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The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit), Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 88 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • List Price: $19.98

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Purchase Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

I’ve always been more of a fan of Richard Thompson’s work with his now ex-wife Linda. Her voice was a wonderful counterpart to his often gruff growl and the beautiful ballads he penned like “Has He Got a Friend,” “Walking on a Wire,” and “A Heart Needs a Home” showcased it perfectly. Still, even during that period, Thompson’s songs in which he took the lead were always equally wonderful, like “Cavalry Cross” or “The End of the Rainbow.” No one crafts self-pity, sorrow, and drunken despair like Thompson whose Celtic-influenced music stretches all the way back to his time in the sixties folk rock band Fairport Convention.

This concert disc, The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections, catches the singer/songwriter/guitarist performing in Glasgow, Scotland at the Celtic Connections festival in 2011 supporting his critically acclaimed album Dream Attic. The music of the British Isles is a heavy influence on the evening and permeates the songs and their arrangements in Thompson’s small, but exceptional band consisting of Michael Jerome on drums, Taras Prodaniuk on bass, Joel Zifkin on violin and mandolin, and Peter Zorn on guitar, flute, saxophone, and mandolin.

The first half of the show concentrates on music from Dream Attic, with the standout songs being the opener, “The Money Shuffle,” an almost jig-like affair that condemns big banking corruption, the dirge “Among the Gorse, Among the Grey” and “Demons in Her Dancing Shoes.” The second half of the set finds Thompson digging deep into his bottomless well of material for numbers from his illustrious career. “If Love Whispers Your Name,” “I’ll Never Give Up,” “Wall of Death” and “Man in Need” being the favorites that catch my ears, but truthfully there is hardly a dud in this magical set.

Track listing:

  1. The Money Shuffle
  2. Among The Gorse, Among The Grey
  3. Haul Me Up
  4. Burning Man
  5. Here Comes Geordie
  6. Demons In Her Dancing Shoes
  7. Big Sun Falling In The River
  8. Stumble On
  9. Sidney Wells
  10. A Brother Slips Away
  11. If Love Whispers Your Name
  12. The Angels Took My Racehorse Away
  13. Can’t Win
  14. One Door Opens
  15. Al Bowlly’s In Heaven
  16. I’ll Never Give It Up
  17. Wall Of Death
  18. Tear Stained Letter
  19. Take Care The Road You Choose
  20. A Man In Need

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Captured in high definition, The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections has a strongly detailed and life-like image with natural flesh tones when the colored lights aren’t on. There are weaknesses, however, in that there is some noticeable aliasing and posterization in the image. Apart from these oddities, the image is a rather good one for a concert disc.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

This is one of the stronger sounding concert discs from Eagle Rock. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix is well balanced with good dynamics and clean vocals. Ambience is low int eh surrounds, giving the mix a somewhat dry sound, but it is still a good one. The LPCM is equally good and balanced with a strong stereo spread and natural dynamics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Two bonus performances filmed at the Cambridge Folk Festival are provided as the supplements with this release:

  • Bonus Tracks:
    • Uninhibited Man
    • Johnny’s Far Away

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A magnificent performance with this legendary musician is captured in a sparse, but enjoyable production with reference audio pleasant video. This is a must have for Richard Thompson fans.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006IY4RTW[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Happy, Happy - Widescreen Subtitle AC3

Purchase Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

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