Clive Nolan - ALCHEMY

Clive Nolan - ALCHEMY

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Clive Nolan - ALCHEMY

DVD Listing

Clive Nolan
Metal Mind
  • Progressive
  • Neo Prog
  • Rock Opera

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
4.5  (1)
4.5  (1)
4.0  (1)
5.0  (1)
(Updated: January 13, 2017)
Overall rating 



January 13, 2017
Clive Nolan is a truly talented classically trained and highly qualified musician. Not only is he the leading light of UK neo progressive bands Pendragon and Arena but has also collaborated with the likes of fellow keyboardsman Rick Wakeman. He has also composed, directed , produced and featured in several Rock Opera's of which Alchemy is his latest venture .The writing of this as a musical project commenced in 2009 and came to first fruition in the form of this particular show during February 2013 at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland from which this recording was made. This two hour rock opera comprises of around 16 songs performed both individually and collectively by the show cast supported by a four piece rock band together and periodically with a male / female choir. So OK the first thing to point out is that the band itself, despite all being fine musicians, remain fairly well hidden in the background without any longish guitar or keyboard breaks. The main interest of course is focussed towards the professional cast and their delivery of the songs associated with the story-line. The singing throughout is extremely competent and carried out with much skill particularly when the arrangements require multi voice deliveries and where each singer is performing completely different lyrics from one another but within the same song framework. The songs are pretty diverse too ranging from the romantic 'hairs on the back of the neck tingling' melodic ballads to the more exciting up-tempo full on vigorous 'get up and go' numbers. As for the story line of the show I'm not really too clear but that hardly mattered the songs are all good and the commitment of the cast in terms of expressive involvement is quite brilliant considering that there are, apart from the costumes, hardly any props and apart from a film backdrop no scenery to speak off. In the substantial DVD booklet it describes the choir as a chorus which I would personally challenge as there are no dance numbers just purely singing throughout . Subsequent to this first recorded performance there have been other productions in Europe and I also believe in Canada, this has resulted in several personnel changes and also different CDs and DVDs being produced. From a commercial angle I think anyone going to see the show would most definitely end up purchasing a DVD but whether, after purchase, it would get played frequently I doubt it. The songs, although all good, are quite plainly very enjoyable show tunes in a neo progressive rock clothing and this fact alone might restrict the interest of the public to those people familiar with this genre of music and in particular those who appreciate Clive Nolan's work.

Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable and extremely well put together set of songs in the form of a story based rock opera. The entire show is fast moving, dynamic and colourful with superb backing musicians and a cast of topnotch vocalists.

Cover-art: For the Katowice DVD of the show I reviewed it included a nice comprehensive booklet full of information and which in fact doubles up as show program with all of the scenes, artists and tunes listed. It also includes Clive Nolan's notes as an introduction to the show and also additional information regarding the various compositions.

Act 1
1. Prologue/Overture (3:21)
2. Deception (5:36)
3. One for the noose (5:42)
4. The warning (4:06)
5. Amelia (4:10)
6. King explains (5:35)
7. Desperate days (2:43)
8. Planning a break-in (1:21)
9. Quaternary plan (5:18)
10. The unwelcome guest (4:55)
11. Waiting for news (4:32)
12. The girl I was (6:06)
13. Highgate (8:17)

Act 2
1. The labyrinth (4:43)
2. Ambush (3:09)
3. Time of wealth (5:57)
4. Jagman arrives (1:46)
5. The end justifies the means (3:33)
6. Sanctuary (5:44)
7. Street fight (3:26)
8. Amelia dies (3:21)
9. Burial at sea (6:22)
10. Share this dream (3:37)
11. Treachery (4:22)
12. The ritual (2:13)
13. Anzeray speaks (5:04)
14. Aftermath (3:53)
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