Black Sabbath – ‘The End Of The End’ Premiere – London, Soho Screening Rooms – 6 September 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Sunday, 17 September 2017 04:00

Towards the start of this year, many of us would have attended a date or two on Black Sabbath’s ‘The End’ arena tour, taking the opportunity to sample true metal mastery in live action one more time, and frankly to say goodbye to one of the most influential bands in the history of music. I paid my dues at London’s O2 Arena, and I know one or two people who went the extra mile and attended the very last show of the tour (Sabbath’s last ever show?) which fittingly took place in Birmingham, the birthplace of Black Sabbath and heavy metal itself.

 

‘The End Of The End’ is a film documenting that momentous last date of the tour. It will be shown in cinemas across the country on 28 September, and is destined for a DVD release in November.

 

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Tonight, this lifelong Sabbath fan was a very lucky boy. Not only did I get a sneak preview of the film in the lush surroundings of a small private screening room in London’s Soho, but prior to the film, I find myself sat within ten feet of the legend that is Tony Iommi, as he does an introductory short live interview hosted by Classic Rock’s Jerry Ewing. He talks about the reasons for the film, the strange feeling of knowing that may have been last time he plays those iconic songs and the reasons behind the choice of songs for the set. Interestingly, this revealed that there may well have been a few different choices of songs had Ozzy been able to hit the high notes on certain songs! In the end the songs chosen were the ones that the Oz could comfortably deliver on a regular basis on a mammoth tour such as ‘The End’ was. And let’s face it, none of us were complaining.

 

‘The End Of The End’ isn’t a straight forward concert film. Although the live footage constitutes the bulk and basis of the film, it’s the extras that are interspersed throughout the film that make it that little bit different and special. This includes various interview snippets with Iommi, Osborne and Butler and backstage footage. On occasion, subtitles may have been a preferred option for a few of Ozzy’s comments, but it’s all fascinating stuff.

 

Best of all is a live studio session the band played a couple of days after that final show, just for the cameras, seeing the band in close proximity to each other in relaxed surroundings, knocking out a few obscure nuggets that did not feature in the live set on the tour. The footage of them performing ‘The Wizard’ here is worth the price of admission alone; ‘Wicked World’ is mesmerising, and a superb rendition of ‘Changes’ brings the film to an emotional climax.

 

The footage from the Birmingham show is as good as it gets. Director Dick Carruthers, who also did Zep’s ‘Celebration Day’, has done an outstanding job in capturing the spirit of the show, with fast moving camera work and revealing and different use of close up shots on both band and audience members. Rarely have I seen better filmed concert footage, and it is most befitting of the monumental occasion it captures. The film has a sound quality to match too.

 

 

After the film, footage of the songs that didn’t make the final cut of the film is shown, namely ‘NIB’, ‘Behind The Wall Of Sleep’ and ‘Dirty Women’, along with interview outtakes, all of which I suspect will surface as bonus material on the DVD.

 

‘The End Of The End’ is essential viewing for Sabbath fans both obsessive and casual. Do yourself a favour and get booking for that one night only cinematic extravaganza on 28 September, and capture this epic film in all its glory on the big screen. 

 

Details of showings of ‘The End Of The End’, and tickets, are available HERE.

 

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