Joined: Nov. 1999
||Posted: Nov. 06 2005, 17:39
Got the DVD last Friday after pre-ordering from amazon.co.uk. Many of you have probably seen this in VHS form but I hadn't. It's definitely the most interesting live video of Mike I have found so far.
Some of the things I've noticed:
(1) the Exposed double album appears to have been a massive editing job and stitches together the best segments from many shows into one seamless whole. The quality of the result is far better than you'd believe if you'd only seen Wembley. Mike's guitar work varies between 'alright' and 'bad', but doesn't really reach any dizzy heights. Having watched and listened, I think only the start of TB appears on the edited album. The rest was dumped in favour of better performances elsewhere.
(2) Guilty - wtf? The DVD tracklist is marked 'mono' for this track. You'll know why when you hear it...the mix is appalling. Half of the musicians are inaudible. Besides this, it appears to be a very rough and ready version and not very impressive. I suppose the tapes or the recording were messed up somehow. The choir dancing away up the back is hilarious and embarassing to watch.
(3) The Encore is a variation of Guilty, and this time is in stereo with a decent mix. This is the version you're familiar with from the Exposed album. Still sub-par guitar work from Mike here; he's not really concentrating at all!
(4) The trumpet call/answer section (album:Pt1 ~6:25) from Incantations part I is suspiciously different. Two or more trumpets play the call & answer, while Mike watches on, playing nothing. On the album, this has been replaced with a far better trumpet -> guitar version, with Mike 'answering'. Given that the trumpets don't sound the best, did Mike later hack in a guitar here or was the score changed for later shows? Anyone?
(5) Seeing as the start of TBI is used on the live album, I finally understand what went wrong at the start of the groovy TB build section. Mike has to ditch a guitar unexpectedly and change over to a black Gibson SG as backup. Obviously they had no roadies! He nods at the musicians to 'loop' while he swaps over. When the guitar re-emerges (album: TB Pt1 3:00) he has switched over and nods again for the music to advance.
(6) Mike is known to have loathed several of the journalists in the front row for some UK gigs; he's reputed to have brought some of them up on stage to play triangle in a mocking way. During the Wembley gig he behaves himself though and doesn't say anything to the crowd from start to finish. And yes, the front row all look like Bill Gates or Woody Allen.
(7) The intermission is hilarious. Glad they kept it on the disc. Everyone is throwing paper aeroplanes! It's like secondary school when the teacher's out. They end up piled up on stage. Mike throws a few as the end credits roll. Just as Mike is about to come back on, some smartarse shouts "We Want the Osmonds!" maniacally.
(8) Mike is a lot 'calmer' on stage than I expected. Even when things go wrong (and plenty things do go wrong) he seems pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and just keeps going. At the time he was reputed to 'wince' at mistakes and be a bit highly strung during the show. No evidence of it here.
(9) Sally Arnold is interviewed briefly at the very start of Disc 1.
(10) Unsung heroes: Pekka Pohjola for spectacular bass as usual, Pierre & Benoit Moerlen for their vibes & percussion & the keyboard player (Pete Lemer?) who can play some keyboard parts I thought only an arpeggiator could play for Incantations Pt1. All done by hand! Amazing.
(11) David Bedford is the thin older guy who gives Mike a pair of dreadful sunglasses for TBI. Mike is looking back for quite a while trying to get his attention; seems he missed his cue!