Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NAZARETH: "No Means Of Escape" [DVD]

Rating: Live
Label: Eagle Vision 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

'No Means Of Escape' - the art cover is a brand new version of 'Friendly Fred' by fantasy artist Rodney Matthews. So far so good. A running time of approx 173 mins with the Live At Metropolis gig (2014 - 13 tracks featuring Linton Osbourne on vocals) and the documentary Made In Scotland, plus bonus features such as the acoustic session track 'Sunshine', additional interviews, and meet the super fans with their tattoos and stories.

Aye! Original Taggart, Haggis, Kilt, The Highlands, William Wallace, Alex Ferguson, Tartan, Skara Brae, Bagpipes, and of course Nazareth, they all have a special place in the hearts of the Scots. Originally formed in December 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, from the remaining members of local group The Shadettes (formed in 1961) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton (guitars), Pete Agnew (bass), and Darrell Sweet (drums). They took their name from the first line of The Band's classic song "The Weight" ('I pulled into Nazareth') and Agnew (the sole remaining original member) speaks about it in the documentary, "The song came on and I said, what about Nazareth? And I tell you what it was. They didn't all go, Yeah! But nobody said no, and that's the reason why we're called Nazareth. Nobody said no."

"They've played 45+ years without a break. They never stop". I actually feel sorry for singer Linton Osbourne. How do you replace a legend such as Dan McCafferty after 43 years as their front man? Dan was forced to retire on 28 August 2013 due to ill health (he's got this illness that makes it difficult to breathe) and poor Osbourne didn't last for long and announced his departure from the band in early 2015. The band announced a couple of weeks later that Carl Sentance (Persian Risk, Krokus, Geezer Butler Band), was their new lead vocalist. It's weird to watch the gig knowing that the singer has already been replaced and you do miss Dan-The-Man. It's not up to me to say, but perhaps it's time for the refrain? It's nearly impossible to carry on after spending all those years (43 on record) with the one great vocalist.

It's otherwise a nice little documentary (50 mins) and interviews with Agnew and McCafferty. The two of them met on their very first day at primary school when they were 5 years old and they've been friends ever since. "I wasn't in it to be famous. I was in it because I though I had something to give to the music industry. Or to the people. NOT the music industry. Pffft... them", quote from Dan. It's the whole she-bang with stories from the past up to present date. Live-wise, Linton has the rather powerful voice with a more than decent range. However, there's something missing and you all know who....

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