Angel Air NJPDVD616
Region-free (PAL) DVD. 16:9 picture.
Medicine Head was probably John Fiddler's best-known band and, apart from a spell around 73-74 always a minimalist band. No live footage of them in their heyday exists (commercially), hence this DVD recorded at a special gig in the summer of 2003.
Now whether you call John Fiddler plus one (in this case Darrell Bath - Ian Hunter's former guitarist) Medicine Head is a debatable point, given that the set captured here features songs from all points in John's career. Added to which is the fact that this was recorded before an invited audience in a film studio somewhere in west London - certainly not the biggest venue John has played in.
The audience is small but appreciative and with both men playing acoustic guitars (John plays some harp as well) the dynamics of the set are never going to bowl you over. That said, the minimalist approach benefits from the acoustic treatment and is all the better for it. However, this can make everything sound a bit "samey", making the whole show a bit hard to digest all in one sitting.
The DVD includes grainy, bootleg-type shots from the back of the audience, presumably to convey the feel of the gig more. Led Zeppelin used this to great effect on their DVD, but its use here didn't work for me.
Bonus material includes interviews with John and with Darrell, and with MTHAS editor Keith Smith. The back cover also says it includes a discography - I found it at the end of the John Fiddler interview, and it seems to be limited to just the Angel Air releases.
Medicine Head fans may well love it, but fans coming from British Lions or even Box of Frogs may be less enthralled.
There is a companion CD, Fiddler's Anthology - Greatest Hits - Live, also on Angel Air.
John's official website is at www.johnfiddler.com.