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PNO, GTR, VOX, BOX - 84 LIVE PERFORMANCES

Peter Hammill

Eclectic Prog


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Peter Hammill Pno, Gtr, Vox, Box - 84 Live Performances album cover
3.16 | 6 ratings | 1 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing


CD1 - 'What If There No Guitar?':

  1. Easy to Slip Away
  2. Time Heals
  3. Don't Tell Me
  4. Shell
  5. Faculty X
  6. Nothing Comes
  7. Gone Ahead
  8. Friday Afternoon
  9. Traintime
 10. Undone
 11. The Mercy
 12. Stranger Still
 13. Vision

Total Time: 68 minutes

CD2 - 'What If There No Piano?':

  1. Comfortable
  2. I will Find You
  3. Driven
  4. The Comet, the Course, the Tail
  5. Shingle Song
  6. Amnesiac
  7. What's it Worth?
  8. Ship of Fools
  9. Slender Threads
 10. Happy Hour
 11. Stumbled
 12. Central Hotel
 13. Modern
 14. Ophelia

Total Time : 73:29

CD3 - 'What If I Knew This Was The Last Show I'd Ever Do?':

  1. Easy to Slip away
  2. Just Good Friends
  3. After the Show
  4. The Mercy
  5. The Comet, the course, the Tail
  6. If I could
  7. Driven
  8. Patient
  9. Your Tall Ship
 10. Stranger Still
 11. A Better Time
 12. Undone
 13. In the End

Total Time : 72:08

CD4 - 'What If I Played Only VDGG/VDG Songs?':

  1. My Room
  2. The Siren Song
  3. Darkness
  4. Every Bloody Emperor
  5. Scorched Earth
  6. Masks
  7. After the Flood
  8. The Sphinx in the face
  9. The Habit of the Broken heart
 10. When She Comes
 11. House With No Door
 12. Still Life

Total Time : 72:36

CD5 'What About Songs I Didn't Play In Japan?':

  1. Autumn
  2. Unrehearsed
  3. Been Alone So Long
  4. Primo on the Parapet
  5. Our Eyes Give It Shape
  6. Like Veronica
  7. Time for a Change
  8. Last Frame
  9. The Lie
 10. Meanwhile My Mother
 11. A Way Out

Total Time : 59:24

CD6 - 'What About Songs I Dropped From The Setlists?':

  1. Labour of Love
  2. The Unconscious Life
  3. Too Many of My Yesterdays
  4. The Mousetrap
  5. Sitting Targets
  6. The Birds
  7. Yoga
  8. Four Pails
  9. Bubble
 10. Time to Burn
 11. Afterwards
 12. Refugees

Total Time : 56:22

CD7 - 'What About The Best Alternate Versions':

  1. Comfrotable
  2. I will Find You
  3. The Habit of the Broken Heart
  4. Shingle Song
  5. Central Hotel
  6. The Siren Song
  7. Time Heals
  8. Shell
  9. Stranger Still
 10. Traintime

Total Time : 54:32


Line-up / Musicians


Performed and arranged by Peter Hammill

Releases information

7CD Box-Set released on FIE Records from 2010 Japan and UK performances. A double cd of those performances was released in 2011.

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
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PETER HAMMILL Pno, Gtr, Vox, Box - 84 Live Performances ratings distribution


3.16
(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
17%
Good, but non-essential (33%)
33%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PETER HAMMILL Pno, Gtr, Vox, Box - 84 Live Performances reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In 2011 Peter Hammill released 2-CD live set "PNO GTR VOX" of his specifically themed solo performances in Japan; on one gig PH is backing himself solely on acoustic guitar, and on another gig with piano (1st and 2nd discs of this release), and later on he changes the instrument during the gig (or disc), but never using both on a same song. No other musicians or instruments are involved in this entire 7-CD box. Sounds like it was made for die-hard fans only, doesn't it? I'm not such fan, even less a completionist for ANY artist, and actually I was very close to give a "collectors/fans only" two-star rating, as that description hits the nail. Let's get it straight at once: clearly this IS fan stuff, not recommended for more casual Hammill listeners. That being said, I'll use the rating scale more freely, based on my personal reception.

Peter Hammill is an artist that strongly divides opinions. Either you like him or you can't get into his music at all. I do like him, and Van der Graaf Generator especially, but definitely not everything he's done. And often, in this case more than ever, the certain rawness won't win any new listeners. Technically, Peter Hammill is an average player of piano. And he's an average player of guitar too. So it's obvious that the power of this music comes from the unique vocalist/lyricist. For those who dislike his voice, listening to this set through would be mere torture. Not that it would be a light task for a dedicated fan either. In the liner notes Hammill admits that there can be TOO MUCH of Peter Hammill to digest at once, referring both to the restricted lengths of the concerts and the lengths of the CD's that only in three cases out of seven exceed the 70-minute mark. He also encourages the listener to edit his/her own ideal set list.

The four gig themes in Japan were "What if I forgot my guitar?", "What if there no piano?", "'What if I knew this was the last show I'd ever do?" and "'What if I played only VdGG/VdG songs?" You can check out the set lists as well as the three other (more or less artificial) CD themes on the album page. Track lengths are unfortunately missing, but in the leaflet PH has listed the studio albums for all songs (a gesture I appreciate!), and the discographies of both VdGG - or VdG - and Hammill's solo career are being covered pretty evenly, ie. there are no many albums that are not represented at all. Some are by one song only, e.g. 'Afterwards' from the VdGG debut (1968), gorgeous 'The Comet...' from In Camera (1974), 'Too Many of My Yesterdays' from And Close As This (1986), 'Time to Burn' from In a Foreign Town (1988), superb 'A Way Out' from Out of Water (1990) or 'I Will Find You' from Fireships (1992). The last mentioned song is one of the most banal songs in this set, and Out of Water would have been a suitable source album in general for one-man performances, just to pick up two examples of could-have-been-better -cases. Some albums, e.g. Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night, Enter K, Patience, or the latest at the time, Thin Air (2009), are sources for three or four songs.

To get the idea of those solo shows, it wouldn't be unwise to choose the 2-CD version instead of the box set. The most irrelevant is the 7th disc containing alternate versions (yeah, talk about "fans only" stuff...). The disc containing only VdGG/VdG songs was the most striking disappointment for me. Simply because these ripped-down versions are SO inferior to the originals! This naturally applies also to some solo stuff, though to notably smaller degree. The better I remember the original, the more I miss the other instruments such as the violin/viola of Stuart Gordon or saxes and flutes of David Jackson that grace several PH albums. CD's 5 and 6 expand the song selection pretty well (even though being under an hour's length) and offer well-functioning songs such as 'Autumn', 'The Lie' and 'Four Pails'. To sum up: if you're a die-hard fan of Peter Hammill and enjoy his unique magic created by passionate vocals and meaningful song-writing, also in the rawest of settings, you'll enjoy this box set. For all others I advice to get some of the best studio albums instead.

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