Top critical review
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Excellent Performance, Ropey DVD.
on 31 July 2015
The music and performance of this album is truly excellent, and a real highlight of Elbow's career.
So why the low rating?
Well, it's because the DVD presentation is an absolute disaster. As others have noted, they made the bewildering decision to crop the screen at the top and bottom into a 2.35 ratio. This means that the tops of everybody's head is chopped off, and the framing throughout looks generally awkward, as it clearly wasn't filmed with that in mind. To add insult to injury, when the BBC broadcast this on telly, they showed it in full widescreen, un-cropped as it was filmed/intended. And it looks far superior. Look it up on Youtube and you'll see what I mean.
Also, this disk has been inexplicably converted into NTSC, for... absolutely no reason I can think of. It's a British band, filmed by the BBC, for the UK market and beyond. Yet they've converted the video into the inferior US format, and I can't for the life of me figure out why they did that. The disk is region 0, so it'll play anywhere. It's puzzling.
A shame, as the performance is probably the best they've ever done... it's a bummer that it is so shoddily presented.