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Mark King: In Concert
producer: Michael Au

60 minutes (E) 1999
Wienerworld DVD Region '0' retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by John M. Peters
The name Mark King may not be that recognisable to you, but if I add the appellation 'Thunderthumb' to his name you may get a glimmer of recognition. If I also say Level 42 the alarm bells and lights should go gaga! For a time back in the 1980s Level 42 were one of the most successful and popular bands in the world, racking up hit after jazz-funk hit, and Mark King's bravura bass and vocals the focal point of their success. The 1990s were a lean time for the band and they eventually broke up after the hits dried up.
   King went solo but it is fair to say that success eluded him and the welcome news is that Level 42 have reformed and are touring with a new album due soon. This concert was filmed at the Ohne Filter Studios in Germany on 15 June 1999, and of course features King's own backing band. The track list includes a healthy selection of Level 42 hits and some of his solo period songs - they are: Hot Water, Pamela, Love Wars, Bitter Moon, Changing The Guard, Love Games, To Be With You Again, Mr. Pink, Running In The Family, Lessons In Love, Something About You and The Chinese Way.
   The performance is as muscular and energetic as you'd expect. All the hits are played straight (no medleys or remixes) and the simple stage setting lets the audience focus on the music rather than fancy lighting or projections. The overall impression I was left with is that shorn of their 1980s' glitz the songs still stand out and that Mark King is a good journeyman performer.
   DVD extras include: interview with the producer, artist biography, sound tuning. All of which are exactly the same on all of the In Concert series - and by that I mean that apart from the text-based artist bio all of the other features' content is exactly the same on every DVD. I find this rather disappointing considering the rather high price point for these discs. Would it be too much to include an interview with the artist, and perhaps some archive clips?
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