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Camel - The Opening Farewell - Live At The Catalyst (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 78 ratings

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4 stars Camel - The Opening Farewell - Live at the Catalyst DVD (2010)

The Camel that excites me!

Camel's Opening Farewell dvd shook me by surprise. The band plays it's first gig of the tour in a small hall with a small audiance that is nevertheless very enthousiastic and energetic. It's a bit unlogical to choose your first gig for a concert registration, but I must say the naive, intimate and enthousiastic mind-set of this first gig does have it's charmes. I must admit this isn't like the perfectly played gig, but the music never stumbles and the energy of the band compensates for that more then enough. Since there aren't to many reviews yet, I'll wright a detailed description of what this DVD has to offer.

- The Band -

My point of reference here is the '98 Coming of Age show, which is another dvd I can recommend to fans. Of course we have Andy Latimer on electric guitars, flutes and vocals. On bass and vocals Camel's second long-time member Colin Bass. Dennis Clement on drums and Tom Brislin on keyboards are new members for me. The appearance of Brislin and Clement has a very positive effect on the band. Former keyboard player Foss Patterson has been very accurate, but also a bit dull at times and the same counts for former drummers of the band.

Tom Brislin on keyboards was a great choise. He is young, energetic and the sounds of his keyboards are particularly strong! He knows how to get those thick seventies organ sounds back (whilst knowing an rock-organ shouldn't be treated like a fragile thing) and his synths and leads are very well chosen. Brislin get's the Camel sound updated with some modern styles whilst remaing faithfull to the band it's spirit. By playing heavy solo's he knows how to interact with Latimer and yes I like his guts. Yet, he remains subtle during songs like Spirit of the Water. His solo's on Lady Fantasy, Lunar Sea and Ice are real highlights!

Dennis Clement on drums proves to be the first good substitute for Andy Ward. Finally we get to listen to some heavy drums again with fast fills, many cymbals and an overall thick sound. He knows how to get the band playing as if lives depend on it! His contribution on second flute on Spirit of the Water deserves also to be mentioned. Great addition to the band!

Another decade has past and Andy looks older then before, he also mentions it himself. His guitars sound great throughout, but his accuracy seems to let us down during some moments in the gig. This is however very acceptable for a first gig of a tour and his renewed sound with a Marshall amplifier sound nice and warm. His vocals are still good.

Collin Bass is another long-time member of the band and he does a great job. His bass lines are always great, though he hasn't been treated very well in the mix. As a vocalist he is the right person to sing the higher vocals and the harder second voices.

- The Gig -

As beforementioned, this gig isn't the most accurate of the band, but it has been a very enjoyable one. The crowd is just great and cheers in a way it makes the band shy. The set- list of this gig has some very interesting features, as well as some predictable choises. I'm mainly happy with the band playing Lady Fantasy, Echoes (finally some well deserved respect for this highlight), Another Night, Slow Yourself Down and the emotional For Today. All songs sound better then on other live registrations of the band, mainly because of the contributions of the two new band-members. The heavier drums really make Camel more exciting! During the end of the show Mother Road is used to get some loose moments for the band-members with some extended solo's and interaction.

- The Registration -

This dvd has good, but not perfect quality. The material is well shot with not too perfect camaras, but at least the footages focusses on the members that should be high-lighted. Furthermore, the registration respects the low-profile attitude of the gig and shows it like it was a great evening for fans and band without making it to much of an autoritarian artistic product.

- Conclusion -

A great energetic live concert of one of the best symphonic prog bands that proves that Camel can still be a major band on stage. New members Brislin and Clement (those great drums..!) are perhaps the 'winners' of this gig, but Latimer and Bass are also give a great show. I can warmly recommed this DVD to fans of the band and those who are interested in the symphonic genre. Furthermore I would like to add this is the most exciting Cameld DVD I've seen so far. Four stars.

friso | 4/5 |


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