Adam Mizelle (adammizelle@earthlink | Iowa City, Iowa | 10/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video has historical as well as entertainment value. Recorded live in England in 1984, fans get a look at the Egypt 80 band in full swing right before Fela was jailed. The versions of "Teacher Don't Teach me Nonsense" and "Confusion Break Bones" are near note-perfect when compared to the recordings, and the nighttime outdoor setting is ideal. This video includes interview segments between the tunes, giving the viewers insight into Fela's creative process. Get it and complete your collection."
This Ain't No Party
Adam Mizelle (adammizelle@earthlink | 04/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While some of Fela's later music is possibly less accessable when compared to some of his work with Africa 70 it is some of his best as illustrated in this dvd.
Fela's music by the time this film was made had taken on a certain mood that owes less to his James Brown influence from earlier in his career.By now the mood of his compositions was a reflection of the message of his lyrics and it's not pretty stuff by any means.This is not party music but it is truly deep .This dvd is one of the best documents of where Fela and Egypt 80's music had evolved to.
There is a slow-burn tension to Fela's compositions on this dvd... the waters slowing warm and gradually come to a full boil by the end each tune and then slowly cools by song's end.I think alot of folks kind of miss the point of what Fela's music had become.There is no instant gratification here...just majesty."
Not perfect, but the best that's out there
Mark S. Lo | Boston, MA USA | 04/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't give this DVD a rave review, but it is not nearly as poor as some of the previous reviewers have indicated. In fact, it is far superior in terms of both video and sound quality than the Fela in Concert DVD, which is the only other Fela DVD I am aware of at this point in time. That performance is definitely better, but the video is so murky that it's almost unwatchable and the sound cuts in and out. If you're set on buying a Fela DVD, I would give the nod to this one.I agree that the band sounds less than tight at the start of the first song, but I attributed this to a bad mix in the onstage monitors. They seem to get it together after awhile. The camera work is also quite good, as you get some good close ups of most of the members of the band.If better live footage comes out of the woodwork, I will definitely buy it, but for now I'm happy to have this DVD."
I'm glad it's out there
Arise Therefore | Orange, MA United States | 01/17/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think this was a bad night for Fela and his band. From the beginning of the film, I got the sense that they'd rather not be there ( in Glastonbury, England) The first words he says as he takes the stage are "Everything was so tight getting here"-something about security. He looks displeased. As the a ques the band into the first tune, they seem to be struggling to hear themselves and each other. I suspect the monitor system was not adiquate for them. They finally do get the thing off the ground and it does fly under it's own power, although it remains lackluster by comparison to most (all) album performances. I wonder if they recorded and released this film because they had bothered to set up all the equipment so they might as well.
I want to say again that I'm glad this video exists, I own it and watch it a few times a year. There aren't many places to get a visual Fela fix and for this, I am grateful. I just can't help but wonder when I watch it, what it would have been like to see him in his own environment in Nigeria."
Stick to the records
Jacob Wood | 07/29/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The band sounds incredibly bad on this evening. The performance is worthless. Stick to the albums for the good stuff."