A Concert For George Gets West End Premier
A Concert For George is the film record of last years tribute concert that took place at the Royal Albert Hall. Last night (Oct 8th) the film received it's UK premier and a host of stars turned up to watch and pay tribute to George Harrison. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Alan Rickman, Dave Gilmour and Eric Clapton were all spotted in the audience. Of course, DVD Times was there as well, rubbing shoulders with the stars is an everyday event to us.
Directed by David Leland, A Concert For George features performances by musicians who are at once relaxed and at the top of their profession. Reading the list of performers (which include Eric Clapton, Dhani Harrison, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Joe Brown, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar) is like reading a list of the leading figures in music. Leland has captured the essence of a live show very well, mixing backstage and rehearsal footage with actual concert footage might be a concert film cliché, but here it's done exceptionally well. Particularly moving on the big screen is a rehearsal of "Isn't It A Pity?" which suddenly morphs into the concert performance in a heartbeat. It’s powerful and quite breathtaking.
Stand out performances are too numerous to mention, but special mention must go to Ravi Shanker, George’s guru, who composed a special piece for the night. Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn of Traveling Wilblurys fame also deserve mention. There is even some light relief from the Monty Python team half way through. Terry Gilliam notes how George Harrison believed the creative spirit of The Beatles moved into Monty Python, as Python formed as The Beatles split.
Filmed in a pleasing 1.85:1 ratio and with a clear and vibrant mix (Eric Clapton served as musical director so there's no excuse for anything less), the film is great record of a great concert.
The film is a must for any George Harrison fan and indeed anyone who professes a liking for The Beatles or any of the music from that era. Everyone will find something to enjoy. George Harrison was, amongst many other things, a gifted musician and an accomplished songwriter, and it is only after hearing all his songs played together like this, that you realise just how talented he really was.
All money raised from the film will be donated to the Material World Charitable Foundation.