Mark Seymour-Ballad of the One Eyed Man: Live at The Basement (2001)

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Released 26-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Documentary
Featurette-Throw Your Arms Around Me
Featurette-The Ghost Of Vainglory
Featurette-The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man (Acoustic)
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 68:56 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ross Wood
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Mark Seymour
Cameron McKenzie
Dave Beck
Rod Davies
Chris Bekker
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Mark Seymour


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 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

    Mark Seymour used to be part of Hunters and Collectors, an Australian rock band circa 1981-1998 and was its lead vocalist as well as guitar player. Since the band broke up, Mark has pursued a solo career. To date he has released two solo albums, King Without A Clue and One Eyed Man.

    This DVD is a recording of a concert given by Mark Seymour and his new band, The Human Tide, at the Basement nightclub/music venue, and released as part of the "Live at the Basement" DVD series. It was also broadcast on ABC TV at 11:00pm on 29 November 2001. Apparently a CD version of the concert is in the works.

    The band line-up includes:

    So, how does Mark sound like on his own, given that the Hunters and Collectors were "Australia's ultimate alternative pub rock outfit, all democracy, strength in numbers, shout along choruses and ensemble grunt" (David Messer, Juice.Net)? As the title of the concert ("Ballad of the One Eyed Man") may indicate, this is a more introspective, folksy type of music but not without some rocking moments. The concert combines a bit of the old with songs from the new album as well as some new numbers yet to be released.

    The concert opens with an old Hunters and Collectors classic: "Holy Grail" but the rest of the concert is post-H&C, almost as if Mark is saying "I've moved on ..." Mark performs most of the songs from his new album One Eyed Man, although a few were left on the cutting room floor and not included on the DVD (so says someone who was present on the night). "Home Again" is from the first album King Without A Clue.

    Previously, Mark has often toured with just himself and his guitar and some of the performances in this concert ("In The Kitchen Of A Perfect Home", "Ready To Go", and "Parting Glass") brings back memories of those gigs.

    This concert should please Mark Seymour fans and may surprise the odd Hunters and Collectors fan who might be wanting to know just what Mark is doing these days.

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Track Listing

1. Holy Grail
2. Don't You Know Me
3. Always A Fool
4. Waratah Street
5. Sad Song
6. Long Way Down
7. The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man
8. Paradise Down
9. El Dorado
10. In The Kitchen Of A Perfect Home
11. Home Again
12. Jo Land
13. Lost In Your Illusion
14. Ready To Go
15. Supagirl
16. On My Way
17. Parting Glass

Transfer Quality

Video

    Curiously, the concert is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio (measured to be around 1.73:1), letterboxed without 16x9 enhancement. The opening credits are in a separate DVD title from the concert proper and are around 0:36 in duration.

    This is an acceptable transfer, with high colour levels tending towards over-saturation because of the camera over-compensating for the low-lit conditions of the venue. Black levels are reasonable and detail levels are about average. The performance seem to have been captured directly onto video as I noticed video glitches every now and then (though not to the level of causing annoyance).

    There are some minor video transfer artefacts, including posterization (noticeable if you look really closely at Mark's black T-shirt), over-use of edge-enhancement resulting in minor ringing, and occasional pixelization particularly around guitar strings.

    From about Chapter 14 onwards the video frame is constantly interrupted by the silhouettes of bobbing heads of people walking in front of the camera as they leave and return to their tables.

    There are no subtitle tracks on this single layered single-sided disc.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s).

    In contrast to the other titles in this DVD series that I have reviewed so far - which featured very high quality audio tracks - the audio track on this disc seems to be somewhat muted in volume levels and lacking body as well as upper high frequencies. I'm not sure what happened - a faulty master tape perhaps or incorrect settings on the Dolby Digital encoder?

    An easy way to notice the lack of quality in the audio track is to play the bonus songs contained within the featurette (which curiously enough comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track) - the quality of the audio track for the bonus songs is far superior and sounds far more vibrant and dynamic when compared with the muffled sound of the main feature.

    The 5.1 audio mix appears to be a discrete mix rather than enhanced from a stereo track. The audio track does contain a reasonable amount of low level detail - I noticed in various places that I can almost pick up the sporadic chatter of audience conversations in the rear channels..

    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.

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

Extras

    There is only 1 real extra on this disc, even though the packaging implies that there are four (documentary plus three bonus songs). The three bonus songs (in reality songs from the concert play list that didn't make it into the main feature for one reason or another) are embedded in the featurette itself, but you can access them separately from the menu as chapter breaks are used within the featurette.

Menu

    The menus are full frame and static.

Featurette - Documentary, including Throw Your Arms Around Me, The Ghost Of Vainglory, and The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man (Acoustic) (27:33)

    This is mainly an edited interview with Mark Seymour, together with excerpts from the concert. It is presented in full screen (except for the concert excerpts which are in letterboxed widescreen) and surprisingly Dolby Digital 5.1. Mark talks about the break-up of Hunters and Collectors and his transition into a solo career, as well as some of his hobbies like cars and surfing. He also talks a little bit about his new band and his new album. The documentary includes three bonus songs which are really "off-cuts" from the concert that didn't make it into the main feature:

    As mentioned earlier, the quality of the audio track on this featurette is very high and noticeably superior to the main feature itself.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is currently only released in Region 4, although it is not region encoded.

Summary

    Mark Seymour - 'Ballad of the One Eyed Man': Live At The Basement will please those who have followed the solo career of Mark ever since the demise of Hunters and Collectors.

    Unfortunately, the video transfer is not 16x9 enhanced though in widescreen and features a number of minor artefacts.

    The audio track sounds muffled and lacking in dynamics and high frequencies compared to other titles in this DVD series.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Monday, January 07, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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