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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Live At The Paradiso, April 2007 2-CD Voiceprint(2009)

Van Der Graaf Generator

VDGG, led by vocalist/ guitarist/ pianist/ songwriter Peter Hammill, have reformed a couple of times now since their inception in the late 60s, and can best be described as prog rock. This 2007 concert (also available on DVD) also features High Banton (Organ) and Guy Evans (Drums).

Many will know the band's 'Theme 1', which was used as the theme tune to Tommy Vance's old Radio 1 rock show. Sadly that track isn't here, nor is the music as cohesive or flowing.

The opening track 'Lemmings' took me by surprise, as the intro sounds like the band warming or tuning up. The track itself is disjointed and messy, with experimental or jazz leanings in the prog. There are touches of King Crimson in there.

Later tracks are better, but this is more varied an experimental than your mainstream prog rock. The three piece make a racket at times, and are more atmospheric at others.

The 11 lengthy tracks include 'A Place To Survive', 'Lifetime', 'Gog', 'Manerg' and 'Scorched Earth' amongst others.

The DVD adds some nice shots and a Peter Hammill interview too.

Fans will enjoy, but as a non fan this wasn't the most easily approachable set.

Review by Joe Geesin


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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