Night Out..., A-Live at The Basement (2001)
Music Video-Great Southern Land-Iva Davies
Music Video-I Wish I Was A Girl-King Curly
Music Video-Way Down-Steve Prestwich
Music Video-Georgia-Ian Moss
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||66:23 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Basement is of course one of Sydney's top nightspots, featuring great live music by well-known and not so well-known performers on a regular basis. It has been so for several decades now. The venue used to schedule predominantly jazz music but in recent years has expanded their range to rock and folk as well. Recently they have decided to join the digital age by creating thebasement.com.au (along with some rich corporate sugar daddies with vested commercial interests such as Telstra and Cisco) - an Internet webcasting video station playing live and archived video streams of music performed by Australian and overseas talents, hosted by none other than the Reverend Doug Mulray himself.
Even more recently, thebasement.com.au and Warner Vision have released half a dozen DVDs to showcase some of the Basement's more notable performances. This DVD - A Night Out ... live at thebasement is a compilation DVD comprised of selected excerpts of performances from artists such as Jimmy Barnes, The Whitlams, Leonardo's Bride, The Badloves, Richard Clapton and Jeff Lang.
At first I thought this was a sampler DVD containing songs from the other five DVDs in the series, but it's not really. Apart from Jeff Lang, the artists featured in this compilation DVD are not the same artists as on the individual discs in the series. Perhaps this DVD is meant to be a taste of things to come? (I'm sure many will buy a Jimmy Barnes DVD and I for one will be hanging out for a James Morrison DVD).
OK, enough chit chat, what's the disc like? Not bad, actually. Good ol' Jimmy Barnes opens up the compilation with two soul-inspired songs - an oldie but goodie (When Something Is Wrong With My Baby) from Soul Deep, and a song from his latest album Soul Deeper (I Put A Spell On You). Then we have The Whitlams with two songs, followed by Abby from Leonardo's Bride singing Even When I'm Sleeping plus Sleepy Head. Then we have a succession of single songs from Chris Wilson, The Badloves, Ross Wilson, Jeff Lang (featuring a a great slide guitar performance!) followed by two songs from Richard Clapton which I enjoyed even though the camera focuses a little too often on the female backup singer (ok, so she's easy on the eyes). The ending features the incomparable James Morrison and his protégé Emma Pask singing Let There Be Love.
If you have never heard of any of the above artists, well you could probably care less about this disc. If you have, and you are willing to give the ones you have not heard of a listen, then this is a worthwhile disc to try out. Incidentally, I don't know how the DVD managed to get away with a "G" rating - I'm pretty sure I heard a four letter word being uttered or sung at least once or twice.
|1. Jimmy Barnes-When Something Is Wr..|
2. Jimmy Barnes - I Put A Spell On You
3. The Whitlams - You Sound Like Louis
4. The Whitlams - Met My Match
5. Leonardo’s Bride - Even When I’m...
6. Leonardo’s Bride - Sleepy Head
7. Chris Wilson - Further On Up The...
|8. The Badloves - Memphis|
9. Ross Wilson - Hi Honey Ho
10. Jeff Lang - London
11. Richard Clapton - Distant Thunder
12. Richard Clapton - Ace Of Hearts
13. James Morrison - Let There Be Love
All content on this DVD is presented in a full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio.
As this is a compilation DVD, the quality of the video varies from okay to not so okay. In mitigation, it must be hard to capture good video in the cramped and dimly-lit conditions of the venue. All performances seem to have been captured directly onto video and a number of them suffer video artefacts (mainly poor black levels and low level CCD noise caused by dim lighting). In particular, this is noticeable in songs by The Whitlams, Leonardo's Bride and Richard Clapton.
Other performances have reasonably decent video. The Jimmy Barnes songs for example feature slightly oversaturated colours but are otherwise okay. I saw minor instances of combing here and there but I suspect that this could be an artefact introduced by the scaler in my projector (the combing occurs in places where there is rapid vertical movement and will tax most video processors) rather than in the source material.
The Chris Wilson song suffers from minor ringing due to aggressive use of edge enhancement. The two Richard Clapton songs get a double hit: low level video noise plus edge enhancement - not a pleasing sight!
There are no subtitle tracks on this single layered single sided disc.
There is only one audio track on this disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s).
In general, I found the audio quality to be quite pleasing - the sound is rather edgy and "live", but that's due to the venue (although the slight harshness introduced by the Dolby Digital encoding process probably doesn't help). The soundstage is quite convincing - I could almost believe I had been magically transported to the venue itself.
Some of the songs appear to be native 5.1 surround mixes - I can hear decorrelated audience claps across the rear surround channels. Others, for example the Jimmy Barnes songs, I suspect are surround-enhanced stereo mixes as there's virtually nothing in the rear channels apart from ambience.
Audio synchronisation appears to be pretty spot on.
The subwoofer track has been utilised to provide a subtle, but effective low extension to the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
We get a short featurette about the venue and the video station, plus 4 bonus videos of studio performances taken from thebasement.com.au. All extras have a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, which is somewhat unusual.
The menus are full frame and static.
This is a short documentary about the venue and thebasement.com.au, presented by James Morrison. He interviews Chris Richards (proprietor of The Basement), Bruce Elder (journalist) and Doug Mulray (video jockey).
An "unplugged" performance of one of his most well-known songs, featuring just himself and his guitar.
The lyrics are pretty strange, and no he is not quite a cross dresser ...
They had to all stand up to fit into the tiny studio!
Another "unplugged" performance of the well-known tune.
This title is currently only released in Region 4, although it is not region encoded.
A Night Out ... live at thebasement is a good compilation DVD of artists not featured in other titles in the DVD series showcasing performances from the famed Sydney nightspot and venue for live performances.
The video quality is variable and ranges from okay to slightly flawed, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is consistently good.
Extras include a mini-documentary and some music videos of performances from thebasement.com.au.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Front and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|