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Home arrow Reviews arrow DVDs, Blurays, and Videos arrow A Technicolor Dream DVD (with Pink Floyd and others)
A Technicolor Dream DVD (with Pink Floyd and others) Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 12 October 2008

a technicolor dream dvdOn October 13th, Eagle Rock Entertainment release an excellent new DVD in the UK, which features some wonderful insights into the early days of Pink Floyd, and the rise and fall of the Underground movement in Britain during the sixties.

"A Technicolor Dream" is the story of how the Underground came about, leads up to its culmination at the eponymous all night "musical happening" that was held at Alexandra Palace on the 29th April 1967, and which had the movement's "house band" Pink Floyd as headliners.

The success of the event really pulling the movement into the mainstream, proved to be its final hurrah, and the DVD shows - with the reminiscences of key individuals such as Peter Jenner, Joe Boyd, Miles, John "Hoppy" Hopkins, Nick Mason and Roger Waters - how the Underground was never to be the same again...

The story, running for over two hours (around 130 minutes) takes in CND marches in the early sixties, the foundation of the London Free School and from that the International Times, the UFO Club and the Notting Hill Carnival.

The documentary is full of brand new interview footage with Roger Waters and Nick Mason, John "Hoppy" Hopkins, Peter Jenner, Joe Boyd, Kevin Ayers, Barry Miles, Phil May from The Pretty Things and more. All of this is set in a musical context with the music of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd.

a technicolor dream dvd - concertMuch of the narration is formed from the interview footage, over clips from Britain in the sixties - young people in the clubs, on marches and other protests, and a number of different shots from the Technicolor Dream concert itself.

Now, what footage was shot at the concert of Pink Floyd has never surfaced, so don't view this with the expectation of seeing the band in their headlining, dawn-breaking, slot.

However, the story is so well put together, this should be of little concern as the breadth of the fascinating documentary really surprised me. It put the rise and inevitable fall of the "underground" across extremely well, and with a strong and well-paced timeline.

The bonus features on the DVD include three well-known (to collectors, anyway) Pink Floyd performances with Syd Barrett on guitar and vocals from 1967. These are the Pathe newsreel footage of Scarecrow, from July 8th 1967, Peter Whitehead's Arnold Layne promo from March 10th of the same year, and the Look Of The Week performance of Astronomy Domine from May 16th.

a technicolor dream dvd - Roger WatersSadly, they have not included the full, and very amusing, Hans Keller interview with Syd and Roger that accompanied the Astronomy Domine footage from the same BBC television broadcast, although they offer tantalising clips within the main feature. It feels a missed opportunity not to include the full thing with the bonus features.

However, the extended interviews found in the bonus features go some way to make up for this. Roger in particular is in playful, expansive mood, which is a joy to see, and he talks at length on subjects that he has rarely mentioned before. Of particular amusement are his reminiscences of meeting Richard Wright and Nick, both of which have been touched on before but Roger gives the full story of these encounters, peppered with plenty of laughter at times.

You get a full 18 minutes of Roger in this section, over 15 minutes of Peter Jenner, Nick Mason for nearly 8 minutes, Joe Boyd for over 13 minutes, and Miles for a piddly 3 minutes, although much of his interview footage appears in the main feature.

These additional interviews won't be included in the version which is intended for television broadcast on a date yet to be confirmed.

a technicolor dream dvd - Nick MasonInside the package is a DVD case sized reproduction of Mike McInnerney's iconic original poster for the event, adapted versions of which also adorn the cover and disc, and form the basis of the nicely animated , if fairly basic, menus.

All in all this is a thoroughly enjoyable DVD, and one we are sure that Pink Floyd fans will really enjoy. Do not buy it thinking you will see the Syd-era band performing at the concert itself, or that you will get lots of other footage of them from 1967 - you won't. But, with the story of the rise of the Underground being intrinsically linked with the beginnings of Pink Floyd, it is not just the story of society at that time but of how the band rose to power and the thoughts of Roger and Nick, along with other chief protagonists from those days, make for a fascinating, and absorbing, glimpse back in time to more idealistic days.

Hitting the stores in the UK/Europe on October 13th, it will be followed by an NTSC version in the USA on October 28th. Orders - at a discount - are being taken for the UK/European PAL version, from Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France. For the NTSC version, visit Amazon.com (US/International), or Amazon Canada, to place your order for this essential release.

 
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