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Pendragon - Masquerade 20 DVD review

A testament to Pendragon’s legacy and staying power

Pendragon - Masquerade 20 DVD artwork

It’s fitting that this 20th-anniversary celebration of Pendragon’s classic, commercially successful The Masquerade Overture was documented in Poland, where the band are held in such high esteem. The venue’s modest size and the unpretentious stage set-up give this confident tour de force of neo-prog real intimacy.

With the sometimes overlooked Peter Gee on bass, additional guitar and keyboards, Clive Nolan’s keyboard noodling and new boy Jan-Vincent Velazco very ably occupying the drum stool, the band is on great form, although it’s a relaxed Nick Barrett’s guitar and voice that consistently demand attention. Diehard fans will enjoy the bang-for their-buck, yet with minimal angles and production design flourishes the two and a half hours of this set may drag for the casual viewer. Also, apart from the whole of The Masquerade Overture and four Men Who Climb Mountains tracks, only three other songs are included, with nothing from the earliest albums, so it’s no entire career retrospective. Extras include a gallery, an interview with Gee and Valezco, and a video collage of the band’s time in Sri Lanka. Written when prog was a dirty four-letter word, The Masquerade Overture and this DVD remind us of the potential potency of a genre.

Gary has contributed reviews and news features for Prog Magazine for over a decade now. A fan of prog and heavy rock since childhood, his main areas of interest are classic and symphonic prog, prog-metal and modern acts bringing in fresh influences to the genre. He has a professional background in youth and community work, he teaches drum kit in schools and is a working musician. Gary was the drummer in semi-legendary NWOBHM band Praying Mantis for a couple of years and has been a member of indie-prog-pop-art-rock combo The Mighty Handful for more than twenty years. He loves cats and skiing, and has a Blue Peter badge.