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Wilson and Beggs Shine in Prog-Jazz Dreamworld...
on 22 January 2013
If you are already well-versed in Porcupine Tree then you will need no introduction to Steven Wilson, the genius singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist who has formed his "other" band for this project. The last two PT concert films are brilliant and I bought this on the strength of those, representing largely as the do, two of PT's best albums. So, for me,, I had no idea of the material on this Blu-ray, taken from Steven Wilsons two solo albums but mainly from his most recent release -Grace For Drowning. The concert was filmed in Mexico and an enthusiastic audence immersed themselves in this material and became "one" with the players. A couple of things stand out and need sharing - firstly the very evident entusiasm Wilson himself has for this project and his on-stage collaborators. I have never seen him so immersed and animated and enthused with what he was a part of and what he was hearing before. All his chosen musicians are of course stellar in their own rights but my second point has to be a mention for the incredible presence and ability of Nick Beggs on Bass and Chapman Stick and backing vocals. The man somehow managed to improve on the album versions of almost every song (I subsequently bought the CD's and realised what a difference Beggs made live). I think most prog fans will love this. The sound is lushious and there are no discernible mistakes in the performance. The new material is more jazz-infused but in a fantastic way. Beautiful keyboard and bass and guitar harmonies - intricate and funky freeform bass and drum rhythm sections leading the music in interesting directions. Space being left in the right places, uncluttered and atmospheric, interesting and varied lyrical and musical themes - for example the haunting and catchy "Index" about a quirky collector/hoarder and the lengthy, moody Raider II. In summary there is so much to get your teeth into here, but the overriding message has to be one of excellence. I own a very large collection of music concerts by many luminaries such as Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, IQ, etc. and this is right up there with the very best. Highly recommended.