The Italian band Nuova Idea released three studio albums in the early seventies In The Beginning (1971), Mr. E. Jones (1972) and Clowns (1973). They were at the time a quintet from Genoa who made music which was a mix of psychedelic rock, heavy classical rock and progressive rock. Some people even mentioned them as the first progressive rock band from Italy. A group featuring four members from the early days - Marco Zoccheddu, Ricky Belloni, Giorgio Usai, Paolo Siani- reunited for some concerts in 2011 and 2012. The recordings from these concerts appear on the 2014 DVD Live anthology. I must confess I never had the chance to hear their music, so everything I heard and saw on this DVD sounded new to me.
This two and a half hour long DVD is divided into three parts mainly. The most important of them is the one and a half hour show they did in 2011 at Club “Il Giardino” in Verona. The concert footage of this show includes the current line up of the group. The musician that gets the most attention is the original member Paolo Siani. He even gets room to play a solo on his drum kit. As for the songs, they perform a lot of the band's classic stuff. From their debut you can enjoy Come, Come, Come and La Mia Scelta. From their second release they included Illusione Da Poco. Furthermore from their third album you can enjoy Un'Isola. The concert also has several songs which Paolo Siani had released in 2010 as Paolo Siani & friends feat. Nuova Idea on the album Castles, Wings, Stories And Dreams-songs such as The Game, Un Dono, Wizard Intro and Madre Africa. The last mentioned title has some interesting black and white video shots of Africa which really looked cool. The best songs from the Verona show are without a doubt The Game and Un'Isola. The first title has a great guitar solo and the second one featured the earlier mentioned drum solo plus fine solos performed on the organ and synthesizer.
The second part of this release is eleven minutes long and contains footage of the show the band did at Teatro Verdi in Genova Sestri Ponente in 2011. Unfortunately it only includes two songs. Namely Clessidra from Clowns and Sara' Cosi'. The videos shot from this concert are of a lesser quality than the Verona show. Therefore, it wasn't so strange that only two songs are used.
The final part of this release includes original videos from RAI TV recorded in the seventies and an interview with Paolo Siani. The seven songs presented are nice to watch, nothing more-nothing less. Music wise, it is the track Mr. E. Jones that is the most interesting one to listen to. Finally a section is included which has the title Photo Gallery with some pictures of the band's entire career.
For fans of Italian music that like a mix of psychedelic rock, heavy classical rock and progressive rock, this release is a fine addition to their collection. For me personally, it was a nice way to learn a little bit more about the history of Italian music that I was not familiar with.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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