The Shadows

March 1, 2005

Although they scored international hits, Britain’s Shadows pretty much had their stateside cheese munched by our own Ventures. But fans of instrumental rock know the score, and these cats deserve to be way more than a rock-trivia answer. And while it’s sad that this DVD marks what is possibly the last time we’ll see Hank Marvin and the Shadows together on a concert stage, it also shows why rowdier instrumental acts may have won the day. This well-filmed footage inadvertently displays the band as somewhat groovy uncles—all gentlemanly postures, pasted on smiles, and giggle-inducing stage moves where the members step elegantly back and forth together, or simultaneously turn in the same direction, or just beam at each other like old army buddies gabbing in a pub. The music is just as clean and sophisticated. Marvin’s Strat tone is beautiful, and his playing is precise and wonderfully dynamic, but it’s also extremely well-mannered. Buy this to honor a legendary band, and for an opportunity to study an impeccable ’50s-influenced approach to music that is slowly receding into history. Just don’t expect to be thrilled. Eagle Vision. —Michael Molenda

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