A unique experience. No-one had ever put together a touring band like this before 1979, and nothing quite like it has been done since. I remember seeing the last concert in Manchester and it had a huge influence on me at the time. It is amazing to watch the gig again so many years later and marvel at the music and musicianship shown here.
The whole DVD is worth purchasing just to watch the late Pierre Moerlen bashing the vibraphone during Part 4 of Incantations.
Bearing in mind these were MO’s first real gigs (under his own name) he appears very relaxed, and his playing is top notch. My favourite piece is on the first DVD, Incantations. I have always loved this piece and consider it his best work.
Most people will however enjoy the rockier version of Tubular Bells on the second DVD, with its comedic moments and superb variations on the original themes.
I had completely forgotten about the paper planes which are thrown by audience and group throughout the second half. I remember thinking it was quite bizarre at the time, and all these years later it still seems very odd. I guess Mike was trying to counter the rather static nature of the audience during Incantations (it’s not a piece to bop to) and get them moving a bit for the rock’n’roll version of Tubular Bells.
I enjoy the split angled view best. This is the first DVD I’ve got where I will actually use this facility.
On the negative side? Well, only the audience. Did we really look that bad back in 1979? It makes me feel very very old indeed.