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BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Legacy Esoteric (2008)
Quality 2006 gig from BJH's other half... Barclay James Harvest

While bassist Les Holroyd's BJH variant had already ticked the DVD box the previous year, former founding colleagues John Lees and keyboard maestro Wooly Wolstenholme march their fellow brand commendably up to our small screens via film of this London Shepherds Bush Empire concert mid-13 show UK tour in late 2006, a travelogue of which is also documented as an extra.

Bands of this pedigree survive by throwing iconic performances at quality catalogue. With sterling support from younger hands, Lees and Wolstenholme summon happy, nostalgic recall for an adoring audience of a certain vintage through the sheer act of playing. The latter, drole and a tad Bill Nighy, has a genius for single-handedly covering for the orchestra that BJH fielded in badder, madder times while the watchful, buttoned-down Lees folds time with searing guitar work that trade-marked seminal compositions such as 'Galadriel', 'Child Of the Universe', 'Poor Man's Moody Blues', 'Medicine Man' and 'Mockingbird'.

All are present and correct here amidst 17 songs including (excitingly for fans) for the first time in 30 years, 'The Iron Maiden', 'The Great 1974 Mining Disaster' and 'After the Day', plus a first ever live airing for early single 'Poor Wages'. Quality work that still thrills.


Review by Peter Muir

***** 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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