Cycle of Life

cycle of lifeNext is Lunar Sea, which is on the album Moonmadness. I always liked that album a lot, especially Song within a Song and Spirit of the Water but most of all Air Born. Air Born is one of those songs I can turn on repeat and listen to the whole evening, over and over again. And even with the volume up, you do not have to be alone in the room.

Others like it too (well, maybe not as many times in a row) and it gives a real relaxing and special atmosphere which fills the whole room. I also like the lyrics here (and if the world keeps spinning round, you’ll be back again), which summarizes a bit my overall feeling of the album.

But when I watched the live videos, I started to appreciate the other tracks on the album much more. Two of them are on the dvd Moondances (Another Night and Lunar Sea) and at the moment I like them even more than my previous favourites, but that might easily change if I would find a live version of Air Born.

What I like most in Lunar Sea, is the gradually rising from a background, playing an impressive role, going over in a perfect combination of qualities and then gradually being taken over again to finish where it started.

In the concert Lunar Sea starts after the White Rider (Expression of the self) which goes perfectly over from one song into another. The beginning gives a very specific mood, no real playing, actually more several sounds that fill the space. I never realised it so much before, but Andrews guitar is also very notable here and even plays a certain melody. I think it is something he does with his guitar what you can see very well in the middle part of Lady Fantasy. A sound as if he makes the guitar cry. And I think he does that here too, it is a sort of melody. Only very subtle and I am not sure because it could easily be another sound.

Amazing camerawork
Apart from the sounds, it also is very special to watch the camerawork, which is just amazing. During the whole concert there are close ups and images mixed up all the time. Which at times gives a very special effect. Here with Lunar Sea you look at the drums moving and the players are reflected in them. You see Peter Bardens reflected in the drums and you see the face of Andrew Latimer showing up very subtle. Most is dark but some lights  stand out, especially Badens’ blouse, a white shining blouse which reflects many of the colours during the concert. It is just a pity that the bass player, Doug Ferguson, is hardly visible.

Then a rhythm starts with the keyboard and the drums, very soft at first and gradually increasing, the speed as well as the volume. And now the colours come in. On this video it is not so visible, but the colours are very bright and really impressive.

Reacting to every tone
Then the sound of the guitar comes in very clear and several things happen at the same time, so you have no idea where to focus. First of course the sound of the guitar, it is just amazing. But at the same time your eyes get fixed on the expression on Latimers face, which again is in close up reflected in the drums. You can just watch the impact every tone has on him. Really very special to see. Then the camera moves away and you get a great look at his playing. He is still visible in the drums and very fixed on the sound of his guitar. You can see him react to every note. Then it seems that he is getting it and all instruments are coming together again.

Then the keyboard takes over and the rest is very relaxing supportive. Again great camera work with pictures through each other and beautiful colours reflected in the drums and the blouse. Then a focus on the drums and the speed goes up.

Coherent repeating melody
Now the guitar comes in again but this time much more playing his own tune. As if he is trying things out, but even though is fantastically followed by rest. It really sounds great together. Then the speed goes up even further and somehow it become a coherent repeating melody which goes on for a while.

I think this is my favourite part of Lunar Sea. Although the guitar is really going on with it, tends to escape and do very much what he wants, still it is followed by the rest and not just that, even very much complementing it. To me it sounds as this is what playing together is all about. It sounds very confident, melodic and powerful. But also a perfect coming together of instruments.

Then the speed and volume gradually decreases and all is taken over again by the sounds of nature. And Lunar Sea will almost unnoticeable go over in the next ones, Preparation and Dunkirk from the album the Snow Goose.

Rhythm of life
Lunar Sea reminds me of the whole Story of the Snow Goose, which also has this increasing, playing its part and decreasing again. And I like that very much. It has this undeniable rhythm of life in it. Given as a very clear structure, but within that structure there is all freedom for experiment. And because they are so good together, it sounds amazing.



Echo February 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

When first reading this, I vaguely remembered something about Moonmadness and Lunar Sea.

Just found it again. In a mini anthology put together by Radio Caroline it says:

“Moonmadness not a concept album, loosely based on the band member’s personalities:
Airborn – Andrew Latimer
Lunar Sea (Lunacy!?)- Andy Ward
Chord Change – Peter Bardens
Another night – Doug Ferguson”

Just some trivia I guess. :)

The links: and


Annemieke February 14, 2009 at 9:57 pm

How great was that! The whole Camel history in about 2 hours, with all of their very best work. And then the ending, wasn’t that ‘After all those years’. Really fantastic!

Yes, I remember reading somewhere about the connection with their personalities on Moonmadness. And what I read about them, it also seems to fit somehow. Well, always good to have some selfknowledge.

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