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The Australian Pink Floyd ShowGenesis
Sum Of The Parts
(Eagle Rock)

You possibly caught this on the telly box recently wherein all five members of the ‘classic’ line-up convened in front of a white photographers backdrop to reminisce about all things Genesis and beyond and in the main this does that pretty well and, once you’ve got past the queasy sight of Jonathan King shamelessly promoting himself, the story is laid out more or less as Genesis fans will already be well aware. Like Fleetwood Mac Genesis had two very different and very successful careers and as is often the case fans of the older (rock) version pretty much universally hated the newer (pop) version but, needless to say, the newer pop version sold bucket-loads more. There is a problem here however and it’s with poor old Steve Hackett who, for some reason, is sidelined throughout, tour guitarist Darryl Stuermer is given more screen time, and his huge solo output is totally ignored (Hackett has, understandably, since been quite vocal in his condemnation) whilst Tony Banks, whose own solo career has hardly bothered his accountant is well covered, as is Rutherford’s more high profile Mechanics work and, of course, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collin’s hugely successful solo work. Bonus features include over 30 minutes of additional interviews.
Ray Harper

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peter_gabriel3Peter Gabriel
So: Classic Albums
(Eagle Rock)

Whether you are into this or not will depend very much on, first of all, if you like Peter Gabriel, and secondly if you enjoy the deconstruction of an album told by those that, erm, constructed it. My partner, as an example, can be heard to sigh loudly and very regularly whenever we settle down to watch anything in the Classic Album series (it’s the people sat behind mixing boards muting out tracks so we can heard specific sections that cause the most exhalation of air). I on the other hand, especially if the album is one I love (such as this one), will happily sit for hours whilst ‘the making of’ nuts and bolts are loosened and tightened for my edification. Neither of us is right, all I’m saying is know what you are sitting down to and you will be disappointed far less often. For fans of Gabriel’s breakthrough multi-platinum monster hit (which spawned hit singles including Sledgehammer, Big Time , Don’t Give Up and In Your Eyes), and classic Gabriel songs like Red Rain and Mercy Street buying this documentary is a no brainer as it features contributions from most of those involved including Gabriel co-producer Daniel Lanois, engineer Kevin Killen and musicians Jerry Marotta, Laurie Anderson, Tony Levin and Manu Katché.
Ray Harper

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Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel
Secret World Live
(Eagle Vision)

Much as many long term fans have enjoyed the recent unplugged and orchestral New Blood reinvention of past glories (more here) if most are honest what they love most about Peter Gabriel is seeing him with a red hot band in full flow live, which is exactly what we have here in a newly re-mastered, updated and expanded version of his Grammy winning 1993 Secret World tour in support of his 1992 album Us. The astonishing thing is how much space he is willing to give the other performers (imagine Madonna or Ms Gaga, impressive as they are live, giving over centre stage to anyone), and whilst it’s his name on the front of the venue Peter Gabriel fans know full well that what they will be getting is a multi-cast show full of incredible musicianship, smart effects, daft little dance routines – if you can watch ‘Shaking The Tree’ without smiling you have no soul - and a very specific theme for each song (something he has been doing for decades). If you already have this, this version is better quality and longer, if you don’t then now is the time to remedy that oversight. Also available on Blu-ray.
The Oracle

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GongGong
Gong On French TV 1971-1973
(Gonzo)

Warning! If your fondness for Gong revolves around the later, Pierre Moerlen Alan Holdsworth jazz rock outfit this probably isn’t for you (although Moerlen does feature). If however you’re partial to a bit of camembert, know some octave doctors, have spotted the odd flying teapot and like your Gong tunes delivered by folks in barmy headwear with no interest in conventional ‘pop song’ structures then this will very much be your thing as Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe and a cast of revolving nutters are wilfully odd and hugely colourful (even though the vast majority of this is in black and white) in a selection of locations throughout France. Indeed there is much to love here for the long term Gong-o-phile, the best being a documentary shot at their 1973 commune just outside Paris with Allen and Malherbe talking gleeful bollocks before the band trot out live versions of ‘I Never Glid Before’ and ‘I Am Your Pussy’ from the Radio Gnome Invisible classic trio of albums (Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg and You), other highlights include Camembert Electrique cuts ‘Fohat Digs Holes in Space’ and ‘Dynamite’ little lost gems of lunacy the lot of ‘em.
Ray Harper

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Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel
New Blood: Live In London
(Eagle Vision)

Sadly we didn’t get the 3D version of this so we can’t tell you how, or indeed if, the 3D aspect of the project works, however 3D is only a part of New Blood: Live In London wherein Peter Gabriel eschews his normal technologically advanced rock line-up, and his career defining tribal rhythms, for a whopping great (forty six piece) orchestra who reinterpreted Gabriel’s back catalogue – plus some of the songs from his recent Scratch My Back covers project - with varying degrees of success at the Hammersmith Apollo over two nights in March 2011. When it works, as on completely revamped oldies like ‘Wallflower’, ‘San Jacinto’, ‘Rhythm Of The Heat’ and ‘Intruder’ it’s tremendous - although the backing vocals are occasionally curiously stilted and texturally, if not musically, flat (why no choir?). However even where it’s less successful, on tracks which are already mood pieces like ‘Red Rain’, Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Mercy Street’, it’s still all rather lovely and Peter Gabriel’s playful stage presence (he can’t stop himself digging out some favourite old stage moves), plus some nice back drop animations, ensure things don’t get too dry. Extras include an interesting, if slight, making of feature Blood Donors.
Ray Harper

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Rory GallagherRory Gallagher
Ghost Blues
(Eagle Vision)

Not the first documentary about the late lamented blues legend, but a pretty engaging effort nonetheless with The Edge, Bob Geldof, Slash, Bill Wyman, Johnny Marr and many others, queuing up to pay homage to one of the finest guitarists of his, or indeed any other, generation, a man who, despite being instrumental in kick starting the Irish rock music scene, was resolutely out of step (flatly refusing to have anything to do with singles and turning down high profile positions with bands like the Rolling Stones), but was also apparently one of the nicest, most unaffected, chaps you could hope to meet this side of Dave Grohl, and that’s just the documentary disc. The real gem here is the second disc, drawn from three different appearances on German TV series Beat Club, containing over 90 minutes of previously unreleased live performances recorded in 1971-72 which finds the band and Gallagher in blistering form. It is for his unending work in the live arena that Gallagher will best be remembered and fortunately we have material like this to ensure his legacy lives on - and it’s nice to see a little faux newspaper style insert in the package (so many nowadays have nothing but a disc).
Ray Harper

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GongGong
Live At The Gong Unconventional Gathering
(Voiceprint)

Recorded at the Melkweg in Amsterdam in 2006, the third, and most fully realised of the Gong Family Uncovention gatherings - begun in 2004 at the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms - long term Gong-watchers who didn’t attend will be delighted to learn that the line up includes Daevid Allen, Steve Hillage, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Miquette Giraudy, Tim Blake and Mike Howlett and draws almost entirely on material recorded pre 1975. Daft, and occasionally ramshackle, Gong were nonetheless always a hugely experimental outfit weaving middle eastern influences, oddball utterances, jazzy interludes, demented chanting, skewed pop and furious space-rock into their peculiar teapot obsessed worldview, and whilst many of their albums are certainly classics of their kind, the only real place the listener could truly grasp this heady terpsichorean stew was at their extended live shows and that playful, improvisational spark is clearly still alive and well. The visuals are reassuringly psychedelic, Daevid Allen wears some suitably crackpot cossies, and everyone concerned appears to be having immense fun as a string of fan favourites - twenty tracks in all spread over a two hour plus set - are given enthusiastic, and expertly worked up, airings.

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GenesisGenesis
When In Rome 2007
(Virgin)

All depending on when you came to the party Genesis are either, prog-rock titans, stadium filling rockers, MTV friendly pop-stars, past it (does anyone out there fondly remember the Ray Wilson years?) or the most terminally uncool band on the planet. They were also, until very recently, retired, then came the news that the prog-rock titan line-up was considering playing The Lamb Lies Down On Braodway live. As we now know that didn’t happen but the stadium filling/MTV friendly trio decided to tour anyway and this show, recorded in front of a bloody massive audience in Rome, is the result. That it succeeds so well is due in no small part to the set list reflecting all of the Genesis era’s, the band themselves being such fine musicians and the attention to detail throughout this 3xDVD set – including masses of extras. It also includes a, for once, excellent accompanying documentary (something usually relegated to a sloppily executed afterthought recorded one afternoon in a dressing room). It seems doubtful that there will be a new Genesis album in the near future, if at all, so if this is the bands swansong it’s infinitely better than Calling All Stations.

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David GilmourDavid Gilmour
Remember That Night Live At The Royal Albert Hall (EMI)

An expansive five hour plus document, ostensibly built around Gilmour’s show at, well you can probably guess where it was filmed. Featuring special guest appearances from David Bowie, Robert Wyatt, David Crosby and Graham Nash and old Floyd Mucker Richard Wright and split into two sets, the first (opening trio of ‘Speak To Me’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Time’ aside), entirely devoted to the mans recent album On An Island. Some reviewers have rather uncharitably suggested skipping this section, we suggest you don’t or you will miss Robert Wyatt’s first stage appearance in thirty years and several genuinely exhilarating moments (The Crosby and Nash assisted title track being just one). But there’s little doubting that most fans will be as keen as mustard to dip into the second set, not least because of David Bowie’s brilliant reading of ‘Arnold Layne’, and we’d suggest any genuine long term fans head straight for the full twenty minute spook and thunder of ‘Echoes’ which is goose-bump territory from beginning to end. There is also a very entertaining behind the scenes documentary, a making of the album documentary, even more live music, videos, pictures and more, making this a totally indispensable item for any Floyd/Gilmour fan.

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Peter GreenPeter Green
Man Of The World
(Scanbox)

Regular readers will be aware there’s no shortage of good DVD’s coming out on a weekly basis (just scan the other reviews here for more evidence), but occasionally along comes a must see film, like The Devil & Daniel Johnson, Derailroaded, loudQUIETloud, Some Kind Of Monster or Gonks Go Beat (oh, okay, that last one is a joke), that genuinely fascinates, entertains and occasionally even moves you to tears, Man Of The World is just such a film. Following the life of Peter Green - and from a purely musical point of view, including great clips like ‘Black Magic Women’, ‘Oh Well’, ‘Albatross’, ‘Green Manalishi’ and of course the title track - the film documents Green’s spectacular rise to stardom and subsequent fall into drug fuelled schizophrenia via some very frank interviews with Green and his Fleetwood Mac compadres Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer and others closely involved with the band. The lost years when he was institutionalised, given electro shock therapy and kept tranquilized make for pretty grim viewing, but fortunately, with the support of his family, he regained control of his life and nowadays seems perfectly content, collecting numerous awards and even playing and recording his beloved blues.

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Gonks Go BeatGonks Go Beat
(Optimum)

As the residents of Beatland, and their neighbors on Balladisle (guess which type of music each favours?), make plans for their yearly attempt to win the Golden Guitar the resultant spying and dastardly underhand shenanigans threaten to escalate into full blown war. Fortunately an alien race, keen to avoid musical instrument inflicted bloodshed, send Wilco Roger, to sort things out and he teams up with Mr. A&R to... Oh bugger it, let’s be honest the script is a right minger (as are Kenneth Connors hammy gurning turn as the alien and Captain Peacock from Are You Being Served’s portrayal of the cool A&R overlord), but we are not here to poke holes in a wafer thin plot, or indeed to bemoan the criminal lack of Gonks on show, but to marvel at a long lost curio of a film featuring performances by the Graham Bond Organisation, Lulu, The Nashville Teens and more, in fact this is almost worth owning just to see Ginger Baker get a ticking off for not playing ferociously enough. Imagine Barbarella with lots of singing, no budget - the title sequence creators probably pocketed two bob change from the half-a-crown budget - and a Carry On character instead of Jane Fonda, go on, you know you want to see it.

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GorillazGorillaz
Slowboat To Hades
(Parlophone)

So just how much of a DVD can you build around four - admittedly brilliant - animation-meets-live-action videos (The fifth full video for 'Rockit' seems rather thrown together in comparison)? Well, if you’re as inventive as JC Reid, D Albarn and Co. then rather a spiffing one packed with all manner of bits and bobs liberally distributed around a spooky four story building. If you can find ‘em all (and we’re not going to tell you the easy way ‘cos that would spoil the fun), there are over 40 different pieces to uncover on the DVD from full promo videos, to animatics, live performances, bites sized shorts, trailers, interviews, montages, jokes and much, much more, and that’s before you’ve mucked about with the screensavers and wallpaper and played all the daft Gorillaz themed games on the extra CD Rom disc. If you’re a fan of the Gorillaz then this is bags of well thought out, cleverly designed, fun and if you don’t already have it you should probably use that voucher you are getting/got (delete as applicable when you read this) for Christmas to grab a copy, but even if you’re just curious it’s still a blast.

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GomezGomez
Five Men In A Hut
(Virgin/Hut)

It was probably always on the cards that Gomez would end up spending far more time in the US - the homeland of the authentic bluesy swamp rock the lads continue to trade in - than their homeland, especially given the general downward career arc the band's career has followed since their astonishing debut album Bring It On won the career wrecking Mercury Music Prize for best album in 1998 (although in truth all three follow up albums made it into the UK top ten, so this does smack somewhat of urban myth). This then is something of a round-up and full stop to the last eight years with this DVD (ostensibly a video collection with some added live bits and bobs and interviews to ensure the VFM quota is reached) released in accompaniment with a best of CD collection. Coming from the ‘authentic’ school of blues rock which tends to cock a snoot at the whole image malarky, Gomez were never as MTV friendly as their record company must have wished. Having said that there is enough Beatles style tomfoolery to keep the eyes trained and both ‘78 Stone Wobble’ and ‘Ping One Down’ push the visual boat out to nice effect, and two short live segments show the boys in their element.

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GorillazGorillaz
Demon Days Live
(Parlophone)

Rightly recognised as one of the finest albums of 2005, Demon Days was that rarest of beasts, the side project that eclipsed the day job. That said the wildly experimental nature of the album was never going to transfer to the stage easily – and neither was it supposed to, not least because the two dimensional band were never intended to tour – but fears that the whole thing was in danger of being swamped by the twenty-five musicians onstage (not including numerous guest stars The Manchester Community Gospel Choir and the huge gang of kids that pile on for ‘Dirty Harry’) proved to be unfounded. Buried up the back in silhouette for the vast majority of the show, Damon Albarn leaves the spotlight entirely to his guest stars (some of which like Roots Manuva, Shaun Ryder, Neneh Cherry, Ike Turner and De La Soul actually pole up onstage, others, like MF Doom, Dennis Hopper, and the sadly no longer with us, Ibrahim Ferrer pre-recorded), Indeed Albarn only actually hits stage front for first encore number ‘Hong Kong’. This is a beautifully realised document of an obviously fantastic show, expanded on the DVD by a another run through the set concentrating on the backdrop of Jamie Hewlett’s specially designed visuals.

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Rory GallagherRory Gallagher
The Definitive Collection
(Wienerworld)

I dunno, you wait bloody years for some decent DVD material about late great guitar legend Rory Gallagher and then two come along at once (see below). This particular collection, released to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of his tragic death (a more detailed look at his life can be found here), is a limited edition, individually numbered 3DVD box set - featuring five different live sets filmed at various times between 1976 and 1990 for the German show Rockpalast – and is Rory G manna from heaven with a gargantuan running time of nine hours. There really was only one place to encounter Gallagher and that was on stage – which might explain the preponderance of live material in his back catalogue – he made some fine studio albums certainly but there was scarcely any period in his career when he wasn’t constantly circling the globe playing live, indeed it’s a sad fact that something which he loved so dearly almost certainly contributed towards his early demise. No flashy stage sets, no carefully choreographed moves, no spangled stage costumes just primeval bar-room, blues-rock played with passion, relish and no little skill. Simply put if you dig Gallagher you need this boxset.

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Rory GallagherSongs & Stories
New York Remembers Rory Gallagher
(Home Team Productions)

On June 14th 1995 Rory Gallagher died due to complications after liver transplant surgery. He was just 47 years of age (a more detailed look at his life can be found here). A guitarist of consummate skill and a blues player fully in touch with his muse Gallagher still has yet to really receive the recognition he truly deserves, something everyone involved with this film clearly also believe. The story is interwoven with a concert recorded at the Bottom Line in New York as a series of musicians step up to play tribute songs or reinvent slices from the much loved, late lamented Irish blues guitarist’s massive back catalogue. Dotted with cracking live snippets of the man himself - taken from all eras of his performing career - and some fascinating home movie footage this lovingly constructed documentary come live concert is a must for Gallagher fans. The only real complaint is that at just over fifty minutes in length you are left desperate to see and hear more, but given the paucity of decent material about the man Home Team Productions are to be applauded for taking on the project in the first place.

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Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel
Play
(Real World/Warner Music Vision)

Given Peter Gabriel’s early adopter approach to this whole music video palaver (and his equally wholehearted, ‘jump-in-feet- first’ approach to really pushing the possibilities of the art-form), it will come as no surprise to learn this DVD, a collection of all of his videos, has some truly stupendous moments. Sledgehammer, Big Time, Digging In The Dirt and Steam are all heavy on production values and bursting with ideas (although, in truth, the more subdued efforts like Father, Son, Mercy Street and Red Rain are far more effecting). Naturally enough even a great video can’t save a crap song and if is does nothing else this collection proves Gabriel has a stupendous back catalogue all of which have been newly remixed here in 5.1 surround sound (by Daniel Lanois and Richard Chappell) which greatly improves on the original sound – the oddly lacklustre takes on I Don’t Remember and The Barry Williams Show, both now rather lacking in ‘cojones’, aside. As with all PG projects, the packaging and presentation are beautifully realised, and with 23 tracks plus a whole raft of extra bits and bobs, this really is a very impressive package for both fans and newcomers alike.

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GenesisGenesis
The Video Show
(Virgin)

Unlike their illustrious ex-singer Genesis are not, and have never been, at the forefront of video art. Aside from the amusing TV evangelist spoofing Jesus He Knows Me and Spitting Image’s even more amusing take on Land Of Confusion – fast forward past the ill-advised, and not even remotely funny, Benny Hill starring Anything She Does - a Genesis video is far more likely to be a live (or faux live), performance set, a montage of ‘on-the-road’ clips or a moodily lit piece of instantly forgettable, and often seriously clichéd, fluff where Rutherford and Banks tend to look embarrassed and Collins hams it up dressed as a down and out. None of which detracts from the fact that this DVD is positively chock full of proper good songs. Turn It On Again, Misunderstanding, Paperlate, Mama, Invisible Touch, Home By The Sea, Tonight, Tonight, Tonight are all damn fine tunes and the lacklustre visuals do little to detract from these great sounds. The trouble is they do little to help ‘em either. Fortunately this set is also accompanied by a 3CD best of entitled The Platinum Collection which everyone but the most dedicated of Genesis fans would do best to head for first.

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