Live In Moscow DVD
warner music www.faithless.co.uk
Understandably long awaited by their fanbase, this release finds the ensemble out in Russia with a set that calls in their better-known numbers and others. To a non-adherent like the writer, viewing this film brings out the group’s best and their lesser features. They seem less heartfelt than, say, Massive Attack but less frenetic most of the time than The Orb or Basement Jaxx.
In keys helmswoman Sister Bliss they have one of the dance scene’s more alluring figures and not once during this show does she lose her grip on the tune of the band arrangement shape. Inevitably the machine beats can dominate the performances at times, so the singing injects some humanity though strangely not much warmth into the relevant songs.
The sound quality is very good and the filming is pretty wonderful, to the extent that the group ,must surely be pleased with the impression left. Dark and shadowy staging with wintery lighting and visual effects do nothing but enhance the setlist. Maxi Jazz is not to these ears a fabulous singer but his wiry frame and commitment make him a compelling figure, he seems to have 110% sincerity behind every word. The other players Andy Treacey, Dave Randall, Sudha Kheterpal, Stan White, LSK, and Stephanie Meade all perform with vigour though inevitably the bass and guitar lean towards the clangy much of the time. As well we know as musicians, playing in the open always robs you of tone subtlety, through no fault of the performers. ‘Drifting Away’ conquers this however, as the beats stay at bay.
If you fancy owning live editions of ‘Insomnia’, ‘Emergency’, ‘Mass Destruction’, ‘God Is A DJ’ (hopefully not that twat Westwood eh?) and ‘We Come 1′ then your moment is here and may just help convert your mates into fans of Faithless. For me, the mix of the band and the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra on ‘Everything Will Be Alright Tomorrow’ creates a cathartically beautiful and imperious piece of music to make this song a worthy experience and one which the group can be proud of.
Given that there is a band interview thrown in, there can’t be a better gift for the Faithless fan in your circle than this dvd, though for me overall they are more efficient than engaging
Pete Sargeant www.fairhearing.co.uk