MIKE & THE MECHANICS
excellent video. Strong effort from beginning to end! A must own!
very good video. A few low points but, overall, a decent effort.
good video. Several weak points detract from the release, but it's still
mediocre video. Unless you're a real fan, you might not like this
release very much.
poor video. Stay away from this one unless you are a hardcore fan!
& The Mechanics + Paul Carrack - Live At Shepherds Bush London DVD
Released in March 2005, Live At Shepherds Bush London has the distinction of being the first
Mechanics concert on the DVD format. The 2004 Rewired Tour marked
a turning point for the Mechanics, because it was the first tour without
the late Paul Young who passed away in July 2000. Frankly, as of the
time of this DVD release, since the
band has not released any of their last few albums in North America or
toured here, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it would be
available in NTSC format at all. It actually marks the first Mechanics
release in North America since Beggar On A Beach of Gold in
February 1995, a decade earlier! So, special thanks to the team at Eagle
Vision for remembering the fans on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!
Here are my thoughts on this product:
The video quality is very good, although the camera work itself is dodgy
at times with some shots momentarily out of focus. There are even a few
moments where the camera person quickly zooms in, similar to what a amateur
person would do with a home video camera! Aside from these brief
moments, the picture quality itself is excellent. The images are sharp and the coloring is
superb! The stage lights, musicians
and audience appear in rich accurate tones. The video quality of the
extras was not up to par in all cases, but that will be discussed
The menus are animated and, while they are a little basic looking, they
are easy to use. The video is presented in 16:9 screen configuration and
has a total running time of approximately 127 minutes. The NTSC pressing
will work in regions 1 or 4.
The audio for the concert portion of the DVD is available in Dolby
digital stereo, 5.1 Dolby surround sound, or in 5.1 DTS surround sound.
I was really pleased with both the stereo and surround mixes. The audio
on this disc is outstanding. Then again, this is a new recording, so
that may not be that surprising to the listener/viewer. I was a little
disappointed on the audio for the extras, but that will be discussed
Seven Promotional Music Videos:
The original promotional music videos for seven songs: "Silent
Running (On Dangerous Ground)", "The Living Years",
"Word of Mouth", "Over My Shoulder", "A Beggar
On A Beach of Gold", "Another Cup of Coffee" and
"One Left Standing" were included, which is a great added
feature. Unfortunately, the video quality on some of these songs is a
little grainy and surprisingly poor quality. By watching, I am guessing
that no one bothered to clean these masters up and digitally remaster
them for DVD. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to have them on DVD at
all but, considering the quality and effort put into the concert portion
of the DVD, this seemingly obvious neglect was a little disappointing.
The audio is also only available in stereo for the music video extras -
not surround sound. Again, leading me to believe that little effort was
put into the preparation of the music videos for this package.
Hopefully, at some point, a quality music video anthology will follow
for the band with the same level of care that was put into the Genesis
DVD, which is complete with restored quality video and 5.1
surround sound mixes of the songs included.
Interview with Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack
Included as a bonus is a new interview with Mike and Paul in almost a
documentary style presentation of the Rewired album and tour. The
comments were interesting and insightful. I thought this was a fantastic
extra and far more interesting that a running commentary track over the
concert footage could ever have been (anyone who has sat through the
commentary track on
The Way We Walk
DVD by Genesis will
understand what I mean). The documentary also includes some behind the
scenes footage including a scene where the band is rehearsing "I
Don't Want It All" which is not performed live on the DVD (Doh! The
tease of it all...).
I have seen the Mechanics many times in concert over the years, and they
have always put on a great show. The last opportunity I had to see the
band live was in May 1999 with Paul Young, and it was an experience I am
often grateful to have had the pleasure to see one last time. That being
said, the quality of this performance on DVD is excellent, but visually
it gets a little boring to watch after a while. Carrack does a great job
on "Beggar On A Beach of Gold" (a former Young sung tune), but
"Word of Mouth" (another Young sung tune) which is not purely
sung by Carrack on the DVD, came off with far less success. The
modernized sound of Rewired also does not come across on this
DVD. Perhaps at the actual concert it was more noticeable, but the
sampling and keyboards are fairly quiet in the audio mix. This is not
necessarily a bad thing, but it gave the performance more of a guitar
emphasis rather than the heavy keyboard emphasis you are accustomed to
hearing on some of the older Mechanics material. Of course, all of the
classic Carrack sung tracks like "The Living Years" and
"Silent Running" are perfectly carried out and thankfully
documented on this release.
The band was supported by two back-up singers who sung fine, but stood
there looking a little limp and awkward during most of the show. All in
all, the performance sounded great, but lacked energy. I found this
strange since Carrack's solo DVDs have been very enjoyable to watch, but
for whatever reason, the Mechanics come off looking very stiff on this
video. The late Paul Young's energy and knack for rousing an audience
certainly would have benefited the show.
The audio on this concert is great for the most part. I would recommend
it on that alone. The performance, visually speaking, was a bit dry and
uninteresting after a while. Even as a fan, I found myself tuning out of
the picture and doing other things, which is not like me at all. The
extras were a welcomed addition, but in some cases were not completely
up to par. Over all, I would give the product a good review, but not an
excellent one. Fans of the band will enjoy the quality of the show and
the added features, but casual listeners may find the concert far less
appealing to sit there and watch.
To purchase the Region 1 (and 4) NTSC DVD (playable in North America) click
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