Shortly after the release of Reading Rock '83 (see review) Twelfth Night released another DVD. No old videos of the line-up that featured the late vocalist Geoff Mann this time, but shots from the new line-up that performed in What-upon-Dearne (UK) in May 2010. People who have a copy of their fabulous double live-CD MMX (see review) knew that a couple of weeks later a DVD would be released of the same live show. The main reason for this delay was that they wanted to add many extras which took some time to get them on this release. I gave the CD-version of MMX a five-star rating, because the live sound on this album is just incredible! So expectations ran high for this DVD and I wondered if they were able to get again five stars. Well, eventually they didn't but they came very close since this is just a fabulous DVD!
Just like the CD, this is a double-DVD containing the same track lists, but this time the visuals are included. Watching this DVD is a real treat for one's eyes and ears. However, the sound on the DVD's is less powerful; that's in fact the only thing I found a bit disappointing, but both the images and the music are still very good! The crew that recorded the show used enough cameras to film great shots with many close ups. Maybe they could have filmed more often from behind the keyboards of Dean Baker (Galahad), because many people like to see how a keyboard player performs certain parts of a song or a solo.
The first disc starts with the usual opening tune of a Twelfth Night-concert. During The Ceiling Speaks I noticed that bassist Clive Mitten played a keyboard and a guitar and left the bass parts in the capable hands of Mark Spencer. It seemed that Clive Mitten, who played most of the keyboard parts on the Fact And Fiction-album, still plays the synthesizers on songs taken from that album. During We Are Sane we see a slide show at the back of the stage while lead singer Andy Sears wears an English bowler hat to give the song a deeper meaning. In Für Helene, part 1 Mark Spencer plays the electric guitar trying to imitate the well-known guitar sound of the original guitarist Andy Revell. He used to work with a primitive, but effective tape-loop echo machine that provided for this original guitar sound. With the help of the fine bass lines of Clive Mitten, Spencer succeeded in reaching the same sound as on the original version. Following this piece Mr. Sears takes place behind his keyboard and performs a very emotional version of First New Day. For the next song he stays behind his keyboard and the other musicians join him to perform a perfect rendition of The Craft. Final song of the first disc is Take A Look with leading roles for Roy Keyworth (Galahad) and Clive Mitten on the electric guitar. To visualize the song they once again show slides at the back. All that is left on disc1 are the extras: two slide shows with pictures from the concert, footage of a rehearsal and the visuals shown during We Are Sane and Take A Look. It's an option to watch the footage of the rehearsal, but it sadly lasts for only four minutes.
Disc2 starts with Creepshow, one of my favourite Twelfth Night-pieces. Mr. Mitten commences on his acoustic guitar and after a while Andy Sears walks blindfolded on the stage. A slide show at the back makes this song even creepier and the music does the rest. A leather jacket worn by Mr. Sears indicates that Blondon Fair might be a song about gangs or rough youngsters. Clive Mitten demonstrates that he's a gifted bass player at the beginning of CRAB. Soon after this one we can enjoy one of the band's finest epic pieces. The Collector is performed very strongly and again accompanied by a slide show. It's obvious that Love Song is on the set list. It's most certainly one of the audience's favourites. It starts again with Clive Mitten on the acoustic guitar. The other band members join in while the audience sing the lyrics with everything they have. The last song performed is Theatre which can be considered to be a real fun song to end a performance that is really worth watching. On MMX the six musicians deliver a very entertaining show that never has a dull moment. I think this amazing band show that they're ready for England and the rest of the world.
For people who still want more than the live performance there's also a menu for the extras which contains the two slide shows used in Creepshow and The Collector. Other extras on this live document are a slide show with live shots and a short interview with the audience. Hopefully this great band stays together now for a very long time. This release is a compulsory purchase for all fans and for people who enjoy fantastic neo-progressive rock music! People who are interested can order this DVD at the band's website or from other well-known mail order companies.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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