The DVD titled “Rapture” was recorded in 2011, when Arena visited Poland as part of the tour promoting their new release “The Seventh Degree of Separation”. The album opened a new chapter in the history of the band led since 1995 by two acclaimed musicians: Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Caamora, Shadowland) and Mick Pointer (ex-Marillion). The album was recorded with a new singer, Paul Manzi (Oliver Wakeman Band), the bassist John Jowitt, who returned to the band’s line-up after a several year break, and the guitarist John Mitchell. Filmed in 2011 at Wyspiański Theatre in Katowice, Poland, the DVD features a wide cross-section of Arena’s music, with material ranging from the tracks from the band’s very first release (including The Visitor, Solomon, Crying For Help VII, Ascension) up to their latest songs (The Great Escape, The Seventh Degree Of Separation, Rapture, One Last Au Renoir, The Ghost Walks, What If?, Burning Down).
For an artist whose bio reads that she was “born in 1784 in the backseat of a sea-foam green space pinto,” LA-based soul singer Kadjha Bonet’s debut LP The Visitor sounds a bit closer to home than that. Her sound is retro-fitted, but you only have to travel to, say, the experimental jazz-meets-soul-meets-singer-songwriter traditions of 1974 to find her home planet. Her voice twists Roberta Flack’s velvet tone around the archness of Shirley Bassey over creamery-rich strings, producing a sound as familiar as it is haunting.