Colosseum: Dave "Clem" Clempson (vocals, guitar); Mark Clarke (vocals, bass guitar); Chris Farlowe (vocals); Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone); Dave Greenslade (organ, vibraphone); Jon Hiseman (drums).
Drummer Jon Hiseman seemingly had low expectations for a Colosseum reunion. The group decided to re-form at keyboardist Dave Greenslade's 50th birthday party, although Hiseman wasn't sure the timing was right. He was hopeful his German bookers could maybe put together six shows; they swiftly found 30, with Colosseum going on to play over 100 gigs during 1994-1995. And why not? In their three-year lifespan, the group racked up three U.K. Top 20 albums, while simultaneously blowing the socks off of Germany and much of Europe. And coming back together after two decades was, judging by the music here, a lot like coming home. The Reunion Concert Cologne 1994 took place at the E-Werk in Cologne, and was the band's second gig together. Filmed for German television, it resulted in the Reunion Concerts 1994 live album which was released the following year. A video of the gig also hit the shelves, and later a DVD, with this two-disc set completing the package, as the CD features the songs left off the original live album. Those include an exuberant sax-led take on "Those About to Die," a wild ride through "Skellington," and a quartet of excellent covers which all featured on the band's 1971 Colosseum Live album. It was this lineup that let loose that set, and they sound just as good 20-plus years later, with the group eagerly swinging into their legendary "The Valentyne Suite" and other grand numbers from their heyday across the DVD. A splendid show now finally available in its entirety. ~ Jo-Ann Greene