Various Artists

Going Underground, Vol. 2: The Dutch Music Scene [DVD]

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As unauthorized DVDs (as this one likely is) go, this one might strike even those who collect these kind of things as mighty esoteric, compiling about an hour of footage from Dutch progressive rock bands of the late '60s and early '70s. The general U.S./U.K. fan is likely to have heard of a couple of the acts, Focus and Golden Earring. Plus many collectors who dig further than the hit parade may have heard, or even own records by, the Outsiders (not exactly a "progressive rock" band, but they make the cut anyway), Group 1850, and Ekseption. The others -- Sandy Coast, Earth and Fire, Solution, and Kayak -- are barely known even in the dedicated collector world. If you do have a specialized interest in this sort of stuff, however, this is fairly well done, even if seems like most or all of it was taped from television retrospectives, and not taken from the original source. Too, much of the material is lip-synched; not all of the songs are performed in completion; and a few (though not most) of the clips are obviously not pre-1975, but taken from reunions. Still, there's some decent material here, like Earth and Fire's mixture of heavy rock, pop, and progressive elements; Group 1850's bizarre, cryptic "Mother Nohead" (unfortunately overlaid with distracting captions). The Outsiders, sadly, are represented by one of their least impressive recordings ("Cup of Hot Coffee"), and don't actually even mime a performance in that clip, instead romping around on a boat. Golden Earring's performance of their huge international hit "Radar Love" is mimed too, but by the standard of lip-synched videos it's pretty good, and quite dynamically executed.