Title: Touring Skyward - A Tour Movie
Genre: Alternative Electronic
Release Date: 28th January 2022
Label: Dependent Records
Album & Blu-Ray Review
Strap yourselves in good people, we are here for the long haul. UK electronic veterans MESH have released one of those musical behemoths once beloved only of Metal bands and possibly Jean Michel Jarre - a massive, sprawling, multi-media, multi-faceted vanity box that is “The Tour Album and Movie”. You get a three and a half hour live Blu-Ray (yes, that’s longer than ‘Lord of the Rings’), an art book, two audio CDs containing all 23 live tracks recorded on the tour and a 60-page photo booklet.
So, let’s put this in context. If you are not a fan of MESH, clearly, you’re not going to buy this. If you are a fan of MESH, this is aimed squarely at those fans who REALLY like MESH… the ones who fall asleep wearing the MESH beanie hat clutching their beloved albums like a comfort blanket. I like ACTORS. In fact, I REALLY like ACTORS. But the thought of an arse-numbing three and a half hour Blu-Ray of several gigs I wasn’t at doesn’t do it for me. But each to their own. Let’s have a dip inside and see what delights await…
On a positive note, the music is good and the live recordings crisp and clear. There are plenty of interview segments, where the band appears affable and approachable, and you get to hear first-hand how the whole band project started, and how it feels to be a part of MESH. And how wonderful you - the fans - really are. Shucks.
The real problems here are so obvious, even the press release points it out - “We hope that this ‘easier to digest’ version will find your interest as we are aware that the full 3.5 hours a bit much to watch”. Dear God, never a clearer statement was issued. The build-up at the start makes you feel you’re about to attend the biggest show in the history of shows, and when, after waiting six hours at the bar, and another six for the toilets, imagine the crushing disappointment when you realise the show is a cosy gig played out in front of just a few hundred people. It’s a huge anti-climax.
There are endless shots of what is essentially a bus, driving and parking. People get out. People get back on. The bus drives away. It’s a tour bus, we get it. You’ve elevated from sitting in the back of your own cars to being able to afford a tour bus. But really… exciting viewing it is not. And many of the interview and backstage / pre-show segments are woefully edited… long pauses (or ‘being thoughtful’) bits of METALLICA-style slo-mo and band bonding, an endless feeling that something amazing is about to happen, but it never does. An hour really is all you need for this kind of thing, the rest of it is simply padding and filler to justify the hugely over-inflated price-tag on this project.
It’s an attractive enough looking package, but somehow hollow and unfocussed. We get that bands were left short-changed by the pandemic. But so were fans. Don’t dangle this kind of golden turnip in front of them and present it as a gift.
01. Kill Your Darlings (Live in Hamburg)
02. My Protector (Live In Königstein)
03. Circles (Live in Hamburg)
04. You Didn't Want Me (Live In Königstein)
05. Tactile (Live in Hamburg)
06. Once Surrounded (Live in Hamburg)
07. The Fixer (Live in Hamburg)
08. Too Little Too Late (Live in Hamburg)
09. Two + 1 (Live in Hamburg)
10. Runway (Live in Cologne)
11. I Fall Over (Live in Hamburg)
12. Little Missile (Live in Hamburg)
13. Leave You Nothing (Live in Hamburg)
14. The Last One Standing (Live in Hamburg)
15. Confined (Live in Hamburg)
16. The Traps We Made (Live in Hamburg)
17. Just Leave Us Alone (Live In Königstein)
18. Taken For Granted (Live In Königstein)
19. There Must Be A Way (Live in Hamburg)
20. Born To Lie (Live in Hamburg)
21. Before This World Ends (Live In Königstein)
22. Born To Lie (Live In Königstein)
23. My Protector (Live in Hamburg)
Mark Hockings – Vocals / Guitar
Richard Silverthorn – Keyboard / Vocals
Richard John Broadhead – Live Keyboard
Sean Suleman – Live Drums
http://www.mesh.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/meshtheband
Total: 5 / 10