|Band Du Lac: One Night Only Live
Label: Eagle Vision
Gary Brooker cut his teeth at fourteen in the Paramounts, an English R&B band that also counted Robin Trower as a member. He then went on to form Procul Harum, best known for the unmistakeable and timeless single “Whiter Shade of Pale.” In addition to trotting out a version of Procol Harum from time to time, he puts together the Band Du Lac for charity organizations in his native England. From the interview section of the DVD, it appears that Band Du Lac, a one day concert held on the beautiful grounds of Wintershall Estate, has been playing this yearly charity gig since 1988. The proceeds of the concert and a percentage of the DVD sales are allocated to the Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavor (HASTE). Brooker puts together a solid band and gets contributions from other well established (mostly English artists).
This concert features contributions from Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike & the Mechanics), Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike and the Mechanics), Roger Taylor (Queen), Ringo Starr (was in some band from Liverpool), and Eric Clapton. Carrack’s voice sounds golden as he soulfully delivers Ace’s “How Long.” Andy Fairweather Lowe, sideman extraordinaire who has backed Clapton, Roger Waters and countless others sings “Lay My Burden Down” and practically steals the show.
The concert does have a few duds. Katie Melua, a sensation in the U.K., seems a bit out of place with her three song set of jazz/pop. The Drifters, at least some incarnation of that group (this particular lineup does not have one original member, most of whom are in fact dead) performed two classic songs, “Under the Boardwalk” and “Stand by Me”. Those songs just didn’t seem to fit with “I Want to Break Free,” performed by Roger Taylor, or “Cocaine” by Clapton. Ringo’s set was good fun as always, highlighted by stirring version of the George Harrison written “Photograph.” The closer and jam song which brought most of the performers back on stage was Genesis’ “I Can’t Dance.” It went on a bit long, but it was cool to watch Clapton play guitar on that song.
Visually, the show features lots of cuts to different musicians during the performance and a few too many extreme close-ups. I really didn’t need to see that extra long nose hair coming out of Slowhand’s snoot. The footage does include the Woodstock/24 effect by showing different angles and musicians on different portions of the screen at the same time. None of this is annoying or particularly innovative. Overall, this is a decent trip down memory lane for those that remember pop radio from the late ‘60s and ‘70s.
~R. David Smola