funk-jazz-space-rock. A classic. Buy an extra for backup. Will be in Amsterdam this fall to check them out.
Not their best music plus poor filming and video
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 02/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a DVD of a club perfomance in 2000. It is the complete concert and is about 100 minutes long. Part of this concert was released as a CD called Live 2 Infinitea.
FIRST THE TECHNICAL INFO:
The video quality is fair. I have seen worse, but it certainly is not high quality. Especially in the beginning, the colors are off and the colors bleed all over the place. The color quality improves later. The resolution is also poor, probably from not having enough light during the filming.
The band is crammed on to a very small stage. But, the club is so small, they are limited on the number of camera angles. The worst part is that they are not able to get back far enough to get a wide angle picture of the band. Whenever there is a shot of the whole band, someone is missing, usually more than one person. Many times, you can't see who is playing what.
On the plus side, the editing was well done so that when the camera angles are available, the right person is in the center of the picture. There is none of that annoying jumping around or zooming in and out the ruin so many of the concert videos released today.
Daevid Allen and Gilli Smythe look really, really old. Smythe looks like someone's great, great grandmother. She looks really out of it at times, as if she doen's know what is going on. My wife said that they look to old to like this kind of music. Smyth and Allen, and some other members dress in old Gong type costumes (which are not very complimentary to Smyth). Members of the audience can be seen standing in front of the stage. Some are where Pothead Pixie hats.
The sound quality is excellent (which would be unexpected from the poor video quality). There is a choice between stereo and 5.1 surround. Both are well done, but they don't play that much with the 5.1.
The only extra is an interview with Daevid Allen, where he talks about people he has met (like Yoko Ono). The sound is really low and it is really hard to hear. I got bored and haven't listened to the whole thing.
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
This comes from the concert tour to support the recently released Zero To Inifinity. More than half the songs on this DVD come from Zero To Inifinity. The songs are played nearly the same as the studio versions. Since I don't think that Zero to Infinity is one of thier better CD's, I didn't really care for this DVD. Plus, I think the studio versions are better than the live versions.
The other, older songs on this DVD are the same ones Gong plays at every concert and they have been played to death. There is not too much new or different here.
The core band is still here, Allen, Smythe, Dedier Malherbe and Mike Howlitt. Theo Travis who has been with Gong since the early nineties is also here. And maybe he is the problem. The band is really driven by Travis and Malharbe is mostly in the background (you can't even see him for most of the concert since he is off the right side of the frame).
I think one of the problems is that there is no lead guitarist. Daevid Allen can do sound effects on the guitar, but he will even admit that doesn't play lead that well. The band was at its best when they had a lead guitarist, Steve Hillage at first and Steffi Sharpstrings later. Sharpstrings is a guest on this DVD, but only plays on a few songs. But those are by far the best on the DVD.
SHOULD YOU BUY THIS DVD?
Gong might be the best space rock band in history (I don't consider Pink Floyd to be space rock). They have had some great albums. They haven't put out anything that is bad. Unfortunately, this DVD does not capture the band at its musical peak.
There is another Gong DVD from 10 years earlier that I think is a little better than this one. The filming and performance is a little better. Unfortunately, it is only 51 minutes long. It is called Classic Rock Legends.
If you love Gong, you will probably want to get this DVD. I may be a little too critical, but I do want to explain the problems with the DVD. I know that if I read this review before seeing the DVD, I would have probably bought it anyway. The DVD isn't worthless or horrible like some others I have bought."