'The Shadows: The Final Tour' [Blu-ray]
(Blu ray / NR / 2010 / Eagle Records)
Overview: Known as England's answer to The Ventures, underrated British rock group The Shadows started out as Cliff Richards' 1950s backup band, but went on to score solo success as surf-guitar instrumentalists throughout the 1960s and '70s. This 2004 concert reunites original members Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, and Brian Bennett as they perform Shadows classics such as "Apache," "Man of Mystery," "FBI," "Kon Tiki," "Wonderful Land," "Theme for Young Lovers," and many more.
Blu ray Verdict: Like many young boys growing up in the mid 1960 era, Hank Marvin was my guitar hero. Almost fifty years later, he still is as well as for some heavy weight guitar players. The Blu ray is a great production and features the main trio - Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett - very equitably. The tunes (and songs) are executed perfectly.
Yes, they are seasoned professionals but remembering 41 numbers with such accuracy and passion is amazing. All the big hits are there as well as some outings from Marvin, Welch and Farrar and some of their own interpretations of other composers' work.
Assisted by keyboardist Cliff Hall (an 80's Shadow) and bassist Mark Griffiths, the band run through an extensive set of their huge repertoire, as well as a couple of Marvin, Welch & Farrar tunes, and a selection of Cliff Richard tunes written by members of the band.
"Theme For Young Lovers" is still as gorgeous a melody as it was in 1963. "The Stranger" & "Kon-Tiki" is a great combination of rock and roll and Island melody together in one medley. "Don't Make My Baby Blue" and "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt" represent the Shadows's middle years with two top notch performances.
"Shadoogie", "Foot Tapper", "Dance On" , "Gonzales", "FBI" & "The Savage" showcase the Shadows' more rocking side, while songs like "Peace Pipe", "The Frightened City", "Atlantis" and "Wonderful Land" highlight the band's more melodic material.
The 80's material is highlighted by "Mountains of the Moon", "Equinox V", "Going Home", "Cavatina" and "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina".
It's so difficult to pick a favourite but for me, it's a non-Shads tune; I think they played the perfect "Equinox" which is just before the interval. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
2004 Interview with The Shadows.