NEW BLOOD REVIEW: PETER GABRIEL IN 3D !
Review – Peter Gabriel/New Blood Live in London Sept 15
Peter Gabriel has always been one for pushing the boundaries of technology. Whether pioneering the use of the Fairlight to create music from the smashing of TV screens in the early 80s or providing video cameras to document human rights violations more recently, he has consistently found ways to make the hardware serve the cause, rather than let it dictate what he is allowed to do.
So the launch this week of his new concert film, New Blood Live in London, may have not have had much significance, had it not been presented in 3D. And, unlike many recent 3D presentations, the technology really does enhance the content.
New Blood Live in London was shot at Gabriel’s Hammersmith Apollo concerts earlier this year, at which he performed orchestral reinterpretations of his back catalogue, with no drums, guitars or synths involved. The gigs themselves were fantastic, with none of the supermarket-music connotations that often accompany ‘symphonic’ versions of classic rock. Gabriel managed to give new life and new meaning to some of his best-known pieces – hence, I guess, the New Blood title.
The film presents the music vividly – from the menace of the opening Intruder to the wrought emotion of Don’t Give Up - and manages to capture the atmosphere of the concerts very well, to the point where many fellow cinema-goers felt the urge to join in the applause at the end of each song. But the film also adds to the concert experience by giving you the sorts of views and close-ups you can never get from the third row of the balcony. And having Peter Gabriel stand before you in the cinema, seemingly within arm’s reach and with every hair and wrinkle clearly defined, ensures the sort of intimate performance that only a club gig could previously have provided.
So, the original concerts were great and the film captures – and adds to – that experience brilliantly. And, having previously been a sceptic about 3D films, New Blood Live in London has shown that, used well, the technology may have a rich future – as long as Peter Gabriel is at the helm.