Released as a follow up to their earlier live album Live At The ICA, this DVD helps prove further that Queen Adreena are a formidable live prospect. Whilst the CD showed that they are an incredibly tight live band with an arsenal of songs that most bands would sell their mothers for, this release puts everything into a fairly scary visual perspective.
Queen Adreena's recorded output has always been of high quality, bridging the points between Goth and Metal with assured aplomb, but as any fan of the band will tell you, seeing the band live is what the Adreena experience is all about.
You have two opportunities to catch the band in the live environment on this DVD, with two shows being included. The first is the full band at the ICA, and the second shows a stripped back version scaring the pants off the audience at the Astoria.
The ICA is a professionally shot affair, and the band look at home although a little subdued, as they work their way through a set packed with truly fine tunes. Katie Jane Garside is, as always, in her element, managing to seem detached from, and yet totally immersed in, every one of these songs.
There she is at the front of the stage, in her torn and burned baby doll dress, microphone in one hand, and a half chugged bottle of wine in the other. Then she opens her mouth and that wonderfully flawed voice spills out. It cracks with emotion, it's breathy like the voice of an imaginary lover, and at times she screams like the baby in Eraserhead.
Garside's always the centre of attention, despite the always dapper Crispin Gray making his presence felt with his fuzzed up guitar threatening to drown her out. She's what makes Queen Adreena one of the most exciting live acts in the country. She always looks as if she's about to snap, and lash out at her band (as she does here on set closer Pretty Polly) or herself.
Perhaps the only thing the DVD lacks is the element of danger that you can only sense when you actually see the band play. Will Katie launch a chair at Crispin's head? Will she ride the face of some hapless punter in the front row? Will she collapse after two songs and have to cancel the gig? The element orf nervous excitement can't be captured by recordings, but great tunes such as the manically disturbing Cold Fish ("Splish... Spppliiissh") or the all out paedoterror rock of FM Doll can.
The gig at the Astoria tells a similar story. Although the footage is distinctly more ropey, and the band are lacking the muscle of a bass player, they still manage to produce a show that is nothing short of incendiary. Garside is far more twitchy and at times, almost incoherent, which oddly enough makes for enthralling car crash viewing. The most important thing about both these shows however, is not just the voyeuristic pleasure to be gained from watching performers who seem distinctly on the edge. It's that this band is unbelievable live, and has fantastic songs, which allow Garside and Gray to come alive.