Title - 'Merlin Atmos - Live Performances 2013'
Artist - Van Der Graaf Generator
Hold on to your hats, everyone, for we are about to get given a quite brilliant new double live album from Van Der Graaf Generator! Entitled Merlin Atmos, recorded in 2013, the limited edition 2CD Digipack features the first ever full live performance of both “Flight” and “A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers.”
The story of how this new live double album came together is that back in June of 2013, Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans took to the European road and gave audiences a series of live concerts. These very same live shows were created not just to bring their music to the masses, but Van Der Graaf Generator decided the time was right to present their epic classic piece “A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers” in its entirety on stage for the first time.
So, if you are wondering what a new live album, double or not, and the fourth since reforming in 2005 could bring differently to the table this time, well, prepare to find out. For that very same piece of work had only ever been played live once before, and that was way back in the seventies, and so coupled along with Peter Hammill’s equally epic “Flight” - which itself had admittedly been in the live repertoire since the last North American Tour - they did just that.
As the centerpieces of the band’s live set, a series of wonderful concerts took place, drawing on the classic material from the band’s past, as well as their more recent albums such as A Grounding in Numbers. What came out of those shows, those magical musical moments of completeness, such beautifully structured orchestral arrangements, that immediately impacted everyone that either played on them, or sat there listening to them, has now been captured here on this double CD set.
More fortunately than anything having been planned, some of these shows were recorded for posterity and have now been gathered together to form Merlin Atmos.
Over 40 years on from their first album and Van der Graaf Generator are absolutely at the top of their game. This is certainly not for the faint hearted, and more for the truly devoted VDGG fan, but it's not often that a truly memorable gig is recaptured faithfully on a resulting live album. And, luckily for us all, Merlin Atmos - which it should also be known, comprises songs from different nights on the 2013 tour - still manages to sound as alive and vital as they ever did.
This strictly limited edition 2 CD digipack edition features a 70 minute CD of “Extras” - entitled Bonus Atmos - recorded on the 2013 European tour including such classic tracks as 'Scorched Earth', 'Man-Erg', 'Meurglys III, the Songwriter's Guild,' and the quite resoundingly diligent 'Your Time Starts Now'.