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"The Mating Call Of Two Drummers" - A We Can't Dance DVD Review

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Genesis - The Way We Walk Live In Concert
Format - DVD
Catalogue Number - GUTDVD1
Gut-Vision press release

Thanks to the very nice people at Gut-Vision, I recently received a review copy of the forthcoming Genesis DVD, "The Way We Walk," due for release 26th November 2001. This is the first complete concert to be released by the band on DVD and makes excellent use of the features available on this format.

The first thing that hit me was the picture quality. It is outstandingly clear. My DVD player defaulted to the stereo track but once I had changed it to 5.1 track I was blown away. You could well be there. Multiple camera angles - Wow!

The main video track of the DVD appears to be identical to the VHS version released in 1993, a slightly edited down, complete show. It has also been kept in its original 4:3 screen configuration and has not been converted to widescreen. However, this does not lessen the enjoyment of the show. Even if you own the VHS version, there are several reasons for getting hold of the DVD.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is the use of multiple camera angles. In order to make use of the Jumbo-Tron screens during the live performance, the show was filmed using between twelve and sixteen cameras. The output from these cameras has now been transferred onto DVD, which enables the viewer to change the view throughout the show. Depending on the song, between one and four cameras are available for selection. Sadly, this doesn't mean that it's possible to sit and watch Tony or Mike throughout the whole show, but it is possible to watch them for a lot longer than the director originally intended. The only disappointment for me is that the Drum Duet is only available from one (the main) camera angle.

The other big advantage to the DVD format will be most noticeable to those with home cinema set-ups. The 5.1 Surround Sound audio track sounds superb through a 5.1 amp and speaker configuration. Switching between the stereo track and the 5.1 track brings a new dimension to the show, one that has never been there on the VHS versions. The atmosphere surrounds you and you feel more involved in the show. All you need is some rain and the Genesis concert experience is complete.

Re-watching the show while listening to the commentary track is a little strange. Phil, Mike and Tony really don't go into a full analysis of each song, but are quite content to laugh at themselves and joke around. This is actually more refreshing than it sounds, sometimes it's as though they are in the room with you and I found myself laughing along with Phil's witty comments about Daryl's head being on fire. It is clear from watching the interviews and the commentary that Phil really did add a huge humour element to the band's writing style. It was also hinted that a future "Serious Hits - Live" DVD will also feature the multiple camera options.

The show is split over two DVD discs, purely to accommodate the large amount of video footage required for the multiple camera options. On each of the discs are interviews with Phil, Mike and Tony, recorded at Earl's Court prior to the show. With these the viewer must read the question from the screen and then press play to hear the answer. A little bit of a pain, but presumably done like this so that they could fit on as much of the interviews as possible. It did leave me wondering who was asking the questions though.

Also on each disc is a slideshow made from previously unseen pictures with an instrumental background (disc 1 - instrumental Way Of The World, disc 2 - instrumental Living Forever.) The DVD indicates that these pictures will also be made available via the official website.

The DVD was extremely enjoyable and would be a welcome addition to anyone's Genesis collection. Hopefully the enthusiasm generated by this release will convince the band to release other concerts from over the years. Fantastic stuff.

Additional Information
Number of camera angles per song are as follows;
Disc 1
Land Of Confusion - 1 main + 3 others
No Son Of Mine - 1 main + 3 others
Driving The Last Spike - 1 main + 3 others
Old Medley - 1 main + 3 others
Fading Lights - 1 main + 1 other
Jesus He Knows Me - 1 main + 2 others
Disc 2
Dreaming While You Sleep - 1 main + 2 others
Home By The Sea - 1 main + 3 others
Hold On My Heart - 1 main + 2 others
Domino - 1 main + 3 others
Drum Duet (Thing) - 1 main
I Can't Dance - 1 main + 2 others
Tonight Tonight Tonight - 1 main + 3 others
Invisible Touch - 1 main + 3 others
Turn It On Again - 1 main + 3 others

The DVD is available for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk. Please feel free to email me if you have any further questions.

Simon Funnell - 22nd October 2001

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