Region-free (PAL) DVD. 16:9 picture.
On January 29th and 30th 2002, Ian Hunter performed two special concerts at the Sentrum Scene, Oslo. These shows were recorded and filmed for DVD, and are now finally available. These were shows with a difference - instead of his normal touring band, Ian chose instead to perform an "unplugged" set, backed by a string section (the Trondheim Soloists).
The set is quite different from his usual one, as is the running order (Once Bitten Twice Shy and All The Young Dudes both appearing in the middle) - but no matter. The change to an acoustic arrangement allows Ian to include numbers such as Rest In Peace (not performed live since Mott The Hoople), All Of The Good Ones, Waterlow and Ships.
The heavier numbers work well in the new format as well, such as 23A Swan Hill which is nothing short of brilliant and set closer Saturday Gigs (where Ian passes the mic round the soloists for the "...we do, we do" on the closing chorus). Two new numbers were unveiled as well, Twisted Steel (about the tragic events of 9/11) and Rollerball - if this is indicative of Ian's writing at the moment, his next album will be a monster.
Ian included a cover in his set as well, the poignant, touching A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, which leads neatly into a beautiful arrangement of Michael Picasso.
The concert itself runs for about 90 minutes. Extras on the DVD include a 30-minute interview with Ian, and behind-the scenes footage. If I have a criticism of the DVD, it is that I would have preferred the picture to be anamorphic widescreen - as it is, viewers with a standard (4:3) TV will get a letterbox picture instead of a fullscreen one.
All in all, an excellent DVD.