Franck Carducci Band -
Tearing The Tour Apart

(CD/ DVD 2017, 76:23/ 110 min, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Torn Apart
  2- Closer To Irreversible
  3- Artificial Paradises
  4- Mr. Hyde & Dr. Jekyll
  5- Artificial Love
  6- Achilles
  7- A Brief Tale Of Time
  8- The Last Oddity
  9- Alice's Eerie Dream
  1- Torn Apart
  2- Closer To Irreversible
  3- Artificial Paradises
  4- Mr. Hyde & Dr. Jekyll
  5- Artificial Love
  6- Achilles Sword Fight
  7- Achilles
  8- A Brief Tale Of Time
  9- The Last Oddity
10- Supper's Ready
11- Alice's Eerie Dream
12- Credits

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When in 2011 the French musician Franck Carducci contacted me for a possible review of his debut album ODDITY (see review), I never could have foreseen that his career would take off so fast! Especially in the Netherlands, his second home because he lives in Amsterdam occasionally, he became rather popular among progressive rock lovers. Promoting his debut and his second effort Torn Apart (see review), which he released five years later, gained him a large loyal following. Anybody who has been to his concerts with his amazing live band knows that you are entertained all the way! Especially the concerts on the “Tearing The Tour Apart Tour” to promote his second album were just incredible! Therefore it was a wise decision of Franck to capture one of these shows for a possible live release. This resulted in the release of Tearing The Tour Apart DVD and CD.

Tearing The Tour Apart was recorded on audio and video during two concerts at the Climax Club Legend in Lyon (France) on November 20 and 21 in 2015. On the cover of both the CD and DVD version you can enjoy the wonderful artwork of Frank's keyboard player Olivier Castan. He also did the design for Torn Apart under the pseudonym of Casoli. This time he created a caricature of the maestro himself, dressed up with the double neck guitar and the famous hat he wears during Franck's usual encore Alice's Eerie Dream. The booklet contains some fantastic pictures of Mathieu Spaeter (6 and 12 string guitars, vocals), Mary Reynaud (rainstick, tambourine, vocals), the already mentioned Olivier Castan (keyboards and vocals), Christophe Obadia (electric guitar, didjeridoo, bass pedals, vocals), Franck Carducci (bass, 12 string guitar, vocals) plus special guest drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi (Karnataka).

The one hour and fifty minutes long performance had no surprises in store for me, after seeing this show several times. I knew it wouldn't be boring to see and hear everything again. The only question I was only wondering if they could bring to the screen what I had seen with my very own eyes at close range! Well, I must say they succeeded very well. Sure, some things could have been done better, but the overall feeling was that they did a very good job!

The close ups of the musicians and their interaction with each other was captured very well. You can see that all of them have fun both on and off stage. It is most of all Reynaud who dances and wanders around the stage and interacts with the other band members. The band wholeheartedly performs the songs from Carducci's two studio albums, which never sound the same as the original studio versions. The extra vocal, guitar and keyboard parts bring so much extra to the table, this way the songs get even more energy and sometimes just explode on stage! To mention what happens during every song is impossible, but worth mentioning is the sword fight between Castan
and Obadia, just before the band starts to play Achilles. Also the intro before they go into A Brief Tale Of Time is beautiful. Christophe plays a didgeridoo while Mary dances with a rainstick. The video animation during this song is worth watching. Here Casoli gives us a look into the future and shows that it is not as bright as some of us might think! The composition before the band leaves the stage the first time is also very entertaining, most of all the octopus effect during The Last Oddity is brilliantly done! Guitarist Spaeter cuddles Obadia before taking over his guitar parts on his guitar. The song ends with the closing section of Supper's Ready. And just like Peter Gabriel did when Genesis performed this part of the song, Franck unbuttons his blouse and starts to play with his microphone stand. The final encore, Alice's Eerie Dream is introduced as the real version of Alice In Wonderland, or as Franck announced it as 'the story of Alice, who got kidnapped by the wicked red queen. The red queen turned Alice into a hooker'. Alice's role is played by Mary, who wears the same kind of blue dress from the original story but in a more sexy way. While the song takes off, with Franck wearing his Mad Hatter's hat, she is trying to seduce the male band members like a real prostitute. All this is very well done and put a smile on my face, just like during all the other wonderful stage presentations. As for the audio that comes with the images I can say they did a really good job with the stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Most of all the dual guitar parts are very well separated in the final mix.

The DVD has no extras, but I guess that's not needed after watching a very entertaining show. So thumbs up for keeping you glued to the screen throughout the entire concert!

Due to a time limit the CD contains less music than the DVD, although the track list is almost the same. It is just the closing section of Supper's Ready that is not included and they skipped most of the introductions of the song and the sound fragment for the sword fight. The almost eighty minutes of music sound very good, even if it is only the stereo mix. So hats off for that!

All in all I can say that Franck Carducci did an amazing job with the release of Tearing The Tour Apart on DVD and CD. It can't have been easy to get everything mixed and edited, which must be the reason it took almost a whole year before it was released. Franck's fans can be very satisfied with the way it turned out and buy both discs without hesitation. And for those who are not familiar with Carducci's catalogue, this is a nice way to start with his music. Thanks Franck for giving us so much pleasure with your music and visual presentation!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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