Ange — Live Tour 2003-2004 - Par les Fils de Mandrin
(Musea FGBG-9016.AR, 2004/2006, DVD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01I guess this is Ange. That's what it says on the box, though I can easily see that Christian Décamps is the only member of the band present from the band's heyday in the 70s. He's even got a female singer as a foil for his dramatic singing; and his son Tristan, who plays keyboards, sings as well. In any case, they run through the Mandrin album in its entirety before moving on to a selection of other tunes, all from the band's later years. I suppose this gives the band the best of both worlds: enough classic material to please oldtime fans and enough recent material for them to feel they're not has-beens. Tristan even gets a solo spot with the piano ballad "Le Bal de Laze." The only real weak spot is the drum solo, which while well played, brings the interest to a slump unsalvageable by any number of fancy editing tricks. Caroline Crozat's voice complements Décamps nicely, matching drama for drama, and they also do spoken dialogs. Guitarist Hassan Hajdi is a good player, though at times I find his style a little too much straight-ahead rock for music this complex. The video is very well produced and edited, a very professional job all round, and I can certainly think of worse ways to spend two hours of your life.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more