Galahad have taken their 30th anniversary very seriously. In the run-up they released a series of EPs, then to open 2015 we had the deluxe reissue of Empires Never Last, another EP (30), and before the year’s out they’ll proffer a remaster of third album Sleepers.
But it’s the live arena in which these proggers thrive, and this DVD/two-CD set captures their on-stage energy. Solidarity was recorded back in 2013 in the Oskard, a theatre in the Polish town of Konin, during their run of shows in support of Battle Scars and Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria. If you’ve seen them live over the past few years you’ll know what to expect. Spencer Luckman’s placid demeanour belies his solid, occasionally brilliant drumwork; Dean Baker balances the grand piano flourishes and hard techno synths with aplomb. Roy Keyworth and Mark Spencer bounce around and team up closely as they give their guitar/bass attack their all. As for Stu Nicholson, he’s a friendly frontman, an expressive vocalist and a committed performer. The set branches out from Salvation through to Guardian Angel, Singularity (which Nicholson dedicates to their late bassist Neil Pepper), and culminates in their techno’d-up take on Seize The Day. Sure, the camerawork’s at best functional, the editing perfunctory and a few more shots of the audibly receptive crowd might have added to the sense of atmosphere, but the music’s on the money – highlights being an excoriating take on Empires Never Last and a full-throttle This Life Could Be My Last. Bonus features are meagre: photo galleries and a scant but funny six-minute film of the band in the run-up to the show, as they watch their gear being craned 30 feet up into the venue, and later gently tease an over-eager Polish interviewer. It’s all very them.