|Recorded live at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on 11 June 2005, this DVD contains 27 songs with a running time of 167 minutes.|
It's very long, and the camera work is very static. In addition to a very straightforward recording of what happened on the day it features precisely nothing. And what happened on the day seems to chiefly consist of people standing behind banks of keyboards, often with their backs to the camera (and the audience). Don't say I didn't warn you.
Editor Andy Gamble used two other cameramen on the project, but there's very little cutting between angles. You may argue that making a bunch of middle aged people sitting at keyboards visually exciting is always going to be an uphill struggle, and you'd be right, especially when the accompanying visual effects are also minimal and the music has had all the life sucked from it, but they could have at least tried.
This DVD was so tedious even a whoop from the audience would make the viewer's heart race. When you compare this to the kind of amazing orchestrated show a band like Kraftwerk put on, it's surprising anyone pays money to see them at all.
The music is dull as ditchwater. Nothing sounded remotely like the kind of music I remembered the band producing. Even making an allowance for the fact that all the Tangerine Dream I'm familiar with is pretty early, and that they went from Prog soundscape-meisters to kings (and queens) of incidental motion picture music, I still wasn't expecting hours of bloody lift music.
As my partner put it after the first hour: "Thank God the audience knows the tunes and clap periodically, otherwise we'd have no idea where one ended and another started." That they stood around for three hours listening to it in the first place is what amazes me. Either the doors were bolted, or you simply had to be there to get something, anything, out of the experience, because it doesn't translate to video. It's 'better' if you turn it up as loud as your TV will go, and it was suggested that ingestion of some illicit substances might help me get my head into the right space to enjoy it but frankly I don't think the drug has been created that could make this fatuous synthesiser nonsense interesting.
Like Jean Michel Jarre without the lighting effects, the gig plods on, with minimal movement or emotion from the band. For the first five tracks there's nothing at all apart from occasional knob twiddling. By the sixth track, Desert Dream, the introduction of some percussion seems positively explosive, but everything else remains the same.
Midnight In Tula, about an hour in, picks up the pace a little with some keyboards reminiscent of Gary Numan (and trust me when I say that I never thought I would get excited by someone reminding me of Gary Numan), but then it's back to the same old same old. Half way through a rather striking female sax player comes on stage for Oriental Daze, which gives a faint hint of Roxy-style Prog, but before you know it she’s gone again and we're back to cameras slowly sweeping across leonine heads bowed in concentration over the knobs.
Towards the end things a guitar is introduced for Talking To Maddox, and they assay a cover of Purple Haze, which my partner dryly noted "might just have rocked if they'd allowed the guitar to be turned up". Tangerine Dream: born to be mild indeed.