Fireworks

Panic Room - 'Screens - Live In London' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/df/ed/18/panic-room-screens-live-in-london-58-1521749468.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 22, 2018    
 
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It feels and sounds authentically live.

It's taken a year between filming and release, but the wait has been well worth it as clearly plenty of time has been spent on getting everything right. To this end, I have to commend the editing which is straightforward (no Mike Mansfield style gimmicks) and the cuts between shots aren't too frequent or rapid. It's a multi-camera recording, but each angle is used as and when required rather than gratuitously, and I like the fact that lighting is understated and not glaring; it certainly makes it feel more intimate.
Also commendable is that there's not a hint of anything being "fixed" in the studio; it feels and sounds authentically live. As is said in the interview extra, the band's fans have been asking for a live recording from them for a while and they'll not be disappointed with this set.

With a band of this quality there was never any doubt that the set-list would be anything other than first class, and in front-woman Anne-Marie Helder they have an absolute gem. 'Into Temptation' is an atmospheric opener, while the following 'Freedom To Breathe' really rocks. There's no time for idle chit-chat between songs and it's straight into 'Screens' with its Gary Numan-esque synth refrain and fabulous chorus.



There's not a weak moment amongst the nineteen tracks on offer and the set is well paced with a good balance between song styles. There are many highlights but I have to mention 'Start The Sound' which is a triumph for the band and Helder in particular. The passion is palpable as it is with 'Chameleon' that follows. 'Firefly', with just Jonathan Edwards' piano, Helder's voice and some acoustic guitar accentuations from Dave Foster is spine-tingling; you could hear a pin drop. They close the set with the utterly sublime 'Satellite' which mixes subtlety and power brilliantly.

If I have any criticisms, it's that Foster's guitar solos are, at times, a little too widdly and florid for my taste which makes them feel at odds with the ethos of the songs. Elsewhere however, such as on the aforementioned 'Chameleon', both solos are terrific and more controlled. Also, I think I'd have been tempted to "fix" the crowd appreciation/applause which doesn't do the band justice as it sounds as if there's just a handful of people there, which I know was not the case.

Gary Marshall

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