Quidam - The Fifth Season

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Metal Mind
Catalog Number: MMP DVD 0056
Format: DVD
Total Time: 267:57:00

With Polish band Quidam on the bill for RoSFest 2011, it was a perfect time for me to play "catch up" and give their 2006 DVD The Fifth Season a viewing. The title is taken from one of the tracks of their then current release SurREvival. In fact, the entire album but one track is represented on the DVD, with the set rounded out by tracks from The Time Beneath The Sky ("No Quarter," a Led Zeppelin cover, "Credo," and "Quimpromptu," the latter by way of a guitar solo in "No Quarter"). Earlier albums are represented by "Oldies But Goodies" a medley that includes excerpts of pieces from Sny Aniołów (Angels' Dreams), among others, and by the inclusion of "Sanctuary" from the first, self-titled album.

This is a straight performance video, capturing their concert at Teatr Śląski im. Stanisława Wyspiańskiego, Katowice, Poland on November 15th, 2005. As live videos go, it is ok. The image quality is great, although the blue lighting creates a distracting halo effect when each band member is given focus (wide shots not so much). But the images are crisp and clear. The sound is very good, too. As far as performance itself, the band are a bit static on stage, mostly their only movements those required to play the instrument. On the other hand, this is not a rollicking prog band, but more a calm, mellow, pastoral band, so one doesn't expect a lot of jumping around anyway. But, there's very little band/audience engagement until the very last piece, when the audience is encouraged to sing along with the "na na-na-na..." part of "Hush" - which is incorporated in Quidam's own "Not So Close."

Having not heard their music prior, I did not know what to expect. In it I hear a bit of Genesis, a bit of Pink Floyd, and certainly they are Poland's answer to the likes of Marillion, Pendragon, IQ, even as they don't really sound like any of those three. Some of the compositional style is there - dramatic builds, etc. It's funny, but their rendition of "No Quarter," makes it not only sound (more?) proggy than the Zep original but also like it was 80s Marillion performing it - at least the Fish part, as here, and to my ears only here, does vocalist Bartek Kossowicz sound like Fish. Actually, mentioning Floyd, my thought was he looked more than a bit like David Gilmour circa late 60s/early 70s.

Nevertheless, the execution of their performance was very good. I quite like their sound and look forward to hearing it live in a few weeks' time. And, naturally, exploring their catalog to hear them in their studio form. [As I started this review prior to their RoSFest performance, I can say that they sounded heavier in 2011 than they do here in 2005 - SS]

There are also bonus features on this disc which includes an interview (in Polish with captions*), a studio report filed during the SurREvival recording sessions (segments that feature each member), reports from their 2005 summer tour, an appearance at the ProgResiste Convention that year, and more, plus band bio, member proiles, discography, photo gallery and desktop images. The live footage is not "pro-shot," but more "fan shot" (thought it might have been the driver) and thus sound is a little muddy, but not awful. There are also two videos - one for the track "Warkocze" ("Plaits," from the first album), which is a bit... Fellini-esque; odd characters appear, and they're are monks... The second video is for "Beznogi Mały Ptak" ("Little Bird With No Legs")... a somewhat loopy, 60s-inspired video that is a mix of live action (clouds, the band floating) and illustration (birds and other drawings).

Hands Off (9:51) / Queen Of Moulin Rouge (8:33) / SurREvival (5:57) / Sanktuarium (7:43) / Oldies But Goldies (including excerpts from: List Z Pustyni I, Pod Powieką, Plonę, Wesoła, Jest Taki Samotny Dom, Niespelnienie, Gląboka Rzeka) (9:43) / No Quarter (including guitar solo from Quimpromptu) (8:29) / The Fifth Season (including excerpts from Los Endos) (10:38) / Credo I & II (14:14) / Everything's Ended (12:10) / Jestés (including excerpts from Krzystof Komeda's Lullaby of Rosemary's Baby soundtrack) (8:01) / Not So Close (including excerpts from Hush) (10:50)

Extras: Interview (27:29) / Studio Report, SurREvival recording sessions (18:00) / The Summer Tour 2005 Report (16:57) / ProgResiste Convention 2005 Report (17:39) / SurREvival Tour Report (43:55) / Video: Warkocze (4:11) / Video: Beznogi Mały Ptak (3:40) / Band Biography, Member Profiles, Discography, Photo Gallery (29:54)

plus Desktop Images, Weblinks

Zbyszek Florek - keyboards
Maciek Meller - guitars
Bartek Kossowicz - vocals, backing vocals
Mariusz Ziółkowski - bass guitar
Maciek Wróblewski - drums, percussion
Jacek Zasada - flutes

Quidam (1996)
Moje Anioly (1998)
Sny Aniolow (1998)
Live In Mexico ''99 (1999)
The Time Beneath The Sky (2002)
SurREvival (2005)
Halfplugged (2006)
Alone Together (2007)

The Fifth Season (DVD) (2006)
Strong Together Live (2010)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin PL

Added: May 28th 2011
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.quidam.pl
Hits: 1531
Language: english


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