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Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London(2011)
Filmed at Hammersmith Apollo in March of this year, New Blood Live In London captures Peter Gabriel performing live with the 46 piece New Blood Orchestra. The repertoire mixes cover versions from his Scratch My Back album with classic tracks from across his solo career in brand new orchestral arrangements.
For more about Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London and the Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray release, see Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on November 4, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Blue Leach
Writers: Nick Ingman, Will Gregory, Rob Sinclair
Starring: Peter Gabriel, Ben Foster
» See full cast & crew
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, November 4, 2011
Filmed live at The HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London, on March 23rd and 24th, 2011, New Blood is an interesting project that sees the music of Peter Gabriel performed without guitars, bass, and drums. Instead, the ex-Genesis man is assisted by Ben Foster and the 46-piece New Blood Orchestra, as well as a duo of backup singers (including popular Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun).
Gabriel performs a total of twenty two songs with brand new orchestral arrangements by John Metcalfe (who also conducts "In Your Eyes") that are likely to surprise a lot of his longtime fans - or not, because practically all of them have the same art-rock qualities that his music is known for. The new arrangements blend elements from a variety of different styles, from New Age to Electronica to Celtic folk, and feature elaborate orchestral solos.
The program includes classic Gabriel songs, such as "Red Rain", "Don't Give Up", and Mercy Street", as well as various covers of popular songs, such as "Boy In The Bubble" (Paul Simon), "Apres Moi" (Regina Spektor), and "The Book Of Love" (Magnetic Fields). Various laser effects (for "Red Rain") and images are also projected on the large screen behind the orchestra.
With the new arrangements essentially all of the songs sound calm and relaxed (the major exception is "Solsburry Hill, which gets everyone in the venue up and dancing). Naturally, Gabriel creates the impression that each song he sings is meant for someone special.
The most impressive new arrangements, in my opinion, are for "Biko" and "Don't Give Up". The former has been spiced up with outstanding solos (fantastic bassoon solo by Sarah Burnett) and lush string support that dramatically change the entire complexion of the song. The latter has benefitted from a simple but very elegant orchestration that adds just a bit of extra color to what is indeed a perfect song.
Notes: Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London is available on 2D and 3D Blu-ray. The 2D Blu-ray contains "Washing Of The Water", which is not available on the 3D Blu-ray. Additionally, "Signal To Noise" was arranged by Peter Gabriel and Will Gregory, while "The Book Of Love" was arranged by Nick Ingman. Production was conceived and designed by Peter Gabriel and Rob Sinclair, and directed by Blue Leach.
3. The Boy In The Bubble
4. Apres Moi
5. The Drop
6. Washing of the Water
7. The Book Of Love
9. The Power Of The Heart
11. San Jacinto
12. Digging In The Dirt
13. Signal To Noise
14. Downside Up
15. Mercy Street
16. The Rhythm Of The Heart
17. Blood Of Eden
18. Red Rain
19. Solsbury Hill
20. In Your Eyes
21. Don't Give Up
22. The Nest That Sailed The Sky
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Filmed live at The HMV Hammersmith Apollo London, on March 23rd and 24th, 2011, the show looks quite good. Multiple cameras follow Peter Gabriel as he moves around the stage as well as the different orchestral groups whenever they have prominent solos. During close-ups clarity is very good and during larger shots that capture the entire orchestra there are no serious shadow effects. Furthermore, motion-judder is not a serious issue of concern, while background noise is present only during a few selected shots where the camera captures the heavy red lights from an awkward angle. This being said, the actual camerawork/camera movement isn't overly impressive. The show was apparently filmed in 2D and 3D and there are various light and laser effects that simply look a bit over the top in 2D (see screencapture #2). I have not seen the 3D Blu-ray version of the show and therefore do not know how successful these effects are in 3D, but visually the 2D version is somewhat inconsistent for my taste. I also wasn't overly impressed by the raw footage from the stage camera which Peter Gabriel uses towards the end of the show - the idea is good but the execution isn't convincing. Regardless, there are no purely transfer-specific anomalies to report in this review. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0, and English Dolby Digital 5.1. I opted for the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the other two tracks for the purpose of this review.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track boasts a wide range of nuanced dynamics that handle the new arrangements for Peter Gabriel's songs very well. What impressed me the most was the lush orchestral sound and the prominent solos -- the bassoon and flute solos, in particular, sound as well rounded as the vocals (quite a rarity), while the strings are never overpowering. Surround activity is modest, but frankly, the new orchestral arrangements do not demand anything more than what the loseless 5.1 track delivers. Finally, balance is very good and there are no problematic audio dropouts or sync issues to report in this review.
The English LPCM 2.0 track is serviceable but lacks the depth and fluidity of the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. A lot of the nuanced dynamics mentioned earlier are simply missing. This is fairly easy to hear if one compares "Biko" (listen and compare the double bass entry and the bassoon solo that follows) and "Don't Give Up". Lastly, I tested only two songs, but as expected, the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is anemic at best.
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I wish I could see this show in 3D. Though I was not overly impressed by the various visual effects in 2D, I quite liked the bold ideas behind them. I think that as the 3D technology matures and musicians figure out how to best take advantage of it, we would witness some quite impressive projects. The music is an entirely different matter. The new arrangements are simply outstanding, and quite a few of the songs Peter Gabriel sings actually sound better than the originals. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray - August 23, 2011
Eagle Vision Media has indicated, in an early retail announcement, that it will release Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London on Blu-ray. This concert film finds the musician and the New Blood Orchestra applying unique arrangements to selected Scratch My Back ...
Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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