Larry Norman - On The Way To The Sky

Tuesday 1st December 1998
Larry Norman - On The Way To The Sky


RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Sound International
FORMAT: VHS video Music video

Reviewed by Dougie Adam

This is simplicity itself. The man. that battered old Mexican guitar, his songs some golden oldies plus a few dazzling newies - captured on two cameras, all nicely filmed and neatly edited. What you get is Larry's 1995 concert at the Rialto Theatre in Londonderry in its entirety - starting in customary fashion with a haphazard sound check at the beginning of the concert! I've never seen Larry look as relaxed and happy as he does on this occasion. Consequently, even though he is probably performing some of the classics for the 10 thousandth time, he still manages to invest great care in these performances. Some of the between-song monologues are priceless stand up comedy, even -amazingly - when he's describing his own major heart attack. Best of all is the sense that after 40 years writing and performing the man is still forging ahead breaking new ground as "Goodbye Farewell" and "Long Hard Road" demonstrate. The highlight of the night is the unveiling of another classic Norman rock anthem, "Rock The Flock"... if it ever gets properly recorded and released. You want to know how good this one is? Think "Why Should The Devil..." except "Rock The Flock" has got what it takes to be the anthem of the first decade of the next millennium. Sample lyrics? "You got to hit the streets and spread the word around/Tell everyone you meet they can lay their burdens down/You got to love one another and beat the drum/You got to rock the flock till Kingdom come." Two other highlights merit some attention. Firstly, "Weight Of The World", a Don Was composition which Larry has made his own with numerous exquisite renditions peppering his concerts from 1992 onwards, and lastly, the wonderful "If I Were A Singer", a song which Larry has yet to release (officially). But that's not the last word. The concert finishes with a moving no-cringe altar call and prayer for inquirers and struggling Christians. The guy is one of a kind. A unique talent, albeit a little eccentric too. An intimate, uplifting concert which has been unobtrusively well captured on film and nicely packaged to boot.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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