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Camel - Coming Of Age (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.54 | 110 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Harbour Of Camel

I first saw this DVD about three years ago when I was living in Ireland for two months over the summer. Little did I know beforehand that the Harbour Of Tears concept album, performed here in its entirety, had a very strong connection to Ireland. This turned out to be a very moving experience for me, walking around the Irish country side during the day time and listening to the Harbour Of Tears performance in the evenings.

Dust And Dreams had been the best Camel album for a very, very long time and Harbour Of Tears continued this new found direction for the band. These two albums are two of the very best Camel albums ever and both albums are represented on this DVD; Harbour Of Tears in its entirety, as I said, and a small portion of Dust And Dreams is here too.

The set list on this filmed concert is basically the best of Camel 1976- 1996. At first I was somewhat disappointed that they didn't play anything at all from their first two albums, no Never Let Go or Lady Fantasy here. But I soon got over this when I heard these magnificent performances.

The first part of the set consists of "some old favourites and stuff" to quote Andy Latimer speaking to the audience. Most of the songs played here are better than on the studio recordings. The material from the Nude album is especially enhanced. I have always felt that album is a bit tame and subdued; here the numbers from Nude really rock! Also Hymn To Her, a song I didn't pay much attention to before, turn out to be great here. The selection from The Snow Goose also significantly benefits from being played live. These songs are given new life here. Ice, an instrumental from the I Can See Your House From Here album, is breathtaking. And the band makes no mistakes playing these old classics, the performances are spot on. Latimer's guitar work is better than ever.

The second set is basically a short bit of Dust And Dreams followed by the whole Harbour Of Tears album. The Dust And Dreams songs sound better here than they did on the studio album, primarily because of the improved drums. Dust And Dreams had a somewhat sterile drum sound, typical of the early 90's. Here the drumming is more lively and "genuine" for lack of a better word.

From a visual standpoint this concert might not be the most interesting, depending on what you want from a concert experience. There are no video screens, fireworks, aeroplanes flying across the auditorium (see Pink Floyd's P-U-L-S-E DVD); no flying pigs; no dancers, midgets, jugglers, etc. Personally I think that the most rewarding concert experience is to see talented musicians playing their instruments and that is exactly what we get here. I very much like this very intimate setting, the band performing in a small club like this close to the audience. This is a very intimate and moving portrait of this brilliant band.

The bonus features consists of the band rehearsing and sound-checking plus some interviews with people who attended the show. The latter feature is completely dispensable and probably fun only for those who are interviewed and the people who know them personally! The rehearsal footage is interesting for hardcore fans but not something I would watch more than once or twice.

I'll bring this review to a close now. This DVD really brings out the very best moments from those Camel albums from 1975 to 1996 making this into one fantastic show! If all you know from Camel is their first four albums, this DVD is an excellent place to start if you want to explore later Camel stuff.

Extremely recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |


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