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Classic Rock Legends: Van Der Graaf Generator [DVD] [2011]

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

1 new from £12.49 1 used from £30.21

Product details

  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Import, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 14
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 23 May 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QY4P98
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,607 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Filmed and recorded in late December 2010 this Van Der Graaf Generator concert took place in an intimate club atmosphere with just 120 guests jammed into Metropolis Studios, London. The atmosphere of this concert was simply incredible and will never be recaptured. It includes the new songs Your Time Starts Now; Bunsho and Mr. Sands. Also included in the 89 minute concert set are many of the band's greats like Man-Erg. Footage and menus include rehearsal and setup for the concert.

Songs featured are as follows:

Interference Patterns
Nutter Alert
Your Time Starts Now
Childlike Faith
Mr. Sands
Over The Hill
We Are Not Here

DVD Extras
Includes individual interviews with Peter Hammill; Hugh Banton; and Guy Evans recorded on the day of the concert.

The DVD is filmed in HD with stereo and 5:1 sound

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was fortunate enough to attend the recording of this gig at the Metropolis Studios in west London. Along with a hundred or so other fans, I braved the snowy conditions to witness a band still on overdrive. The studio was barely large enough to contain us all - I ended up some two metres from the stage and had to dodge an athletic cameraman as he captured a variety of close-ups of Peter Hammill. Still, it was the performance that mattered, and golly did VdGG deliver! The three-way dynamic (Peter Hammill - vox/electric piano/guitar; Guy Evans - percussion; Hugh Banton - keyboards) has now had chance to gel, so with some punchy new songs and rearrangements of classics they performed a blinder. Standout new song (from the album A Grounding in Numbers) is `Your Time Starts Now' which wryly seems to equate life with participation in a TV game show (always dodgy to deconstruct a Hammill lyric on first hearing, so I may be way off the mark!). As is often the case with new material, the audience received the new songs with quiet respect. However it was the delivery of the classic-era VdGG songs which set the studio alight. An incredible `Childlike Faith in Childhood's End' concluded with a near-hysterical reception by the audience, and I've never heard with `Man-Erg' performed with such attack. The band obviously enjoyed themselves, and it is reflected in their performance here.

At last we have a proper visual memento of VdGG playing live. Their excellent German Rockpalast concert from 2005 shows no sign of gaining an official release, and the 1970s material that is still available does not do justice to these true pioneers of rock. So well done to ITV for finally capturing a performance worthy of the band. The producer of the show told me that it's all been captured in high definition... so will there be a Blu-Ray version available as well as this DVD?
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Something old, something new, something forgotten, something blue...

When I was VERY young I joined a few friends at a concert in Cambridge (great "marmite" sandwiches, thanks Pete). We sat on the wooden floor (good for splinters in the bum - but who cared?). This was the glory days of the full-on, high velocity, take no prisoners, "Day Dawns Dark" Van Der Graaf - with a real bass player and a real saxophonist.

Much water has passed under the bridge since those days (and much [hop flavoured] down the throat), and we have seen and heard even more glorious stuff (especially Godbluff and Still Life) from these astonishing musicians. And then they went their separate ways - building organs, solo gigs, being a maths teacher... (just down the road from where we used to live - my daughter went to school with Jaxon's daughter).

So now, we are all much older, much stiffer and (in theory) much wiser. And we moved on and found new sounds to listen to ... perhaps the Smashing Pumpkins, or the National .. but never quite the same as the "Good Old Days".

A few years ago the impossible happened - VDGG reformed and we were given a present: "Present" - the four original members back together - tears to the eyes, tingles down the spine... great stuff. And that was not enough - how about the wonderful "Real Time" - live and dangerous - with my favourite "Darkness" and "Refugees" - this was Nirvana.

But all was not well in the VDGG camp and after some scary toing and froing, Jaxon departed back to the real world (and doing some fantastic work with disabled children...).

Well, that was that. Surely? They can't go on - they are all too old to start again.
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Imagine this scenario: you walk into a pub or small club and on stage are three mature gentlemen playing their music. A curious line-up; the singer plays electric piano, a drummer and an organist who uses his feet to play the bass pedals. The songs sound good. Different but good. After 2 or 2 numbers the singer straps on a guitar and the band start jamming. Is the guitarist tuning up or is that the way the song goes? Whatever, it starts to gel and a riff emerges, of sorts. What the hell is the guitarist trying to play? Has he only just learnt the song? Someone whispers that the song is called `Lemmings'. Yeah, right! It's powerful, it's bewildering but the singer may as well have put boxing gloves on. The audience go wild when it ends.
The next song is a new one the singer says; `Bun Show'. That's what it sound like. Anyway, he's still on guitar and it gets worse. The drummer and organist are incredible, the singer is great but his playing is all over the place and the song ends on a very bum note. The singer knows this too.
Eventually the singer returns to his piano and everything is fine. His hands work well and the songs are wonderful. Would I come back and see them. I doubt it.
Imagine another scenario: I am an avid VDGG fan. I have all their albums and the solo albums of PH (man!) and I have seen them live on numerous occasions. I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this DVD. I had seen them live in Manchester only recently and they were on fire.
Well... as PH has said VDGG can play live brilliantly and some nights it's like a road-crash waiting to happen. This DVD falls somewhere in the middle. The sound and visuals are wonderful. Finally get see at close quarters just how HB's hands and feet work.
PH looks tired and his guitar playing is decidedly off.
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