Customer Review

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review as Listened to it for the first time., 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: New Blood Live in London (Audio CD)
Originally I wrote this review as information for what was on the CD. That information is now redundant.
I have now listened to the CDs.

The collection comes in many formats.
I really suggest that you go and read the other, excellent reviews, to see if it is worth your forking out the large charge for all the extra goodies on offer.

Alas if you don't want them or maybe like me your budget restricts then this is the CD set for you.. so here goes with the review.
Rather than report on the CD after a few plays and reflection
I am writing this review as I actually listen to the CDs track by track for the first time.

It's Wonderful - truly if anything even better that the studio version.

The opening tracks for me really sound as if Peter is no longer the great vocalist he was but when the CD hits his stride his voice seems to regain that wonderful dimension.

The CD opens with Intruder- the lyrics really are to the fore and for those that never really listened to them we hear just how shocking they are- slipping the clippers thru' the telephone wireeeee..
Wonderful.
Wallflower is good but not nearly as good as the original how could it be BUT dear reader this is not the case for a whole lot of the rest which are to my aged ears even better,
this is in part to the excellent backing singers. Melanie in particular is in tune with her Dad both mentally and sonically.

Then there is the music - outstanding. The sensitivity of the playing really enhances Peter's soaring voices.

Several tracks from Scratch My Back are included.
The Boy in the Bubble- stripped down to a 'Whiteman's version' from the original African disappointed me- it did on Scratch my Back- It's redeeming quality was that you really hear the lyrics.
Après Mois is outstanding.
The words are framed by wonderful strings and the backing vocals once more sublime...

Just when you think it cannot get any better up comes Darkness- Gabriel's interpretation is well the Thesaurus really is taking some hammer here... out of this world.

This CD is simply wonderful- it makes ex lovers of Peter Gabriel's music and voice fall in love again- just like you do when as a 30 year old and now separated from your wife you meet an old love like you available...

The brilliance here is Peter's explanation of the tracks how Lou Reed wrote the Power of the Heart to propose to Laurie Anderson and sings it better than Lou.

Then we have the book of Love from Scratch. For me this will always be indelibly welded to the closing episode of Scrubs- it was the soundtrack as his future life played out as a Cinema reflected onto JD's face- here it is a triumph- I'm beginning to sound like an ecstatic reviewer of a Smash West End Show.

On Signal to Noise the orchestra really comes to the fore and Peter rightly acknowledges the contribution the live orchestra brings to the show.
The crowd really appreciated the musicianship and a standing ovation followed.

But the stand out track that comes next is terrific. Melanie again (?) singing the opening to Downside Up which was the highlight of Scratch My Back in my opinion and that track was up against some pretty steep opposition...

I remember the stage shows where Peter and Melanie would walk upside down around the mirror ball (and never lost a word or verse in the trek!)
At the end the musicians and singers really let rip and you can almost feel the enjoyment in the music.

Mercy Street follows which, and this is to my ear totally spoiled at the start by Ann's terrible backing vocals high pitched falsetto- her voice grates like Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street on a Bad Day!
I really detest her voice and she totally ruined Don't Give up for me on Scratch my Back.
The pity is that the other backing vocalists sound so much better.

Just listen to the contrast towards the end. In your Daddy's Arms with the flute (Eliza Marshall excels here) and triangle- wonderful.
Peter's voice really has settled into its former glory here.

The Rhythm of the Heat follows inspired by Peter's reading of Carl Jung in Africa being totally overcome by the powerful rhythms of African Musicians.
Here the rhythms are alive, well and powerful. The backing vocals really bring out the words so well.
The listener is impressed by the wonderful recording of this concert. Neither note nor vocal is lost. Whoever mic'ed it up did a wonderful job. The effect is only slightly spoiled by the crowd's applause at the singings end before the orchestra launch into a wonderful break/
I was disappointed that no one thought to have a person with a sign to raise when to applause even if it was just for this live recording. John Nedcalf the arranger must have grimaced when the applause broke the song up.
Blood of Eden is just Ok it has the audience calling for songs to be sung- perhaps a sign they agree with me that the last was just OKish.
I must confess to my being a little biased towards Red Rain that follows with all the drama that tune musters. A particularly intense moment in my life- divorce betrayal and the like that seemed to be expressed in the words.
Again my compliments to the sound recordist's every nuance that the backing singers make is clear as the proverbial bell. Peter really does it justice.

Up next is the old fave Sols bury Hill but before that Peter rightly introduces the soloists to appreciative audience. The applause is warm and generous.

Solsbury Hill really rocks the crowd actually clap in time which is some achievement- I attended a concert of Peter's at Bochum in Germany and the Germans could not clap in time if their lives depended upon it.
The audience even manages to sing the Boom Boom Boom in time when Peter Sings My heart was beating like a drum.
In Your eyes completes the rocking nature of the room.

AND then there is the track I was dreading.
Don't give up with Anna Brun's backing vocals.

It's a whole lot better that the Scratch My Back Version by a scale of 8 but not to my taste at all. Anna sings a few words have a strange 'wobble' and not a pleasant one at that they really detract from the song. Perhaps.. and this is a big perhaps it may grow on me. Bring back Kate Bush or even Sinéad O' Connor!
It really closes well.

A shame because it really could have been a wonderful climax.

But the climax 'to put you all to bed' as Pete says is Nest- The Next that Sailed the Sky to give it its full title.

Warm, full, rich, deep and instrumental.

The New Blood Orchestra is wonderful throughout

so there we have it 22 tracks of pure gold.
A distillation of Peter's works in one wonderful concert- How I envy those that saw the concert or maybe I need to invest in the 'deluxe deluxe full sets with added Blu ray and DVDs>>

Now where is my robber's mask and the nearest bank?
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Initial post: 23 Apr 2012 15:01:02 BDT
It's available to stream (for the rest of this week, i.e.till 29th April 2012) here:
http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/6
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Glenn Cook
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Location: South Cave, near Hull UK

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