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Fair Warning - The Call Of The East Live In Japan (CD)

Fair Warning
The Call Of The East Live In Japan
by Grigoris Chronis at 25 August 2006, 1:10 PM

One of the Melodic Rock surprises of this year (so far) is this band's comeback. No previous info - as far as I'm concerned - did anyone supply for Fair Warning preparing to be back in the ring. Even the band's homepage was 'dusty' (or down) for quite a long time. And then…boom! Re-releases, a brand new 'comeback' album and this fine DVD (released for the first time in Europe, as I read - this means it was already released in Japan?) we're gonna chat about.
Who remembers German hard rockers Zeno? Led by guitar virtuoso Uli Roth's brother Jochen Joe Roth, the band's same titled debut (1986, Parlophone) featured bassist Ule Winsome Ritgen while charismatic singer Tommy Heart (ex-V2) joined Ule and the band's ranks for 1995's Zenology (on the Milestone label) album. Prior to 1995, Ule and Tommy settled their basis in Hannover to form Fair Warning, a band that stood (then) the test of negativity towards Melodic rock (remember, we're talkin' 'bout the early-to-mid 90s). The band's debut album (1991, WEA) burst like thunder in Japan with the band voted as 'newcomer of the year' (crazy Japs, we owe 'em a lot at tough times). A concert recording, Live In Japan (featuring Zeno numbers), was issued during 1993 (from which the DVD comes out, I suppose, due to the relevant track listing). Rainmaker (1995, WEA) featured the band's 'trademark' tune so far, Burning Heart, while the follow-up Go (1997, G.U.N.) did score even better sales (in Japan; Europe was in deep sleep). The city of Hannover honoured the band in recognition of their achievements as musical ambassadors while Japanese Rock magazine Burrn! voted Go as 'album of the year'. What a year!
Back to the past: re-uniting with most of the original members, Fair Warning's triple strike seems quite evident. Two albums are re-released - Fair Warning and Rainmaker - while a brand new album is to come out entitled Brother's Keeper. The Call Of The East - Live In JapanDVD is the visual part of this triple attack. The entire show was filmed in Club Citta in awasaki, on April 18th 1993, during the band's Rainmaker tour and - after watching the DVD two times in a row - things seem to be pretty clear.
Fair Warning's performance is excellent. Tommy Heart seems to be in great mood, does not stop laughing or teasin' the crowd all the way while - when it comes to singing - he delivers ass kicking vocals, clear yet rough, passionate yet velvet. He reminds me a mix of Bonfire's Claus Lessman, China's Patrick Mason and Krokus' Marc Storace (whoever purchased the latest album of Tommy's other band, Soul Doctor, knows what to expect in year 2006) and definitely has the appropriate voice for this kinda music. The rest of the band is delivering a nice performance, too. Fine sound and great chemistry on stage; it's obvious that Fair Warning felt 'at home' those days. Due to the year this footage was filmed, the DVD cannot act like a 'greatest hits' compilation (only two albums had the band released 'till that time). Still, apart from then 'hits' like Out On The Run, Into The Getto, When Love Fails and Don't Give Up some Zeno tunes are also performed (A Little More Love, Eastern Sun and Call Of The Heart). In very good A/V standards (nice sound, various cameras, fine mix) the only 'mismatch' I can see is the absence of Burning Heart (weird, since this song was also 'shot' as a video clip).
Waiting for the band's new album, this offer - in the way it is proposed - is surely worth the purchase. It would surely be appreciated if a DVD containing cuts from all four Fair Warning albums could come out, still there's no need to avoid The Call Of The East - Live In Japan ('supported' by five more live cuts as 'extras'). Not to say that for Melodic Rock die-hard fans this release is a must.

4 Star Rating

Main Setlist:
Sunset (Intro)
Out On The Run
Longing For Love
When Love Fails
Eastern Sun
Take Me Up
Long Gone
Take A Look At The Future
Children's Eyes
Hang On
The Eyes of Rock
One Step Closer
A Little More Love
Extra tracks:
The Heat of Emotion
The Call of The Heart
In The Ghetto
Mickey's Monkey
Tommy Heart - Vocals
Helge Engleke - Guitar
Ule W. Ritgen - Bass
Andy Malcek - Guitar
C.C. Behrencds - Drums
Torsten Luderwaldt - Keyboards
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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