The Enid have been part of my musical journey since 1976 when I used to follow them around the south of England attending every possible gig I could. The original line up of the band soon dissolved after the Six Pieces album and my gigging days with The Enid were over although I continued to buy the subsequent albums. I didn't get to see them live again until 2014 when I saw them in Chesterfield. By this time of course the band had re-invented itself and with the arrival of Joe Payne on vocals they have the chance to become one of the really big players in the progressive rock world. Let's not forget that he won the Prog Magazine Best Vocalist award in 2015 and if you have not heard him yet then I suggest that this album would be a good place to start. Robert John Godfrey has always been the mainstay of The Enid. He is after all the main composer and spiritual leader of the band. But with the onset of Alzheimer's he is gradually handing over The Enid to a much younger set of guys and the band couldn't be in better hands. Robert deserves the success and recognition that The Enid are now having but it is also nice to see him on stage taking a step back and just enjoying his playing.
The concert was a visual idea dreamed up by Joe in which a series of Enid Songs came together to form a backdrop for an imaginary place called Eniland. There are obvious political statements made throughout the show but none of it distracts from the music and some of it is quite humorous. I like the idea that musicians are dangerous people and not to be trusted.
The DVD is stunning. Plenty of different camera angles capture the talented individuals on stage. You feel like you are there in the audience. The sound quality is rich and clear and the music sweeps and swirls its way throughout. Sometimes loud and bombastic, other times sweet and quiet. The addition of Joe on vocals has taken the band to a totally new level. In fact it has I would go as far as to say it has changed The Enid into a totally new band but in a good way. I loved The Enid in the 70s but I also love this band too and when Robert finally hangs up his piano, The Enid will still carry on and create more stunning pieces.
Stand out tracks for me are The One And The Many with its haunting choirboy vocals and Judgement which is a total re-working of the 1976 track from the first album.
The Bridge Show - Live At Union Chapel was released on 2CD+DVD and on Blu-Ray!
The 2CD+DVD release features the entire show on audio and video. The Blu-Ray version has also the entire show on video plus extra bonus material. This includes extended interviews with individual members of the band. Furthermore deleted scenes from the tour. Moreover live recordings from the tour of Space Surfing, Execution Mob and In the Region Of the Summer Stars. Finally an exclusive performance of Til We're Old from Robert John Godfrey and Joe Payne.
This concert has been captured on film and shows The Enid as a band confident in itself but knowing they have so much more to give. There is a new album due in the spring called Dust and I for one cannot wait.
***** Dave Smith
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