Genesis of a supergroup...
Blind Faith are generally heralded as one of the first supergroups, they may also be one of the most short-lived. This Hyde Park Concert from June 1969 has been cleaned up and dusted off and gives some indication of the dynamics behind that longevity.
Setting aside the frequent wandering camera shots which, if nothing else, help to evoke a lazy summer day in the park by the river, the actual concert footage is only forty minutes long. The DVD bolsters this with some period pieces spotlighting the respective members' former incarnations (Spencer Davis, Family and Cream) and an introductory commentary setting the gig in context.
This is almost Steve Winwood's gig, his soulful vocals and keyboards are very much centre stage. Whilst Ginger Baker gets the obligatory workout on 'Do What You Like' the band performance is never more than perfunctory and is best seen as a try-out bearing in mind they hadn't quite finished recording their one and only album. Strangely, and sadly, the set isn't bolstered with any material from the musician's former bands, although we get a Stones cover.
Forty minutes is hardly enough time to set things alight, and Clapton in particular remains surprisingly muted throughout. The songs are better heard on the band's eponymous album released a couple of months later (which is best heard on the deluxe reissue (2001) which includes some excellent rehearsal jams).
This open-air gig was a freebie so the assembled multitude couldn't complain, and as a rare visual record of a band who had so much promise and so little time, this DVD does the business.
Review by David Randall