A Visit To Zoetermeer Live – Tiger Moth Tales
Pete Jones and his Tiger Moth Tales project have been busy more recently releasing quite a few live albums in the form of a digital download on Bandcamp, and if you were to look at the Tiger Moth Tales discography on Bandcamp you would in fact see that he has twice as many live albums in relation to the 4 studio albums that have so far been released. However, A Visit to Zoetermeer could be seen has his first ever official live album release simply because it is the only live album that has been released in the form of a physical product and released by his record label White Knight Records.
The other “First” factor about this particular release, is that it also comes accompanied with a DVD so that you can actually see the live concert besides just listen to it in audio only on the CD. To be perfectly honest a live DVD of Pete Jones is something I have been waiting to see get released for a while now and I myself would sooner watch a live concert than just listen to it on a CD or any format for that matter.
To be perfectly honest I have never been to see Pete Jones play live and it is without doubt something I want to do eventually as well. I have seen many live videos of him on YouTube but never a full concert like we have here, so this really was a must for my collection. Although what I would also say that even just listening to the many other self-live releases, he has put out on Bandcamp in the form of a digital download only. I can honestly say I enjoy those as well and this is really down to how he interacts with his audience and will quite often speak to them in between the songs he plays.
Pete Jones is not only quite an amazing talented musician, but he very much comes with a good sense and dose of humour that will also reflect in a lot of his own written material. The DVD that comes in this package also gives you a bit more, but before I go any further let’s take a look at how it has been presented.
The Packaging & Artwork…
The both discs come very well presented in a 2-panel cardboard DigiSleeve and I myself prefer this type of packaging in relation to the standard plastic Jewel Case. The one thing it does not come with is a booklet, so its perhaps a bit limited regarding having any additional informative information though it does have the usual linear and production notes printed on the inside as you can see in the photo below.
The both discs slot neatly into the slit pockets and the fact that the cardboard has also been printed gives it a smoother surface to protect the discs from being scratched. The discs also hide a couple of nice photos that was snapped at the concert and the back of the cover contains the set list for both the CD and DVD.
Overall, it’s a very neat and well-presented package and both DigiSleeves and Digipaks do in general cost one or two pound more than the price of a single CD in a Jewel Case. I do not mind paying that bit extra for this sort of packaging either. I purchased my copy from White Knight Records for £12 plus £1.75 for the postage & packing making a total cost of £13.75 which is very much a bargain considering you are getting a CD & DVD.
I also think it is cheaper than purchasing it from Bandcamp because you do tend to pay extra tax on that site and this may of cost between £15 – £18 knowing them from the past when I have ordered CD’s from there. The artist might also get to keep more of the money too with the 15% that Bandcamp charge for each sale.
Like most live albums the artwork generally consists of a photograph taken from the live concert and that is the case here. The Dutch photographer Ard Van Der Heuvel took the photos and no doubt done a super job. I have no idea if the same person did the cover design and layout because the linear notes are missing that information. It may have been done by Pete’s brother Chris Jones but whoever done the design and layout done another super job.
A Visit To Zoetermeer Live In Review…
A Visit To Zoetermeer Live by Tiger Moth Tales was released on the 21st February 2020. The CD of the album comes with a running time of 70 minutes, 10 seconds which is like a double album of material. No doubt this time slot might be considered too long for a single studio album but a live concert can go on much longer and the 70 minutes here might even be considered as quite short. Though I certainly am not complaining and I am glad to see the release of a live DVD at last.
Tiger Moth Tales is very much the work of one-man Pete Jones and quite often he does go out and perform live on his own, though on occasions he also performs with the band he is also part of who go by the name of Red Bazar. It’s the musicians from this particular band that often lend him a hand to be able to perform his own material live and bring it to the stage with a fuller sound like you will find on his studio albums where he himself plays all the instruments.
For this concert all the members of the band were there apart from the keyboard player Gary Marsh, and I have to say they are all capable musicians of doing a GREAT! job and along with Jones himself they have well and truly brought the music of Tiger Moth Tales to the stage and put on an excellent performance and show. But before I go on to the show let’s first take a look at the DVD that comes in this package.
The DVD that comes in this package has some very basic features and things about it and to be perfectly honest I was not expecting it to be anything more when I ordered it. For example, it’s hardly likely that Pete Jones and his project name of Tiger Moth Tales could hire somewhere like the Royal Albert Hall or even the Genting Arena here in my own town of Birmingham to put on a live show with all the trimmings. That’s not to say he has not played at such venues with the prog rock band Camel he toured with a couple of years ago, but he’s hardly likely to fill those type of venues under his own name so he has to play at more smaller venues.
So, it perhaps does not really need to have something that looks a bit more professional regarding the DVD menu. But surprisingly there is a couple of quality things about this DVD and it’s not all as basic as it may appear. It also comes with some of the promotional videos that were made for some of the songs which make for some good bonus content.
The DVD’s main menu is about as basic as you can get and it does only have the one screen as you can see above. This is basically down to the software they used to authorise the DVD and to be honest whatever software they used was quite basic especially regarding the lack of menus and how the only way you can play the videos is by using the select button on your remote control. For example, not even the “Play Button” on your remote will play the videos.
To play a video you will have to use the navigation dial on your remote to navigate over one of the arrow pointers till it is highlighted to a green colour as you can see how I have highlighted the first track “Toad of Toad Hall” in the picture above. Once it is highlighted you simply hit the select button in the middle of the navigation circle (on most remotes) rather than the “Play Button”.
The other basic feature is that it only comes with one audio track which is Dolby Digital 2.0/48K and I also was not expecting it to come with a 5.1 surround mix. But the stereo track is quite good and well acceptable. Overall, with both the main feature of the concert and the bonus content all being put together onto one single menu it perhaps does not look like that much in the way of a more professional presentation. But least everything is all in one place and can be easily accessed.
To be perfectly honest it does not cost that much to get some decent software that can do a much more professional and respectable job regarding the menus. Having dabbled in video editing and putting together a couple of DVD’s for my holidays a decade or more ago now, I came across an excellent piece of software for DVD Authoring and making professional DVD menus made by DVDFab. I cannot remember the version I had but I am pretty sure it cost me less than £80 and having just checked out the latest version of the software it still can be had for less than £100.
This short video demonstration gives you an example of how well you can build your own DVD menus with DVDFab and how it does look more professional. Though I will say that some of the icons I used in the DVD I made for my family holiday I used for the purpose of the kids and so too was some of the extra features I put in. But the software gives you an array of buttons to choose from and you can even make your own customised buttons and menus. It also includes 3D and animation and it’s nowhere near as complicated to use like some of the reviews of the software make it out to be.
These days DVDFab is more up to date and even caters for 4K and no doubt will pack in a lot more features. I am not saying it’s the best software out there but I have also used video editors that cost four to five times as much and they are not capable of doing menus like this and for its price point I certainly do not think it can be beaten. It will also do a much better job than whatever they used to make the DVD menu for this concert DVD which really is basic.
But regarding making this video demonstration. I did so not do it to promote DVDFab in anyway but to show that there is better software like this out there and hopefully this might provide some useful incite in how to go about making DVD & Blu Ray menus. I am no expert by any means and do not claim to be, you may have also noticed in some of my earlier reviews of DVD’s and Blu Ray’s that have basic menus how I have stated that I could have done a better job myself. In all honesty I could have done regarding the menus by using this software. But I am not employing that I would want the job and I certainly am no expert when it comes to video editing.
The Bonus Features.
The bonus feature consists of 5 promotional videos that were done to promote the last couple of Tiger Moth Tales studio albums The Depths Of Winter and Story Tellers Part Two. I have seen them before and some are even longer than the ones that were put out on YouTube on Rob Reed and Chris Fry’s tube channels. It’s really GREAT! to have included them here and this is one of the two quality things you get with this DVD.
Speaking of Rob Reed it was he who directed and done the video editing on all 5 promo videos and Andrew Lawson was the guy behind the camera doing the filming. They have both done a super quality job of them and the footage as been shot very well and captured in HD. In total the 5 videos give you an extra 22 minutes, 14 seconds of GREAT! bonus content.
The Picture & Editing Quality.
The Dutch film maker John Vis was the man behind shooting the film footage for the live show. To be honest there is very little I can find out about him and the linear and credit notes that come with the CD do not really provide you with any informative information and it simply states “Filmed by Jon Vis” and does not even mention how many cameras and operators were used. However, I can see he is no stranger to filming many of the live shows for the newer neo-prog bands and see he has filmed bands like Riverside, Mystery, Big Train and many others in the past.
Both the filming and editing is the other quality thing about this DVD. John Vis done an outstanding job in the way he has captured the live concert very well in full HD. To be honest by putting the DVD in my Sony Blu Ray player the picture quality in all honesty looks immaculate and as sharp and just as pristine as a Blu Ray and you would think it was a Blu Ray disc and not a DVD. I am fairly sure that around 3 cameras at least were used to film the concert and you can see they captured all the angles very well.
Geert Jan Schoonbeek was the guy who done the editing and pretty much a bang on job was done here to as well. Peter Jones is very much one of those artists you need to capture well especially when he’s playing the guitar and keyboards at the same time. I have seen countless live videos of him on YouTube and not one of them that have captured him so precisely like they have done here. This is by far the best live video footage I have seen of him and it displays this man’s talent and the other musicians on the stage 100%.
The Sound Quality.
The sound quality on the DVD is a very basic format they have used and it would have been better if they included a lossless format such as LPCM for example rather than a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. It’s quite good like I mentioned earlier but the sound quality on the CD is better. It’s a shame that more thought was not put into the DVD especially in relation to the stunning quality job that was done for both the picture and editing.
Musicians & Credits…
All songs written by Peter Jones. Recorded live at the Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer in the Netherlands on the 26th January 2019. Filmed by John Vis. Edited by Geert Jan Schoonbeek. Photos by Ard Van Der Heuvel. All Promo Videos Directed & Edited by Robert Reed and Filmed by Andrew Lawson.
Peter Jones: Vocals – Keyboards – Guitar.
Andy Wilson: Guitar.
Mick Wilson: Bass – Melodica – Vocoder & Backing Vocals.
Paul Comerie: Drums
On To The Show…
The music venue Cultuurpodium Boerderij is situated in the south Holland city Zoetermeer and was originally a farmhouse and part of an old vacant farm and back in the 70’s. It was converted into a large hall and manly used for discos and was used as a youth centre. Over the years it developed from an open youth centre into a cultural stage and more and more concerts were planned. As the population began to grow in Zoetermeer it created a need for a larger hall for pop music and the like.
In 1998 the Boerderij moved to a newly built building (as seen above) and has since become a culture stage with a program offering consisting of concerts, dance nights, cabaret and theatre. It’s a much smaller venue than the 013 in Tilburg but like that venue it does have a couple of rooms you can hire to put on a live show.
The biggest of the two rooms is the large hall and this holds a capacity for around 750 people and is where this particular concert was performed and the many other prog rock, blues and rock bands who have played at the venue which includes the likes of Steve Hackett, Alan Parsons, Fish, Paul Carrack, Deep Purple, Saxon, Uriah Heep and many others. The other room is a lot smaller and more like a bar to which they call the stage cafe’ and holds a capacity of around 100 people.
On With The Show…
When Pete Jones and his project of Tiger Moth Tales took the stage on the 26th January 2019 at the Cultuurpodium Boerderij it was the second time he had played the venue. He first played there exactly a year earlier on the 26th January 2018 when he was promoting his 3rd studio album The Depths Of Winter. On this occasion he is promoting his 4th studio album Story Tellers Part Two and I also noticed that on December 14th 2019 he played the same venue for the third time.
The live concert on the DVD has a running time of 74 minutes, 5 seconds and is near enough 4 minutes longer than what you get on the CD. Though for the life of me I could not tell you, or have not spotted what extra content you get with the 4 minutes and they both contain the same set-list. Both the CD and DVD also contain Pete Jones speaking to the audience as well and it’s not as if the concert on the CD has been edited down like many concerts of other artists have been by cutting out the talk in between the songs.
I can only presume that part of the talking in between the songs may have been cut out from the CD. The reason I have not spotted what parts is really down to me only playing the CD once. I do prefer to watch a live concert than just listen to it and for me personally any concert on DVD or Blu Ray is my preferred choice and it’s very rare I will even play the CD’s that come in most of these packages.
The 9-track set-list features material from 3 of the Tiger Moth Tales albums and the only album he does not play anything from is his 2nd album Story Tellers. The band enter the stage and Pete Jones greets the audience as he done so with the opening song off his latest album Story Tellers Part 2 entitled “Toad Of Toad Hall” to which he kicks off the show with. This is very much a song that features quite a lot of lead synth work and is structured around a dominant bass line and is a really GREAT! song.
Throughout most of the concert Jones is only on vocals and keyboards and he is using his trusty Technics KN6000 keyboard rather than a moog to which was used for the studio version. No doubt he uses it because he knows his way around it and to be honest it still puzzles me how he is able to change all the patches so quickly even for when he uses the split function to layer many more sounds. The bass player Mick Wilson also controls a lot of the extra sound and vocal effects such as the motorbike sound in this opening song via the use of an iPad or some similar device he has on a stand.
The other thing I noticed that was on a stand is a Stick Bass or Chapman Stick that was not used throughout the entire concert, it could have been that they played a Red Bazar set either before or after and why this set was so short in the first place.
However, Jones wastes no time rolling out the next number which is the 2nd part of the final track from his debut album “Feels Alright“. He tones things down another notch with another of his songs from his latest album “Match Girl” to which features mostly Jones on his own on the piano with Mick Wilson contributing a nice touch of Melodica to accompany him. It’s also during these last couple of numbers that Jones starts to have more of a conversation with the audience and reminds them he has CD’s for sale and needs to clear up more space in his garage :)))).
The first of two tracks from his 3rd studio album is up next and “Hygge” is not exactly the type of song to raise the tempo up and only slightly lifts it up a notch in the second half of it. I have to admit that The Depths Of Winter is my least favourite album and that is down many of the tracks being a bit too BALLAD ESC! and the fact that many of the tracks on it do tend to drag on longer than they really need to. But in saying that this is one of the albums better tracks and this live version is quite welcoming.
It also gives Andy Wilson a chance to play a lead solo on the guitar and the blend of the keyboards and guitar over its melodic parts give it that Genesis feel. Jones was no doubt influenced by that band when he wrote “Hygge” and part of its melodic structure does sound like it’s been lifted from “Ripples” although it’s not quite a classic like that particular song of theirs and it sort of crosses boundaries and sounds like some of the material that came off the couple of albums that followed it and his own input of course.
A couple of my favourite tracks from the last couple of albums are up next and the first of them is “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and I was so pleased to see that he had included this in the set-list and this does help to pick the pace of show up more and Jones and the band more or less knock it out of the park. Another cracking job by all is done with “The Ballad of Longshanks John” and I quite enjoy watching how Jones can play different melody lines at the same time with his hands on the keys and he really can sound like an orchestra at times. I see they also brought along the voice of Jamie Ambler to which is triggered on the device Mick Wilson operates on many of the songs, he also uses it for some vocoder effect on this song and another.
The last part of the show is where things really start to cook on gas and they are certainly cooking up some excitement with this 3-course meal of songs that is on the menu to which all are from his debut album Cocoon. Playing different melody lines at the same time with both hands is perhaps even more evident when playing two instruments and this as always been part of the showcase and highlight of seeing Pete Jones or Tiger Moth Tales live.
I would also say he does need a band behind him to pull off “Tigers In The Butter” over its entirety like he did here and can be seen in this video that is taken from the live concert to which Rob Reed uploaded on his YouTube channel.
This is quite an outstanding performance of the song and captures much of the essence that was contained in the studio recording. It also gives Andy Wilson a chance to fly out a blistering solo on the guitar at the end and even Paul Comerie on the drums gets to really bash his kit out a lot more.
You can also see how well this show has been captured on film by John Vis and his camera crew and how it’s been skilfully edited by Geert Jan Schoonbeek not only to capture Jones but also the other members of the band. But the show is not quite over and the next couple of songs are also classics from the Cocoon album and “The Merry Vicar” is very much another of the songs that works very well with having a band behind him.
I quite like how Pete Jones and Andy Wilson have a bit of fun on the guitars on the introduction by playing little snippets of songs like “Day Trip To Blackpool“. “Smoke On The Water” and the theme tune to “Match of The Day” and this is a GREAT! fun song all the way and they pull it off extremely well. The band do not leave the stage to go off and come back for an encore and finish off the show in SUPERB! style with the classic “A Visit To Chigwick” and once again having two guitarists works very well with the fine melodies that are along this superb song. This really is quite a GEM! and the perfect way to end off quite a magical evening and very enjoyable show.
To sum up A Visit To Zoetermeer Live by Tiger Moth Tales. The fact the concert comes with a DVD besides a CD gives you the opportunity to see the amazing talent Pete Jones possesses and he is without doubt an artist you really need to see. The fact that I myself have not got around to seeing him live makes this package even more worthwhile and very much gives you much more of a picture than you would most likely get to see at a live show. I truly take my hat off to both John Vis and Geert Jan Schoonbeek who between them have captured everything about this live performance and have presented it to you with sheer quality.
Sure, I could argue the point that the DVD comes with a no thrills basic menu. I could also argue that the sound quality could of marginally have been improved if a bit more attention had of been applied to compiling the DVD. But these are only minor little niggles and take nothing away from the enjoyment and experience you will get from watching this live concert.
No doubt that Pete Jones is like an orchestra by himself but the well capable musicians he has with him on the stage do help bring the music of Tiger Moth Tales out to their full potential near enough and they all do very much a TOP JOB! I quite like the set-list of songs he chose to do and it does showcase some of the best material from 3 of the 4 studio albums and my personal highlights from the show are as follows: “Toad Of Toad Hall“. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf“. “Tigers In The Butter“. “The Merry Vicar” and “A Visit To Chigwick“.
In conclusion I would say that if you have not seen Pete Jones this package will well and truly give you the opportunity to do so and I am well and truly grateful that finally at last we have a DVD release and hopefully in the near future we will get to see more DVD releases especially if they come as good as this. The bonus material of the promo videos are also quality and I am glad to see that were included. But I still want to see him live in concert and still enjoy the many audio live concerts he has put out simply because he is very entertaining.
The very fact that this package comes with a CD & DVD for £12 means that they are giving you the DVD for practically nothing and both the picture quality and editing is truly STUNNING! Its price point represents amazing value for the buck and you simply cannot go wrong here and I highly recommend the physical product over the Digital Download.
You can purchase live album in the form of a Digital Download for £7 or the physical CD/DVD from for £12 from Bandcamp here: https://tigermothtales.bandcamp.com/album/a-visit-to-zoetermeer-3
It’s also available from other outlets such as Amazon and the CD/DVD can also be purchased from White Knight records here: https://www.whiteknightshop2.co.uk/store/Tiger-Moth-Tales-A-Visit-To-Zoetemeer-LIVE-DVD-CD-p173130588
There will be more to come from Pete Jones and Tiger Moth Tales soon, but coming up next for review is the latest Deluxe Edition of Marillion’s debut album Script For A Jester’s Tear which I recently added to my collection. But meanwhile “Stay Safe” well and keep your distance during this Coronavirus lockdown. But don’t isolate yourself away from the music. During these unfortunate circumstances, A Visit To Zoetermeer Live by Tiger Moth Tales is very much a concert you can still see and is just the ticket to add to your collection right now.
Step Inside The World Of Your Dreams…
The Live Set-List is as follows:
01. Toad Of Toad Hall. 4:27.
02. Feels Alright. 5:01.
03. Match Girl. 4:25.
04. Hygge. 8:38.
05. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. 7:00.
06. The Ballad Of Longshanks John. 7:22.
07. Tigers In The Butter. 14:07.
08. The Merry Vicar. 9:49.
09. A Visit To Chigwick. 9:47.