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on November 26, 2004
WOW ! Shadows' fans everywhere, rejoice ! Here is the fabulous DVD of their final tour that not only meets, but exceeds all expectations. This is a special treat for us fans in Canada and the USA, where in the US at least, this great group has never been on the radar screen.

Before you read on--a confession. Ever since I heard their first hit "Apache" in 1960, I have been a diehard fan--so this review is very, very biased ! I considered them then--as I do now--to be the greatest pop/rock instrumental band in the world.
The Shads--as their legions of fans call them--had not played together in several years. Fortunately, due to constant fan support all over the globe, they decided to get back together for this final tour. They became stars, first as Cliff Richard's back-up group, then in their own right, about 45 years ago, when they were scarcely more than teenagers--do the math--they aren't kids anymore. However, like a fine wine, the Shads have actually improved with age--they never sounded better or played better than in this marvellous concert, recorded in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this year.

Of course, the Shads are--Hank Marvin, lead guitar--Bruce Welch, rhythm guitar--Brian Bennett, drums. They are accompanied on this tour by two other fine musicians--Mark Griffiths, bass and Cliff Hall, keyboards. You really get your "moneys worth" with this concert--it clocks in at around three hours and includes 39 numbers from their long career.

There is a lot of variety here--exciting, fast-paced tunes like The Savage", "Geronimo", "Shazam", "Shadoogie", "Gonzales" and "FBI"--lovely melodic numbers like "Atlantis", "Theme for Young Lovers","Theme from the Deer Hunter" and the timeless "Wonderful Land". Hank and Bruce have always been good vocalists too, and two of their big vocal hits are included, " Don't Make My Baby Blue" and "Let Me Be the One". They also pay tribute to their old "boss", Sir Cliff, with several of his hits which the Shads wrote--"The Day I Met Marie", "Gee Whiz It's You", "Summer Holiday" and "Bachelor Boy".

I was also impressed with their overall performance--they really seemed to be having as much fun as the audience. Brian Bennett gets several chances to show that he can play drums with the best of them--his showcase "Little B" is a clinic for aspiring drummers everywhere. Bruce Welch shows us, as he has for years, that there is more to rhythm guitar than just strumming--he's no slouch as a "picker" either--listen to his duet with Hank on the jazzy "Nivram". As for Hank Marvin--beautiful lead guitar work--the man who gives the Shads their unique sound--the man who "launched a thousand guitar players" ( probably more ! )--my favourite guitarist, sounding better than ever.

I found the technical quality of the DVD to be excellent--the picture sharp and clear--for sound, all important for this group, I picked the DTS option--really outstanding. I felt like I had a front row seat !

The DVD also includes a very relaxed and informative interview with Hank and Bruce, remembering their childhood in Newcastle
(no wonder Mark Knopfler is a fan !), and then moving to London to find fame and fortune. Brian joins them about half way through the interview, and recalls how he joined the group. There are also scenes of their post-tour party in London, with people like Brian May, Queen's great guitarist, paying tribute to the Shads, and Hank in particular. Also at the party--Sir Cliff himself, sounding quite wistful that he may never get a chance to perform with his old mates again. C'mon, Cliff--they said "last tour" not last concert--if anyone can talk them into something really special, say for a worthy charity, gee whiz it's you !

I know that five stars is the "max" under this system, but--as I'm sure you can tell--this disc is worth a lot more to me than that--much more. For Shads fans, this DVD is a wonderful testament to the music and talent of Hank, Bruce and Brian. For people who were never exposed to "Shadowmania", why not see what you have been missing ? ! My highest recommendation.

A footnote dated 13 July 2010--Shadows' fans should be aware that this marvellous concert has now been released on a Blu-ray disc. Since the original DVD, reviewed above, was pretty special to begin with, I wondered what I could expect from the Blu-ray disc. It is--in a word--spectacular. Of course, the visual quality is enhanced, but the sound is tremendous. Close your eyes and you'll think that Hank is playing in your living room ! Of course, you might need a large living room ! Anyway, you get the drift. In addition to all the great numbers mentioned in my review, there is another that I would like to mention--the beautiful "Mountains of the Moon" which opens the second half of the concert--quite mesmerizing. So, if you dig the Shads and have invested in a Blu-ray player, " Let me be the one" to say that you are in for quite a treat !
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on November 28, 2004
Taped in Cardiff. Released (by Silver Eagle) in the U.S.!

All the Shads things you'd expect; a few you might not; a couple of Crosby, Stills & Farrar* songs; some they recorded with Cliff. Keyboards for the most part mixed way down (who wants keyboards on a Shadows record?). red Fender Telecaster and white Burns Bison electric guitars**; acoustic on some numbers; a few vocals.

Also included is an about 40-minute interview with Bruce, Hank and Brian. Did'ja know that the idea of "steps" was appropriated from The Treniers? That McCartney pitched them "Here, There and Everywhere," then reneged? That Jimmy Page plays harmonica on "Time Drags By"? That Tony Meehan's departure saved Brian from the pit band of "Stop the World"? All here and much more.

The tune listing is from the CD, but it's identical.

Disc: 1

1. Intro - Apache Medley

2. Riders In The Sky

3. The Frightened City

4. Theme For Young Lovers

5. Peace Pipe

6. The Savage

7. Let Me Be The One

8. The Stranger

9. Kon Tiki

10. Going Home (Theme from Local Hero)

11. Dance On

12. Nivram

13. Lady Of The Morning

14. My Home Town

15. Guitar Tango

16. Geronimo

17. Sleepwalk

18. 36-24-36

19. Shazam

20. Don't Cry For Me Argentina

21. Equinox V

Disc: 2

1. Mountains Of The Moon

2. Shadoogie

3. Gonzales

4. Don't Make My Baby Blue

5. The Rise And Fall Of Flingle Bunt

6. Atlantis

7. Shindig

8. Man Of Mystery

9. Foot Tapper

10. Please Don't Tease

11. In The Country

12. I Could Easily Fall

13. The Day I Met Marie

14. Gee Whiz It's You

15. Summer Holiday

16. Bachelor Boy

17. Little B

18. Theme From The Deerhunter

19. Wonderful Land

20. FBI

21. Apache

The filming is either straightforward or unimaginative, depending on how you look at it; I like the lack of gimmickry. The micing is very tight, so it sounds more like a studio set than your typical "live" rock concert. I like the way it is, where you can hear everyhing, The audience, most of whom probably grew up with the Shads, aren't particularly demonstrative, though they seem to be having a good time -- rattling their walkers, waving their canes in the air, etc.***.

* note: joke

** this is important to some of us

*** another joke
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on July 19, 2005
Just got done viewing 'Shadows - The Final Tour' and i must say they were at their best...the concert show was flawless. I am from the United States and when The Shadows started out in the late 50's, i did not get much of their music, as here, they were pushing The Ventures which is a great instrumental group in their own right, but when i was able to purchase my first recording for The Shadows titled 'Wonderful Land', i was hooked from that day on...after buying my second 45 of theirs here in the states titled 'Guitar Tango' i knew from then that no band would come close to them. It was so hard to get their songs here, that i would have to order imports of their songs...finally after about 40 plus years, the U.S. finally discoverd them..but, they were not new to me, for i followed their music and careers since the late 50's. There is no greater guitar player in my books than Hank B. Marvin..they have such a unique sound that it gives chills to my body, and when a song does that...it has a lot going for it, for i am very particular in my music...once again, this DVD of the Shadows is 'THE BEST' ...if no one has ever heard of this fantastic rock instrumental band, i would highly recommend this title...more than a 5 star rating from me for this group of talented musicians.
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on December 23, 2005
This is a handsomely produced concert with 16x9 widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS sound, in addition to the regular two-channel stereo. Excellent picture and sound quality. The Shadows sound great with the arrangements sounding almost exactly like the original audio recordings. The song selection is great, with group playing their big hits, plus songs when they backed Cliff Richard. The keyboard player adds string parts, making the songs sound much like the originals. I can't praise this DVD enough. If you are a fan of the Shadows, get this DVD. You won't be disappointed.
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on May 7, 2005
At last I was able to get an excellent concert DVD featuring my all time favourite band. This DVD is a must for all instrumental music lovers. The recording is superb and if you have a high definition TV, the picture quality is a treat for your eyes. They play almost all of their hits with almost 99% originality.I will strongly recommend this DVD. Take it from me, you won't regret your purchase.
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on February 6, 2007
If you are The Shadows fan, no doubt about it... get it.

It worth the money. 3 hours of best Shadows music, sound quality is great on my home theather. Audio choice: Dolby stereo, Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS. I use DTS it sound like you are there in the concert. Sound quality I rate it 8 out of 10. Pictue quality on my 50 inche HDTV, I rate it 5 out of 10.

This DVD is awesome, I will watch it again and again or listen to it again and again. I wish Amazon carry more of The Shadows DVD. So far this is the only one.
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on May 22, 2007
An excellent concert by the original Shadows covering the complete history of their music presented as close as possible to the original recordings. Not only were the arrangements original but they changed guitars to match those used on the recordings. Three hours of great music. A great value.
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on March 8, 2007
This DVD of their concert allows Shadows fans the world over, who have never seen them live, to really appreciate the mastery of the original 3 guys, Hank, Tony and Brian. The music of today should be so pure and unprenentious. Truly wonderful. Well produced and the sound is great. The interviews at the end give the background to this great group who have influenced so many aspiring musicians.

R. Foster

Barbados

West Indies
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on February 3, 2007
I've been a Shad's fan for over 40 years and deplored the fact that the US was the only place in the universe that had never heard of them. I still have most of the original 45's, quite a few LP's and, I believe every CD they ever recorded. (I also have a Fiesta Red Stratocaster and the white 40th anniversary Hank Marvin Burns (also used in the concert)). The DVD is just beautifully recorded and filmed; the cuts sound very close to the originals, quite a feat for a live concert. Hank is at his best. A must see!
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on February 18, 2015
From England the Shadows are one of the greatest instrumental groups of all time. From the 50' to 60' they backed Cliff Richard and also wrote many of his hits plus they starred in several movies with Cliff. They went on to a solo career often playing with different bands like Dire Straits for example. The lead guitar player Hank Marvin is in a class of his own. He uses a unique guitar "Fender Stratocaster" (hope I've got the spelling right!) and plays this extraordinarily haunting instrument along with a couple of other giutars including an acoustic guitar as well. For those of you who like the old "Rock n' Roll" era this is the Blu-Ray for you! It's exceptional and the two other remaining band members Bruce Welch on rhythm guitar and Tony Bennett on drums (watch out for Tony's incredible drum solo) along with Hank Marvin render their songs, all of which sound just like the original recordings. They also have a great pianist and bass player with them. This is one concert you really DON"T WANT TO MISS!!!
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