"This is the Growing Up Tour 2002" Anna Gabriel announces a few seconds into her recently released documentary; "Growing Up On Tour : A Family Portrait". Originally conceived as an on the road diary of her sister Melanie, who had joined the tour as a backing singer; it was turned into a full behind the scenes look at the tour style documentary.
Shot during the US shows in 2002, we get to see the band from day one rehearsals right through to the end of the first leg of the tour. The full duration of the film is barely forty minutes but it is a must have for any die hard fan. We get to see footage o the band running through Mercy Street acapella; rehearsing the Sledgehammer "dance. Peter performing Downside Up on piano with Melanie as well as multiple takes of Solsbury Hill.
It has been said that some members of the band were more receptive to the camera at first than others (and it is apparent who they were on viewing this) but in all the band members open up by the end. As it turns out, drummer Ged Lynch seems to be quite the comedian. We get to hear the band discuss their fears as well as their personal lives. Also included in the DVD menu is a studio recording of Peter's new song: Baby Man; however we are only treated to a few seconds' worth.
The bonus footage is the icing on the cake, however, it features an Anna Gabriel video of My Head Sounds Like That; the making of The Barry Williams Show and best of all; footage from the DVD premiere at the Newport Film Festival as Peter performs solo with only a piano for the first time in his career. The six songs performed included That Voice Again; a song never performed live before; Mercy Street; as well as an emotional Washing Of The Water. Unfortunately, we only get to see highlights from these songs and it would have been so much better has the entire performance been included.
There has been some talk about a deluxe version; so let's keep our fingers
crossed that a full version would be included in that. As far as the style of
the film goes; I think it was well done. The special effects and graphics are
nicely done with quotes at the bottom of the screen as well as filters applied
to emphasise the important parts. The downside on the disc is that there is
no complete performance of a whole song; however it is worth the cash and time…
don’t let this pass you by. If you couldn't make it to a show; this is the next