THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT (2005)

TRACKLIST
DVD1
The 35th Anniversary Concert
1 The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again (6:09)
2 Why, Why, Why (And I Wish I Were Stoned) (3:29)
3 Golf Girl (7:04)
4 Nine Feet Underground (9:22)
5 Hello Hello (3:30)
6 Head Above The Clouds (7:22)
7 Revenge (6:42)
8 Nightmare (13:45)
9 Smoking Gun (6:30)
10 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item (5:40)
11 Backwards /A Hunting We Shall Go (8:51)
12 For Richard (16:00)
13 Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (10:30)
14 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (4:07)
DVD2
The Acoustic Set
1 Place Of My Own (4:48)
2 Love Song With Flute (4:21)
3 Chance Of A Lifetime (3:25)
Caravan Talk To Mark Powell About Their 35 Years In The Business (24:10)
The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again (Promotional Film From 1973) (5:53)

Recorded live 30.11.2003 at the BLOOMSBURY THEATRE, LONDON

LINE UP
Doug Boyle (guitar)
Richard Goughlan (drums)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
Jim Leverton (bass, vocals)
Geoffrey Richardson (viola, flute)
Jan Schelhaas (keyboards)

Jimmy Hastings (saxophone)

VERSIONS
year/format/label/cat/country
2005/2DVD/Chrome Dreams/CVIS397/UK
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

If a week is a long time in politics then 35 years in the music business is an eternity, and certainly reason enough to hold a celebratory concert and release it on DVD. Caravan have undergone something of a resurgence in recent years, a situation no doubt aided by the fact that they are the consummate live band and the fact that they are still producing fine quality music (as our review of their last album, The Unauthorised Breakfast Item proves). The line-up is the same as on that album (unsurprisingly, as the concert was recorded at the end of 2003!) with Pye Hasting on guitar and vocals, Richard Coughlan on drums and percussion, Geoffrey Richardson on viola, flute, garden shears (!) and electric spoons (!!), Jim Leverton on bass and vocals, Doug Boyle on lead guitar and Jan Schelhaas on keyboards. Caravan have always forged their own idiosyncratic musical path. Maybe because they were often dismissed as whimsical they never received the attention they richly deserve from the critics. That is a great shame as, with the exception of a couple of clunkers in the early 1980s, all their albums contain music of the highest calibre, from the humorous to the innovative, the band were, and are, frighteningly versatile. Thankfully this is captured on this DVD, the track listing of which will be a delight to old fans of the band and an eye-opener to those who have previously dismissed the band or have never heard any of their material. Filmed at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, the group are in fine fettle, pulling an inspired performance out of the bag. Things start with a trio of 'whimsies' that set the atmosphere for the evening. The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again, Why Why Why (And I Wish I Were Stoned) and Golf Girl display the characteristic wit of lyricist Hastings combined with instantly memorable melodies. The charismatic Richardson displays his versatility by playing first viola, then flute and finally an electric spoons solo! Well as I suppose now they have Doug Boyle in the band he has no need to provide additional guitar parts so has to do something! The intense prog starts with a great rendition of Nine Feet Underground, enhanced by the lovely vocals of Jim Leverton and the lead guitar work of Boyle, whose addition to the line-up have given Caravan a heavier sound. Richardson makes his presence felt again on Hello Hello by being probably the first person ever to play a pair of garden shears live on stage! Leaping forward a few years, with four of the next five tracks (Head Above The Clouds, Revenge, Smoking Gun and The Unauthorised Breakfast Album) are all from the band's most recent album. It's a testament to the consistency of the song writing that these songs blend in so well with the older, classic material. If you don't know what more mature musicians can offer to today's musical climate then check out Revenge which is simply a superb song. There are some sublime musical moments throughout the DVD, particularly when Richardson's viola is merged with Hastings's or Boyle's guitar as on Nightmare, the standout track from 1977's Better By Far album, or on the beautiful Backwards performed in a version that simply couldn't be bettered. No Caravan performance would be complete without a version of For Richard, the group's signature song, and this night was no exception. Considering how many times I must have heard this song, it still manages to sound fresh, helped by the band's talent for subtly rearrangement. On this version we are treated to a special guest appearance by Jimmy Hastings, Pye's older brother, on flute and a wonderful pizzicato viola and electric piano interlude. The concert rounds off with the classic Memory Lain Hugh / Headloss played with gusto (and Richardson back on flute) and the title track of their second album If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You, another whimsical title but a great song and a rousing way to end the concert with succinct and tasteful solos of Boyle and Jimmy Hastings (clarinet), not forgetting the reappearance of the electric spoons! Disc two offers up a selection of bonus material: a short acoustic set, some interviews and a rare promotional film from 1973. The live acoustic set, also recorded during the Bloomsbury Theatre concert, was the first time the group had attempted such a presentation. Only the two Hastings brothers, Boyle and Richardson perform on these numbers, the first time the band has appeared on stage without their drummer as Coughlan himself was quick to point out! The acoustic setting underlines the beautiful fragility of the songs which adapt well to the more intimate presentation. The interviews are interesting but give a somewhat superficial history of the band skipping over long periods of the band's history. Doesn't help either that the majority of the running time is taken up with clips from the live show! The promotional film of The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again is quite a treat and a genuine rarity - very enjoyable if only for Pye's remarkable hair of the period and Geoffrey's yellow dungarees! On the whole this is a splendid DVD and should hopefully do a lot to cement Caravan's reputation as an important but generally overlooked band. Superb songs, superb musicianship and good fun. What better way to while away a few hours?
Mark Hughes 9/10 01.02.2006 (DPRP.NET)

I purchased this set awhile ago but thought I'd leave a review as I've just recently watched it again. The first thing that struck me on seeing this for a second time is the superlative musicianship throughout the concert. Unlike many other groups of a similar age returning to some of their old chestnuts, these modern performances are just as good if not slightly better than the originals - with a couple of new numbers thrown in as well. They must have put in a lot of practice (they were also at the end of a tour as well) and the choice of material is also excellent including 'Golf Girl', 'Memory Lain Hugh/Headloss', 'Nightmare' & my personal favourite 'Nine Feet Underground'. Even though it lasts for over 20 minutes it doesn't seem so as in reality it's several shorter songs strung together. Special mention must go to Doug Boyle for his fantastic guitar work, Jan Schelhaas on keyboards and...well, everybody played well ! "But why no 5 stars?", you may ask. As a previous reviewer has pointed out Pye Hastings seems to be struggling with some of his vocal parts. As you may know he has quite a soft singing voice and because none of us are getting any younger he's finding it hard to reach some notes he may have found easy when a man in his twenties. That's not putting him down or anything, just that he may need to rethink his vocal approach to his songs as, for example, Roger Daltrey has done with the rejuvenated Who (If you've seen any of their recent live performances you'll hear that he's adapted his singing style slightly so he can cope with things.) Anyway, it's just a thought. Hope you don't give me a left hook if you're reading this, Pye ! In conclusion,it's still worth buying if you take into account what's mentioned above and, by the way, the concert was on 30th November 2003 (as stated on the front of the case) and not 30th June (as stated on the back). There's no 5.1 sound, just stereo, but is mixed well and sounds fine. Don't forget...where else can you hear someone playing garden shears 'live' on stage ?!
Mr. G. Johnston "hamrag2" (Carnforth, Lancs.) 4/5 08.07.2007 (AMAZON)

With 160 minutes running time on two dvds you get a lot of time for your money. Remembering Caravan from their great performances of the 1970s I was looking forward to this concert but I have to say I was disappointed. Pye Hastings voice seems to have lost something - occasionally the ability to stay in tune. Doug Boyle played very well on guitar as did Jan Schelhaus on keyboards, but the group misses the Sinclair cousins.
"Canterbury fan" (Darwen, Lancs) 3/5 03.04.2006 (AMAZON)

I recently saw them on their latest tour and they are better than ever, great musicians. This DVD will tide me over till I can see them again.
DWJONES 5/5 11.04.2013 (AMAZON)

Excellent value double DVD from the masters of folk!
A real extravaganza of a concert finally released on DVD! They film is over two hours long & shows them at their best. All those years of practice have really paid off! This DVD has both acoustic and electric sets and features classic songs such as "The Dog, the Dog, he's at it Again," "Love Song with Flute" and "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You". The band are really entertaining playing spoons & even a pair of garden shears! Extras include a funny 1973 promotional video for "The Dog, the Dog, He's at it Again."
Natalie Butler (Utah) 5/5 30.01.2006 (AMAZON)

If a week is a long time in politics then 35 years in the music business is an eternity, and certainly reason enough to hold a celebratory concert and release it on DVD. Caravan have undergone something of a resurgence in recent years, a situation no doubt aided by the fact that they are the consummate live band and the fact that they are still producing fine quality music (as our review of their last album, The Unauthorised Breakfast Item proves). The line-up is the same as on that album (unsurprisingly, as the concert was recorded at the end of 2003!) with Pye Hasting on guitar and vocals, Richard Coughlan on drums and percussion, Geoffrey Richardson on viola, flute, garden shears (!) and electric spoons (!!), Jim Leverton on bass and vocals, Doug Boyle on lead guitar and Jan Schelhaas on keyboards. Caravan have always forged their own idiosyncratic musical path. Maybe because they were often dismissed as whimsical they never received the attention they richly deserve from the critics. That is a great shame as, with the exception of a couple of clunkers in the early 1980s, all their albums contain music of the highest calibre, from the humorous to the innovative, the band were, and are, frighteningly versatile. Thankfully this is captured on this DVD, the track listing of which will be a delight to old fans of the band and an eye-opener to those who have previously dismissed the band or have never heard any of their material. Filmed at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, the group are in fine fettle, pulling an inspired performance out of the bag. Things start with a trio of 'whimsies' that set the atmosphere for the evening. The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again, Why Why Why (And I Wish I Were Stoned) and Golf Girl display the characteristic wit of lyricist Hastings combined with instantly memorable melodies. The charismatic Richardson displays his versatility by playing first viola, then flute and finally an electric spoons solo! Well as I suppose now they have Doug Boyle in the band he has no need to provide additional guitar parts so has to do something! The intense prog starts with a great rendition of Nine Feet Underground, enhanced by the lovely vocals of Jim Leverton and the lead guitar work of Boyle, whose addition to the line-up have given Caravan a heavier sound. Richardson makes his presence felt again on Hello Hello by being probably the first person ever to play a pair of garden shears live on stage! Leaping forward a few years, with four of the next five tracks (Head Above The Clouds, Revenge, Smoking Gun and The Unauthorised Breakfast Album) are all from the band's most recent album. It's a testament to the consistency of the song writing that these songs blend in so well with the older, classic material. If you don't know what more mature musicians can offer to today's musical climate then check out Revenge which is simply a superb song. There are some sublime musical moments throughout the DVD, particularly when Richardson's viola is merged with Hastings's or Boyle's guitar as on Nightmare, the standout track from 1977's Better By Far album, or on the beautiful Backwards performed in a version that simply couldn't be bettered. No Caravan performance would be complete without a version of For Richard, the group's signature song, and this night was no exception. Considering how many times I must have heard this song, it still manages to sound fresh, helped by the band's talent for subtly rearrangement. On this version we are treated to a special guest appearance by Jimmy Hastings, Pye's older brother, on flute and a wonderful pizzicato viola and electric piano interlude. The concert rounds off with the classic Memory Lain Hugh / Headloss played with gusto (and Richardson back on flute) and the title track of their second album If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You, another whimsical title but a great song and a rousing way to end the concert with succinct and tasteful solos of Boyle and Jimmy Hastings (clarinet), not forgetting the reappearance of the electric spoons! Disc two offers up a selection of bonus material: a short acoustic set, some interviews and a rare promotional film from 1973. The live acoustic set, also recorded during the Bloomsbury Theatre concert, was the first time the group had attempted such a presentation. Only the two Hastings brothers, Boyle and Richardson perform on these numbers, the first time the band has appeared on stage without their drummer as Coughlan himself was quick to point out! The acoustic setting underlines the beautiful fragility of the songs which adapt well to the more intimate presentation. The interviews are interesting but give a somewhat superficial history of the band skipping over long periods of the band's history. Doesn't help either that the majority of the running time is taken up with clips from the live show! The promotional film of The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again is quite a treat and a genuine rarity - very enjoyable if only for Pye's remarkable hair of the period and Geoffrey's yellow dungarees! On the whole this is a splendid DVD and should hopefully do a lot to cement Caravan's reputation as an important but generally overlooked band. Superb songs, superb musicianship and good fun. What better way to while away a few hours?
MARK HUGHES 9/10 (DPRP)

There's nothing like seeing aging rockers up on stage having the time of their lives and making solid music that still sounds fresh 35 years after it was initially recorded. And that's why this limited-edition two-DVD set from Caravan, one of England's great (yet unheralded) Canterbury-based progressive-rock bands, is such a joy to watch. Recorded on June 30, 2003, at London's Bloomsbury Theatre, the two-hour-and-15-minute performance features many core members and covers the band's entire career from "Place of My Own" to new songs that would appear on 2004's The Unauthorised Breakfast Item (whose title track was apparently inspired by a run-in with a hotel waitress during the band's stay in Trenton, N.J., for 2002's NEARFest). The years have been kind to vocalist/guitarist Pye Hastings who looks a lot like Bill Clinton these days along with drummer Richard Coughlan, keyboardist Jan Schelhaas, lead guitarist Doug Boyle, bassist Jim Leverton and multi-instrumentalist Geoffrey Richardson. They all look healthy, although the sweet-voiced Hastings has a little trouble on some of the high notes, and he needs sheet music during the three-song acoustic set a Caravan first. And I'm still not sure why Coughlan opted to wear slippers and pajamas on stage. But once these English gentlemen get into a groove, there seems to be no stopping them. In fact, only 18 songs are squeezed in approximately 135 minutes, with pieces like "Nine Feet Underground" pushing 20 minutes in length. Coughlan handles most of the between-song banter when he's not absorbed playing the flute, electric violin, spoons and garden shears. (Yes, garden shears.) A black backdrop and minimal lighting put the emphasis where it should be: On these exemplary musicians and the fine tunes full of melody and passion that they can still play with authority and finesse. No wonder Hastings admits in a 24-minute interview segment that he thinks Caravan had more energy and enjoyed themselves more in 2003 than they had in years. It certainly shows. (For a peek at -- or a friendly reminder of -- what Caravan looked like back in the day, the second DVD in this set also includes a promotional video for "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again," filmed in 1973.)
Michael Popke 4,5/5 14.03.2006 (SEAOFTRANQUILITY)

One of Caravan's hottest Performances
Not much to say except if you are a fan of Caravan, buy this DVD. Good mixture of older and newer material, band plays with a lot of energy and there is a good menu of songs. Sound quality is acceptable, although not up to the standards on some of the newer DVD's. Also, some very enjoyable banter between songs. Only disappointment is there was nothing really unexpected, and Caravan has many live albums out with many of the same songs. Would have been nice to get something a little more unexpected
Stephen K. Piskor (Chapel Hill NC) 4/5 01.02.2006 (AMAZON)

First off, I'm a huge Caravan fan. I saw their first 2 US tours back in the '70's. I saw them upon their return to the US in twothouusandgodI'moldnow. This DVD is a great show, although the audio is not perfectly mixed, and should be a part of every Caravan collection. Don't put off buying this DVD, do it now!
Geoffrey R. Teese (Coos Bay, OR United States) 5/5 09.01.2007 (AMAZON)

I remember these guys in my early college days, and they appear to still be together. This DVD is from 2003, and on the DVD, they mention that they released a newer album about the time this DVD was packaged and sold. They have a website and one can go to it (type in "Caravan" rock band on Google) and see what they are up to. Jimmy Hastings guests on one song, and he played flute and saxes in the early years on their studio albums. Jimmy has his own band now and tours most of England and the Netherlands. Check out his website! He teams up occasionally with the Sinclair boys and plays in pubs all over the UK. On this DVD, the sound quality is not very good, and one would do well to try to see if Dolby 5.1 will work or else just plain stereo. In any event, everything sounds canned, as if they are not really playing "live," which they are. As an example, the violin is loud, and one cannot hear the nice fretwork the lead player does. So the audio quality is somewhat poor. A suggestion is to crank it up on a decent stereo, try for mono out of any speakers you have set up and go for it. I am amazed at the musicianship and everyone looks as though they are having a great time. The 2nd DVD has interviews of the lads as well as an acoustic set, and keep in mind it is from 2003.
Here we are, seven years later, and they still cook for me. Enjoy, especially if you are prog-rock fan.
James G. Moore Jr. "zappafan49" (rockford, IL) 4/5 11.07.2010 (AMAZON)

great band,poor sound.
The music is fine,however the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. It lacks punch and volume,especially on the drums.
bosco 3/5 09.09.2009 (AMAZON)