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Barclay James Harvest: Caught Live (DVD)

You've heard the hype, and I'm sure you've read some shoddy reviews of this DVD. Well, I'm going to set the record straight-Caught Live is a revelation for fans of Barclay James Harvest, and as good a live document of the early days of the band that you are probably ever going to see on DVD. Sure, the sound is not the greatest, especially on the Drury Lane Concert footage from 1974, but the performances from that gig and the 1977 documentary show a symphonic rock band at the height of their powers, much more than the "poor man's Moody Blues" as they were often tagged.

The nearly one hour documentary contains live, rehearsal, and backstage footage, along with band interviews, from their 1977 tour. The band is in fine form on the live cuts, more rocking than one would expect from that period, and play such classics as "Child of the Universe", "Rock and Roll Star", "Hard Hearted Woman", "Suicide?", "Mockingbird", "Polk Street Rag", and "Hymn." Amazing to see a mid-tier prog band with a packed house full of hundreds of excited fans (hard to tell, but it might have been much more than that), even if it was 1977!

On the special features section, you get four songs from the 1974 show at Drury Lane, which some may remember was the concert recorded for the bands album Live 1974. Here is where the fog machines are rolling, the light show is beaming, and Woolly Wolstenholme's Mellotron is churning out massive waves of sonic pleasure. Songs covered on the DVD include "Crazy City", "For No One", an incredible version of "Mockingbird" that will bring you close to tears with its sheer beauty (this is a Mellotron classic that rates up there with the best that the Moody Blues and King Crimson had to offer), and "The Great 1974 Mining Disaster." Wonderful stuff here, except that John Lees' guitar is barely audible in spots.

So, for all you audiophile hounds (and you know who you are), perhaps you should stay clear. If you can dig the nostalgia element here though, and if you are a big fan of BJH, this is a must have DVD. Newbies might also want to check this out to see what the band was all about in the earlier days.

Added: January 13th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Barclay James Harvest Official Website
Hits: 2788
Language: english

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