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Peter Frampton - 'FCA! 35' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 09, 2013    
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Peter Frampton's definitive statement.

Having been spellbound throughout the Manchester concert for Peter Frampton's thirty-fifth anniversary of the seminal 'Frampton Comes Alive' double album, I knew the DVD release of the tour would be a bit special when I saw the Lamoureux brothers named as producers/directors on the cover. Multiple Grammy, Emmy and winners of any other film making awards you can name for artists like Rush, The Who, Zappa Plays Zappa and Harry Connick Jr, the Canadian brothers have another success on their hands here with this lengthy set featuring the original album (disc 1) and another ninety minutes of Frampton's music (disc 2).

With the audio produced by Frampton himself, the FCA section is played in the original order from the 1975 tour instead of the album order that was re-jigged to provide four LP sides of roughly equal length. Frampton plays as well as he did back then and actually sings better, and with a supporting cast of keyboardist/guitarist Rob Arthur, guitarist Adam Lester, drummer Dan Wojciechowski and original bassist Stanley Sheldon, everything sounds fresh and vibrant. Beautifully lit and with interesting camera angles, the musicianship is superb and highlights are many, from the sublime 'Lines On My Face' and the lively cover of 'Jumping Jack Flash', to the brilliant acoustic segment, the hits 'Show Me The Way' and 'Baby I Love Your Way' and the unforgettable extended voice-box solo on 'Do You Feel Like We Do'. There's a nice tribute to sadly departed band members Bob Mayo and John Siomos, with vintage imagery played on the back projection screen. Frampton's warm personality, exuberance and self-deprecating humour belie his sixty-two years: although his grey hair and glasses might indicate otherwise. The only slight tinge of regret I have about latter day Frampton are his frequently improvised guitar solos replacing the familiar ones from the album, although after thirty-five years I suppose he needs to make it interesting for himself.

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The second set mostly comprises recent material from his last album 'Thank You Mr. Churchill' and his own Grammy winning instrumental disc 'Fingerprints', and includes Frampton's son Julian singing 'Road To The Sun' and Humble Pie's 'I Don't Need No Doctor'. The other band members all get their chance to shine, particularly on the instrumental numbers, and a stirring finale includes the timeless 'Four Day Creep' and an emotional version of George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. Just like the show I attended, there's a lack of crowd reaction during the songs they're unfamiliar with, but it's all top quality music and the second disc shouldn't be left in the box whilst the first disc gets repeated plays. As an extra there's a nice twenty minute documentary about Frampton being re-united with his trusty Les Paul after it had been 'lost' for many years, his affection for the instrument is obvious and he uses it for much of the second set. With pristine sound and visuals, however many concert DVD's Peter Frampton ends up releasing in his career, 'FCA! 35' will turn out to be his definitive statement.

Phil Ashcroft

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