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Peter Hammill & The K Group: Live at Rockpalast-Hamburg 1981 (DVD)

In the early '80s, legendary Van Der Graaf Generator vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Peter Hammill kept the prog juggernaut on hiatus while he continued on with what is now looked at as some creative years for his solo career. With the release of his latest album Sitting Targets in 1981, Hammill decided to put together a regular touring band, who he called The K Group, which consisted of himself, guitarist John Ellis, and former VDGG mates Nic Potter on bass and drummer Guy Evans. More of a hard rock & new wave styled band than the dark prog machine that was VDGG, The K Group took plenty of Hammill solo material as well as a couple selections from the VDGG catalog out on tour, with this stop in Hamburg recorded for the German TV show Rockpalast.

Despite the age of the source material, the quality of the video is pretty good, with the audio being sharp and especially loud, so make sure you adjust your volume control accordingly when you pop this one into your DVD or Blu-ray player. The show kicks off with Hammill behind the piano for a few moody, atmospheric tracks, like "The Future Now", "Losing Faith in Words" and "Stranger Still", but it's when he plugs in his electric guitar and rocks alongside Ellis on the power packed trio of "My Experience", "Modern", and "The Second Hand" that things really start to pick up steam. Hammill's angst ridden vocals are just perfect for these dark, ballsy rockers, and the always intricate drum work of Evans adds plenty of excitement to the arrangements. Other highlights here include reimaginings of late '70s era VDGG cuts "The Sphinx In the Face" and "My Room", the lengthy, experimental epic "Flight", and a wild, hard rocking version of the intricate "Central Hotel", with the leader showing some solid lead guitar skills of his own. Though The K Group only stayed together a few years (and recorded two studio albums), it's great to see this brief line-up together on stage giving some new life and energy to some of Hammill's solo material. If you are a fan of VDGG and solo Hammill, you'll need to investigate this fine archival video document.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1) The Future Now
2) Losing Faith in Words
3) Stranger Still
4) Sign
5) My Experience
6) Modern
7) The Second Hand
8) Sitting Targets
9) The Sphinx in the Face
10) Flight
11) Central Hotel
12) The Spirit
13) Door
14) My Room

Added: September 16th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 2399
Language: english

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