On 30 August 2003, the Francis Dunnery Appreciation Society held its first (and only) convention in London. This DVD - available for over a year via Francis Dunnery's website, but only now getting a proper release - is a document of that day.
If you think that makes it sound like a fan-only affair then you'd be right, although there are some snippets of interest for the more casual observer, not least the pretty gobsmacking sight of Stephen Harris - aka Kid Chaos from Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction, aka Haggis from The Cult and The Four Horsemen - all middle-aged, sensible and signed to Dunnery's Aquarian Nation record label, plying his new, acoustic folk-rock trade on stage.
Before that though, there's some fluff to get through. The principle of backstage footage and interviews with the unsung backroom heroes is a noble one but here, the execution is somewhat lacking.
Let's just say that the interviewer is not exactly Jeremy Paxman and asking the Appreciation Society founder, "Did you enjoy the convention? Was it a success?" is hardly likely to elicit a controversial, deep and meaningful response. Similarly, asking the tour manager (who is inexplicably sitting on a toilet), "If you were gay, would you be a giver or a taker?" smacks of childishness in the extreme. Thank goodness for the skip button...
Things pick up immeasurably when we get to the music. The aforementioned Harris may not be particularly special in the troubadour department but he knows how to introduce a song: "If you've ever owned anything but you know you should've thrown it out a long, long time ago - this song's about that... My ex-wife!".
John And Wayne's acoustic and bass guitar combo is earnest enough before Mr Dunnery himself enters the fray with his vocal gymnastics, mesmerising acoustic guitar skills and honestly raw, touching songs such as Through My Father's Eyes, Wounding And Healing and I'm In Love.
In between there are flashes of past and future glories. The past in Squeeze's Chris Difford, who sings Lamas Fair from his 2002, Dunnery-produced album I Didn't Get Where I Am, and the future in the comely form of Dorie Jackson, a lass who Aquarian Nation general manager Jon Webster reckons will be huge if she can learn to "project herself as much as her voice". He should know - he invented The Mercury Music Prize.
The icing on the cake, however, is the finale which sees Dunnery reunited on stage with his former It Bites bandmates for the first time in 13 years. Hunting The Whale, from 1988's prog-rock masterpiece Once Around The World, is magnificent, with Dunnery and keyboardist John Beck harmonising like they'd never been apart.
"It wouldn't be the same if we didn't bring the other two on!" exclaims Dunnery before drummer Bob Dalton and bassist Dick Nolan join in to play the It Bites classic (and contender for best single never to chart - twice!), Still Too Young To Remember. It may miss Dunnery's monumental electric guitar solo but it's genius nonetheless and the standing ovation from the crowd, journos and all, speaks for itself.
Which brings us to now. Eighteen months on and the promised It Bites reunion hasn't materialised. Beck and Dalton are playing in Kino, while Dunnery has just released a new solo album but is talking like it might be his last record. If that turns out to be the case, then this DVD is evidence that the music world will be a lesser place.