Live at the Full House Rock Show DVD

[ARD Video / MDM, / MVD,]

Live E=MC2 DVD

[Cherry Red Films, / MVD,]

Originally broadcast between 1986 and 1989, "Full House" was a German music program that featured some of the better pop and rock acts of its time. Everyone from Fairground Attraction, Bruce Cockburn, The Communards, John Hiatt to Little Steven appeared during the program's tenure. Best thing about the three-quarter hour show was the bands were given an opportunity to perform in a club setting, in front of a live audience. Everything went down live to tape. The Style Council put on an exceptionally strong showing when they appeared on the program in March 1987. Their set consisted of favourites such as "With Everything to Loose", "Internationalists", "Money Go Round" and "Shout to the Top". The band was in top form. Vocalist/front-man Paul Weller spread his soul goodness on "Walking the Night". His voice caresses the stratosphere as it's accompanied by intense but lovely flute playing. By the time "Heavens Above" comes around, everyone at the club is rocking solid. Weller picks up his electric guitar and jolts out some rigidly stacked lines, while he's accompanied on vocals by the formidable Dee C Lee. She gets even tougher on the next number, "The Internationalists". Dee C Lee finally gets lead vocal duties on "Everlasting Love" - a sweetly caressing soul number. Keyboardist Mick Talbot gets his time in the spotlight during "Homebreakers". I've rarely seen Weller work up a sweat as he does during every number of this performance. The lone bonus feature is an interview with Paul Weller. Only disappointment with the live concert is its brevity. Clocking at a mere 37 minutes, it makes any person who remembers why music during the 80's was so much better than most things happening today wish for so much more. Pick your copy up today if only to recall those good old days.
It's hard to believe "Live E=MC2" is Big Audio Dynamite's first DVD. Then again, Mick Jones' band was never truly a visual feast. At least not in the theatrical sense they were not, which is why I think releasing a DVD was certainly somewhat of a risk. Recorded at the height of their popularity in 1990 [though days with Don Letts were over by this point], at London's Town and Country Club, the band is in a fiery mood. Jones belts out one hit after another. "E=MC2", "Rush", "The Globe" and "The Bottom Line" each make the final cut. Surprisingly enough, the band even spews out a frighteningly rousing version of Prince's "1999. The rock-out take of "Other 99" is also included. When you watch the boys gather round one microphone, you start to think these guys were something more than musicians-by-chance in the same band. These were comrades. "E=MC2" is done at the speed of lightening. With its catchy chorus, I now remember why this was such a hit on college radio. "Rush" and "The Globe" are done in a fairly harsh way too. Through all of this, the crowd continues to go wild. By the way, don't forget what you're watching here is BAD II. The band is a quartet at this point. Gone is the other founding member of the band, Don Letts who brought the much essential beat into the band. Essentially, this is one of these shows I wish I was at.

- Tom Sekowski

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