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Peter Gabriel - 'Back To Front: Live In London' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9a/11/69/Peter-Gabriel-Back-To-Front-55-1417033657.jpg Hot

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Not the most technical or spectacular show that Gabriel has staged, but this is a good record of it.

This DVD covers a show that Peter Gabriel recorded in April 2013 to celebrate twenty-five years since the release of the ‘So’ album in 1988. Most of Gabriel’s shows are elaborate, technical affairs, but this stage looks quite bare, compared to the ‘Up’ tour for example. Gabriel states that the show is in three parts; the first, which starts with an unfinished song called ‘Daddy Long Legs’ and then ‘Come Talk To Me’, ‘Shock The Monkey’ and ‘Family Snap Shot’ are done acoustically. Things get a little more ‘electronic’ with ‘Digging In The Dirt,’ at which point the lighting joins the show. Rather quaintly, it is done very much as it was in the original shows of this period, with a few updates. ‘Secret World’ has always been a live favourite of mine and it is still excellent on this recording.

The main reason for all this though is to perform the ‘So’ album in its entirety for the first time. Also, Gabriel re-united his original ‘So’ touring band from 1986/1987 to do this.  Before doing ‘Red Rain’ they do another new song ‘Why Don’t You Show Yourself’ which was composed for a film project of the same name. ‘Sledgehammer’ was started by the audience without any encouragement, and ‘Don’t Give Up’ has always been my favourite from the album and sounds excellent here; Jennie Abrahamson performs Kate Bush’s original sections brilliantly. Gabriel performs ‘Mercy Street’, another favourite of mine, while on the floor with an innovative use of the lights, while ‘In Your Eyes’ with a guest appearance by Daby Toure on vocals ends the main set. The two encore tracks are ‘The Tower That Ate People’, which was written for the Millennium show back in 1999/2000 and actually had a tower that came down and ate Gabriel, and the classic ‘Biko’.

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Extras on the disc include ‘The Visual Approach’ which is a documentary that lifts the lid on the creation of the live show with interviews with both Gabriel and lighting designer Rob Sinclair, a version of ‘This Is The Picture’ filmed by fans and a montage version of ‘In Your Eyes.’

As I said, this is not the most technical or spectacular show that Gabriel has staged, but this is a good record of it.

Andy Brailsford

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