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Maddy Prior: The Quest DVD

From the very moment that Steeleye Span first married electric instruments and traditional music, Maddy Prior has always been an innovator. Throughout her career, both with the band and in her solo career. 2006, however, saw her undertake he most challenging project yet – The Quest. Inspired by the legend of the Holy Grail, it was to be a tour of the UK that visited some of the most historic and dramatic location in the country, many of which were tied into the myths that surround the holy vessel.

Maddy Prior has always been fascinated by the stories and legends of these isles and has written or adapted most (if not all) of the great folk tales over the years. Of late, however, she has begun to explore perhaps the most enduring myth of all – that of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. The question whether the Grail made a journey through Britain, whether Joseph of Arimathea did visit here as a trader, even if he brought a young Jesus with him, has enthralled both artists and historians down the ages. The Quest is another in a long line of creative endeavours designed to engage with the story.

Accompanied by her long-term musical colleagues Nick Holland and Troy Donnockley, the tour saw Maddy revisit her solo catalogue for the first time in some years. The Quest CD/DVD includes material from ‘Flesh & Blood’, ‘Year’ and ‘Ravenchild’ releases, the trio of albums that she released to critical acclaim during the nineties. However the centrepiece of the live set comes in the form of the song cycle from ‘Arthur The King’, which deals with one of the key figures at the centre of the myth of the Grail.

With the majority of the material inspired by the folklore of the British Isles, it was fitting that the tour visited some of the most historical and dramatic places in Britain – Glastonbury, Tintagel, Yorkshire, London, Wales – before coming to a conclusion in the most astonishing setting of all, Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, the supposed final resting place of the Grail itself. There can have been no more suitable location to conclude this remarkable undertaking, as the trio played out their final songs of the tour under the imposing stone pillars and stained glass windows. That night the magic of the Grail truly seemed to be in the air.

Yet there was more to The Quest than just the music. This was to be the first interactive music tour, whereby internet watchers the world over would be able to follow the progress of Maddy, musicians and crew online as they were followed every step of the way by a film crew. Each day new footage, both on and off stage, was posted on the Quest website to provide a unique insight into the touring process. The best of these is available with a special bonus DVD that accompanies the album, featuring many of the most memorable performances from the tour alongside some fascinating and often hilarious behind the scenes footage. The Quest may have come to its conclusion, but this is a document that will ensure that the special atmosphere that created will never be forgotten.

1. Sheath & Knife
2. Bitter Withy
3. Quest
4. Joseph Was A Tin Man
5. Maman
6. John
7. Fields Of The Cloth Of Gold
8. The Name Of Arthur
– 9. Veturae Remembering
– 10. Hallows I
– 11. Queen & Sovereignty
– 12. Hallows II
– 13. Tribal Warriors
– 14. Hallows III
– 15. Sentry
– 16. Hallows IV
– 17. Once & Future King
18. Jupiter
19. Hind Horn
20. Ravenchild
21. Dance On The Wind

Bonus CD Track:
22. The Templar Knight

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