The Move

Colour Me Pop: The Small Faces/The Move [DVD]

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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

This probably unauthorized DVD is divided into two segments taken from late-'60s broadcasts on the British TV program Colour Me Pop, one devoted to the Small Faces, the other to the Move. Not a whole lot of Move footage has been seen since the group disbanded (particularly in the United States, where the band never had commercial success), so the availability of this disc is to be welcomed by Move fans, despite its imperfections. The only major flaw in the Move portion is the less than stellar image quality, though it's quite watchable and not a major distraction. Apparently taken from a single episode (as the group appears in the same clothes throughout), a guess would place this in early 1969, as one of the songs they play is their big British hit, "Blackberry Way" (which made its splash around that time), and as the lineup is the quartet of Carl Wayne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Trevor Burton, original member Ace Kefford having departed. The stage presentation is straightforward, and not as flashy as some might expect; some earlier Move clips that have surfaced are more kinetic and colorful. But as compensation, the set is live, not lip-synced, allowing one to focus on the band proving itself as a very capable concert unit. There are some mild surprises that wouldn't be evident from just being familiar with their records: their considerable skill at doing sophisticated three-part harmonies live, the occasional burst of lead vocals from unheralded bassist Burton, and the full sound they achieve with just Wood's guitar, Burton's bass, and Bevan's drums (though Wayne does play guitar on "The Christian Life"). The songs include some of their biggest hits ("Blackberry Way," "I Can Hear the Grass Grow," "Flowers in the Rain," "Fire Brigade") and better non-hits ("Beautiful Daughter" and a very Byrds-ish cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind"), though "Blackberry Way" audibly suffers from the loss of the Mellotron in the recorded version. Probably of most interest to the committed Move fan are a couple of songs they didn't put on their official releases, those being covers of "The Christian Life" and "Goin' Back," almost certainly based on the arrangements the Byrds used when they covered those numbers themselves on late-'60s albums. As for the Small Faces' part of the DVD, incidentally, while the content (the band playing much of its Ogden's Nut Gone Flake album live on Colour Me Pop in June 1968, complete with narration by Stan Unwin) is enticing, both the image and sound are lamentably rather poor -- far more so than they are for the Move's performance on the same DVD.