I first saw and heard Soft Machine live at a free concert at Parliament Hill Fields in 1969. Since then I have always loved the music they produced whilst Robert Wyatt was in the band.
I was pleasantly surprised with the good quality of this DVD, having been expecting a black and white, somewhat blurred TV archive but `Alive in Paris 1970' is filmed in colour and is of acceptable picture quality.
Filmed at the Theatre de la Musique and broadcast in two parts for a French TV programme, the band on this occasion is augmented by Lyn Dobson on sax, flute, harmonica and vocals. This is a fine Soft Machine performance, full of excellent musicianship and the full spectrum of their sound from raucous free-form to beautifully lyrical melodies and exciting time signatures. High spots for me are the interplay between Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper during Hugh's extended fuzz-bass solo on "Eamon Andrews" and Elton Dean's blistering sax solo on "Out-Bloody-Rageous" (apparently this is the first performance of Out-Bloody -Rageous, recorded before its release on the album: Third).
`Alive in Paris 1970' is a must for any lover of of Soft Machine - a truly ground-breaking, unique and exciting band who were progressive and definitely not "Prog".