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Mostly Autumn At The Grand Opera House DVD Cover
Image © Classic Rock Legends 2003 

(27 December 2003) The latest DVD by the band is entitled Mostly Autumn At The Grand Opera House York (Classic Rock Legends (UK) CRL DVD 1514, 2003). The day after the magnificent concert from which this DVD came, I posted a highly emotional paragraph on the Mostly Autumn website asking for its instant release. A paragraph which, much to my embarrassment, has found its way into the souvenir booklet itself. Just two months after the event, this record of the gig is already available. The only question remains: can the DVD match the majesty of the event itself?

The answer is a triumphant yes. This is a sumptuous package, though the text could use a little editing, the two DVD set is presented with an interesting 50-page booklet, some original artwork by Heather Findlay and it showcases the splendid photography of Chris Walkden.

Classic Rock Productions have got the content of the DVDs absolutely right. The first disc is the standard release, a 90-minute version of the concert featuring the tracks from Passengers and the astonishing version of "The Gap is too wide," during which, at one point, there were 25 musicians on stage, including Iona’s Troy Donockley.

The DVD also includes the usual brief-but-entertaining behind the scenes documentary, which accompanies three videos showcasing the original audio-visual presentations from the show. This is an excellent and entirely appropriate idea, as the multi-media elements of the show, inevitably, suffer a little on the small screen. One comment though: a band commentary would have made a great package even better.

The second DVD is what hardcore fans, like me, will want. A complete, no-nonsense presentation of the show without frills (except for the "Mother Nature" encore), superbly shot and a worthy souvenir of an event I will always remember. After the slightly disappointing The Next Chapter (review), this really is an essential purchase for fans and potential fans alike, and takes over from The Story So Far (review) as their finest visual presentation to date.--Stephen Lambe

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