Man on DVD? Just what is the world coming to... obviously this is a hugely welcome release, even if most of it is actually what was on the Bananas video of the Marquee reunion gig of 1983 - check out this review for details. Just to remind you, this featured -
- Talk About a Morning
- Back Together Again
- Hard Way to Die
- The Ride and The View
- Hard Way to Live
Being on DVD however, means the sound and video quality are much improved on VHS tape. It makes viewing the gig a much more vivid experience; together with the subdued lighting, it really does feel like an intimate, sweaty club atmosphere. Plus, as seems standard with DVDs, you get a menu which lets you skip from track to track in an instant without any tedious tape rewinding. Terrific.
The other DVD extras are a brief rundown on the band's history, and a similarly brief discography. As I've said before, trying to document the band's recorded output comprehensively is a task of herculean proportions (but Martin Mycock is Hercules), but all the regular stuff is here. Any casual viewer would be more than happy with it.
But what is likely to be of greatest interest to the commited Man fan is the extra devoted to Martin Ace. He went into the studio with an accoustic guitar, and performed seven pieces solo, and interspersed with these pieces is a sympathetic interview.
The songs are quite an unexpectedly mixed bag. There are a couple of what sound like folk standards, such as Black Jack Davy, and others which at one point or another, had been featured on the setlist of the Flying Aces, such as Well Alright. It's great to get a recorded version at last of one Ace's great titles, I Always Thought the Walrus was Protected which I remember getting a fabulous outing at the first Welsh Convention with Poco Loco; and my own personal highlight from this set, Rainbows on my Blue Suede Shoes.
The interview is really a potted autobiography, which reveals something I certainly didn't know - "I was very into cowboys when I was a kid", and takes us through his early influences: as you might expect, Lonnie Donnegan gets a mention. As you might not expect, so does Cliff Richard. Martin takes us swiftly through the major comings and goings of the band, ("Read Deke's books!") and makes it clear that the simple truth is, he just loves making music.
This really should be an essential purchase for any Man fan. The original Bananas video was never the easiest thing to get hold of, and the Marquee gig alone would make this a necessary purchase, considering the improved quality of reproduction. The Ace solo material is just the jam on top. Release date is 10 September 2001, and (among other places) it's available from Amazon. And if you don't have a DVD player, you will not find a better excuse for getting one than this.
Shepperton International Film Studios
Middlesex TW17 0QD
Website - www.classicpictures.co.uk
Back to the TV and video page