Manic Street Preachers-Louder Than War: MSP Live in Cuba (2001)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Cuban TV Bonus Tracks (6)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
James Dean Bradfield
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Smoking||Yes, what did you expect - it's Cuba!|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, always C...|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Being a Marxist band, Cuba was an obvious place for them to play a show (it is more than a little ironic that this Marxist band is signed to Sony Music...). Just going to Cuba and playing a show is not that easy, however. They had to be invited by the Cuban government first, and then there are the long-standing trade sanctions against Cuba to take into account. Once all that was out of the way, there was the small problem that the aforementioned trade sanctions meant that their music was not available in Cuba - so they would be playing a concert to no one. It was at this point that the Cuban government stepped in and sent invitations to the music schools around Cuba.
The concert itself proves that when it comes down to what counts - the performance - the Manics can produce an energy-packed show that perfectly complements the style and nature of their music. There is much here for both the casual fan and die-hard fan alike, including an acoustic version of the controversial Baby Elian. The only real problem with the concert itself is that the final filmed version has been cut down to a mere 14 songs and runs for less than an hour. From the bonus tracks, it is obvious that there were many more songs present, so it would have been nicer to have them included with the main feature.
|1. Found That Soul|
2. Motorcycle Emptiness
3. Kevin Carter
4. Ocean Spray
5. If You Tolerate This...
6. Let Robeson Sing
7. The Year Of Purification
|8. Baby Elian|
9. Miss Europa Disco Dancer
10. Wattsville Blues
11. You Love Us
12. Mowtown Junk
14. Rock And Roll Music
The transfer presented herein is the very definition of average, being not particularly bad, nor particularly good. Given the conditions in which it was recorded however, it is probably about the best that could be hoped for.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced, and is another that was obviously created for European DTV.
The sharpness of the transfer is adequate for the most part, although not helped by the "artistic" aspect of the presentation. Much of the concert is filmed in music video style, featuring fast pans, strange zooms, slow motion sequences, and many intentionally out-of-focus shots all of which obviously impact on the visible sharpness. The slow motion sequences are also badly affected by grain, with some of the worst examples being the sequence 24:28-24:38 and at 51:23, although again this appears to be an intentional "artistic" choice. Obviously, the amount of grain present prevents the slow motion shots from having any semblance of sharpness. Shadow detail fares better than the sharpness, being fairly uniform throughout and again is simply adequate, revealing enough background information to be able to make out performers and the audience in darkened areas, but not enough to do it well. There is no low level noise present in the transfer.
Colours are quite muted, in some instances so much so that what should be brilliant stage lights come over as fairly flat affairs. This detracts somewhat from the concert spectacle, giving it more of a rehearsal feel.
Picture artefacts are one area where this disc actually fares quite well. Compression artefacts are few and far between, and consist of some light pixelization, particularly during the grain-effected slow motion sequences. The transfer is nowhere near sharp enough to have any real problems with aliasing and only once instance was noticeable (at 22:51 on a guitar), nor were there any film artefacts present.
There are no subtitles available for the main feature (even lyrics), although the documentaries are subtitled (and the songs that appear therein). The subtitles for the extra features are word-for-word, and reflect the lyrics as they are sung.
This disc is dual layered, however the layer change does not split any of the features, rather the features are divided among the layers.
There are two audio tracks available on this disc, being Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kbps, and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo also encoded at the higher bitrate of 224 Kbps. I listened to the 5.1 track in its entirety and sampled the 2.0 track for some songs.
Vocals come through very cleanly, always being easy to make out. There are no problems with distortion, although the vocal level starts out too low for the first few seconds of Motorcycle Emptiness. Instrumental separations were likewise very good, as it was easy to make out the distinct sounds of the different instruments at all times.
Audio sync is mostly not a problem for this transfer, although there was one occasion where James Dean Bradfield's mouth was moving and no sound was to be heard, although this could be attributed to a temporary microphone dropout.
The surround track provides a very good concert experience with crowd noise largely restricted to the rear channels, aiding with the impression of really being there. There are no inventive instrument placements occurring here, however what there is is quite sufficient for the job that needs to be done. The stereo mix is also of a high quality, although the feeling of being at the concert is not as easy to achieve with a straight stereo mix, however this effort is as good as any live CD would produce.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is good enough during the main feature that there can be few complaints. On the flip side, however, the transfer is unlikely to garner any compliments either.
The audio quality gives enough to allow for a good concert experience, although once again, it is by no means anything special.
The extras presented here are of an extremely variable quality, although their quantity cannot be argued with. Coupled with the fact that my Pioneer 535 flat out refused to play almost an hour's worth of footage, it is safe to say that the extras needed a lot more work.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||RCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|