The Angels-Live at Narara (1983)

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Released 10-Sep-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Audio Commentary-Commentary by Doc Neeson
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 47:26
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Robert Eagle
Studio
Distributor
Liberation Music Starring Doc Neeson
John Brewster
Rick Brewster
Jim Hilbun
Brent Eccles
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music The Angels


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

“this is it folks - over the top!”

     The Australian pub scene of the 1970's and 80's saw the emergence of classic pub-rock acts such as Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl, Hunters and Collectors, and the subject of this review - The Angels.

The core of the band was formed in 1970 by brothers Rick and John Brewster who were joined a year later by Belfast native Doc Neeson. Doc would arguably become one of the most charismatic rock 'n roll front men to ever front an Australian band. In 1975 after a number of years in the Adelaide music scene and on the recommendation of Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC, the band was signed by the Albert recording label. At this point the band was named simply The Angels, and so began a musical collaboration that would continue under various iterations to this day.

    The Live at Narara concert was recorded on January 29, 1983 on the Central Coast of New South Wales near Narara in front of an estimated 40,000 fans. Unfortunately some songs from the concert were lost due to technical difficulties, however the surviving 46 minutes were edited together and simulcast on Channel 10 and Triple M radio. The concert was subsequently released on VHS and became Australia's highest selling music release - a distinction which continued for many years. This DVD with digitally re-mastered audio has been released as a special edition double pack with the Beyond Salvation Live DVD recorded during the band's Beyond Salvation Tour in 1990.

    Being a follower of Australian pub rock of that vintage but never having seen The Angels live I was keen to see them in action. From the opening track it is obvious that Doc is in top form and bouncing off the energy that is coming from the enthusiastic crowd - understandable energy given that the legendary Australian band INXS preceded them. Although a couple of classic tracks such as Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again are missing, there are enough favourites remaining to make this a satisfying, albeit short set. Transitions between songs which have been edited together are usually seamless however inexplicably, following After The Rain, we are reminded that we are watching The Angels-Live At Narara by way of a transition slide. I found this intrusion unnecessary although it was only a minor interruption to the flow of the concert overall. Interestingly during the closing track of Marseilles there is a nod to AC/DC by way of a small sampling of Back In Black. Whether this was standard routine or ad-hoc I don't know, but it was a nice inclusion anyway. Doc then proceeds to climb stage scaffolding for a better view of the surroundings and for some crowd interaction. No OH&S issues in those days!

    This concert is essential viewing for lovers of classic Australian rock.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Comin' Down
2. Eat City
3. Mr. Damage
4. Stand Up
5. No Secrets
6. Tale A Long Line
7. After The Rain
8. Shoot It Up
9. Shadow Boxer
10. Is That You
11. Marseilles

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is acceptable given the age of recording and source material.

    As you would expect the aspect ratio is the same as the original source at 1.33:1.

    Considering that this video was shot over 25 years ago under less than optimal concert conditions the soft focus and grainy appearance is expected. Shadow detail is not good and colours outside of the stage spotlights are generally muted. On the positive side there are minimal film artefacts and no evident faults introduced in the mastering to DVD. I haven't seen the VHS video of this concert but imagine there were no significant improvements made in this transfer to DVD.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    A re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track encoded at 448 Kb/s has been included which adds some ambience to the concert experience. Most sound comes from the front three speakers.

    Dialogue, both spoken and sung, was clear and easy to understand.

    Surrounds are not used aggressively and are really only noticeable in between tracks where the crowd reactions are emphasised. There is not much separation in content between front and centre speakers although often an opening guitar riff is directed from the front right sound stage. There are no significant audio synchronisation problems.

    The subwoofer is used effectively to emphasise the driving rhythm section and really pumps when the volume levels are increased.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu was still and includes music.

Audio Commentary by Doc Neeson

    A supplementary Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s audio track is included featuring commentary by Doc Neeson. It runs for the entire length of the video and consists mostly of Doc explaining song origins or experiences during the concert. For example Doc notes that Comin' Down was placed as the opening track in reaction to the then Queensland State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen's law forbidding general assembly and association. Overall Doc speaks intelligently and provides some interesting insights into the songs and concert itself.

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 4 is your only option.

Summary

    Live at Narara provides a great insight into why The Angels were one of the great Australian bands of the 70s and 80s, and why Doc Neeson is widely regarded as a legend alongside compatriots such as Michael Hutchence and Angus Young. It's unfortunate that the full concert recording doesn't exist as that would have earned a higher recommendation. Nevertheless The Angels-Live at Narara remains a must have concert DVD for all fans of The Angels, and a valuable library addition for all lovers of Australian rock.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras commentary is well worth a listen.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W

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