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Blackmore's Night
Castles & Dreams

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Blackmore's Night Castles & Dreams

DVD Label: SPV

 

  This is something all of Blackmore's Night fans have been waiting for, a DVD of a live performance with interviews and all the extra goodies. It is all here on Castles & Dreams. I have completely enjoyed all of their studio work and I often wondered how it would be to watch them perform some of their best material live. Well now I know, Blackmore's Night is just as good live as they are in the studio. All of the appropriate visual effects are in place, the stage setting, and all the clothing everyone wears in the band. A lot of audience members dress for the occasion as well. It is very similar to a Renaissance Fair complete with a traveling minstrel show.

The two generous DVDs offer quite a selection of songs, spanning their career. The extras and behind the scenes material is quite interesting. Interviews with band members, Ritchie and Candace, and commentary from their manager Carole Stevens are included. One thing I found out was how long Ritchie and Candace have been together. I like many others, figured they started the band together and their relationship developed from there, this is not the case at all, they have been together for over 15 years now. So Candace was with him when he was with Rainbow and his brief stints with Deep Purple.

Since this band has so many loyal fans all over the world, the DVD is in several languages so everyone can enjoy it. They are all about their fans and this DVD is a perfect example of how they feel.

Some of the more amazing performances are impromptu takes inside a castle. It is an amazing thing to witness. Because of the acoustic instruments they play it's the perfect setting, the sounds resonate as the building serves as the amplifier. The Concert Burg Veldenstein offers only two tracks where Blackmore picks up the electric guitar, which surprised me. After hearing all of the studio albums you think I would be used to this by now. Even though I have enjoyed their entire output immensely, it still seems odd that most of the music he plays now is on an acoustic. It must be because I am such a big Rainbow and Deep Purple fan. This is definitely an entirely different phase of Blackmore's career and those days are nothing more than a memory and one he would rather not talk about. He prefers to focus on the here and now and where the music is going from this day forward. There is nothing commercial or flashy about this music and the way they present it, which the band prides itself on. I think that is why the band and their fans are such a closely-knit entity. This one thing allows them to stay under the commercial radar and continue making the music they truly enjoy. They are not concerned with making millions of dollars only in the quality of their music and that their fans enjoy it with them.

This band is so down to earth. There is some footage of them at a restaurant with people gathered around and they are talking and singing. It is all in the spirit of the music and the fellowship it encourages.

For me this really put everything into proper perspective regarding Blackmore's Night. It was like visiting with them for a while to get to know them better. If you are an ardent fan like me you will relish this set, it has everything you could possibly ask for.

 

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