|Eye Records / Purple Underground|
Catalog # 45
Release Year 2008
CD Length 223 minutes
Date/Venue London, O2 Arena, IndigO2, 25th Aug 2007 & 1st Sept 2007
Source Audience Filmed & Other
Quality VG / EX
(Click Here for the 5 CD Tracklist and Review)
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.25/5.0)
The main attraction of the DVD release is the 1st September main show as it has, until this release, been uncirculating. Unfortunately it’s really not at all impressive, and certainly not worthy of a pressed release in any way whatsoever. Saying that, it has it’s moments, it’s just that the bad outweighs the good. The filming is split 50/50 between the action onstage and the large overhead screens. The person filming is positioned in the upper tier, and alas their vantage point is obstructed on occasion by the people in front.
They do a decent enough job of moving the camera to the large screens when the view is obstructed, but at times the large screens can be hard to watch due to the lighting reflecting off it. At times the picture is fuzzy, colour saturated and shaky all within the space of a few moments – not the best video recording circulating. That said, it’s not without it’s moments of excellence, and when the camera is fixed firmly on the large screen during ‘Satisfied’ and a few other tracks, the shots really are superb, and throughout there are camera close-ups that you simply wouldn’t see if the person had filmed the stage without the large screens. Likewise, the position of the person filming does give a good idea of the light show from the very upper tiers, but overall the position really doesn’t lend itself to filming the show well at all.
The opening intro is missing and is audio only, and a couple of minutes of ‘I Feel For You’ is also audio only (“Eye” Records have strangely placed a quick slideshow of the tour book in the incomplete part of ‘I Feel For You’) – other than that, the fact it’s complete is a major plus. One last point of note is the audio on the video recording has been replaced with a superior source (their own from Discs 1 & 2 of this release), however it hasn’t been synched in well in a couple of places and is glaringly out of time with the video – really amateur. All in all I’m baffled why this seemingly deserved a pressed release as at least one of the circulating fan releases is far superior.
Other than “Eye” attempting to make money with a bad recording, there really is no plausible reason to make people pay for this. No matter, onto the second Earth Tour video recording on here. This was already freely circulating on ‘Funky London’, and “Eye” Records teased with the following statement on their flyer “This video has been given “the full treatment”: All 10 (!) breaks have been smoothly edited, missing views have been carefully completed by other video material, and the audio has been replaced by the best audio source around.”, which turns out to be a load of old shite and is only partially true. No, the video hasn’t been given the “full treatment”. Yes, the breaks have been corrected, but only in the sense that “Eye” have replaced the black screen with either a montage of their catalogue, a tour book slideshow, an O2 venue slideshow, live pictures slideshow, etc, etc – not at all “smoothly edited”, more like a hatchet job.
As far as I can tell, no other video source has been added (besides the opening UK Music Hall Of Fame video intro – itself pretty woeful quality), so their claim of “missing views have been carefully completed by other source material” doesn’t ring true. And finally the audio remains exactly the same as on the previous release with nothing having been replaced at all. Either “Eye” changed their minds on all the supposed changes/improvements they planned, or it was all lies – who can say? But one thing is for sure, this isn’t any better than the free release, so if you have it, stick with it. The extra’s are also rather hit or miss and the quality of both ‘Guitar’ and ‘Somewhere Here On Earth’ is highly suspect – ‘Somewhere Here On Earth’ is out of synch (a familiar pattern on this disc it would seem) and has atrocious picture issues – how hard was it to rip a broadcast from BET??!!. The little 3 minute ‘Chelsea Rodgers’ clip from JalouTV.com is rather interesting as it offers an entirely different view of the Matthew Williamson appearance and performance, however it seems to be filmed by a mobile phone as the picture quality is passable, but the audio is painful.
The menu’s, chaptering and navigation are all really rather splendid, and it’s a sad day when that is more appealing than the fake promises and shit quality. I’m overjoyed that the 1st September has been released, however it should have been all alone on the DVD as the remainder of the content really drags this down, down, down. To quote Billy Sparks, “What a waste”. Enjoy the audio content on Discs 1-5, but you have been warned about the video content on the 6th disc.