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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Renaissance: Live at the Union Chapel'
(Renaissance / DVD / NR / 2016 / Symphonic Rock Recordings)

Overview: Renaissance featuring Annie Haslam have now brought out 'Live at The Union Chapel.' Filmed in London, England on April 16th, 2015 this digipack is the DVD along with an 8-page booklet. The DVD also includes LPCM Stereo and Dolby Digital surround soundtracks.

DVD Verdict: I have LOVED Renaissance for a long, long time and actually grew up listening to their music in my youth back in the UK. For those not in the know, Renaissance are an English progressive rock band, best known for their 1978 UK top 10 hit "Northern Lights" and progressive rock classics like "Carpet of the Sun", "Mother Russia", and "Ashes Are Burning".

They developed a unique sound, combining a female lead vocal with a fusion of classical, folk, rock, and jazz influences. Characteristic elements of the Renaissance sound are Annie Haslam's five-octave voice, prominent piano accompaniment, orchestral arrangements, vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, synthesiser, and versatile drum work. The band created a significant following in the northeast United States in the 70s, and that region remains their strongest fan base.

Indeed, the nucleus of the first line-up was composed of former members of The Yardbirds, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, who intended to put "something together with more of a classical influence". Renaissance was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now all us fans are lucky enough to have this brand new DVD Renaissance: Live at the Union Chapel on hand. Complete with the aforementioned Annie Haslam, they have now brought out this incredible live performance. Filmed in London, England on April 16th, 2015 it features nine tracks - after the "Prologue" has opened up the show, and includes those previously mentioned classics such as "Carpet of the Sun", "Mother Russia", and the show closing "Ashes Are Burning".

1. "Prologue"
2. "Carpet of the Sun"
3. "Ocean Gypsy"
4. "Running Hard"
5. "Grandine il Vento"
6. "Symphony of Light"
7. "Northern Lights"
8. "The Mystic and the Muse"
9. "Mother Russia"
10. "Ashes are Burning"

In closing, and in case all this hasn't just made you rush out and buy the DVD regardless, you should also know that this DVD wouldn't even be here with us today if it wasn't for a highly successful online IndieGoGo campaign in 2015.

Here is what Annie Hslam originally said about the project in its early days: "I have been the lead singer of Renaissance for over four decades now. Like many bands we’ve had our ups and downs and changes, including the tragic loss of my dear friend Michael Dunford who passed away in 2012 just after the completion of our recent studio album Symphony Of Light."

"In April of this year we will be touring Europe for the first time in over thirty years and we are all extremely excited. It is our goal to chronicle this journey by filming and releasing a new live concert DVD. We particularly look forward to capturing our performance at London's storied Union Chapel venue where bands like Procol Harum have filmed great looking and sounding concert DVDs."

Just to show you the love and depth of devotion to the band from their fans, the project was completely funded at 117% on May 2nd, 2015, and eventually went on to make $55,438 with 627 backers in total! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.