23 & 24 March 2011: The occasion is a two-night mini-residency of Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra at west London’s Hammersmith Apollo as they premiere the songs that constitute Peter’s then new album, New Blood. These are choice cuts from the Gabriel back catalogue (with a sprinkling of covers from the previous year’s Scratch My Back project) recharged in the hands of the orchestra and their skilful arranger John Metcalfe.
The sense of occasion is further heightened by the presence of a film crew, a platoon of cameramen bedecked in scarlet boiler suits. But this is no straightforward documenting of a concert – many of this crew are clasping 3D cameras, capturing that wraparound experience. After all, Peter never takes the easiest, most convenient, most obvious route – at least not when there are more interesting diversions to be experienced.
New Blood Live In London is a visual feast: the drama of the orchestra, conducted by the spirited Ben Foster; the stage bathed in red light and shadows; huge onstage screens with graphics, animation and imagery blending to enhance and illustrate the music.