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Iona

Live In London DVD

Review by Gary Hill

After spinning this video (and in fact during the process) one word seems most prevalent in my mind - "wow!" I'd never really heard this outfit before, but rather only heard of them. They are really an impressive and quite powerful prog rock group. This DVD does a great job of capturing their live performance for multiple viewing opportunities in the comfort of your own home. I would highly recommend this one to both fans of neo-prog and classic progressive rock. I'm guessing that anyone who is amongst their hardcore fans already have it, so I'd just be preaching to the choir there. Suffice it to say that this band is one I won't miss again.

In my opinion these guys probably come closest in comparison to Renaissance. That's not only due to the style of the female vocals (provided by Joanne Hogg) but also because they tend to have a more organic sound to their version of progressive rock. That said, they also bring in a lot of Celtic and other world textures and I do hear a healthy dosage of old Genesis here, too. The whole performance is awe-inspiring. Since I mentioned Hogg by name it only seems fair to also mention that the remainder of the group (Dave Bainbridge, Phil Barker, Troy Donockley and Frank Van Essen) all work with style, precision and passion to weave the sonic backdrop. Hogg herself adds to this texture with keyboards and other instruments, too. The end result is sometimes ambient, sometimes hard edged and rocking, but always captivating. This concert was filmed in 2004. I certainly hope I get the chance to see this band live because they are purely inspirational in that setting.

This is actually a 2 DVD set featuring some short interviews and an acoustic performance on the second disc. As mentioned before the video and audio are certainly up to standard. I'd have to say that my only complaint is that there are black and white shots interspersed that seem to disrupt the flow a bit. It's actually a minor quibble, though, as this is a great DVD. It is sure to please the band's devotees, but also serves as an excellent introduction for us newbies.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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