Mostly Autumn's concert at London's Mean Fiddler on 30 June 2001 (review) was recorded by Classic Rock Legends for the band's first DVD and live performance CD. Video was recorded on twelve synchronised cameras and the sound was produced by Pip Williams (producer of the Moody Blues, Status Quo, Uriah Heep and numerous others). Read our review for details of the gig. A comprehensive review of their first three albums is also available at Musical Discoveries.
The DVD The Story So Far (Classic Rock Legends (UK) CRL0905, 2001) is available—as are all releases on the label—in both PAL and NTSC formats. A stunning 74-minute 10-track CD with the same title with excerpts from the gig has also been released (Classic Rock Legends (UK) CRL0833, 2001). Our reviews of both media below bracket an interview with the band and include photos taken at the gig. You can scoll through the sections or click on the link below to jump right to the element of this article.
Mostly Autumn blends the progressive rock sounds of 70s progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd with modern interpretations of otherwise traditionally oriented Celtic numbers. Material on their first three studio albums illustrates the blend while the main DVD feature and CD focus on the bands rockier numbers. The band's website has recently been significantly enhanced.
Fronted by singer and guitarist Bryan Josh and lead vocalist Heather Findlay (also whistles, acoustic guitar, bodran, tambourine) the band's sound is equally a result of the other musicians: Angela Goldthorpe (flute, recorders and vocals), Iain Jennings (keyboards), Liam Davison (guitar), Andy Smith (bass) and Jonathan Blackmore (drums). The Mean Fiddler concert, building on their double headline for the Classic Rock Society earlier this year (review) included contributions from backing vocalists Rachel Jones (Karnataka), Marc Atkinson (Gabriel) and Gina Dootson (website).
The Story So Far DVD is far more than video of their concert performance. Modern computer graphics join material recorded during the band's rehearsals—including the pre-concert soundcheck—and more traditional music video-style elements have been blended into a cohesive feature. While the Mean Fiddler concert binds the DVD together, the producers have effectively broken it up with interview segments and moody music videos capturing the nature themes evident in Mostly Autumn's music. A superb light production adds drama and visual texture to the band's performance.
The DVD also includes two of the band's more Celtic-influenced numbers from the Mean Fiddler concert as bonus tracks, still photos and a video of "Winter Mountain" filmed during an earlier rehearsal. Snippets of the label's other DVDs have been included as an extra bonus.
Two versions of the DVD are planned. The first 1000 copies pressed are accompanied by a lovely autographed colour 24-page booklet with loads of photographs and a printed version of the band interview that we have included below. The second pressing will likely be packaged in standard DVD box and not include the booklet.
Production quality of both video and audio elements of the DVD are superb in every respect, entirely capturing the imagery, atmosphere and sounds of the concert with frequent cuts one has come to expect from the music video industry. Cameras capture individual and band performances perfectly, never boring the viewer.
The video was directed and edited by Chris Gormlie. Shots of an enthusiastic audience build excitement as the video progresses. The Dolby 5.1 audio track is a real treat with perfect imaging and depth of music field enhancing the DVD experience. It is far less enjoyable when played in normal two-channel stero (on your laptop computer, for example).
Recorded material is drawn from the band's three released albums to date but is frequently enhanced with extended solo and jam passages typical of a live performance. Closeups of the individual artists effectively capture their musical virtuousity. The DVD's main feature opens with an electric performance of "Porcupine Rain" quickly transitioning to "Nowhere To Hide," the first track to include video segments from the band's rehearsals.
After interview snippets, tender performances of "Evergreen" and a rousing rendition of "Winter Mountain" introduce music video-style imagery with concert audio accompanying. The artists' tremendous visual stagecraft is entirely captivating. With natural images joining those of the band in their classic "The Spirit Of Autumn Past" features close-ups of each band member but primarily focusing on performances by Bryan, Heather and Angela.
Mostly Autumn Live at The Mean Fiddler
Image © Classic Rock Legends 2001
The band's epic rendition of "Heroes Never Die" is introduced with further interviews; after a quiet ballad-style beginning, the piece develops with dynamic instrumentals featuring guitar, flute, keyboard and percussion into a storming rocker.
The band's folkier side is perfectly illustrated in "Helms Deep," combining melodies from several traditional jigs, featuring Angela's wonderful recorder and flute performances, with Mostly Autumn's rockier elements. A comical music video interrupts the on-stage footage which captures Heather on bodhran and a Bryan's guitar solo. We especially appreciated Iain's keyboard and Angela's low whistle passages in "The Night Sky," a track significantly enhanced with illustrative video imagery.
Clearly two of the standout tracks on the DVD are "Dark Before The Dawn" and "Never The Rainbow." The former, blending progressive Celtic sounds with storming rock, features Bryan's lead vocal with Angela and Heather playing stunning flute and penny whistle respectively and providing backing vocals in alternating choruses. "Never The Rainbow" is a classic rock track sung by Heather, very much in a Stevie Nicks style, with the three backing vocalists and keyboards adding lovely harmonies. Relatively short and of 'single' quality, it is certain to please the widest of audiences.
Between the two rocky standout tracks is Heather's lovely ballad "Shrinking Violet," blending on-stage with music-style video segments illustrating the song's theme. We especially appreciated Angela's recorder part and the backing vocalist harmonies. The main segment of the DVD concludes with "Mother Nature," an all-encompassing epic varying between the softest of ballad textures, complete with vocal harmonies and driving instrumental solo passages. The track is introduced by interview and 'from the nose of an aircraft' nature-influenced video elements and concludes with a thunderous audience response to the band's performance.
The DVD's bonus tracks are instrumental numbers. "Which Wood?" is led by Angela's flute part which repeats as tempo and additional instrumental depth increase. Heather contributes bodhran, recorder and other percussion whilst Bryan plays acoustic guitar. Video shots of Angela and Heather playing together are tremendous.
"Out Of The Inn" is a unique Mostly Autumn Celtic arrangement, largely derived from traditional jigs, again led by Angela's flute supported by Heather on low whistle and Liam on acoustic guitar. Dynamic electric guitar and bass add a rocking texture as the piece develops. These tracks are lovely additions to the DVD and are unfortunately not included on the CD.
Completely stunning performances are joined by tremendous production quality in Mostly Autumn's debut DVD The Story So Far. Clearly an excellent introduction to the band for newcomers or a memorable addition to collections of the band's loyal following, you can read further information about it and order a copy from amazon.co.uk here!
Mostly Autumn band members were interviewed on camera prior to their Mean Fiddler performance; segments of their responses provided within the DVD's main feature. Our thanks to Classic Rock Legends for their transcription of the interview and their permission to present it to Musical Discoveries' readers below.
Are you looking forward to tonight's concert?
Jonney: Yeah, in a way, I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I could probably do with another two months to prepare more, but it's good, it's exciting and scary. I'm looking forward to it. The pressure will be massive. I'll be glad when we've done the first few songs and everyone has relaxed into it because when everyone's a lot more chilled out and having fun it rubs off on me and I play a lot better when everyone's at ease.
Ian: I haven't really had time to get nervous about it. If I had more spare time I would have been, but it's arrived and we're here now so I think it's going to go well. We took the rehearsals to two weeks and really pummelled the set and plugged it through and got used to the changes between the songs, but we've put the work in and I think now it's time to reap the rewards and blow the crowd away big time. Tonight is a big gig for me with it being filmed it's set in stone, it's here forever whereas if you weren't at another gig then afterwards it's gone, but the film is here to stay.
It's hard because if we were just being filmed and the sound wasn't being recorded and we were just dubbing in the album it would be very different. Because you can just look nice and play lots of wrong notes, and if it was the other way round and just doing the music, your hair could be a mess and you could be just concentrating on the music so much. But you've got to do both so it's quite hard taming the two.
Liam: Yes, mixed emotions I think. I feel much more confident after yesterday and today, so I'm actually itching to get on there to be honest. It's a really special evening. We've been catapulted up there from quite a few levels and it has been quite tense. But the whole thing seems to have come together quite quickly. Since the whole thing has come about everything has been geared to this so I think everyone will rise to the occasion. I think Jonney is probably feeling the most pressure really because Brian and myself are a couple of old fossils so we're probably a bit more laid back about the whole thing. But I think towards the end of the set we'll really start to enjoy it. I might be wrong and we'll have a ball the whole way through.
Brian: I think it will be a fantastic night; it will be a fantastic atmosphere. The thing I want to get across is the emotion and the power. As long as I get that across then I'll be happy and if we can deliver that and people can pick up on it, then I think it will be a great night.
Do you see this as a turning point for the band?
Ian: In every bands career they have "the gig" that makes or breaks them and I think this is probably ours. We've got to do a good show tonight and if we do a good show then things will escalate from there.
Jonney: Yeah, hopefully, it's pushed everyone to practice a lot more and the band to get together a lot more and rehearse. I used to think that this was all a big joke and that Brian was just trying to get us up to standard.
Andy: Definitely, that's one of the things that I've been thinking about all week that it's going to be kid of a different band. The amount of work that's gone into it has pulled the band around no end, it's a lot tighter. We understand far more what everyone else in the band is playing and doing, so if somebody busts a string, it doesn't throw us off quite so much as it would have done two months ago. And we got stuck in an unfortunate situation two weeks ago when Brian couldn't do a gig with us and I don't think it would have been possible to do that two months ago, we can do it now. So yeah, it has pulled us around a lot.
Heather: Absolutely, it's been a natural climb so far. Things have gone kind of bang a bit at the moment but it has steadily moved on from what we seemed to deserve at the time from the work we've put in. So it's gathering momentum as we go on.
Liam: I'm really looking forward to tonight, it's going to be a real point in our musical career. It's probably the greatest thing that we've achieved so far.
Where would you like to see the band go from here?
Andy: We haven't had much time to think about it - given the amount of time that has gone into getting ready for it. We'll start to contemplate that tomorrow. We've been playing around bands for a long time, recording for them and this, that and the other and you get to know the kind of ups and downs, pitfalls and disappointments that come out of it. But this is a new one so I have no idea.
Jonney: I hope it will take off. Music looks like it's changing in the charts so hopefully we can get it at the right time. It would be fun to get on tour. I'm not bothered as long as we're having fun.
Ian: Well, I would love to do this for a living. Getting toured around the world and having big support.
Angela: I think there seems to be a deepness, and everyone is looking more inside themselves to find the music. For example, the things that Heather has written about in 'Shrinking Violet,' she knows she's dug really deep. As long as we can all do that and dig deep and write about things that are really there then we're not just picking subjects out of thin air, these are things that really mean something to all of us. If we can do that then we're on the right track. Certainly playing at the bigger festivals and new places. Wherever we go we get a lovely reception from people who have already heard our music thanks to our distribution. We get such a warm reception everywhere that just to go to new places and have the same reception from people in bigger venues and festivals, that would keep me happy.
Brian: I'd like to develop the sound to get the power and to craft it better, keeping the various instruments and shades and moods in the band but develop it as we're doing. It's heading in a direction already, although we don't know it, and we're too close to get a prospective on it. But it's developing in the way it needs to develop.
Heather: To the top! I think if we always continue to do what we're doing at the moment and playing from the heart with a lot of realism and a lot of aspects running close to nature in the writing, I think we'll just continue to progress as we have done and keep it real.
Liam: Just to keep going as we're doing and to get onto a level that it becomes a full time situation and to keep writing and playing because the time that we do play, especially when it's a great gig, we're on top of the world.
What is your favourite song of the set?
Liam: 'Never the Rainbow' because I'm not on that one, I'm having a fag at the side! No, I'm a big fan of 'Mother Nature' that's a masterpiece, an absolute belter, it's quite an intricate song like you're sitting an exam. But there are magical moments; 'Hero's' takes care of itself because of the concept behind it so it has a very deep impact so I get off in a big way on that one. There's certain points in certain songs especially when everyone is fully charged and it all comes together almost like there's those perfect moments in different parts of the set.
Heather: For me personally I feel the 'Shrinking Violet' is a big achievement for myself as from start to finish it was more or less my piece. There's a lot of feeling in there for me and to hear it when we've got backing vocalists and the way it's turned out to be now from hearing the early demo's it's a real buzz to hear it the way it is now. But there are so many moments in the set like that, 'Mother Nature' and big rocky moments.
Andy: I'm pleased how 'Mother Nature' has turned out because I don't think originally that was on the list of songs that we were going to learn how to do, and it's been chopped and changed around a bit to make it a decent live song.
Ian: I like 'Never the Rainbow' because it's a good rocky blast, but I think my favourite song has got to be 'Evergreen', just for the structure and shape of the song, it just climbs. I love them all but that one is the one I like best I think.
Jonney: Probably 'Never the Rainbow' I just love the freedom of it and everyone going mad, there doesn't seem to be that much pressure in it. I've got the click now for doing it live so that's a lot of support, I know I'm at least in time and if I can't quite hear everyone it's not as bad, I know what the main structure is. But things like 'Mother Nature' the pressure is on big time for that because it's coming in and out and memorising the whole thing. It's brilliant, I love it but it's one you've got to really think about, where as 'Never the Rainbow' you can just let go and go mad.
Angela: 'Never the Rainbow' because of its short, hit hard angle, that's an absolutely cracking tune. But I think the highlight probably has to be 'Mother Nature', at the very end of it you're exhausted by it. It has to be last in the set because we'd never be able to play anything after it, it's enormous and it drains us all completely because we give so much to it.
Brian: I think 'Never the Rainbow', the nature of the song is a high-impact, short song it show a nice angle on Heather and it's a song that's short enough to be a single, because a lot of them aren't. I also think 'Mother Nature' is one, I think it's a very beautiful piece and there's a lot of power in there, I like 'Heroes' obviously because that was written about loosing my father and that was a very sensitive sort of thing, and evergreen which is a co-written one between Heather and myself, that's one I'm particularly proud of.
What do you all personally bring to the band?
Angela: To start with it was the lights, and then I eventually creeped in a little more flute and now I've been playing recorders and helping Heather with them. She's been helping me vocally and we're growing from each other and learning from each other. I think I have an early music angle and I have different influences to every other member of the band. That's one of the special things, our influences are very different but work together to create what we do.
Heather: With a lot of the other band members we're all particularly individual, we're all of our own selves and influences. It's been said, and I think I agree, that there's a fairesque look about me and I like to dance and throw my hair about, I'm a bit of a hippy. So that's what I bring to the band. I think it works, we've got a real team going on at the moment so personality wise we're all there for a reason.
Brian: The music is about life, and a lot of the experiences I've had emotionally and that's what I try to bring out in it, it's like a charged emotional rock. I'm aware of it when I'm singing some of the songs, there's a lot of feeling and emotion involved and you can lose yourself in it. That's what I like about the band, it's not pretentious it's as it is really, it's about right.
Ian: It's Heather's voice, it's Brian's guitar and I think the keyboard brings backing stringy, I wouldn't like to say prog rock but the 'Yes' and 'Genesis' real forward pad in the back. I think that's quite typical of the sound. I bring a sense of humour as well to the band, obviously not musically because it's not appropriate, but as far as getting on is concerned. I teach music so I work quite well with Jonney because he's one of my students and we've got quite a good rapport. So it's easy to get on with musicians because I do it all the time.
Liam: I bring a kind of nervous charm I think. On the first album Bryan had one all the guitar parts so I was brought in to emulate that, but on the second and third I contributed a track. Personally I'm getting more involved with writing my own parts and guitar lines and I think that is the way it is going to be going.
Jonney: I drum a lot harder that most of the previous drummers. The other drummers that they've had weren't right for the band, I think that's one of the reasons that they haven't kept them for very long. They've just been waiting for the right one.
Andy: There's a lot of intricate sounds and voices, so it's trying not to tread on that really and bring it out of people, not hearing someone else clattering about over the top of it. But saying that I've never been told "you can't do this", "you can't do that", "you should do that kind of bass line", it's all been left to me, and they haven't knocked anything out that I've suggested doing so it feels great in that way. So, just fitting in around everyone else, that's basically it anyway, whatever band you're in. It's not a getting noticed kind of instrument, I'm quite happy standing on the back row. You'll have to ask one of the others what I bring - trouble probably.
How would you describe the sound of Mostly Autumn?
Brian: We've got a 70s sound like Floyd and all that sort of era, which I love and grew up with. It's in the blood, I know it's there and it's not actually contrived and I don't sort of try to craft this band in that direction, it happens itself and I don't mind that at all. I think it was a wonderful time and an optimistic feel about it. If I try to make it sound 70's then I'd have a problem with it, but if it does and we just generally write naturally, then I don't mind at all.
Liam: There are quite a lot of influences especially coming in now with the making of the whole band, I think there is definitely a 70's sound to it of course with a folky kind of angle to the whole thing as well.
Angela: That's the hardest question that we're ever asked. Some people have called us symphonic rock, I think that's a nice angle, and even though there isn't a symphonic orchestra there, you could imagine one if you were to close your eyes, it's very symphonic.
How do the backing singers aid the performance?
Brian: It's great, it's really warming the sound up. It's something that we really need especially with more of the band singing - with Angela doing more of the vocals, it brings out certain elements of the songs, the richness that's required for the power of that sort of moment.
Heather: We do a lot of work in a studio and we really like to bring as much of that into a live environment as possible. Not particularly tonight, but sometimes we try to cover areas between ourselves like maybe I'll do Angie's whistle or she'll do some of my vocal parts, but obviously we can't do it at the same time. We cover a lot of the harmonies and vocals ourselves but because tonight is special we decided to get a team in there just to represent more fully what Mostly Autumn the big sound is about. We've had a limited amount of rehearsals with them as Rachael is from Wales and Marc and Gina are from York, but so far it has sounded fantastic, they are very professional and they're really doing well.
Is it quite a tight band? Do you get on well as a group?
Liam: Yeah, it's very family orientated. There's Angela the flutist, her boyfriend is the main roadie, and my girlfriend is into it now. There's no kind of hired help because we all know each other, it's live a big family in a way. Jonney and Heather break the intensity of the whole thing by completely larking about. They're mad, both of them, completely mad! They should be on some form of medication.
Ian: You have to have a good laugh because when you spend so much time with each other it's like Big Brother. You kind of do each other's heads in if you don't find that level and you've got to have your own space as well. If it was a three piece where they're all mates from childhood and you learn instruments after that then you've got a great foundation for a band if they're going to stay together because they're mates, where as we've all kind of been brought together through our musical skills and song writing skills and we've had to find a way to get on, but I think we've got there. Jonney is only 20 I think so he does very well for his age. There's not many people his age that could cope with the amount of pressure he's under.
Brian: It's never an easy task getting people to rehearse, and getting people free at the same time is always difficult. We tend to rehearse in blocks and get together before the gigs. The general feeling about it is that everybody wants to do it, so everyone makes the effort to get there. So if everyone can do that, then it works very well. There has to be seven in the band because of the sound we make. It's actually find, we've had some interesting times in the past, but it's great we kind of live our separate lives so it's not always crushed in there. There is a really good atmosphere all the time, so we don't have a problem.
Andy: I've been with Brian and Liam a long time. We've been fortunate, for the amount of time the band spends together we get on fine, there's been no falling out which is good. It's not always easy when you're stuck in a transit van and not getting enough sleep and stuff like that. But it always remains good humour. Although I'm very edgy today.
Jonney: I live about an hours drive away, Ian lives 40 minutes away so we don't get as involved as the others. They were all friends long before I joined so it's sometimes a bit weird, well it was at first not now.
Do you have a good relationship with your fans?
Liam: There are some absolutely die-hard fans, they keep cropping up at every gig. We've played in some real corners of the world, from some really dingy little places to some big festivals and these people are still there, it's amazing.
Jonney: You go to Hartlepool and they go mad, you feel mint going up on stage when they're all going nuts. But then you go to a gig in Scarborough and you'll finish an epic song like 'Mother Nature,' it's well disheartening, when you're meant to play something else with passion it's a killer. Hopefully the Hartlepool lot are up so there should be some die-hard fans coming up for this night.
Heather: The crowd reaction is as important as eating! It's incredibly important; if you get a lot of feedback from the crowd then you really are going to perform better. It really eggs you on if everyone is clapping and cheering and smiling. If there's a lot of atmosphere coming back at you then it really does help your performance.
Angela: I'm very fortunate because I get to play giggy, exciting music and also mournful and though provoking music so I get the best of both worlds with them. I love to make them cry at the beginning with 'Heroes' with the introduction with Brian, but then I want to make them go mad in 'Dark Before the Dawn.' I like to mess around with them and make them as exhausted as us by the end of the show.
Brian: I have a lot of admiration for people who travel from places and love the music, because people who tend to be into it are really into it. They enjoy telling you that they can relate to it, because it is about life. It's a wonderful thing when someone enjoys your music and hugs you and says "I really wanted to say what you just played and you've just said it." It's amazing and it makes it all worthwhile. It's one of the most important parts of it, it's not contrived kind of music at all, it's from the heart and I think people pick up on that and that's a wonderful complement.
What has been your highlight of being in the band?
Jonney: Yesterday's practice was good, looking on the list of bands that had practised there; you know that something's happening when you're rehearsing in a place like that. The feedback from the internet, people that have heard of us from all over the place, people that are coming to the gigs from all over the world - there's a couple coming from Argentina tonight, I think. There's a French couple from when we were doing our miniature tour of France, we played in their garden at their party and they've come all the way over too. Being put in magazines like Classic Rock, you'd never believe that you'd ever be in something like that and there's your advert in the back. Then you see album write-ups and stuff. It's all quite nerve-wracking.
Liam: Probably, when we played outdoors at Blakey Rich, right on top of the North Yorkshire moors, it was absolutely beautiful and we did a storming set. Because Brian and I have been drinking there for the past few years and we've always said wouldn't it be amazing to do a gig in the beer garden facing out onto the whole thing, then suddenly we did it and it was amazing. Hillsworth was another one down south. That was a special one because we had the two inflatables - the dog and the pig from the Animals' tour - and we did 'Comfortably Numb' just to tribute the whole thing, and the roadies were jumping on the back of the pig and the eyes were going all over the place. That was quite a magical moment.
Image © Classic Rock Legends 2001
Heather: Obviously recording was always an achievement for us. We've done quite a lot of big outdoor festivals as well, and I think that's where the band is at it's best, bigger venues or outdoor stages especially if we get to play in the evening as well. They're always good do's. Then supporting Richie Blackmore at the Blackmore's Night, that was really something special, especially for Brian as he is one of his heroes. There's been many moments, but I think up to press I loved recording the last album, that was great.
Ian: We supported the Stranglers and that was a great gig. It had a massive outdoor PA like a mini sort of Glastonbury, that was great. And obviously the Richie Blackmore stuff being on a completely different level, a smaller sound but intricate and delicate sound and that's been a highlight of what we've done so far.
Have you been on tour? And do you have any further plans to tour?
Ian: Yeah we've done quite a lot: Germany, France, Holland and Belgium and they're really into that 70s stuff, it goes down really, really well in Europe. We went to Poland and the school kids were listening to Pink Floyd and you know: "Have you heard of this brand new band called 'Pink Floyd'?" It's like what? They've been going for years and years! The kids in England listen to the Spice Girls and Heresay, I think it's what they've been brought up on. But it would be nice to go to America - I don't think to live - but take the band there and really hit America big time because obviously they've got a big rock market like Europe, and if you can crack America then you're laughing.
Jonney: We've done the odd bit of touring, well it wasn't really touring - a few gigs in France, Belgium and Holland - just sort of mini tours, but it was quite intense all piled in the back of a van, but that was fun. I want to see the world, it's definitely something that I want to do before I die.
What has it been like working with Pip Williams?
Liam: Fabulous, he's a top bloke. Basically just keeping us on our toes. You can really think about things when he's on the scene, his suggestions and the way he likes things to be, some things I'd never really thought too much about.
Brian: He's a phenomenal producer so I'm really excited with the idea and even the possibility of crafting us into more of a sound, because someone is sat on the outside and can see everything objectively. I'm sure he's got a lot of ideas that he can positively inject into the project. I'm excited about it, I think it's going to be great.
Ian: He's an inspiration because he picks up on so much. I came to see us play at Crewe and made mental notes and then came up and said: "this needs to be changed", "you need to stand there," "you need to come on here" and "that needs to be quieter" and he was so observant. The experience he's had is phenomenal so it's unbelievable working with someone like that.
Jonney: He's a legend. I hadn't heard that much of him but then he was going on about all the drummers that he's worked with, drummers that I've idolised forever and he's worked with them. Now he's working with me so it's like... obviously the peak of his career!
Heather: It's mind-blowing, I don't even think about his back catalogue it's quite frightening. He's a great guy, definitely the right person to be in there I reckon.
Andy: It's great working with him. I'm older than the other's in the band so I remember all the stuff he chats about. It's really humbling, especially when he came down to rehearsal in York to the pretty shabby rehearsal facility. To have somebody like that there it was like, wow, it was playing a big gig in itself. He's great he puts everyone at ease. He's got some great stories generally involving fish, and then famous people and fish. So if you want famous-fish people speak, talk to Pip, he's your man.
Angela: It's quite scary to think what potentially he could do for us. The people that we've worked with so far have helped us to get here and now here's a guy that can take us so much further. The production is such an important thing for the band and we all care about it being absolutely the best that we can possibly have. Now it seems we've gone one step further and he's taking us down that superb production road.
Whilst the DVD main feature is comprised of twelve tracks and there are two further numbers included as bonuses, The Story So Far compact disc includes ten that fill the 74 minute compact disc very nicely. "Winter Mountain," "Helms Deep," "Which Wood?" and "Out Of The Inn" have been omitted. The most rocking numbers from the band's Mean Fiddler concert are captured on this stunning album which has been reduced to two-channel stereo from the 24-track digital recording most effectively.
The CD tracks the DVD quite well opening with "Porcupine Rain" blending into "Nowhere To Hide" and "Evergreen" as in the live performance and the DVD. A storming rendition of "The Spirit Of Autumn Past" and "Heroes Never Die" follows. Audio production is top notch in every respect capturing vocals and instrumentals with equally stunning clarity and perfect imaging.
The booklet accompanying the compact disc contains various photos from the event and an introduction by Martin Hudson of the Classic Rock Society. The compact disc includes in-concert versions of "The Night Sky" and the storming Celtic-influence rocker "Dark Before The Dawn" With backing vocalists Rachel Jones, Marc Atkinson and Gina Dootson, Heather sings her evocative and emerging Mostly Autumn classic "Shrinking Violet." Backing vocalists also join in the robust versions of "Never The Rainbow" and "Mother Nature" which concludes the compact disc.
Equally stunning musical performances are joined by well-mixed audio product quality in the band's first live CD recording also entitled The Story So Far. Like the DVD, an excellent introduction to the band for newcomers and addition to collections of those tracking the band's progress, you can read further information about it and order a copy from amazon.co.uk here!
Rarely do Musical Discoveries' editors have the opportunity to review DVD and CD recordings of concerts attended earlier. Our viewing of the DVD with Dolby digital 5.1 audio and listening to the CD several months after the event brought back fond memories of soundcheck, rehearsal and their tremendous live performance. But it won't be the first—watch for our review of Karnataka's live performance, DVD and (hopefully) CD made at The Mean Fiddler on 27 October 2001 in the next several months!
Mostly Autumn's next release, entitled The Unexpected Album with music inspired by Lord Of The Rings is due out in December 2001. With accomplished 70s progressive influences and stunning vocal work, The Story So Far DVD and CD are clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey. They are not only a must see and must listen, but they are must haves!
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