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Wetton, John - Amorata
Added: January 11th 2004
Year of Release: 2003
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Catalog Number: MMP DVD 0015
Total Time: 99:56:00
In the poorly recorded interview that is included on this DVD, John Wetton kind of admits having fallen in love with Poland and it's friendly people. The last years have been very traumatic for him from a personal point of view, and in all honesty, we have to admit that Wetton today is only a glimpse of what he was years ago. Whilst physically he no longer has the ladykiller looks, luckily on this DVD he still sings remarkably well, his playing is excellent and ? he doesn't forget the words to the songs! Very few musicians can actually sum up the impressive list of credits he can, having worked with Mogul Thrash (his first ever band, of which no one speaks during the DVD interview!), Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, Asia, all very important names in the world of rock music.
What seems a little frustrating is that John is kind of obliged to play a lot of the old favourites time after time, which in turn means he can deliver very little solo material. The end result however is pleasing and satisfying, as a lot of recognizable stuff is played, pulled from three decades of wonderful music. Those who have followed Wetton for a couple of years, sadly hear the same large chunk of similar music time after time. It is, however, the kind of dilemma all "aging proggers" have. Whether they are called Yes or Camel or Jethro Tull, people want to hear the old favourites! Wetton's voice sounds good throughout, whilst his roaring bass still is an important asset in every single composition. Both John Mitchell and Steve Christey deliver more of a rock approach instead of the often subtle complexity that we identify with the original compositions. Needless to say their authentic powerful rock drive is the main feature during the Asia classic "Sole Survivor." Wetton's set holds the middle between authentic progressive rock and traditional well executed AOR. Blending his own solo material with a fine selection of King Crimson, UK and Asia material, a Wetton concert becomes an entertaining night out for the enire family. It's impressive to see that Wetton has signed his name under every single composition he plays on the DVD, made famous by four individual entities. With Orford and Mitchell also delivering fine harmony vocals, the total sound becomes very pleasing and full. Adding Orford to the line-up also gives an extra advantage, as Martin delivers some wonderful, melodic flute during the sensational "Book Of Saturday." You can hear a pin drop as the audience is full of respect for this classic.
Wetton's slightly hoarse voice complements well the slightly more contemporary approach of some of the material. Take the well-known "Rendez Vous 6.02" as proof. With "Starless," Wetton and band deliver the entire Wetton spectrum, ranging from accessible melodies to experimental progressive rock ?pur sang." Here especially John Mitchell shines in all his technical excellence, although it has to be said that all four musicians deliver an outstanding performance. With "Starless" comes the close to the actual concert, but as the lights remain dimmed, of course the enthusiastic crowd is treated to two more encores. The title track of Battle Lines is yet another fine example of the vocal acrobatics of Wetton embedded in a wonderful arrangement, but it's the rocking "Heat Of The Moment" that once again has the crowd going beserk. A nice way to end a wonderful concert.
Looking at John Wetton's recent CD output, I do hope he's not following in the footsteps of Asia, where it has become impossible for any fan in the world to have his or her collection complete. Too numerous live recordings have been released instead of new studio material. In the case of Wetton, however, he has released some good and interesting solo albums over the recent years, yet he plays very little from those releases live. Although behind the band on stage in Poland a huge backdrop of the latest album sleeve Rock Of Faith is informing the audience about his latest effort, only one song is pulled from this album. The two other pure solo compositions are both from Arkangel and that's it. This DVD gives a nice insight into the current world of John Wetton. I do not need a camera following him around in his private space, although next time he hits a studio to record some new material, this might be interesting to film and include on a later to be released DVD. For the time being, I really hope that neither John nor his record company has the intention to release tons of different DVDs all containing a similar set. Even if his current line-up can be seen as kind of a prog supergroup, attracting Arena fans because of the inclusion of John Mitchell, attracting IQ and Jadis fans because of the involvment of Martin Orford and Jadis lovers because of Steve Christey, it still wouldn't be right to release concert after concert of the same calibre. Amorata is a nice statement of a John Wetton concert that should get you excited well enough to go and see the man in concert live when he appears in a region close to you in the future. The perfect promotion (except for that lousy interview)!
Red / Sole Survivor / Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way / Book Of Saturday / Emma / The Smile Has Left Your Eyes / In The Dead Of Night / Easy Money / After All / Rendez Vous 6.02 / Starless / Battle Lines / Heat Of The Moment
Fully Animated Menu, Biography, Interview, Discography, Photo Gallery, Desktop Images, Weblinks, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
John Wetton - vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
John Mitchell - guitar, harmonies
Martin Orford - keyboards, harmonies
Steve Christey - drums
Caught In The Crossfire (1980)
Kings Road (1972-1980) (1987)
One World (w/Phil Manzanera) (1987)
Battle Lines (akaVoice Mail in JP) (1994)
Chasing The Dragon (1994)
Akustika - Live In Amerika (1996)
Chasing The Deer (1998)
Monkey Business 1972-1997 (w/Richard Palmer-James) (1998)
Live In New York (1999)
Live In Tokyo (1999)
Sub Rosa - Live In Milan 1998 (1999)
Nomansland Live In Poland (1999)
Rock Of Faith (2003)
Agenda (Live In Poland) (2003)
Icon (w/ Geoff Downes) (2005)
Icon II - Rubicon (w/Geoff Downes) (2006)
Icon Live - Never In A Million Years (w/Geoff Downes) (2006)
Icon 3 (w/ Geoff Downes) (2009)
Raised In Captivity (2011)
Live In The Underworld (DVD) (2003)
Amorata (DVD) (2003)
Hensley - Wetton - One Way Or Another (2002)
Hensley - Wetton - More Than Conquerers (DVD)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg
Artist website: www.johnwetton.co.uk
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