Rick Wakeman – Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey – 17 May 2001

I have a bit of a story about my arrival at this one. I saw Fish (with Steve
Barnacle on Bass) earlier this month and I knew I had Wakey gig shortly after.
I also knew it was on a Thursday. I was a week ahead of my self though and  I
was within 12 hours of actually leaving a week early. I had my dad prepared
to pick up my daughters and everyone knew I was going away on the Thursday.
Then luckily Rosie who does a web page for Damian Wilson mentioned she had to
work all week. I was baffled I knew I was seeing her the next day. I then had
a panic and checked the date of my ticket and train ticket and both said 17th
as I expected. Then I realised it was only the 9th. That was a close call I
could have had the embarrassing situation of being on a train with no ticket.

So on the 17th I was prepared well in advance and got to the station and looked
for the train to make sure it was on time. I looked and looked and there was
no train for 10.20. This made sense, as it didn’t seem a normal time for an
Ipswich train to leave London to me. I then got out my ticket and Arrrgh I had
arrived at the time the train was supposed to arrive in London. I should have
been there at 9.12. I had completely mis-read the ticket. What a pillock! And
what an expensive mistake. I had spent weeks phoning the train companies waiting
for the to open booking for the 17 in order to get an advanced supersaver ticket
and you had to be allocated the seats for the whole journey both ways. Ipswich
allowed me to go to London on the wrong train but Paddington were far more intolerant.
They seemed to be picking prices out of a hat as to how much extra I had to
pay. It ranged from £56 + £5 service charge to £14.50 which I finally got but
it seemed very much down the ticket operator. I knew I could have bought a single
from London to Par for £30ish but I wasn’t impressed they were coming up with
so many figures.

Anyway I finally got a train and arrived in Fowey about 90mins later than I
had intended and very tired. It was about 6.30pm so I worked out it had taken
me as long to get here as it had for me to see Rick in Holland. That was in
fact slightly cheaper to get too as well. Oh well!

I decided I would head to the gig at 7pm and see if anyone from the list was
about. They were so I sat on my walking stick with a pint of cider and got in
the mood.

The venue was literally a marquee. It apparently is used a several festivals
around the country. I don’t know how many it holds but it was sold out. It might
be in the region of 800.

I was on Adam’s side so I thought great I can find out what he is doing this
time. I was on Rick’s side at Malbourgh the last time I had seen the full band
set up. I was slightly concerned though as I was practically sitting in a speaker.
Normally at a Rick solo gig it wouldn’t be a problem but at a full band gig
I wasn’t so sure.

Ant takes a solo

The lights went down at 8.05 and oh dear the sound was very loud and very distorted.
They played the the Return To The Centre Of The Earth Overture from a CD and
even this sounded horrid on the speaker. I decided it was going to be earplugs
time. I got them out and promptly dropped one on the floor. I got out my torch
but I couldn’t see it. Bother! Towards the end of the intro the band came on
boy was it loud!

They started Journey with Excepts of Journey. About half of it overall. I don’t
like resorting to earplugs as I think it removes the top end too much. Today
it seemed to be making the distortion worse. And having one ear unprotected
just seems to have confused my senses. All the sound balance was obviously stereo
and Ant Glynne the guitarist was clearly coming out the left side and I couldn’t
hear anything he played even when watching his fingers etc. Of course I got
a wonderful mix of Lee Pomeroy’s Bass 🙂

Frustratingly he was also in the way of Adam most of the time so it was very
tricky to see what he was doing. Shame

Lee

Never Is A Long Long Time was next. And I was getting very frustrating with
things moaning to myself about what a disaster this trip had turned out to be.

Rick told the story of the Southend signing with the knickers and the old ladies
again. This was a more verbose version despite saying he wasn’t going to tell
stories. He certainly came across as liking Cornwall a lot. I seem to recall
him saying he had been their when he was ten or something too.

 It was interesting watching the band on this one, as I am not sure if they
had heard it before. It is very difficult to tell though as even I who have
seen it told several times still sit there with a smile even if I don’t quite
laugh like the first time.

Next Damian left the stage and they did Catherine Howard and Catherine Of Aragon.
I was really clock watching and so annoyed with myself. I could tell this performance
was probably a lot better than Marlborough but I just couldn’t get into it.

Actually I wasn’t the only one struggling there was a lady on the front row
of the opposite side of the Marquee and she had her fingers in her eyes the
whole show. She stay for the whole show though. Unlike the lady infront of me
who abandoned the gig half way through the first set. I thought she had gone
to take a child to the toilet or something but a child reappeared in the seat
for the 2nd half and she didn’t. There seemed to be quite a few children
near me but as usual I was the younger end of the crowd’s age range.

I was sat next to a prog rock type fan and his partner and they seemed to cope
OK . During the interval I asked the person the other side of me what he thought
of it. He looked to be in his 60’s to me. He had apparently seen Rick before
back in 1974 with Yes. And he was very impressed although his wife later said
she was probably deaf in one ear now. I was a bit surprised when my B&B
owner mentioned to me she had heard the whole concert. I guess my B&B was
over 1/2 mile away.

There was a brief band intro and Rick was very understated on Adam. Adam by
the way was on a level with Rick on the stage. At Marlborough he was set back.

"I have five(?) children. This is one
of them"

No Earthly connection was next. I think I liked Damian on this a lot more than
Ramon but I would need to hear this properly sometime.

To my relief Rick announced the end of the half and they did Merlin the Magician.
I hadn’t expected it this early. I will have to look up the Marlborough set.
I was also concerned that they hadn’t played “The Visit”. I hoped it hadn’t
been dropped.

Anyway Merlin always brings a smile to my face and with the Keytars it is even
better. Something I haven’t mentions I could hear most of the keyboards very
well. Rick seemed to have some strange sounds going on in some of the songs.
Perhaps even as early as Journey.

His rig seems to have grown again. There was a new Korg on Rick’s right of
the Horseshoe. I didn’t remember to check it was a keyboard and not an effects
box but I am pretty sure it was keys as Rick seemed to be playing it at some
point. So Rick is now up to 8 keyboards. One at the backs seems to be for technical
reasons only. Three on Rick’s right. 2 at the front and 2 to his left. Again
these 2 don’t seem to get used much.

Note the additional Silver keyboard on the
left

Hearing Lee so well I was far more aware of how many solos sections he was
getting.

During the Keytar dual Rick and Adam were up to their usual tricks.

"This is how you do it"

I was interested to see Damian, Lee and Ant all go to the middle between the
keyboards and near the drum riser and generally have fun in their own little
group.

Typical! I try to take the group near the
drums and get a better one of Rick

There was a lot of interaction on stage. Damian often seem to go and try and
put off Lee and Ant when they were soloing etc.

Oh and since I was expecting the Jig to be the final number I thought Damian
was eyeing up a young girl to bring on stage. He certainly seemed to be spooking
her a bit. Actually the Partner of the Prog fan said she thought he seemed scary.
Especially with his strange singing stance looking up into the lights etc.

Rick left the stage with his keytar after the dual. I couldn’t really see where
he went but it was well out into the crowd. He then came back and got someone
to hold his keytar flat while he did the last mad little burst. Well maybe not
the last, as I can’t recall if he was still on the floor for the end or not.

Rick’s New Keyboard Stand

Basically with that encore type ending to the first set it felt like a complete
show.

As soon as people were out of the way I got my torch out again and found my
missing earplug. It had rolled under something. I then went out and checked
how others were enjoying it. They all thought it great. Especially Chris Berry
who took great delight in telling how clear the sound was. (Before the show
he told be had bought sold his tickets near me because he wanted something more
central. Clever man!) Anyway it seemed I was being a miserable git. I told them
my experience anyway and it seemed to have let me unwind.

For the 2nd set I had both earplugs in. Tony’s drums made me jump every time
they came in a fresh and I had more distortion on what I was hearing but at
least I was in less pain and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd set.

I don’t have a clue what the music was that started the 2nd set. Something
choir/religious?

We then got King Arthur. By now I was noticing Rick was sometimes singing along
with the lyrics. Or at least Goldfishing. I can’t recall spotting him do that
before. He was clearly into what he was doing. He also seemed to find things
that suddenly creased him up. Weather someone was throwing in unusual lines
or messing up I couldn’t tell. There was a lot of eye contact going on on stage
though. I am still not used to seeing Rick play with his eyes open. When Damian
is singing he is nealry always watching him. He only went to eyes closed mode
for the more sensative parts.

I couldn’t see Tony Fernandez at all so I don’t know if Adam was still interacting
with him like he was last time.

I mostly thought the sounds Rick chose were very good. There were
a couple of unusual effects I wasn’t sure about. They might have just been the
PA for all I know.

Damian with Malcomn in the background in
lead feeding duty for a Keytar

Hymn/Robot man folowed the tale about his mother turning up at a rock concert
with lots of old ladies and them actually enjoying it.

I had noticed during Merlin that Adam plays in bare feet. It must have been
about this stage that I also saw him adjust a knob on his amp with his toes.

Adam forgot his stage shoes again

I think I was a lot more comfortable with Damian’s voice this time. I can’t
really explain why but it is the feeling I got. Perhaps I am just more used
to it having seen the Argentinian broadcast.

The Visit finally made its appearance and was supposed to be a work out for
Ant. I assume it was.

Tony got his work out in Catherine Parr. I think it is correct to say this
is the track that features him most. It certainly sounded a complex number for
him and Rick only seems to do it when he is in full band format.

Finally to end the set we got Starship trooper with an intro of Heart of the
Sunrise. Again musicians left the stage. This time it was Adam. Then Ant sat
of the steps for his solo before going out for his roam.

Ant takes a rest

Damian of course had nothing to do in this section of the song but he was running
round like a madman and getting everyone up on their feet and clapping etc.

Damian having a run in the crowd

It was a good end.

People then sat down again for the encore of Eleanor Rigby. Of course this
was a full band version today with the normal long intro from Adam and Ant on
Acoustic Guitar.

OK I am baffled why is Rick out from the
Keyboards when Eleanor seems to have started?

So two return tracks had been dropped in order to fit in No Earthly Connection.
I think there might have been another track to.  I believe Jane Seymour was
done in South America but with Rick alone. I am not sure it was done here though
in this set.

Mr Impatient. I guess I was to dead to notice
Lee hadn’t arrived

I wish the sound had been better and that it had been held in say Marlborough
again as that was a good venue with good visibility due to it’s high seat banking
but I think the show was good and I would certainly go again even if I do have
to be more careful about my seating 🙂 Hopefully it will have been good for
photos though. I certainly wasted a film or so as I had good visibility of the
stage.

Friends from the Rick Wakeman Mailing list
– Julian’s friend Richard, Julian Simpson,
Julia Harries, Damian Wilson,
Rosie Barron, Chris
Berry, his Rosie and me

BTW I had better luck with transport the next day. I woke up with 45mins before
Breakfast. I was extremely curious to see what the bay at Fowey looked like.
I.e. why anyone would go there normally. I had seen a road going down to it
the day before and I decided I might was well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.
I had already put my body threw hell it might as well suffer some more and let
me see the view I wanted to look at. It was a steep hill but going down was
easy. Unfortunately when I got to the bottom of the hill it wasn’t as close
to the bay as I thought. There was a sign for a Castle though so I venture a
bit futhur. I was sure it couldn’t be far as I had seen something Castle like
from the Hotel It was I later discovered about 1.5 miles away what I had seen
was appantly a private home or something. Anyway I saw a church and ventureda
bit lower. I felt I was getting closer but I was now getting lower and lower
into the bay worrying about getting back. Do I turn back and waste all the energy
for nothing or do I continue. I continued. It was a lot further than I imagined
but I got a nice view and a couple of photos. Then it was time to walk back
:-(. I walked a little way and then realised I was on the wrong side of a church
so I took a little narrow road to try and correct myself. Then a bus came down
the road. I was amazed, he had to go pretty much stationary to negotiate a slight
bend and he had his driver’s window open so I asked if he goes up to the top
of the hill. He said yes and I jumped on board a very relieved man! I did have
a scare though as he went about a mile and half away from the top of the hill
and out to the castle area although I am still not sure I saw a castle. Perhaps
it was just a tower I had seen on the end of the bay. Anyway he then took a
160-degree bend and came back to the top of the hill as I expected. So a bonus
ride along the bay and my body had escaped the walk up the hill. What a relief
🙂