Robert Reed - Sanctuary Live DVD review

Astounding sounds. Not such amazing visuals from Magenta's Robert Reed

Robert Reed - Sanctuary Live DVD artwork

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Last October, Robert Reed took his parallel universe Mike Oldfield act to Real World Studios and performed it in front of a live audience. As is the way of these things, it’s now available on DVD, but it’s not much of a show.

The studio is lit as it might be for the recording of an album, and don’t expect pyro or lasers or dancing girls on podiums. Most notably, as th musicians slowly bring the themes into focus as Sanctuary gently unfolds, movement by movement, you realise what an extraordinary achievement it was for Reed to create the original album single-handed. Ultimately, Sanctuary Live is a much more satisfying album to listen to than it is to watch. This might be a perfect souvenir for those present, but most people will probably find they return to the audio CD of the same performance that accompanies the release than give the film more than a single, cursory viewing.

Then there’s the bonus “documentary”, entailing little more than 25 minutes of shaky camerawork showing people standing about doing very little or talking about chips. This is extraordinary music, but it’s music to wallow in, and watching it presented this way on the small screen is a barrier to doing so.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.