The Back To Front concert was filmed across two nights at London’s O2 in October 2013, using the latest Ultra High Definition 4K technology. The film captures Peter playing live on the tour that celebrated the 25th anniversary of his landmark album So. For these live shows Peter reunited the original So touring band from 1986/87; Tony Levin, David Rhodes, Manu Katché and David Sancious with additional backing from Jennie Abrahamson and Linnea Olsson.
“I think that ‘So’ was certainly the most visible and successful record that I’ve ever done and it was a special band too. I’ve enjoyed very much playing with them on the tour. Manu particularly is quite unique in the way he plays. I’m glad I did it. I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought I might, initially…
Given that it was supposed to be partly this creative journey, it seemed right that we should start with something that was unfinished and end up with this album that was very finished.
I just thought ‘if we’re going to do this, let’s try to think of some angle on it to make it a little different’. The idea of starting how we might first throw ideas together in the rehearsal room and then going into the electronic bit and then ‘So’, it seemed like quite a natural progression.
It was my idea to keep the house lights on at the beginning and I inflicted it upon everyone else. But our band are quite used to it. I had quite a lot of impassioned discussions about it and how long we could get away with it for. But Rob Sinclair, who does the lighting and a lot of the initial production with me, is a very smart guy and good at judging these things too.
People really didn’t like having the house lights on in some places… they were saying ‘turn the bloody lights off! I’ve paid my money, I want a proper concert!’ But then when you do hit it [the full production] in the middle of ‘Family Snapshot’, it means a lot more. It’s often what you don’t do that is as important as what you do.
Working in 4K actually shrinks the creative opportunities because we’re taking on this technology before it’s properly ready and the disadvantage is that the equipment doesn’t work properly. It wasn’t syncing picture and music, for example. The effects don’t exist yet in 4K, so there‘s some things you can’t do, and the whole thing takes a whole lot longer. It did have to be matched up in a very old fashioned way, picture to sound. So there were certain technical problems with the medium, but you always get that when you’re trying to be first in with a new technology. But it’s a great technology. I was a big fan of HD when it first arrived and this is definitely a gear or two up on that.”