Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Van Der Graaf Generator Godbluff Live 1975|
Actor: Van Der Graaf Generator
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Live from the Carleroi Palais des Expos from Sept. 27, 1975, capturing the band live from their 1975 French tour. They take us through the entire "Godbluff" album.
Good - Less Good
A. C. H. Bergh | 01/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, there's good news here and (slightly) less good news.Let me start with the latter. This is just a DVD. Just the disc, in other words, nothing else. No liner notes, no booklet. And the DVD just jumps into the music, plays it through, and ends. Nothing even remotely resembling anything extra.Given this very basic approach, it should come at no surpise that that the actual film footage is of reasonable - but not excellent - quality.As to the sound recordings: they're fair. But not by any means pristine. For example, in the reasonably quiet instrumental sections at the beginning of Lighthouse Keepers ("Pictures Lighthouse"), there's way too much background noise and hiss. Then the mix - well, someone has actually taken the time to remix it to a Dolby 5.1 surround version. However, that turns out to be a bit of a half-hearted affair, really. To say that the sound actually comes at you from five different channels is about all you can say in favour of this endeavour.But the thing is - does any of this really matter all that much? Because, very simply put, the good news is that here, at last, we have Van der Graff in their heydey on film. We have a complete, intense and yet also remarkably sober performance of the entire Godbluff album, as recorded in concert in Paris in 1975. And then, as a bonus, we get two earlier tracks, recorded in a somewhat primitively surreal environment (without, it seeems, an audience) somewhere in 1971: Theme 1 and the full A Plague Of Lighthose Keepers.In the end, it comes down to this. This Godbluff DVD might not be what Van der Graaf ultimately deserve - as one of the very best of progressive bands, they deserve far greater recognition in every way - but having said that, anyone fond of the band should pick this up forthwith."
FANS: DON'T BE WITHOUT THIS...!!
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 05/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release contains two selections from a 1971 appearance by Van der Graaf Generator on Dutch television - `Theme one' and their magnum opus `A plague of lighthouse keepers' - as well as a performance filmed in France in 1975 that features all four songs from their GODBLUFF reunion album. According to Peter Hammill, these two performances are the only video records of Van der Graaf in existence - so for their fans (and we're a pretty die-hard lot, let me tell you), this is an absolutely essential item.The sound quality on the older tracks is a little thin, but the mix isn't too bad once you get past `Theme one' (on which it's hard to hear Hugh Banton's organ once Guy Evans (drums) and David Jackson (multiple saxophones) enter. When Peter Hammill joins for `A plague of lighthouse keepers', the mix seems to improve a good bit. The camera work is pretty good - the director seems to know pretty much when to feature the different band members - and the set design is imaginative but not overbearing (referring to the use of candles at the beginning of `A plague...'). This material (about 30 minutes worth) has been available before by itself (it's usually listed by the title MASTERS FROM THE VAULT) - just a few months ago, the film of the GODBLUFF performance in France from 1975 showed up, and Peter convinced the company to combine the two onto one DVD in order to give fans more for their money.The French concert was filmed on the tour in 1975 mounted to promote their recently released album GODBLUFF - they had split up four years before, after the release of PAWN HEARTS in 1971, and Peter had been concentrating on solo projects. The musicians knew each other well, and had no trouble at all recalling the spirit of the band when they got back together. There are little glitches visible from the film print - tiny dots here and there, possibly dust or damaged places in the emulsion of the original - but overall, the video quality is good. As another reviewer noted, the camera work is a little odd at times - there are some EXTREME close-ups of the band members, and in a couple of places, it looks like the camera shooting Guy Evans is resting on one of his bass drums (judging by the bounce in the picture). As far as the sound quality of this section of the DVD goes, it's not bad - it could have been mixed a little better, but we have no way of knowing what the people who did the final mix had to work with. The concert was filmed almost thirty years ago, after all. It's easy when watching something like this to think `Gee - I wish they had shot David Jackson from a little more distance, so we could see his technique in playing two saxes simultaneously', or `That shot of Peter Hammill's throat muscles contracting while he strains is interesting, but...' - but more often than thinking such things, I found myself mesmerized by the experience of seeing a band that I've revered for thirty-five years (who only ever played ONE GIG in the US, thankyouverymuch...!) perform some of their greatest songs in a concert setting. I think the DVD is a treasure. Fans should pick this up immediately, before it goes out of print - and anyone who has the slightest interest in `progressive' rock music (Peter Hammill DETESTS that label, sorry...) owes it to themselves to investigate this band. Actually, unless you're just starting out on that road, I can't imagine that you haven't run across them yet. The instrumentation of the band combined with Hammill's voice and his amazing lyrical gift, make them something very special indeed."
Lost for words as to how good this is!!!
Larry L. Looney | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know WHO on earth we have to thank for this, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This may be the greatest gem of a dvd concert I could ever hope for. And, I am SO glad I bought this one & not Masters from the Vault (the other VdGG dvd). I can't believe how *clear* the picture is. There's all of GODBLUFF, my favorite VdGG album of all time. There's "Theme One" and also the "Plague of Lighthousekeepers." I got this in only 4 days from Amazon, and ripped it opened and played it immediately. Now, if only a vintage King Crimson concert dvd would be released. Not that noisy new KC shtuff. I mean Wetton/Bruford/Cross, and that other guy. Man, I'd be stupified. Mr. Fripp: I hope you are you reading this!"
Two outstanding performances
Jaime Garcia | Concepcion, Chile | 08/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have just bought this DVD and I have seen it two times. There is two shows on this DVD, the complete Godbluff concert in France and the complete same performance consigned in the From the Vaults DVD. So if you want to buy some Van der Graaf, buy this one and get all.Both shows are amazing. The band is in terrific good shape and the songs are performed just as in the original albums. This is not easy considering some songs are quite difficult as Keepers....Saxes, drums and keyboards just excellent. Peter's voice well managed. Sound and image is better on the older performance, but in the 1975 one is still great."