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Rhino presents
UB40: Homegrown in Holland (2003)

"Red red wine,
it's up to you,
all I can do I've done..."

- lyric from Red Red Wine

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: September 21, 2004

Stars: James Brown, Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, Michael Virtue, Astro, Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry
Director: Robin Bextor

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:46m:07s
Release Date: September 14, 2004
UPC: 603497036929
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+BA- B

DVD Review

In their 20+ year career, British reggae popsters UB40 have had consistent chart success in Europe, with just a fraction of that in the U.S., primarily in the mid-1980s; their biggest single successes ironically came from a trio of cover versions, including Red Red Wine, Can't Help Falling in Love and I Got You Babe. That lack of a manageable foothold in the American market hasn't really diminished their popularity elsewhere, and judging by this 2003 concert recorded before a huge, swaying, sing-along-to-everything crowd at the Ahoy Rotterdam in Holland, the band certainly still remains a viable entity.

The absence of I Got You Babe (which was a duet hit with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders) notwithstanding, this is pretty much a greatest hits package, and even the tracks that are no doubt unfamiliar to most folks roll along with the same kind of easy-does-it springiness of the morphed out white man's reggae that has been the band's benchmark for over two decades. The cookie cutter machinations of their weak cover of Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love, which just had to be one of those cash in quick hit single concoctions, seems even more transparent next to just about any of the band's other jah-grooved tracks, despite its placement in their set as a pre-encore show closer.

Production wise, Homegrown In Holland is largely your typical concert disc, featuring luxuriant and colorful stage lighting and the obligatory crowd shots, in between swirling footage of the rather large band, spread across a very wide stage. Directed by Robin Bextor, using what seems like just a whole legion of zooming cameras, seems to suffer from an inability to allow any single shot remain onscreen for more than a second or two, and sometimes the resulting editing is faster-paced than the laid back reggae groove of the music. Thankfully, the fast-cut editing is occasionally broken up by the use of split-screens, giving me a rest from overdosing on my motion sickness medicine.

Set List:

Present Arms
One in Ten
Keep on Moving
Maybe Tomorrow
So Destructive
Young Guns
Please Don't Make Me Cry
Someone Like Me
Groovin' (Out on Life)
Rudie
Freestyler
Love It When You Smile
I Knew You
Here I Am (Come and Take Me)
Rat in Mi Kitchen
Wear You to the Ball
Red Red Wine
Can't Help Falling in Love
Food for Thought
The Way You Do
The Things You Do
Cherry Oh Baby
Kingston Town


Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation, which captures most of the difficult nuances of the multi-colored concert lighting without much trouble, is a nicely detailed transfer. Closeups of the various musicians, especially lead vocalist Ali Campbell, reveal distinct beads of sweat with great detail. Some color smearing and minor grain is evident in a few sequences, but overall a pleasant looking disc.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Most concert discs these days offer DTS and 5.1 choices, and this one is no exception. Both mixes are nearly identical in scope, delivering clean separation of instruments and a dose of substantive bass, while keeping the music spread across the front speakers while allowing the rears to focus on crowd sounds. An understandably average 2.0 stereo mix is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
5 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: UB40: Song by Song is optional feature, that when activated, will pop up a familiar looking leafy substance icon. Clicking on the demon weed links to footage of band comments about each and every track, before segueing back to the performance. A trio of short featurettes aren't particularly long, but provide more comments from the band in UB40 On The Road (03m:44s), an interview with the band's clothing guru Luci Crossman in Luci's World (03m:47s) and a well-deserved nod to the road crew in The Backline Crew (07m:47s).

A bonus song performance of Swing Low Live At The NEC (04m:38s), as well as the corresponding Swing Low Interviews (02m:26s) show up as not just an extra track, but more historical insight from the band. Also included are the obligatory photo gallery of 12 images, some web links, as well as 22 chapters, with optional subtitles in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

UB40 delivers a long set of breezy reggae-tinged music to an appreciative Dutch crowd on this 2003 concert disc. A pair of strong audio mixes in DTS and 5.1 convey the jah love nicely, and even if they're not the most dynamic band to watch live, it sure sounds mighty nice.

 


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