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Odyssice: Secret Showcase – Live In Amsterdam

Dutch instrumentalists with distinct Camel overtones.

These Dutch proggers have never really broken out from the shackles of being a very limited cult act (mostly due to their lack of career momentum), but this live CD/DVD proves just how beautifully structured their music can be, while also laying bare the band’s own roots.

Opening with Chinese Waters, it quickly underscores what a debt Odyssice owe to Camel, with guitarist Bastiaan Peeters more than offering a nod towards Andy Latimer. There are also giant hints of early Steve Hackett solo inspirations, as well a more than a passing acquaintance with Caravan and Mike Oldfield, but when the music opens up you see past any reference points and just enjoy the well-constructed creations.

From Swank to Olympus and Continental Motion, this is a band with a sedate majesty, who make every note and gesture count. The live presentation is so close to the studio originals that one feels these musicians are perhaps too reserved.

The DVD offers a brief bonus documentary, plus rehearsal footage, but the audience response throughout the concert is so muted as to imply a notable lack of connection. Great music, shame about the atmosphere.