Rick Wakeman – Piano Vibrations

Here was my view of the album in 97. It still stands I think :-

You perhaps thought (hoped) I had forgotten this review but here it is

1. Take me to the Pilot – This track is very 70’s sounding. It has a Soulful
Female vocal on it. Piano, A brass section and Some Wah Wah Guitar. I can’t
say I really like it.

2. Yellow Man – This one is much better. It is a very Kinks sounding song.
I have no idea if it should be. It has Male vocals on this one. On the Album
there is credit a credit to Rick. And also "Chris who sang some songs".
Is Chris the man or the woman though?

3. Cast Your Fate to the wind – This track has guitar and Piano which is complex
in bits. It is a good jazzy Song

4. Gloria Gloria – The Opening of this one sounds like it could be from The
Heritage suite. And then the rest is Awful. It sounds has 70’s’ Orchestra Music
(the sort of stuff played in an Interval or to accompany a Test Card) and Electric
piano or Organ on it.

5. Your Song – This is the First track I can hear Rick Sounding like Rick.
This is quite a nice track. Again it has the Male Vocalist on it.

6. Delta Lady – Another track for the Lady Vocalist. More Orchestra and Brass
but this track is kind of OK. There might be a very minor touch or Rick sounding
Piano on this one. Along with the ordinary piano of course.

7. A Picture of You – Another bad instrumental like 4. Yuck!

8. Home Sweet Oklahoma – This has a Wakey like start and male vocals. It actually
sounds very Rick in places and is a reasonably good track.

9. Fire and Rain – Another tracks with high Rick Content and Female vocals.
It’s OK

10. Classical Gas – This tracks is my favourite. The first time I heard it,
it reminded me of the ELO’s first album track called First Movement. I have
since discovered "Classical Gas" was a 1968 Chart single so I guess
it influenced Roy Wood and therefore Woody "borrowed" some of it’s
structure in tribute, as he is known to do from time to time. Rick did not seem
to do much on this track. It is mainly classical guitar to my ear

Overall not the greatest Album but ok. I would not recommend anyway bust a
gut trying to find this one but it is like all album of Curiosity to all Wakeman
Completists.

Band Reviews from 1996/1997

I have been keeping this list of gigs I have attended and often written reviews
for friends. It might interest someone so I have decided to put it online. I
have tried to go to a lot of gigs in recent times as that is the only enjoyment
worth aggravating my ME
for but I am afraid it still affects the reviews.

Kiss – Wembley 25th November 1996

I was at the Kiss Gig last night.

Bloody Excellent. Boy am I fucked though. I was feeling physically sick with
fatigue! Thank goodness it was one of the best shows I have been too.

I really don’t give a monkey about Ace Frehely. But the Paul Stanley and
Gene Simmons were really good. Peter Chris seemed to have a bit of a quite
night. Almost no singing. I can’t believe the way Paul who must be mid 40’s?
still runs round and does kicks on stage. Especially in those 7" High
heels. He dances around and he jumps of Rises. You would think he would worry
about twisting his Ankle!

There were a couple of girls on the Teared Seating behind me, the Gene was
really being provocative with. I bet they were in seventh heaven. Gene seemed
to be trying to encourage them to show there tits but they weren’t game.

The stage show was really excellent. I am pleased I have seen the full
thing.

I which they had done a mixed set (ie included some modern stuff) though
instead of all the old stuff. They missed Beth and I still Love you which I
thought was a shame as well. I was surprised they did I was made for loving you
though as I thought Peter Chris said he would not do that in the Unplugged
Video. I guess I will have to watch it again and see.

I almost bought the Kisstory Book (’90) but they only had damaged copied
left. I which I new where I could get it from. I only have a USA phone number I
am sure there is supposed to be a UK or Dutch supplier somewhere.

Anyway it was well worth the way I will feel for the next few days!

RICK WAKEMAN – NOAH – 3 May 1997

Well I am back from Rick’s Noah performance. And I thought it an interesting
evening. If not a slightly unfortunate one. When I got to the station to come
home it was 10.01 the previous train was 10.00 and the next 23.30 🙁

The music of the night came in 2 45 minute sets. First the choir sang for
about 20 minutes by themselves. Then Rick came out and did Noah.

After the interval the choir did another minute bit and then they did a
piece of Handle for half an hour with the string section and an mini church
organ. Rick did not play in this half. He just watched from the audience.

So what was Noah like? Well I guess the choir was about 40 strong for this.
It was larger for the two solo pieces as they had past members join them. There
was also a 16 piece string section. 8 violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos and a bass.

The piece reminded me most of I think Hercules from A suit of the Gods. It
had a lot of full choir parts and a chorus type part sung by a tenor type
vocalist.

In my opinion sat on the front row in front of Rick he was at the wrong
volume. Far to quiet. It was difficult to hear what he was doing above the very
lively string section.

It was certainly no Journey but very enjoyable. Apparently, and Graham know
this better than me, Rick is going to record another two tracks to be released
with Noah. He has not written them yet so I guess that might not happen.

I hope Rick can afford the Strings and the Choir on the recording as it will
be a good listen when he is further up in the mix.

I met up with Graham from the discussion list at the concert and another chap
joined our discussion. He had come down from Liverpool. I mentioned I had been
to the first Rick Wakeman Communication Centre annual Party and he immediately
remembered I had sat next to him for the dinner and that I had had a problem
with my arm (I had dislocated it the day before). We then moved on to
discussing where we where sitting and were most surprised to discover we where
sat next to each other at this gig too.

It was nice meeting this guy again as I was able to finish a conversation
with him about the sounds Wakeman and Emerson are using nowadays. I very easily
recalled he did not like Wakeman’s setting recently and that he said if Emerson
could find good settings why couldn’t Rick. Since I have been listening to the
4 CD box set of ELP

I now felt qualified to comment that I preferred Wakey’s more varied
approach to sound settings.

Hard Rain – Norwich – 10th July – The Oval Rockhouse

I decided to go to this gig because it is some years since I last saw Magnum
(the Vigilante tour I think (the one with a unicorn)) and I thought it would be
interesting to see Hard Rain play such a small venue only 300? people.

Prior to the gig I got to meet Annie and the one who did compost corners on
the Hard rain page. Which was nice

Then during the support act Bob appeared at the back so I took the
opportunity to get my photo taken with him. I had not realised he was so short.

I watched the gig from a slightly odd position of a pool table at the back
but although I barely saw Tony I got a good view of most things. It was also
very interesting to see Ollie Cateley and her friends popping about to the
music too.

The Set list was a follows

You’d Start A Fight – I thought this quite a good opener

Shame For The Bad Boy – I don’t think I am that bothered by this one but it
was good to see it live

Looking For A Way – This is one of my favourite tracks on the album and was
particularly good to hear live

Vigilante – This predictably got a big response from the Crowd

Stop Me From Loving You – This is my favourite Hard Rain track and I really
liked Tony’s guitar parts they are so expressive.

Rage On – It was very interesting to hear Suzy the vocalist doing her part
"oho oho oho oho" part live.

Les Morts Dansant – I thought it interesting the band should choose to add
another ballad from there back Catalogue. As the Concert went on I realised it
was the ballads I enjoyed most of the hard Rain album and there are quite a
view of them.

Perpetual Commotion – this one is OK but does not do much for me overall. It
has of course got pace.

I Must Have Been Blind – See what I mean another slow and very good ballad
from the album

Scared Hour – This was my favourite track from the night not only because
Chase the Dragon is my favourite Magnum album but because the keyboards and
guitar were particularly good in this arrangement.

Different Kind Of Love – Bob introduced this as his favourite on the Hard
Rain Album

Another Nice Mess – I enjoy this one

Tell Tale Eyes – This was the set closer and I thought it a very strange
choice. It is a rather indifferent Magnum track to my ears but I guess it is a
very speedy number. I liked the keyboards on this arrangement. I will have to
pull out Rock Art again sometime and see if I liked it as much on (or little)
on there.

The Encore

The Sprit – slow Acoustic sing along with the crowd. It reminded me very
much of Marrillion doing I think script for a Jesters tears on an In concert
back in the 80’s. Then the band kicked in just at then end.

Overall I enjoyed there concert a great deal although it was a little short
80mins?. The sound occasionally got a little muddy but overall everything was
clear. Especially Bob’s vocals which is something that often suffers are hard
Rock gigs.

I don’t know if Suzy sang on the Hard Rain album but I preferred the live
backing vocals. I get the impression the Hard Rain album did not have a drummer
it sounds a bit to programmed in places to me and overall the songs appealed to
me much more live with real musicians.

Overall I also found the set list more to my tastes than the one on the
Magnum Live video which was mainly storytellers era. I wish I had a gig on
video from the Maruader/Chase the dragon era

RICK WAKEMAN – Ronnie Scotts Birmingham 22/23 July 1997

OK here goes my review. Where shall I start? The venue I guess. It’s a nice
looking club. It probably holds about 300? people. I think I saw the tables
where numbered up to at least 115 anyway. Obviously a place this size everyone
has a good view

I had an excellent view. I was the table in front of Rick. i.e. About 6 foot
away. Well Actually I could not see Tony but never mind. I had a great view of
Rick’s fingers on two of the keyboards. Actually there was a table on the stage
right next to Rick they must have had a perfect view of Rick playing. I guess
it was a little too visible though and of course they could not see the rest of
the band

Rick had a 6 keyboard set up at this gig. This is the first time I have seen
him exceed 4 with possible exception of the Silent Nights Tour which is too
long ago for me to remember. (I took some pictures which normally only 1 in 4
are worth showing but if any are I will show you next week) He also had a
portable keyboard.

Adam had 5 keyboards and I don’t think the basic 4 from the past were
Identical either. I think he had two technics ones as his from two whereas Rick
had his Korg.

The use of 6 keyboards allowed greater variety in his use of sounds and it
was absolutely fantastic. The basic set was much as the No Expense Spared tour.
And that tour I remember thinking on leaving was probably the best gig I had
every attended. Well Tuesdays night was probably even better if only because I
can’t remember the No Expense Tour now. Wednesday night was not as good as the
set was reduced which was annoyed but apparently the Club thought he was playing
too long!! 🙁

Right The set.

Lure of the Wild. I personally don’t go much on this track. I wish this was
the one they dropped the 2nd night but I guess that would mess the set up
completely.

Next was Chrissy first number with Robot Man. I can’t recall if this was
done on the No Expense Spared tour. I don’t recall it and I was pleased to hear
it.

Paint it black – Again with Chrissy on Vocals. I think this was an Encore
back then. I am not sure about this track either.

Then on the first night only was Catherine Howard. This was really good and
a brand new arrangement to my ears. That is why I was disappointed when it was
dropped the next night. I am sure it had a new section in it.

Next was King Arthur. The arrangement of this was probably very close to the
original. I certainly liked all the sounds Rick was using. Again Chrissy was on
vocals. Although she disappeared now and then.

The second from last track of the set was After Prayers. And I have to say
this was my favourite of the set. Rick introduced it by saying people thought
it was about Death. I don’t know if he was joking or serious. Even I can tell
it is a pure Love song.

To end they did Eleanor. Again Chrissy did vocals. I am sure she was used
more than I recall from No Expense Spared which is great by me. She sounded
perfectly in tune all night both nights to me.

The Second set started with Catherine Parr.

Then came Journey. This was performed really well. I do get disappointed
when I know this is in the set though. It is not that I object to the album
itself it is great. It is just that I would prefer the variety of the 5? pieces
it replaces. I also feel it is a long time for people to concentrate on
enjoying a piece of music. Perhaps it would help me at least if there was some
way Rick could get the Narration into the song again. Perhaps not. Anyway as I
say it was an excellent Performance.

To close the set (first night only) was Merlin complete with portable
keyboard dual. This is great as it allows everyone to see Rick’s and Adams
fingers at Work. Also Rick sits at a table in the audience to do the final fast
bit. Great stuff. I think Chrissy Did vocals on this but my memory is going
already 🙁

The Encore was Starship Trooper. Definitely with Chrissy on Vocals. Adam
does some more on the Portable Keyboard at the start of Wurm and then Rick
Takes off and really goes for it. Again absolutely brilliant.

Next some observations on the differences between the two nights.

In After Prayers Rick used a very echoy effect at the start on the 2nd
night. I am not sure if he was experimenting or if it was a mistake. It sounded
the later if you ask me.

There was less of a crowd at the start of the 2nd night. Oh and it was much
younger. The first night seemed to be a lot of the Regular club goers and I was
convinced apart from the band I (31) was the youngest there. Because there was
less Crowd Rick did not Joke about Adam and his refusal to have an Operation in
order to do Chaka Karns part on Robot man as long. Also some of the crowd
arrived late and he had already brought forward a joke about Adam being
conceived in the kitchen. When he finished that someone else arrived and then
he reviews for them what they had just missed. It was obvious he does not do
this usually because he lost track of what he was doing next. He lost track of
what he was doing after an unscheduled joke at another point in the set too.

The crowd the second night clapped when during Arthur the bass play did his
"solo" part or shall we say more complex part at the front of the
stage. The first night it was totally quite. Strange how audiences react
differently. The bass player looked surprised though 🙂

Both nights Adam really seemed to enjoy Tony’s Drumming on Catherine Parr.
They seemed to be interacting quite a lot.

At the end of the set Rick said he would do an extra long set the 2nd half
to make up for the people arriving late. He then said he was lying but it still
annoyed me somewhat especially as they dropped Arthur.

That reminds me after Journey the Compare went up on stage to thank they
band he did not realise it was not the last track. They then did Starship
trooper and he went back up and thanked them properly. The crowd wanted an
Encore which is only reasonable but he said no. I would have been really
annoyed as Rick never used the Portable but it was still on stage. The compare
the first night was a definite fan and he was genuinely lost for words at the
end of the Performance. The compare the second night was one of the musician
from the Jazz Trio. I am not as convinced he liked the band. I better shut up
whinging. I hope Brian gets a full gig though on Saturday.

As I said both gigs are absolutely fantastic from my point of view. It was
good to see a different set after the piano tours and good to hear more
re-arrangements of the popular songs. That is another problem of Journey. It
does not really have room for much rearrangement. I would like to see more
different songs introduces for future tours/gigs but I guess Rick is stuck with
doing Wifes, Journey, Eleanor and Startship etc.

I am concerned that Rick maybe prefers to do Starship in preference to
Merlin but the first night it did occur to me they were a little to similar to
be one after another even if it was broken up by the Encore. Rick said that
Starship was one of his favourite Yes pieces and I guess he had not played it
so much over the years so perhaps it is fresher from his point of view. I think
he should do his own stuff through rather than covers.

I only meant to go for one night but I thought blow the cost I will stay an
extra night and take in two shows. If my children had been visiting on
Thursdays who know if I would have stayed for a 3rd night. 🙂

(Don’t ask about my body!)

Hard Rain – The Oval – 1st October 1997

This was Hard Rain’s second appearance at The Oval Rockhouse in Norwich in 4
Months and unfortunately the Crowd showed it. I would say there were less than
half the people that turned up to the first gig in July. I would like to put it
down to there being Live Football in TV but I am not so sure. The Leaflet the
Oval Advertised them with was very enthusiastic saying something like the
Previous gig had been the best they had had there all year.

From my point of view this gig was better. Annie had taken pity on me being confined
to sitting on a Pool table at the back and side of the hall through illness.
She therefore arranged for me to sit in the Sound and lighting booth. This was
a real treat for me as I had never seen what goes on in there before and it is
obviously the best place to hear the band.

I have never really given much thought to how Lighting at gigs is done. I
guessed it was either sequenced by some sort of Computer unit or done by a
Sound to light unit like my brother’s Disco used in the 70’s. I was fascinated
to see they lights are effectively played much like a Keyboard most of the
time. The Lighting Engineer was very frustrated with the House lights at this
venue thinking it was a waste of time him being there but I thought he did them
very well. Even if he could not fade lights up and down.

The guy on Sound was rather worried when he played the Singing in the Rain
CD and the Left hand speakers started Buzzing away. He ended up having to turn
them down considerably but I don’t think it affected the overall sound of Hard
Rain. He also spent the whole night tweaking the set up. I could not see
exactly what he was doing but he was very conscientious. It was also
interesting to see the problems he faced. During the 2nd song someone like the
club owner asked him to turn something up. We all thought it everything was
perfectly clear but clearly being in a box about 6 foot by 4 was changing the
Sound compared with the rest of the room. For the rest of the night the Sound
guy kept popping out to check what could be heard in the room as well as what
we could hear and what he was getting on his Headphones. In future I will be
more sympathetic to sound problems and perhaps try and arrange to be seated
near the sound desk at future gigs.

The set list this time was as last time but with the addition of a new song
"One night Ain’t Love" and maybe another track from the Album. I
thought I had counted 16 songs on the Set list but I am sure someone had told
me 15 so maybe I can’t count.

Since the July gig I had bought Magnums last gig album Stronghold/Last Dance
and I have to say I much prefer the Hard Rain set. Knowing they were going to
finish on Tell Tales Eyes this time meant I was not so surprised at the IMO
"odd" choice. And I really like the Keyboard part in this which I think
is new to the Hard Rain set. Actually I suspect that is my only fault with the
Sound the Keyboards could have been a little louder to my ears at times.

It was also interesting to that I did not notice there were so many slower
tracks this time or that the way "The Spirit" was done with the Crowd
reminded me of Marrilion. I guess it was because there was not as many in the
Crowd.

Overall it was a very good and Cheap night out. Tickets had been about 6.50
pounds in advance.

ELO Part II – 21St October 1997

I have been meaning to write my review for a little while but time seems to
have slipped by.

This is the 2nd time I have seen ELO Part II now. And the Audience at this
gig seemed a little Disappointing. Last time the crowd stood up very early in
the Gig and since I have limited Standing ability I chose to sit up Stairs this
time. I got first row and it was not surprising as my side section only had 3
rows on it and the Main bit no more than 10. Still I have seen worse crowds at
the Regent (Rick Wakeman in 1985 was less than half full).

Sitting up stairs I found the volume to be a little on the quiet side. When
I was downstairs on the previous occasion the sounds was echoing of the walls.

Tickets were 14UKP which I guess is par for the course for a venue the size
of the Regent (Capacity 1500?)

We seems to have got a long performance this time. It was almost exactly 90
minutes with the Encore last time and I felt that was a little short. Well the
absolute minimum. This time we got a two hours over two sets. The first set
being about 50 minutes. I can’t remember if it was one or two sets last time
but I was much happier with this set up. And of course this meant we got a huge
amount of songs.

I am not sure I like getting so many 2 minute songs but I can understand the
Band wanting to get as many hits in as possible. The set was also rearranged a
fair bit and it was nice to see different acoustics stuff.

I was disappointed to see "The Fox" and "10583 Overture"
had been dropped as I liked them and think they might as well keep plugging
Moment of Truth if they have not managed to do anything new recently. (Even
"one night" was out last time they came)

I was quite surprised to find Honest Man was one of my favourite tracks in
the Set. That was the only first Album song I have heard them do and I did not
like the album when I borrowed it from the Library. So much so I did not even
record it. Perhaps I should give it another try.

I also enjoyed Concerto for a Rainy day a lot to. And of Course Mr Blue Sky.
I normally think of Out of Blue unfavourably because I think of Songs like the
Jungle one but Perhaps I should dig that out again too.

Love or Money was very good. Am I picking songs that Eric Troyer sings? I
think he has the best voice in the band not that there is anything wrong with
the others. It just seems more ELO like to me.

I was interested that Serena thought they had done Horace Whimp well that
night. I can remember thinking how empty sounding it was. Perhaps I was just
missing the Days of the Week between verses and suffering from it being quite.

Actually I was slightly Disappointed to see 3 discovery songs close set 1.

It amused me that Bev introduced Louis Clark as Mr Exciting. I thought Don
Airey? last time and Louis Clark this time did very little and I certainly
could not hear much of what they were doing. It seemed a waste having the Extra
head in the Touring band. Perhaps Louis helps get bums on Seats I don’t know.

I haven’t really got any Comments on the 2nd set except the accompanied part
of Bev’s Drum solo reminded me of Cozy Powels "Dance with the Devil"
in places.

ELO Part II might not be in the big League anymore but they still put on a
very good light show. It is not in Kiss’s league of course but with just a few
Vari-lights it is very effective

A very Enjoyable evening. I am most likely to go again if the band turn up
in my area. Roy Wood needs to take some tips here. His set was identical
despite it being 4 years between the two shows I saw.

So where have all the other reviews got to? Did only two or three UK people
on the list go to a gig?

The Set List was.

Set 1

1. Fire On High
2. All Over The World
3. Evil Woman
4. Whiskey Girls
5. Hold On Tight
6. Showdown
7. Honest Men
8. Rock’N’Roll Is King
9. Concerto For A Rainy Day
10. Mr Blue Sky
11. Love Or Money
12. Calling America
13. Twilight
14. Shine A Little Love
15. Last Train To London
16. Diary Of Horace Whimp

Set 2

1. Because
2. All Fall Down
3. Living Thing
4. Midnight Blue
5. Strange Magic
6. Turn To Stone
7. Violin Solo
8. Clog Dance
9. Ain’t Necessarily So
10. Telephone Line
11. Getting To The Point
12. Do Ya
13. Sweet Talking Woman
14. Ma Ma Ma Belle
15. Don’t Wanna
16. Rockaria

Encore

1. Drum Solo
2. Drum Solo Accompanied
3. Don’t Bring Me Down

Rick Wakeman – Norwich Theatre Royal – 18th
November 1997

Well I went to last nights concert expecting a reasonably good Wakeman
concert but no where near as good as Birmingham earlier this year when he was
with a 6 piece band. Last night it was just a three piece. Rick, Adam (his son)
and Frazer Thorneycroft Smith who I believe has been teaching Ozzy Osbourne’s
son to play guitar.

The day got off to a bad start when I discovered the battery was flat in my
camera and I sent Dad out to get me a replacement only to find that it is a
specialist Camera battery and not easily found. I therefore ended up taking my
old camera. I guess this was no big deal as my pictures at gigs are normally
very hit and miss.

We left for Norwich which is 40 miles from Ipswich at 6pm. We got to the
outskirts of Norwich at 7pm with the Gig starting at 7.30. Plenty of time I
thought. Last time I went to this theatre it took ages to find it because we
did not have a map. I did this time. But we still only got to the Car park
around 7.25. To go left at a junction you have to drive straight past it and do
3 right hand turns. Not the easiest thing to work out from a map.

Never mind we got in with a minute to spare. Some people arrive after the
opening number and Rick quickly got them with "Did you reach a verdict
then"

The first number was the Jig (from the Cirque Serreal album) I was pleased
the Wakeman with Wakeman track had been dropped. It is was a sign of the good
revamp of the set to come.

Rick then introduced Space Oddity and Life on Mars. All his in between song
chats seemed relatively small and IMO about the right length. Both these Bowie
number were rearrange from the Piano tour to be much like the Bowie originals
with Frazer doing a reasonable job on the vocals.

Adam then did a solo number Summer’s end (from Tapestries). Which I thought
was OK and Mum (her first ever gig. She is in her 60’s so it is better late
than never.) quite liked.

Then Merlin was done. This was still in the Classical Connection II/Classic
Tracks style but it had been rearranged to include Frazer doing some of the
fast bit on Guitar. This completely failed for me. I have to say I don’t really
like his acoustic guitar work at all. It seemed all Twang and no note. I could
not tell if it was because he was attempting to play fast or weather it was because
he was playing high stuff most of the time.

Frazer then got his Guitar solo spot and he did a classical piece that I
can’t for the life of my name (Wayne? Reply Wild Swans)

At this point my batteries went on my Memory aid and my spare batteries
where flat too. I don’t understand why batteries discharge when they are not in
use so easily. The rest of the track list I wrote out on my jeans and then
after the interval paper 🙂

Then we got the 1984 Trilogy. This was done differently too as it had Adam
doing the Middle Julia Section on vocals. As I have stated before I don’t like
Adam’s singing. And mum thought both he and Frazer sounded flat (in my terms
dreary/depressing). It worked OK for Space Oddity/Life on Mars. And Adam as a
Back up singer is OK. But I would prefer it if he was limited to that. It was
good to hear 1984 again anyway.

The last song of the first set was the Breathalyser from Criminal Record.
Before it Rick explained it was an amalgamation of several well known tunes to
show the Experience of Drinking and Driving and being caught. I had never
realised this before. I wish I could recall what the songs were. The live
performance seemed to exaggerate the sections. Oh the first song was Little
Brown Jug and once I knew this I could hear it but I would never have know
otherwise. Also Adam did Bill Oddies vocal at the end. And since I love the way
Bill did it on the studio version there was no way it was going to be better
live. I am not sure people in the audience would actually have been able to
hear the words of what was being sung as Adam seemed to mumble them at bit.

During the interval I noticed the Downstairs was full. I could not see what
upstairs was like but I suspect there was a very pleasing turn out overall.
Also because we arrived with only a minute to spare Mum had sat in the wrong
seat. Preventing 3 blokes from taking their correct seats. What a relief. They
were totally drunk and talked though out the first number of the 2nd set was I
suspect was Frermiet’s cat (from Tapestries) but might have been Burlington
Arcade (from Romance of the Victorian age or something else – It was Burlington
Arcade).

Rick then went on to tell a story about his Vasectomy and the drunks shouted
out Get on with it and play the keyboards. I don’t think Rick heard luckily but
a guy in front of the drunks turned round and glared at them. Trouble looked to
be looming.

Then came help and When my Guitar Gently weeps from the Tribute album. Help
is done in a very relaxing style and this was enough to make the drunks leave
(Yippee!). When my guitar gently Weeps was sung by Adam and confirmed that I
did not know the Beatles original.

Then Adam and Frazer did a Frazer song called "My lips are sealed"
and mum and I agreed it was not great. I also thought they were getting too
many solo spots. I want to see Rick not them. Perhaps I am being hard. Rick
obviously wants us to see how good they are. And Adam is definitely good on the
Keyboards.

Next was the Highlight of the Evening. Jane Seymour the Church Organ piece
from 6 wives of Henry 8. The new Church Organ sounds are very good although I
did think a little thin to start with. It really was a terrific piece to see
and feel played live. The Overall concert sound was at a very moderate level
but this piece has good bass organ lines in it and I am very partial to those.

Then the 2nd highlight of the night for me. Children of Chernobyl (from No
expense Spare). This is a great number and was it good to see it live. I can’t
recall if it was done on the No Expense Spare tour but it’s certainly not been
done more recently (to my knowledge anyway.)

Then we got back in to very familiar territory with the Nursery Rhyme
Concerto (which still seems very new to most people judging by the crowd
reaction) and Eleanor Rigby. Rick really does need to think up a new intro for
Eleanor. He must have used the same one for 4 or 5 tours now. Still they were
very good as usual. Although Eleanor did not seem to get to me as well as it
did on the Piano tour. Perhaps there was a lack of Volume.

For the Encore the returned on stage in 101 Dalmatian tail coats and did a
number I did not recognise and one that I did (Clair de Lune perhaps) on the
Electric Pianos (which still sound like Electric painos too me I am sure they
have not improved the technology on these).

The then finished with a track I mentally thought was the Jig except I was
sure we had started with it so perhaps it was Burlington arcade if that was not
at the start of set 2.

It was a very enjoyable show and I was very pleased with the extent the song
selection and be revamped and rearranged. It was also a good balance of Stuff
people would know, 90’s product and it did not create the impression he was
living on past glories like some sets do.

We then got back to the Car to find a parking ticket of 30ukp I had
forgotten to display my Disabled Badge properly. What a prat 🙁

I of course picked up a program which is up to Rick’s usual humorous
standard and since it was there and only 15ukp (If think RWCC is cheap
actually) I picked up Adam’s Real World Trilogy. I am currently on the 2nd disc
and it is very nice. I think it might be a little too exciting for relaxation
music but it is in that vein. Unfortunately there are faults on my Disc one of
the set. But President (the record label) say they will happily exchange the
disc.

Blimey that was long. Not bad for someone who is dead today.

ELO Part II – 21St October 1997

I have been meaning to write my review for a little while but time seems to
have slipped by.

This is the 2nd time I have seen ELO Part II now. And the Audience at this
gig seemed a little Disappointing. Last time the crowd stood up very early in
the Gig and since I have limited Standing ability I chose to sit up Stairs this
time. I got first row and it was not surprising as my side section only had 3
rows on it and the Main bit no more than 10. Still I have seen worse crowds at
the Regent (Rick Wakeman in 1985 was less than half full).

Sitting up stairs I found the volume to be a little on the quiet side. When
I was downstairs on the previous occasion the sounds was echoing of the walls.

Tickets were 14UKP which I guess is par for the course for a venue the size
of the Regent (Capacity 1500?)

We seems to have got a long performance this time. It was almost exactly 90
minutes with the Encore last time and I felt that was a little short. Well the
absolute minimum. This time we got a two hours over two sets. The first set
being about 50 minutes. I can’t remember if it was one or two sets last time
but I was much happier with this set up. And of course this meant we got a huge
amount of songs.

I am not sure I like getting so many 2 minute songs but I can understand the
Band wanting to get as many hits in as possible. The set was also rearranged a
fair bit and it was nice to see different acoustics stuff.

I was disappointed to see "The Fox" and "10583 Overture"
had been dropped as I liked them and think they might as well keep plugging
Moment of Truth if they have not managed to do anything new recently. (Even
"one night" was out last time they came)

I was quite surprised to find Honest Man was one of my favourite tracks in
the Set. That was the only first Album song I have heard them do and I did not
like the album when I borrowed it from the Library. So much so I did not even
record it. Perhaps I should give it another try.

I also enjoyed Concerto for a Rainy day a lot to. And of Course Mr Blue Sky.
I normally think of Out of Blue unfavourably because I think of Songs like the
Jungle one but Perhaps I should dig that out again too.

Love or Money was very good. Am I picking songs that Eric Troyer sings? I
think he has the best voice in the band not that there is anything wrong with
the others. It just seems more ELO like to me.

I was interested that Serena thought they had done Horace Whimp well that
night. I can remember thinking how empty sounding it was. Perhaps I was just
missing the Days of the Week between verses and suffering from it being quite.

Actually I was slightly Disappointed to see 3 discovery songs close set 1.

It amused me that Bev introduced Louis Clark as Mr Exciting. I thought Don
Airey? last time and Louis Clark this time did very little and I certainly
could not hear much of what they were doing. It seemed a waste having the Extra
head in the Touring band. Perhaps Louis helps get bums on Seats I don’t know.

I haven’t really got any Comments on the 2nd set except the accompanied part
of Bev’s Drum solo reminded me of Cozy Powels "Dance with the Devil"
in places.

ELO Part II might not be in the big League anymore but they still put on a
very good light show. It is not in Kiss’s league of course but with just a few
Vari-lights it is very effective

A very Enjoyable evening. I am most likely to go again if the band turn up
in my area. Roy Wood needs to take some tips here. His set was identical
despite it being 4 years between the two shows I saw.

So where have all the other reviews got to? Did only two or three UK people
on the list go to a gig?

The Set List was.

Set 1

1. Fire On High
2. All Over The World
3. Evil Woman
4. Whiskey Girls
5. Hold On Tight
6. Showdown
7. Honest Men
8. Rock’N’Roll Is King
9. Concerto For A Rainy Day
10. Mr Blue Sky
11. Love Or Money
12. Calling America
13. Twilight
14. Shine A Little Love
15. Last Train To London
16. Diary Of Horace Whimp

Set 2

1. Because
2. All Fall Down
3. Living Thing
4. Midnight Blue
5. Strange Magic
6. Turn To Stone
7. Violin Solo
8. Clog Dance
9. Ain’t Necessarily So
10. Telephone Line
11. Getting To The Point
12. Do Ya
13. Sweet Talking Woman
14. Ma Ma Ma Belle
15. Don’t Wanna
16. Rockaria

Encore

1. Drum Solo
2. Drum Solo Accompanied
3. Don’t Bring Me Down

Black Sabbath – Birmingham NEC – 4 December
1997

Right I am now in the Process of recovering from one of the Best gigs of my
Life. The original Black Sabbath line-up are my number one band. Although I am
not as keen on Master of Reality, Paranoid and Never Say Die all their albums
are either great or Fantastic. I went to this gig rather worried. When I saw
Ozzy Last on the Ozzmosis tour I was not at all impressed. This was very sad as
until then the Ozzy gigs I had seen (up to 86) had been guaranteed contenders
for my best ever gig. Well my worries were unfounded Ozzy while being the
weakest link was as good as I could expect from him. I.e. it is not the 70’s
now so the only Ozzy available in the imperfect slight out of tune current one.

The night started of with Fear Factory. If these have any relation to
Sabbath Music the people who like them do so for the opposite reason to my
reason for liking Sabbath. They are all Speed and noise and no melody. The
songs seems to contain a lot of "Fuck"’s and shouting. The Bass
player is a total nutter. The Singer did not seem to like standing. He
preferred crouching on his Monitor. The Guitarist liking gobbing in the air a
lot. And the Drummer played at great speed. Some of the Audience were allowed
to go up and headbang. And my little brother seemed to get into them, so I
assume I am too old.

After the normal length of change over the lights went out and Sabbath
appeared on the two video monitors either side of the Stage. I suspect it was
the montage of clips that were used to start the show in the States. They then
stopped and we got the Air Raid Siren for War Pigs. Surprisingly the video
monitors were not used again. The show was definitely being recorded but I
doubt it was being down for Video. I could only see one Video camera in the
Pit. This started on Geezer Butlers side (audience left) but after two songs
seemed to be more on Tony’s (the Right). Perhaps there was more but I could not
seem them.

It was odd seeing Ozzy in the Centre of the Black Sabbath Stage. I am so
used to the eccentricity of Tony being Centre and Ozzy being on the right.
Still I could not see Ozzy allowing that one.

The Set was as follows :-

War Pigs – The whole NEC which was not quite capacity but pretty close only
restricted view seats being left was going for it from the start. And helped
Ozzy out on the Lyrics when Ozzy passed over to the Crowd.

Wall of Sleep – This had some Hey Hey Hey’s at the end

NIB – Complete with Geezer Bass solo at the Start. Then it sounded to me and
people near me like Ozzy said "Good Night God bless you all". Very
Strange

Fairies Wear Boots – After this there was a full Band intro starting with
Bill Ward.

Electric Funeral – At the end of this the crowd in front of Tony I assume
was chanting Tony and Ozzy then decided to take up the chant.

Sweat Leaf

Spiral Architect – Ozzy was very weak on this but I was really pleased to
hear it.

Into the Void – It was after this that Ozzy said they were recording and if
we wanted to be on record we had better shout.

Snowblind

Orchid

Lord of this World

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Ozzy started this with Very Solo Ozzy Sounding
phrasing. It ended with some more Hey Hey Hey’s

Dirty Woman – This was introduced as "Here’s a song which I like a lot
it’s’". Keyboards could be clearly heard on this and I think Spiral
Architect. I did not spot them elsewhere

Black Sabbath – "A Song that says it all". This started with Taped
rain and a bell that sounded pretty similar to the one on Ozzy’s Journey to the
Centre of Eternity.

Iron Man – This has Oi, Oi, Oi at the start. And Oh oh oh ooohhh oh through
out.

Children of the Grave ended the set.

While waiting for the Encore Ozzy said from back Stage "I can’t hear
you". Then there is so Footsteps/banging on a mic.

They come back and do the inevitable

Paranoid.

At the end Ozzy got the crowd singing a tune they knew but I did not. I
assume it was a Brummy theme or something. He then said "One more thing,
go home safe". Bill came down to the Stage for the Final bow and they kept
trying to pull down his trousers.

With Encore the set was about 1hr 40mins which is the longest I have ever
seen Ozzy do.

I thought the set list was a pretty good mix if not a little predictable in
places. It was probably a good move not to do to much later stuff as it sounds
a bit rough live. I was surprised at the lack of Never Say Die though and
nothing from Sabotage.

The sound was very good all night.

The stage consisted of a large Cross at the back and lots of little crosses
in the lighting rig. The back cross had various images projected onto it.
Either side of the Cross was Scaffolding holding a lot of Laney Amps. The light
show was the Standard you would expect at a gig like this. Probably no better
or Worse than the Cross Purposes video.

As I mentioned, to me, the weakest Link in the Band was Ozzy. I am not sure
if he goes off tune or what it is but something is not quite right. His voice
certainly Wobbled and cracked a little. He was glued to his Autocue when
singing. And this made for a fairly Static show as Geezer and Tony aren’t big
movers either. Ozzy did at least three Start Jumps and he had to keep pulling
his trousers up all night.

Bill sounded great all night. I don’t usually notice drummers but to me Bill
has a very individual style and was perfect for the set.

Geezer was very good but with me being on the Right and him being on the
left I did not pay a great deal of attention to him.

Tony was fantastic as usual. During one of the songs it seemed to be he
extended a solo a little and I am sure Ozzy pointed to his wrist as if to say
"Get on with it". Ozzy certainly seems insecure on Stage having to
say something into the mic during more instrumental breaks. He only threw one
bucket of Water to my memory as well and that was at the Start (On to the
Press?)

The whole band were smiling all night.

The Merchandise for the gig was very poor. Typical of all Sabbath none Music
products. There were 5 or 6 styles of T Shirt but they were not at all
impressive. I got one with the Master of Reality "Black Sabbath"
above a picture of the Sabotage mirror and group shot but it is only a few
colours and very thin. It at least had Birmingham 4th and 5th
on the back. I also got a bluish colour one of an early band image with just
Black Sabbath and a cross on the back. I am sure they will sound familiar to
OzzFeast goers.

Well I think that about sums everything up. A great night. I hope they do
release a Video of it and not an Arty one. A Straight forward record of one
nights show as per Cross Purposes.

Roy Wood – Norwich 22nd December 97

This was a very good evening. We Started of with T-rexstacy who are a T-rex
clone. Being a Slade and remembering the Old rivalry between the fans a true to
form and Hate T-rex so I did not enjoy it but the band do a good job of passing
themselves of as them.

Then we Got Dr and The Medics. I really did not know what to expect here and
could not see how they were going to beat T-rexstacy for crowd reaction. They
basically played there two hit Singles Burn and Spirit in the Sky and a few
covers songs such as Wild Thing, Block Buster, Born to be Wild and I did not
know the first song. But boy do

they have stage presence and fun. They sort of take the Wizzard TOTP
appearance attitude into their stage show. I thought they were really good fun.
I was most surprised.

Sadly they made Roy’s shy in between song chat look very week. Roy was still
struggling from a cold and having to blow his nose between songs and saying
"Do you fancy a sing song? I don’t" Prior to Blackberry Way. I
thought he still sang very well thought and it was great seeing him and the
band again. I was a bit cool about the Big band band arrangements when they
toured 4? years ago but I really am into them know.

Let’s hope the Live Album really does appear next year and that Roy gets to
Tour again and with a different set.

California Man
Ball Park incident
Fire brigade

Colin the Child catcher took of his coat only to discover he had split is
flies! Why is he nick names the "Child catcher"?

House of Love
Angel Fingers
Forever
Flowers in the Rain
Good Night Bodicia
Lion’s heart

That has move up in the set since Mar. In fact it has replaced 1-2-3 which I
did not miss. But the set did not need shortening.

I got the impression this had been alter slightly backing vocal wise. It is
difficult to remember. But the horns were adding Bits extra to my memory.

I can hear the Grass grow Roy’s Revenge – I Wizzard Style B’side showing of
the Band and Especially Roy the Drummer. It was good to get something new.

Colin was really getting off on this drum solo. Clapping Encouraging and
Whooping away 🙂 Sure it is similar most nights?

See my Baby Jive
Rescue me

This is later in the set and I have never liked this song and the fact
Holiday Watchdog on TV has been using the original of this song have been
driving me nuts but I have to say I quite enjoyed it.

Are you Ready to Rock?

This was probably the best I have seen Roy do on the Bagpipes. Normally he
is disappointed with his effort but he seemed content himself tonight.

Blackberry Way

How can this be Roy’s favourite move song? I guess I am still haunted by the
Colour Me Pop out of tune performance.

Encore

I wish it could be Xmas everyday.