Harem Scarem, Raw And Rare, 2008

harem scarem - raw and rareA good thing about having vacation is taking the time to watch some DVD’s laying on a shelf… This band ranks among my all time favourites. It is a real shame it is a testimony of their final concert at Firefest 2007. With a history of over 19 years and a lot of albums under their belt, their set is sure to disappoint. But only because it is too short! So there is no time for everybody’s favourites. Alas…

If anything, this shows the top class of this band and the genius that are Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance. The latter never seizes to amaze with his unbelievable guitar solos and riffs and Harry is in fine voice as always. Misters Doane on drums and Donaghy on bass and vocals are no slackers either by the way.  A lot of  fun between them and it shines.
The one thing I will never understand is why drums are panned the wrong way. I always get confused when I see a drummer hitting something to my left, and hearing it from the right. Well I guess that is just me.
While viewing and listening it is hard to believe Harem Scarem never became a household name. Maybe because some songs simply are too clever. Maybe because the guys look like your neighbour (except Pete who looks like a rock star with all his tattoos, but he also has a short haircut). It can’t be because of the songs. These vary from modernistic hard rock, to classic AOR, but always ooze class… We will probably never know.

I admire the band for always doing what they wanted to do, and for never looking back. And for corkers like Mood Swings and Voice Of Reason of course.

Among the bonus features there is footage from 1994, during the tour for their second album Mood Swings. It is fun because of all that hair that later disappeared, and because of the songs, but audio and video are bootleg quality at best. Nevertheless also a testimony to my earlier point, a brilliant act!
More interesting for me are clips of them working in the studio, recording. More is good 😉

I for one am still looking out / hoping for news about the guys, ya never know… For now, enjoy this or play any of their albums.


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