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(130 min DVD, Metal Mind Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 2. Greed 3. Pttee 4. One 8 5. Pointless Child 6. Red 7. Half Way Home 8. One Day 9. 7 Nights 10. Extra material (55 min) LINE UP: Tony Wright – lead vocals Andy Ditchfield – guitars; keyboards; vocals Marc Jolliffe – keyboards; vocals Steve Wright – guitars; vocals Kev Jager – drums; vocals Ian Raine – bass; vocals
Prolusion. The UK act DEEXPUS was originally a solo project by composer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Ditchfield, but a chance encounter with vocalist Tony Wright eventually lead to an expansion into a full fledged band-project. Their debut album “Half Way Home” was issued in 2008 and after replacing some of the members who had recorded this creation they made their debut as a live outfit towards the end of the year. “Far From Home” is their first DVD and was issued in 2009 by Metal Mind Records.
Analysis. It must have come as a big surprise for this band to be given the opportunity to make a DVD this early in their career. True enough they have one album out that has gathered quite a lot of positive attention worldwide, but as a live unit they are still pretty inexperienced – the concert that provided the material for this production was in fact only their third concert as a band. They exert a good effort for such an inexperienced crew though. That many of the musicians involved have been active in other bands and individually have previous live experience is useful of course; it is this particular unit as a whole that still has a way to go in terms of being a truly entertaining live act. There's no doubt that the band members are enjoying their spot in the limelight, which is the most interesting aspect of the concert part of this DVD. In fact it's only frontman Tony Wright who seems to be somewhat out of place here. His vocals appear slightly strained, and his stage presence does leave a bit to be desired. I presume this first and foremost highlights the inexperience of this group of musicians as an entity – when the frontman is unsure how and how much he can play upon and interact with his fellow musicians, it takes an exceptional talent to be effective and entertaining in that role. As I regard it, he gives as good a performance as one might expect at this point in time, which is contrasted by his fellow musicians coming across much better than what you would expect to see from a band hitting the stage for the third time. The concert alone doesn't make for much of an experience overall in other words, at least if you're looking for a total entertainment package. However, if watching a talented band finding their way as a live act fascinates one, the concert part of this production will be intriguing and fellow musicians will most likely find the performances of the instrumentalists interesting to behold. As usual the audio and video footage courtesy of Metal Mind is top notch in quality and the video footage assembled and mixed in an effective and entertaining manner, utilizing the various cameras to good effect and as always capturing quite a lot of the brilliant stage lighting which is one of the many fine features of the Slaski Theatre in Katowice, Poland. Musically the band serves a slightly varied package of songs, ranging from vintage sounding art rock of the heavier variety to more contemporary sounding compositions – a blend of Rush and Porcupine Tree would perhaps be a fitting description of the stylistic expressions of this outfit. The extra features on this disc do provide points of interest that might appeal to those who normally wouldn't buy such a production. A 30 minute-long film documenting the band history is a pretty fascinating feature, consisting mostly of footage from rehearsals. And the interview with main men Ditchfield and Wright is pretty detailed; in 25 minutes they provide information on most topics that could be of interest for existing fans as well as those curious about this act.
Conclusion. DeeExpus is an inexperienced live unit and that shows on this DVD. As pure entertainment this outing has its shortcomings, but fine performances by the instrumentalists and the excellent audio and video footage still make this a live DVD of above average quality. With almost one hour of bonus material documenting the band's history and answering most questions anyone might have about this act, the interest scope of this creation widens quite a bit though. Fans of this band should find plenty of material that should interest them enough to warrant purchasing the disc, and those with an interest in watching and getting to know a talented act making their way should also find this one appealing.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 10, 2009
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