In 2012 I had the chance to witness one of the two shows the British band Touchstone did in the Netherlands. At the time they did a double headliner tour with The Reasoning. I enjoyed their performance at the DRU Cultuurfabriek, Ulft (see review) a lot. Therefore was I glad to read that they came up with Live Inside Outside, a release containing the video and audio recordings of the last date of their 4th studio album Oceans Of Time (2013) launch tour.
You might probably understand that I was very glad to receive the full package of this release, which included two DVDs, one CD and an EP CD.
The first DVD got the title Inside - Live At The Robin. It features the entire set from The Robin 2 show in October 2013. This performance was filmed and directed by Magenta's Rob Reed. He was also responsible for editing and mixing the recording. During this show it was obvious that Kim "Elkie" Seviour (lead vocals), Rob Cottingham (vocals, keyboards and SFX), Adam Hodgson (guitars and SFX), Paul 'Moo” Moorghen (bass and backing vocals) and Henry Rogers (drums and percussion) played a lot of tracks taken from their latest studio album, which were all done in the best possible way. It was great to see how they used a megaphone as a nice gimmick during one of those songs, Fragments. Furthermore Elkie was of course the eye catcher during this show, where they included audience favourites such as Corridors and Strange Days. Too bad they did a rather heavy version of the ballad Solace, instead of the ballad version which appeared on Wintercoast (2009, see review) for the first time. This new version can be found on their last studio album and differs a lot from the original version. Therefore they renamed it into Solace 2013. The footage of the whole show looks rather good and the audio is top notch. It's just too bad that the band can be seen in action for only one whole hour. I guess that this could have been the reason to include another DVD.
The second DVD has the title Outside - High Voltage Festival. It features almost the entire set from 2010's High Voltage festival held in London, July 2010. This has never been released before, so fans must have been pretty excited about this unexpected surprise. At the time they were the first band on the Prog stage, so they had to perform in broad daylight and the lights didn't have much effect on stage. The musicians also had to work extra hard to get the attention of the crowd in front of them, because they were just one of the bands they came to see. Therefore the musicians jumped around to get a glimpse of them. Too bad the bands cover version of Tears For Fears' Mad World wasn't included on this release, but even without that song you could tell they did a great show. The way they did their live versions of Wintercoast, Shadow, Joker In The Pack and Strange Days really kicked ass! The last title featured a special guest on stage, one of their good friends, guitarist John Mitchell (It Bites and Arena). Besides the half hour footage of the High Voltage show they also included a "making of" kind of documentary put together by John Siely. In almost twenty minutes you can witness how they came to the recordings of Oceans Of Time. You can see them doing writing sessions, rehearsals and recordings in the studio. Certainly fun to watch.
The third disc features the audio of the show you can watch on the first disc. The audio CD of the soundtrack of the Bilston show was pretty well mixed by Rob Reed. For those who would like to listen to the band in their car this release is the perfect solution.
Finally some words about the extra that the first 500 pre-orders of the three-disc set got. This was a free signed EP with five tracks on it. I got the EP as well and can tell you it contains the previously unreleased track Suffer The Little Children, which is a fantastic ballad. It also includes a keys, bass, vocal mix of Ocean Down, demos of Fragments and Contact and a single edit of Flux. Without any doubt a must have for their fans. But to those who don't know the band that well this EP doesn't bring much extra to the table!
I can only conclude that the band managed to come up with a fine DVD release for everyone who is into this band. Including some extra discs was a wise decision, because this way there is much more to enjoy! Which I certainly did!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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