The Creation

Red with Purple Flashes: The Creation Live [Video]

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The Creation eventually became one of the best-loved cult bands of the 1960s, but this video of two reunion shows from the mid-'90s is inevitably going to be at least something of a letdown, considering the inherent impossibility of recapturing the excitement of the group's '60s peak. Actually, the band sounds surprisingly good, and reasonably close to the sound of its old records, though with the passage of several decades, it would be impossible to recapture the freshness of the Creation's original incarnation. The first five songs on this nearly two-hour disc are from a reunion show at the Mean Fiddler in London on July 6, 1993, and while it's no great shakes visually -- just a straight video document of a club gig -- the group (original lineup intact) comes off reasonably well. Those five songs are broken up by super-brief interview segments with bandmembers, and it might have been better to build the rest of the video around those Q&As (if there was enough interesting footage) than a second reunion gig. For the bulk of the program is devoted to a subsequent show with the same personnel, again at the Mean Fiddler, on August 22, 1995, and it suffers from major problems. Most annoyingly, the vocals are poorly miked and/or recorded, and pretty overwhelmed by the music in the mix, though it's not just the sound balance that's the culprit, since the crappy fidelity renders singer Kenny Pickett's between-song announcements downright indecipherable. Unfortunately, the criticisms don't stop there, as the camera work is sometimes unsteady. Combined with the grating audio, it makes the segment a chore to watch -- and this 16-song segment comprises most of the content on this DVD. It's a shame, as if done with mere competence this would have been a respectable record of the reunion, the Creation running through much of their slim recorded repertoire (as well as covers of Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" and "Batman," and a couple of songs from the group's 1990s reunion recordings). Eddie Phillips periodically whips out his heralded bow to play his guitar once in a while (also playing his axe with a mike stand at one point), marking the visual high points of this collectors-only document; Pickett also does some pop-art spray painting as he did in the Creation's mid-'60s concerts, though those antics are less exciting.

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