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25th Anniversary Concert

Classic Rock Productions CRP1038(2004)
25 years on, prog rockers contemplate the 19th hole...

Barclay James Harvest

A poor manís Moody Blues or underated prog rockers?

This 1992 gig from the Town and Country Club in London sees the elderly statesmen of prog open with a gentle version of their classic Mockingbird. But it sounds perfunctory and you wonder just how pissed off they must be playing the song again and again and again 25 years on.

But buyer beware, itís a bit of a con to call this DVD ĎBJH - 25th Anniversary Concertí. Yes, its BJH, yes itís their 25th anniversary bash, but 7 tracks? Thatís not a full gig, not even in the wildest prog rockers dreams. Look a little closer at the small print and you find you get only 52 minutes of BJH. Which suggests a made for TV vid, minus advert space. The rest of the DVD, all 43 minutes, is made up of tasters for other artists in the series - Uriah Heep, Mostly Autumn, Caravan, Fairport etc.

As far as the BJH content goes, Mockingbird is disappointingly lacklustre, but Medicine man picks up the pace, and Play To The World is slow and moody with excellent guitar and sax work. Thereís that word again - Ďmoodyí, and thereís a version of Poor Manís Moody Blues - a parody of their nemesis. It might have seemed amusing at the time. In hindsight it does them no favours.

Up front, Les Holroyd looks like heís enjoying himself - timelocked to the seventies. John Lees is dressed for lunch at the golf club. And perhaps he wishes thatís where he was.


Review by Pete Whalley

Buy this DVD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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