Progressive Rock/Metal

Wetton/Downs – Acoustic TV Broadcast

With the newest release by Wetton/Downes Italian based Frontiers Records deliver proof that
not everything they touch turns into genuine gold.
I was everything but impressed by the duo’s previous effort “Icon” and now there’s a CD and DVD from an acoustic gig the gentlemen did for TV. While watching the DVD part I had to stop myself from dozing off cause quite honestly honest seeing Geoffrey Downes behind the piano, John Wetton on a bar stool alternately handling the acoustic guitar and bass and Hugh Mc Dowell (ELO) on cello is far from an exciting spectacle.
The set list consists of both Asia tracks and songs from the aforementioned “Icon” platter but these cuts have been stripped to the bone to such a degree that very little remains of the original recordings. The only things that keep them standing is the quality of the Asia compositions and the surprisingly strong vocal performance by mister Wetton.
During a live gig I can always appreciate a well played acoustic intermezzo but close to 60 minutes of unplugged music is a tad too much for my personal taste. What’s more, Wetton and Downes do their thing with so little enthusiasm that things look and sound quite ridiculous at times. And watching the DVD only adds to that.
The whole affair was recorded in a studio furnished with indoor plants and the end result looks so “clean” and “respectable” that it becomes quite unnatural.
So this is totally superfluous release in my opinion and the fact that it’s available as both a CD and DVD is streets ahead of me. Even with the best intentions I could give this more than a shabby…


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