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Black Country Communion: Live Over Europe (DVD )

Hot on the heels of their two blistering studio albums the supergroup that is Black Country Communion now release their debut live DVD / Blu-Ray recorded at venues across Europe on the bands 2011 tour. It is amazing to think that the quartet only made their eagerly anticipated live debut at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall less than 12 months ago and they have been in inspired form ever since. He may have played with Blackmore, Bolin and Iommi but Glenn Hughes has found the perfect collaborator in the prolific Joe Bonamassa and the addition of Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham has proven to be a winning combination with performances that are overflowing with confidence and class.

The set here covers a good selection from the two albums thus far kicking off with the opening declaration of intent that is "Black Country" itself. Whenever he is not singing Hughes is gurning at the crowd and into the camera and seemingly having the time of his life; Bonamassa is content to let him take the spotlight, playing it cool behind his now trademark shades. When he does take over the lead vocals on the laid-back, slower numbers "Song of Yesterday" and his own "Ballad of John Henry" it creates the perfect balance between this and the shows more up-tempo moments, of which there are many. Perfectly capturing what BCC are all about this two disc set also includes a 20 minute documentary that is "The Making Of" together with two photo collections and is all presented complete with a 28 page collectors booklet.

With Hughes and Bonamassa having hectic solos schedules for much of 2012 it looks likely to be a quiet twelve months for BCC; whilst we await their return this live release is the perfect document of their meteoric story so far and is highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Revolution of the Machine (Intro)
2. Black Country
3. One Last Soul
4. Crossfire
5. Save Me
6. The Battle For Hadrian's Wall
7. Beggarman
8. Faithless
9. Song of Yesterday
10. I Can See Your Spirit
11. Cold
12. The Ballad of John Henry
13. The Outsider
14. The Great Divide
15. Sista Jane
16. Man In The Middle
17. Burn
18. Smokestack Woman (End Credits)
Bonus Features
-Forging BCC The Making of Live Over Europe
-Photo Collection Live On Tour
-Photo Collection Behind The Scenes

Added: November 1st 2011
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: BCC Website
Hits: 2433
Language: english

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Black Country Communion: Live Over Europe (DVD )
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-10-17 10:42:07
My Score:

Not content with releasing two fantastic albums in under twelve months, the super-group that is Black Country Communion are now intent on hammering home just what an irresistible live force they are as well. Rather than one full concert, "Live Over Europe" selects performances from three German dates in Hamburg, Munich and Berlin and while the DVD does run in the same order as the set-list from the tour, the action is interspersed with interview snippets from the band and road footage. These little segments not only offer up a snap-shot of what BCC are all about, but they also make nice clean breaks between the shows the songs were filmed at rather than attempting to make out this is one continuous performance.

The music itself is exactly what we've come to expect from Black Country Communion with bold, Classic Rock riffs and thunderous drums being complimented with a sprinkling of keyboards and blurringly quick bass flurries. Add the unmistakable, peerless vocals of Glenn Hughes to the mix and BCC really are an irresistible pure rock juggernaut. Live the foursome have completely clicked into place with Hughes roaming the stage like a demented raptor, while Joe Bonamassa revels in not being the main-man at stage front, instead concentrating on ripping out the riffs. Under stated in movement and (in BCC anyway) restrained in approach keyboard maestro Derek Sherinian adds a solidity to the sound, bolstering the riffs with an assured ease. Bonham the younger drives every song forward with concise, yet varied beat-making and having the chance to watch him adjust his sunglasses while pulling off a battering end of song crescendo illustrates just how easy he makes it all look. Humungous rock anthems like "One Last Soul" and "The Battle For Hadrian's Wall" are beautifully off-set by the more insightful moments such as Bonamassa's solo classic "The Ballad Of John Henry" to make for a varied and captivating set although the versions of "Sista Jane" and Hughes's Purple classic "Burn" are worth the price of this double disc set on their own.

Sound wise nothing has been left to chance with the band's unofficial fifth member, producer Kevin Shirley, repeating the magic he cast on the band's two studio efforts, while visually the 14 HD cameras ensure razor-sharp images. In fact while some of the performances are in an open air arena during daylight hours, the dark indoors footage is so clear and focused that it has almost a promo-vid or even movie like quality, which is a slightly unusual, if welcome approach for a live DVD. With no doubts over the quality of the music the well thought out visuals and little breaks from the live footage make for viewing that completely holds your attention, although if there was to be a criticism it would possibly be that the ultra professional look sometimes leaves the action feeling slightly removed from the audience watching it not something that could be said of the Black Country Communion live experience when witnessed in person.

Disc two adds an interesting and well put together twenty minute documentary with interviews with all four band members and Kevin Shirley covering how they first came together, the albums were made and what it takes to put Black Country Communion on stage on a nightly basis. There are also a couple of photo galleries which while not exactly something to be viewed over and over does add even more value to the whole package.

Black Country Communion have made a mighty statement with their first two albums, however there's a new life and urgency breathed into these songs on stage and if you haven't been fortunate enough to catch the band perform, then "Live Over Europe" is just too good to miss out on. If you are one of the lucky ones who have seen BCC live then I've no doubt this DVD is already on your must have list!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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