Reviewed! Barclay James Harvest - “Berlin: A Concert for the People” DVD

Barclay James Harvest
“Berlin: A Concert for the People”
Eagle Rock Ent.

Referred to by some as ‘the poor man’s Moody Blues’ way back in the day, Barclay James Harvest might be better served to be referred to as survivors, plain and simple. The band managed to persevere and make it through various lineup changes, label changes and well, core sonic changes, in order to come out on the other side still intact. And that’s not even to say that this band was able to ascend to near-superstar status despite never really grabbing a foothold in the United States.

Still, the band was able to slot in as the headlining act in August of 1980 in the shadow of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany at this huge open-air festival for “Berlin: A Concert for the People.” The band entertained the crowd with nine songs of their mellow, contemporary prog sounds, a set full of some of the bands best work such as ‘Berlin,’ ‘Loving Is Easy’ and ‘Hymn.’ Sure, nine tracks might sound like a short outing, but the crowd on hand this day was eating up Barclay James Harvest with a spoon.

In addition to the live show, you will also get some add-ons, including a series of short promos – ‘Jonathan,’ ‘Titles,’ ‘Moongirl,’ ‘One Night,’ and ‘Beyond The Grave’ – entitled “Time Honoured Ghosts,” taken from the album of same name, which have all never seen the light of day until now. The material is dated for sure, as you will plainly see, but fans of the band surely will revel in its content. The DVD’s accompanying booklet is also worth noting here as it chronicles the events that led up to this appearance, along with photos of the huge crowd.

At only 79 minutes, “Berlin: A Concert for the People” is a bit short, but it isn’t without its charm and its content is pretty much straight to the point. Suffice to say, it’s a must-have for fans of the band.

Grade: B-