Album: Alchemy Live
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Review: Diego Camargo
Thoughts: Clive Nolan is widely known in the Prog community as the keyboard player in Pendragon and Arena. But he also has many side projects like Caamora, Strangers On A Train, The Cast, Shadowland and of course his solo career.
His newest work is called Alchemy Live (2013). The original project,
Alchemy (2013), was released early this year, but it was Clive Nolan’s idea to take the musical to the stages too.
Alchemy (2013) is a Victorian story set in 1842 that tells the old Alchemist tale.
The album started to be written by Nolan in 2009 after his first musical She (2008) and it ended up being recorded on CD, but being Nolan involved in theater and musicals for quite some time he always intended it to go live on stage.
So finally, in February 2013 a big 21 people team of musicians landed in Katowice, Poland, to stage the story of Alchemy.
Aided by a handful of Prog singers and a great band, Nolan delivers a delightful piece of work.
The names involved in this project are no strangers to any Prog fan: Tracy Hitching (Landmarq, Strangers On A Train), Andy Sears (Twelfth Night), Paul Manzi (Arena), Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace and solo), David Clifford (Red Jasper) and Agnieszka Świta (Caamora) are the voices.
And Mark Westwood (guitars - Caamora), Scott Higham (drums - Pendragon), Claudio Momberg (keyboards – Subterra) and Kylan Amos (bass) are the band.
It’s obvious that the singers are not actors and because of that the concert lacks a bit more of representation for a live event. But this leads us to the main thing here, the music!
The 2 hours of Alchemy Live (2013) and its 27 songs are great and absolutely well-rehearsed and played. And the story is more than interesting with a truckload of details to sink in.
The fact that each character is played by a different voice helps a lot to make you interested.
In the end each of us have its favorites voices, but for me the ones that stand out are Andy Sears, David Clifford (besides his love weak songs), Paul Manzi, Damian Wilson (he only does a small appearance, but he’s always great), Soheila Clifford and Nolan himself proves to be a great singer!
Musically, Alchemy is as wide and full of influences as a musical can be. For me the strongest and the most interesting parts are when many vocals join together in counterpart melodies. On the production side, besides some weak images that appear in every new scene, the overall quality of the show is very positive and professional.
The booklet of Alchemy Live (2013) is a case apart. A 44 pages one, in an old, book kind layout with all the lyrics, details and many pictures.
As bonus content on the simple DVD edition we have interviews with , Agnieszka Świta, David Clifford, Scott Higham and Mark Westwood. We also have a Making Of, a Photo Gallery and Destop Images for your computer.
Recommended not only for Pendragon and Arena fans but for every musical fan around!