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Van der Graaf Generator

Discussion in 'Live Recordings' started by pd, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    I'm very, very, very impressed with VdGG. Will, who is their front of house engineer, has started releasing soundboard recordings onto dimeadozen with the full permission of the band. The only proviso was that he wait a reasonable period after the release of the official live album "Real Time". Right now the first one is trickling down, from the ABC in Glasgow. November 12 2005.

    Incidentally, I've been told by an authoritative source in the past that whenever an artist records a gig, even if for their own use only, that they have to pay a fee for the MCPS or whatever they are called. Does that seem fair to you?
  2. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    i share your enthusiasm for VdGG, i'll download this soon hopefully (when i fix my hard drive and have somewhere to save it!). I recall reading somewhere that the glasgow gig was one of the best of that year. one slight drawback to soundboard recordings and professionally shot footage (such as the rockpalast dvd - it looks like top of the pops) is that you can loose a bit of the energy thats generated by a band playing live in a room full of people, it can sound a bit sterile and flat. i'd prefer a good quality audience recording. still, no complaints! i hope theres one with pilgrims (currently my favorite VdGG tune).

    the dvd on dime of the last gig they did with david jackson is also superb, musically at least, its a slightly shakey and noisy hand held audience recording. the playing is very energetic and banton pushes the boat out a bit farther than usual.

    as for the mcps or whatever it is, theres very little fair about the music business it seems. i particularly like the way unclaimed royalties are divided up amongst the top earning artists (as is the case i believe, im open to correction).
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2007
  3. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    Just to follow up on this. I got hold of the concert and my word, it is magnificent! The band were definitely on form this night and despite some distinctly "jazz" notes from the keyboards here and there (almost certainly PH rather than HB) there is a great energy. I think it is a bit better than the official "Real Time" release. The only downside is that there is a cut in "Killer" when the DAT needed to be changed.

    I found that the levels were a bit low for playing on the iPod; it's great for a proper hifi as it retains all the dynamic range of the event, but for mobile listening I applied RMS normalisation to -16DB then applied some smooth compression. Does that sound like a reasonable thing to do? I'm still learning about audio post-processing, due to the podcast of course.
  4. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    still havent got around to this....

    PH seems to choose only the most horrendously thin and watery electric piano sounds on his keyboard, it reminds me of whitney houstons soppy ballads from the 80s. i noticed on the odd track now and again that he has a fairly decent regular piano sound and something that isnt far off the thing he used to play in the 70s but he seems to prefer the cheesy crap sounds. between this and his screeching vocals im amazed that i still think he's incredibly good.

    im really looking forward to the new album too
  5. Oreb

    Oreb I've got a zappy little nappy

    How do they sound without Jaxon? Hard to imagine them reaching those frightening heights (or depths) without that manic sax in the mix.
  6. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    I saw the trio at the Barbican earlier in the year. It was outstanding! I was very worried about missing Jaxon's sounds, but the band is transformed into a leaner and meaner outfit with a "thrashy", aggressive sound that I really liked a lot. I am very interested to hear what they come up with in the studio.

    I think in the long term the departure of Jaxon will be a blessing in disguise; the reformation was marvellous but was just a bit too much like "paying the hits" if you will, and this has really shaken things up. The only potential downside is more reliance on PH's guitar and keyboards... :reddevil:
  7. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    i quite like his guitar playing actually... theres a lot of recordings gone up recently of 1977 gigs after jackson and hugh banton had left. i just downloaded one (from norway) but its superb - very tight barebones sounding stuff. theres several solo PH songs as well as a few tunes from "The Quiet Zone / The pleasure dome" (one of my favorites, along with all the others...) and a few old of the classics reworked very successfully for the new line up. i like the quirky pop direction hammills writing was taking around this time.

    theres a hammill live dvd on dime too from 1981 thats excellent too - very amped up and ott with guy evans, nic potter and john ellis. john ellis's guitar playing isnt great, i'd much prefer hammills more primitive style.
  8. MickBordet

    MickBordet I've got a zappy little nappy

    I was at the Glasgow gig and it was a cracker. It didn't have the same atmosphere and excitement as the first show at the RFH, but by then we knew they could pull it off, so to hear them go a bit more out on a limb and take some risks was great. From what I've heard it seems the standing venues on that tour were the ones that went down best.

    The trio certainly get by fine without Jaxon, but I would rather he'd stayed and they experimented a bit more - e.g. introduce the soundbeam and some of guy's experimental instruments into the mix. I really can't complain though - I never thought I'd get to see them live at all, so I'm happy to follow the adventure as long as they keep it interesting!
  9. peej

    peej I've got a zappy little nappy

    VdGG Soundboard Recordings

    Greetings PD,

    I've just read your post regarding the Soundboard releases of the VdGG gigs; Are these going to be from the 2005 or 2007 tour? and; which venues? Also, how can I obtain them WITHOUT using DIME?

    I was so jubilant when the VdGG reformation and tour was announced. VdGG was a band I thought I'd missed seeing live - by decades - so I made sure I had a seat in front of them somewhere.

    In 2005, I saw them in Liverpool and Manchester. Liverpool was THE best gig - far better than 'Real Time' - they were on fire at that gig. Watching Jaxon playing those saxs, right in front of me, is one of the highlights of my entire gigging experiences.

    Anyhoo, moving on 2-years and the 2007 tour (Liverpool again), I thought the band did a very good job at re-arranging/compensating for the lack of Jaxon. The only song that didn't work was, 'Man-erg' - still a great song by the trio, but, I think the entire audience must have been hearing the sublime sax notes in their head above the actual music being played. This aside, the gig is one of the best audience recordings I have ever heard by VdGG.

    Sorry for waffling on, but when you get me talking about the best British band EVER, that's bound to happen.

    Love & Peas, Peej
  10. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    Hi Peej,

    I'm about to send you a PM regarding the Dime thing. Will hasn't said how many gigs he plans to release, and so far there's just been the one, but he did say that the next one is likely to be from "Bataclan", Paris which is another 2005 gig. I know he was working on the 2007 tour as well but he hasn't said anything about "power trio" gigs as yet.

    Nothing wrong with waffling on about the band. I am very keen to hear what they come up with next in the studio.
  11. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    i was at the liverpool gig this year too! Still Life and In The Black Room along with the few new songs were the highlights for me. actually, when you were hearing the phantom saxophones during Man-Erg i think Hugh Banton was actually playing the sax melody on the keys
  12. peej

    peej I've got a zappy little nappy

    Liverpool 2007

    Hi Shane,
    Suprisingly, the stand out track for me on the night was 'Nutter Alert', it was so manically discordent it suited the song perfectly. Having heard other versions of it from the tour, I think we got the best version on that night. Although it was a shame we didn't get to hear them do, Gog.
  13. peej

    peej I've got a zappy little nappy

    Liverpool 2007

    What the hell am I saying? Sorry Shane, I've just remembered...we got Refugees as the encore! By for the best track of the night.
  14. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    yes, i'd very much include nutter alert in the list of highlights, and refugees too - i was hoping they'd play that, they only did it twice all tour i think. the only weak ones (to me were Masks and La Rossa, the first two tunes)

    have you seen the gig on fab channel? go to http://www.fabchannel.com/ and type van der graaf into the box - the version of Gog is amazing, the whole thing is deadly actually, cracking version of lemmings too.
  15. peej

    peej I've got a zappy little nappy

    Also, another highlight of that night was, Meurglys III.
    Masks, as an opener, didn't work for me. Maybe they just needed a song or two to warm up 'cos the third track, Lifetime, was really good. Although back in 2005, same venue, the first three tracks were outstanding, Darkness/Undercover Man/Scorched Earth.

    The Fabchannel broadcast is very good (too good in fact, as I can't bloomin' well record it), I've watched it several times over. The following night's gig in Belgium was recorded for a DVD release next year.

  16. peej

    peej I've got a zappy little nappy

    Anyone going to see them this year?
    So far they've only announced 3 gigs in the UK. I've just got tickets for Manchester. Roll on March!

  17. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    Yes, I have a QEH ticket and I'm very much looking forward to it!
  18. pete c

    pete c I've got a zappy little nappy

    Damn, not got me Manchester ticket yet.... must get it sorted.
  19. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    i can go this year unfortunately as im going on holidays for a year and a half. new album in march:

    1. The Hurlyburly
    2. Interference Patterns
    3. The Final Reel
    4. Lifetime
    5. Drop Dead
    6. Only in a Whisper
    7. All That Before
    8. Over the Hill
    9. (We Are) Not Here

  20. pete c

    pete c I've got a zappy little nappy

    I quite like that cover.

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