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Gong: The Subterania Gig 2000 (DVD)

Simply put, this is one of the best music DVDs I've ever seen. Not only is the performance a sterling representation of the live Gong experience, the picture quality is superb and the sound is practically audiophile. Most refreshing of all, the camerawork is masterful, always appropriately placed where the most important action is. There's no irritating special effects or computerized animation. All live concert videos should be shot this way!

The concert takes place in an intimate club and the décor is perfectly suited to Gong's jazzy space rock. The gig appears to be complete as it runs for about 95 minutes and is mainly one long suite, tying together the best moments from The Teapot Trilogy as well as some improvisations and a new song placed somewhere in the middle. For those new to Gong, be prepared to be assaulted by a bizarre kind of mythology, one that encompasses Pothead Pixies, Zero the Hero (not the Black Sabbath song!) and flying teapots from outer space. Gong features founding members Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth as well as long time mainstays like Didier Malherbe and Mike Howlett. A few new members participate as well, including a young Chris Taylor on drums, sax player Theo Travis and keyboardist Gywo Zepix. The band are clearly having fun as there's not a dull moment between the zany antics of Allen and Smyth and the excellent musicians comprising the rest of the band. Daevid Allen's physical appearance is somewhere between an old wizard and an eccentric grandfather. In fact, he recently turned 65, but he never lets age get in the way of his art. The interplay between Allen, Smyth and the audience is at times bawdy and other times oddly heartwarming.

The disc is rounded out by a 6 minute interview with Daevid Allen, looking stoned out of his mind, talking about his first LSD experience and early friendship with Yoko Ono among other topics. For the Gong fan, this DVD is a dream come true. For the uninitiated, it's a wonderful introduction to the weird world of Gong.

Added: February 3rd 2003
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: Snapper Music Website
Hits: 3333
Language: english

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