Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 15, 2014    
 
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Camel - The Barbican, London (UK) - 28th October 2013

This was something I didn't expect to see again: Camel live on stage. Why? Well, ten years ago Doctors gave remaining founder member, Andy Latimer, just months to live as he was afflicted by a usually fatal blood disorder. However, he fought it and won thus providing him with the wellness to consider bringing the band back. Such is the love for Camel that this tour was sold out in a matter of days and they were greeted tonight with a standing ovation even before a note had been played.

Given all the above I would like to report that the show was an unmitigated success, but on reflection the first half was nothing short of a triumph whilst the second felt a bit disjointed and an opportunity lost thanks to some unexpected song choices and some glaring omissions. The show began with a full rendition of the classic 'Snow Goose' album and this gave rise to any number of goose-bump moments. The album has recently been re-recorded with some of the parts being revised as a consequence, primarily to enhance the piece in the live environment; and it has to be said this worked wonderfully well with a couple of heavier sections proving to be particularly potent and allowing Latimer to give free rein to his exquisite, delicious and melodic guitar playing.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Keyboardists Guy LeBlanc and Jason Hart covered the woodwind sections very effectively and Colin Bass' fluid bass playing was delight. Drummer Denis Clement was proficient if rather staid, something he belied in the second half where he came alive and suddenly sounded like different player. Twice he came out from behind the kit to play bass; which he did with great dexterity.

First up after the interval was 'Never Let Go', a personal favourite, yet they slowed it right down which didn't work for me, although the heavy conclusion was rather tasty. 'Song Within A Song' was wonderful and 'Echoes' truly spectacular but after that the momentum seemed to be lost, just a bit. With a rich seam of classic material to mine it felt strange that they'd select a relatively obscurity like the comical 'Fox Hill'. With the wonders of the Internet one can see what a band's been playing on preceding dates so I know that a wonderful song like 'Wait' was left out in favour of this bagatelle of a track! They wrapped up with the delightful 'For Today' before the encore of 'Lady Fantasy' which certainly regained some of the ground lost earlier.

In summary, come back soon but please give us a show of all your very best tunes...

Gary Marshall

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