Collage - Living In The Moonlight

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Music Video Distributors
Catalog Number: DR-4434
Format: DVD
Total Time: 240:00:00

Collage were a five-piece from Poland, started by drummer Wotjek Szadkowski and guitarist Mirek Gil in 1986. In the ten years they were active, they released five albums, including the compilation Changes and the John Lennon cover album Nine Songs Of John Lennon. The pinnacle of their career was the album Moonshine. It's from this album that this DVD takes it name, Living In The Moonlight, which is the title of one of the songs on Moonshine and is heard here no fewer than three times, in different contexts.

Living... was released by Metal Mind in 2004 (MMP DVD 0039) - and I find that strange as I don't think of Collage as a metal band (then again, I've seen classic Marillion classified as metal elsewhere, so...). It was later made available in the US through Music Video Distributors. The DVD features a complete concert from 1986, the band performing in Szczecin for Telewizja Polska S.A., which explains the absence of an audience, aside from the cameramen. Though there must have been some folks there, as at one point, just as the band begin "Living...", someone jumps to the stage and shouts something through vocalist Robert Amirian's microphone.... And short applause can be heard during the dramatic pause in "Kolysanka." The performance itself is quite good - Amirian is a bundle of energy... he more than sings to the music, he lives it. Gil's guitar sings, keyboards (Krzysiek Palczewski) twinkle, widdle and parp nicely, Wotjek keeps the music flowing with his tight drumming, and Piotr Mintay Witkowski keeps it grounded with his bass playing.

The band run through 12 pieces, including all of the Moonshine album, plus "Baśnie," the aforementioned "Kolysanka," "One Of Their Kind" (from Safe), and their version of Lennon's "God," which is given a Pink Floyd-like atmosphere (DSOM or that style). The performance is seen from many angles, so you get full coverage of the performance, and you can go back and choose particular songs to view/hear. The video is crisp, though not the crispness we come to expect today with digital cameras and processing.

Bonuses are plenty, including another complete live performance. This a bootleg video shot at the band's June 10, 1995 performance in Uden, Holland. Although during quieter moments you can hear folks next to the cameraperson speaking, otherwise it has fantastic sound. And the video quality is pretty good - sure faces get washed out during bright lighting conditions, as the camera doesn't adjust, but the video is often close up to you can watch when Gil solos, for example. Whoever shot the video, knew what he was doing - the only reason you'd know it was a bootleg would be due to the grainy appearance, the mentioned crowd noise, and the fact you were told it was. It gives you the sense of being there, if sometimes as a disembodied head. Though not listed, the set also includes "War Is Over" - before which Amirian sings something in a very operatic manner.

Other bonuses include another bootleg performance, this just of "God" performed at Stodola, Warsaw in March of 1995, which is also pretty good footage. There are two interviews, filmed specifically for the DVD, which I'd place as occurring before Satellite were formed, as Szadkowski doesn't mention them at all when talking about if the band would ever reunite -- essentially Satellite is a reunited Collage, as all the members appear on A Street Behind Sunrise And Sunset, and all but Gil on the second release Evening Games.) Joining Szadkowski for the interview is Gil. The other interview is with Amirian. Both interviews are in Polish, but are subtitled in English.

Another bonus is five videos the band, four of which are were made for tracks on Moonshine. The fifth is older, as it features previous vocalist Zbyszek Bienak (I think) singing "Midnight Flyer." This, and the other four videos, are mainly performance videos (versus concept pieces), though "Lovely Day" features also composite images that include performance and shots of nature and "Midnight Flyer" composites images of what looks like vibrating water. I did find it strange that in the video for "Heroes Cry," during Gil's or Palczewski's solos, the camera doesn't focus on them, but on Witkowsk and Amirian, each of whom are in the foreground (Gil and Palczewski are in the background).

Plus you get a biography, discography (which includes the catalog numbers for each edition of each album, including the 2003 reissues by Metal Mind), photo gallery, desktop images and more.

As a document of one of Poland's best known progressive rock exports, it is an excellent DVD. The menus look great and are easy to navigate, giving you options to play all selections or just parts -- such as the whole concert, or just particular tracks; or parts of the interviews or the whole interview. While this chaptering concept isn't new, it is handy if you want to go back to a particular piece and not have to scroll through to find it.

Live In Szczecin - 21/04/96: Heroes Cry / The Blues / Lovely Day / In Your Eyes / Baśnie / Kolysanka / One Of Their Kind / Wings In The Night / Living In The Moonlight / Moonshine / War Is Over / God / Bonus Live Video - Bootlegged In Uden, Warsaw - 24/03/1995: God / Bootlegged In Uden, Holland - 10/06/1995: In Your Eyes / The Blues / Living In The Moonlight / Wings In The Night / Kolysanka / Moonshine / Baśnie / Video Clips: Living In The Moonlight / Lovely Day / Heroes Cry / Midnight Flyer

Additional extras: Interviews, Biography, Discography, Photo Gallery, Desktop Images, Weblinks

Robert Amirian - vocals
Mirek Gil - guitars
Krzysiek Palczewski - keyboards
Piotr Mintay Witkowski - bass
Wojtek Szadkowski - drums

Basnie (1990/2003)
Nine Songs Of John Lennon (1993)
Moonshine (1994)
Zmiany (1994)
Changes (1995/2003)
Safe (1995/2003)

Living In The Moonlight (DVD) (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin PL

Added: January 5th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 1065
Language: english


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