ick Wakeman and Mario Fasciano – Black Knights At The Court Of Ferdinand IV

E Vuje’ (And You) – This is almost Ocean City’s Rhythm. Rick is using his 80’s
moog substitute and a fair bit in this track. The backing in quiet parts is
like "The meeting" from AWBH I think. Again the sound I can’t name
but used only on these albums and therefore I feel Italian sounding

Favola (Fable) – Guitar and keys on this. Usually for Rick it is regular Hard
Rock Guitar. It is quiet a mellow track at times with Rick using Breath sounds.
Percussion and bass sound programmed to me. So nice little breaks in this. Might
be my favourite. I don’t think there was any Base on Stella.

Umberto II – That sound is bugging be what is it? It’s very staccato on long
notes. An instrumental I like it a lot today. I think I was less keen on it
reviewed in Isolation

Umbe’ (Humbert?) – Ah no this was Track of the Week and I wished it was the
other track as this is just plain’ and less interesting

Tommaso Aniello (A revolution leader in Naples) – Again a very nice track.
Drums sound programmed but I don’t care. Lots of atmosphere in the backing instruments
and original hence my mental link to Robinson Crusoue being stuck on a foreign
island (The book I was reading when this disk was new)

Fradiavolo (Fra’diavolo was a bandit) – This has a very lively start and again
is a great track.

Farfarie – A speedy Instrumental. Lots of Bass. Excellent

‘O Bilanco (The Balance) – This is a quiet track with lots of atmospherics
from Rick.

When Rick first talked about more work with Mario it was for bonus tracks on
a reissue on Black Knight. Both disks are short by today’s standards and would
fit a disk. They are very similar in many ways but the instrumentation shows
their era well.

After I had digested Stella I went back to Knight and was disappointed. Today
I am edging the other way because Knight was a band product. I am only edging
though because Stella is an excellent Rick Showcase.’ I think that is why I
was disappointed by Black Knight it doesn’t give me such a buzz. Stella is probably
my favourite release by him since No Expense spared I loved it from the first
play of the first song. I like his recent stuff but not as much as the late
80’s/early 90’s releases. I think this is perhaps more Melodic whereas some
of the rock instrumentals lately seem disjointed or colder emotionally. They
are interesting and fast and whatever but I can’t quite get into them.

Rick Wakeman and Mario Fasciano – Stella Bianco

Stella Bianco(White Star) – This has a medieval beat to it. Rick solos on Moog
type sounds a couple of times. These is as a sound I don’t know how to described
perhaps bells or guitar done on keyboard

A quatte mane (At Four Hands) – My favourite track for some reason. It uses
the Wakeman with Wakeman sound. Has a speaking part from Rick. Ah yes it’s because
the solo breaks are very long and the verses jolly.

‘O Core (The Heart) – The is guitar in this one. I can’t see who by. Again
extensive Rick solos. Again 90’s in style. Adam did the arrangements (Rick was
ill) for the album. I wonder what his contribution is on the end result.

Ariel – Sometimes Mario sounds like a drum machine but surely he isn’t. There
is a slowing down at the end so I don’t know.

Aria di te (Air of you) – This is a piano acoustic guitar piece and very soft.
Doesn’t do a great amount but is pleasant enough

Romance Napoli – This is very much in the mode of Children of Chernobyl from
No Expense spared. A very nice instrumental it still has the Black Knight feel
to it with the keyboard sound I can’t put a finger on.

Sologoccia (Only Drop) – Start reminds me of something from Softsword. Back
into extended Rick solo. it has to be said I can’t relate to the English version
of the lyrics

Carcere ‘e San Francisco (San Francisco’s Prison) – This is really Ocean City
from Time Machine. It has new Neapolitan verses and a lady (Aza) singing the
Ocean city chorus in English. I thought the backing track was probably the same
but perhaps "Black knight"ed a little. I just compared them though
and I think the backing is the same or slightly remixed or the keyboard voices
slightly changed. I can’t figure out Marios role on this. I always thought Ocean
city was my favourite on time machine and very in keeping with Black Knight.
I think I might prefer having two vocalists though. Actually Custards last stand
is my favourite on Time Machine. After all it has two of my heroes on it and
Roy Wood’s voice fits.

Rick Wakeman – Return To The Centre Of The Earth

We have had lots of initial impression but no one has really given a view after
a lot of listens. So I will give mine to start us off (I hope). I was going
to do a full review but since I don’t normally do a track by track review when
I get a new Rick album I think it would be unfair this time.

I get the impression this is a good album but not a great one. I think it is
likely to end up in my top 20 Wakeman album.’ But only around there. I spent
some time listening to King Arthur, I can hear you (Both favourites) and Themes
(a good but more middling album) last night because I was struggling to hear
why the album is not getting me like it should. I think I now know. Rick’s involvement
in the album is more of a musical director and writer than a player. It is almost
like he has made guest appearances on his own album. On Arthur you are aware
that Rick is about on the album all the way through. On return it seem to be
the orchestra more than Rick I can hear. If he is playing through out he is
too low in the mix or he is using Orchestral sounding settings. On a normal
Rick album you normally are aware of Ricks playing through out. On this one
it is little patches. It does not make the album bad but it does not make it
a great album for me either.

I suspect the orchestration is different from the type used on Arthur. On that
I felt the was a lot to listen to the further you listened in. I think this
time the orchestra is playing more in unison. I think Rick does a good job with
the Orchestra throughout but it seems slightly different.

I played the Narration tracks on there own and they work really well (Mind
you I did notice my main two cd players work differently. One gives the first
1/2 beat of the next track (in a couple of places) before moving to the next
narration). There is a line in 17b that really annoys me "for inexplicable
reasons beyond their understanding" seems to me to trying to sound clever
while saying the same thing twice. I am surprised it got through to the album.
Perhaps my poor English abilities are showing me up here, I don’t know.

The musical accompaniment to the narration really works well. Although I am
still naturally view them as interruptions to the real meat of the album. I
guess because I am more inclined to faster or more active tracks.

I had a look at all the CD shops in town yesterday and Rick was on display
in the chart section of them all. Perhaps except Virgin. I could not see where
there stuff was and it was to busy to take my scooter to far inside. Since I
pay 12 pounds maximum for any full price album I was horrified at the price
they are selling the album for. I would have thought chart albums would be cheaper
but it was still 14ukp in the cheapest shop I noticed. I must have seen a good
30 copies of the album available so people in Ipswich should not have trouble
getting it and EMI have done a good job of selling it in.

So how is it going with other people that have played it a lot?

Rick Wakeman – Aspirant Sunset

These discs were one of my last choices. I tend to prefer hard rock and Moog
solos. But these discs have had a bigger place in my collection than I expected.
I have to confess Sunrise somehow grabs my attention as being a favourite but
someone already has a review on the Rick Wakeman
site for that so I am writting this one. I think I then prefer Sunset but to
be honest they are all pretty similar to me. Go on why not give one a go. They
provide a great atmosphere for massaging your partner too.

ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome In A Nutshell

M.E. In A Nut Shell By Dr Dowsett

When I saw Dr Dowsett In September 1994 she gave me the following notes
to accompany her chat with me. I think they are fairly self-explainitory so
I typed or OCR’ed the document for someone a long while a go. I have not included
most of the Pictures because I sent it in e-mail. I would tidy the document
up but I am not sure Dr Dowsett would want it on the Internet so I will
leave it as is for now and see what happens. If you have any questions please
ask me.


ME is not a new disease, but has been recognisable throughout history
under different names and in a variety of different guises. E.g.

  • 1750 (UK) "The little fever" – Dr Richard Manningham
  • 1869 (UK) "Neurashenia" – Dr Beard, Dr Wier Mitchell
  • 1934 (USA) "Atypical Polio" (Staff of Los Angeles General
  • 1948 (Iceland) "Akureyri Disease" (Staff and pupils of central
    High school)
  • Epidemics of ME in hospitals and schools have been a striking new feature
    in the 20th century.


    The failure of the 1953 polio epidemic in Iceland to spread into Populations
    previously affected by ME in 1948, indicated:- (a) Competition between
    the polio virus and the agent of ME for the sane receptor Sites in the
    bowel (b) That the agent of ME could persist in the body for 5 years.

    Technical advances since 1950 such as Electron Microscopy and detection
    of minute quantities of virus genetic material in muscle indicate that
    ME arises as a complication following infection by one of the 68 viruses
    comprising the Enterovirus Group (Polio. Coxsackie A & B viruses, Echo
    viruses etc.). The routes of spread, social and geographical incidence
    of all viruses in the group are similar. Small children in whom symptoms
    are usually trivial or absent, are the main reservoir from which health
    care staff, schools and parents become infected. Polluted food, water,
    lack of sanitation and previous unfamiliarity with the viruses circulating
    account for travel and holiday associated with ME.


    The introduction of sanitation (running water and WC’s) into the homes
    of all classes in society, interrupted the natural spread of these viruses
    during early childhood which had been going on since time immemorial and
    which afforded life long natural immunity at the small expense of a very
    occasional childhood complication (e.g. "infantile paralysis"
    the former name for poliomyelitis). If this primary infection is deferred
    until puberty or later, the greater susceptibility of the adult nervous
    system to damage, produces epidemics marked by serious complications in
    older age groups.


    The immune system is most active in early childhood. apart from large
    tonsils, adenoids and other lymphatic tissues, the thymus gland (situated
    in the chest) provides a comprehensive education for white blood cells
    including B cells which make antibodies and the T cells which provide a
    security task force against cancerous or virus infected cells. As puberty
    approaches (and nature assumes you have already done your "homework"
    on infection), these tissues shrink and the thymus gland disappears. However,
    the adult immune system though slimmer, is still able to mount an effective
    defence against virus infected cells. White blood cells (like a task force),
    are directed to surround and destroy the enemy.


    Evolutionary changes which allow viruses and host to co-exist without
    damage, are of mutual benefit and have developed in most infections which
    (unlike AIDS), maintain stable associations with the human race. For example,
    chicken pox which zips itself into the genetic code of spinal nerve cells
    may reappear later in the limited form of "shingles" if the immune
    system is depressed for any reason. Other viruses including those most
    commonly associated with ME, make mistakes during multiplication and deposit
    a poorly constructed variant or "mutant" virus in the cell.

    Vigilant T cells detect the abnormality but fail to recognise a clear
    target. The resulting battle between a normal but hyperactive immune system
    and an abnormal defectively constructed virus, leads to production of natural
    antiviral chemicals and to many of the most troublesome symptoms of ME,
    e.g.. recurrent ‘flu like’ symptoms and sore throats with or without glandular
    enlargement. Should the immune system be deflected from this struggle by
    a secondary infection, immunisation, immunosuppressive drug or severe stress,
    the battle will be unnecessarily prolonged and complicated by relapses.
    Secondary infections which severely depress the immune system (such as
    glandular fever, influenza or chicken pox) and which are easily diagnosed
    in the laboratory, may be given credit for causing the illness rather than
    producing a relapse. It is most important that the patient is given every
    form of mental, physical, medical and social support early in the illness
    to assist the normal progression of this immune struggle towards stability.

    What Problems May be caused by Persistent Viral infection in a Cell?

    ( 1 ) MUSCLE

    The activity of any mammalian cell is analogous to the function of a
    petrol engine, i.e. fuel (Food and oxygen) is transformed into a serviceab1e
    form of energy such as gas (ATP) by means of elector/chemical conversion
    from a battery (mitochondrion). In cells colonised by a defective but persistent
    virus, energy production is delayed. When this delay occurs in a muscle
    fibre, an alternative energy cycle (without oxygen) is employed ( in marathon
    running) to tide over the deficiency. This leads to overuse of Type II
    muscle Fibers and accumulation of lactic acid. Thus, a patient with ME
    who attempts minimal exercise early in the illness (before energy problems
    have begun to stabilise) or who over exercises later on, suffers unpleasant
    pain, cramps and involuntary twitching more appropriate to a marathon runner.

                                      0                /-
                                     -!-              /-   ___
                                      !              /  ! !
                                     /\                ___!
                        0           /  \             !       Aerobic
                        !-    _______________________!       Cycle
                        !_   !                               -> No
                       / !   !   "Second Wind"               Harmful
                      /  ____!                              Waste
                        !                                    Products
                   Anaerobic Cycle
                   -> Latic Acid in                                

    A Marathon Runner tops up with Anaerobic cycle – Latic Acid, Pain Cramp

    (2) BRAIN

    Recent research, using sophisticated brain scans as well as measurement
    of electrical, chemical and hormonal activity, demonstrates similar energy
    deficits in the brain and spinal nerve tracts of patients with ME.


    (a) Problems with spatial Left temporal lobe and orientation, word finding,
    adjacent nerve pathways. numerical calculations, taste and smell, orientation
    in time, ‘panic attacks’, fits.

    (b) Failure of brain to activate Reticular activating system itself
    resulting in fleeting in spinal nerve tracts. attention span and inability
    to stay awake.

    (c) Prolonged weakness (lasting General impairment of for days after
    a stressful glucose metabolosm in nerve event) cells owing to abnormal
    steroid response to stress (see E below)

    (d) Involuntary movements, In various locations:- Disturbances of mood,
    depletion of neuro- gastrointestinal motility, transmitters or their circulation
    and other breakdown products. ‘automatic’ activities. DOPAMINE SERATONIN

    (e) Failure to regulate and Hypothalamus and synchronise "biological
    pituitary gland. clocks" which control circadian (daily) rhythms,
    steroid response to stress, sleep, mood appetite, weight and growth, temperature
    and water regulation thyroid, sex and other hormones.

    (f) Disturbances of sensation, Spinal cord, cerebellum, balance and
    of sight and thalamus and sensory cortex hearing (not due to muscle weakness

    (g) Abnormal sensitivity to pain Decreased production of natural opioids.

    I recently noticed the following is not from ME In A Nutshell. I think it is
    the preferred leaflet of the originator of the Suffolk ME Association support
    group (Now sadly folded).

    Illness Management

    1 Accept that you are ill.

    Due to the negative publicity associated with M.E., When it is diagnosed
    people often deny that they are ill, saying "I’m not that type of
    person". First of all it is important to realise that the illness
    affects all sorts of people, and that in trying to fight the illness you
    are lessening your chances of recovery. Accepting that you are ill with
    M.E. is the first step to recovery.

    2 Accept that your lifestyle will change.

    None of us wants to change our lifestyle; to give up things which are
    important to us, work, social life, enjoying the children or giving up
    sport. The reality of M.E. is that some changes will have to be made to
    lifestyle and the amount of energy used on a daily basis by the individual
    with the illness. Without a planned change in lifestyle, recovery will
    be delayed.

    3 Begin to think about how much energy you use each day.

    When we talk about the use of energy, we are talking about the effort
    involved in getting out of bed; making breakfast; getting dressed; walking
    to the shops etc. Some activities take more energy than others, for example
    vacuum cleaning or washing and hanging clothes, ironing, cutting the grass
    or making a meal. It is clear that there are some things which are more
    difficult than others to stop doing or cut down on. You must try and cut
    out as many unimportant things as possible.

    4 Try and balance activity levels with rest.

    It is very important to view your activity level as a balancing act;
    too much is bad for you, too little is also bad for you. Each individual
    has to find the level of activity and rest which is right for them, this
    balance will change during the course of the illness. Trial and error is
    involved in the process, with some set back inevitable.

    5 Begin to listen to and understand messages from your body.

    We are all educated to push ourselves to achieve goals throughout our
    lives. This is not a useful philosophy when dealing with M.E. You can not
    fight the illness and win. Struggling on is likely to result in the illness
    becoming chronic. Begin to listen to the signals your body gives you. Help
    it to recover by understanding its (temporary) limitations.

    6 Don’t feel guilty about relaxing.

    Relaxing is a difficult thing to do properly. Whenever you feel the need to
    relax there are key things to keep in your mind. Lie down. Close your eyes.
    Help your muscles to ease. By doing so you are helping your body to recover.
    Don’t feel guilty about doing nothing. All the things you have to do can wait.
    If you were confined to bed they would have to wait in any case.

    7 Keep your sanity

    In any illness you can expect to experience anger, doubt, frustration
    and feelings of despair and depression. These feelings form part of an
    expected reaction to an illness which has seriously interrupted your life.
    By acknowledging the existence of these emotions, it is important to know
    that these feelings are shared by many people with this and any other long
    term illness, and by many carers of people who are ill. Don’t be afraid
    to discuss these problems with your doctor.

    8 Motivation is crucial

    It is difficult to deal with all the pressures of being unwell for more
    than a couple of months. With M.E. you are likely to have many disappointments
    during the course of your recovery. It is very important that you realise
    this fact and so, by understanding the nature of the recovery process,
    you can anticipate the disappointments, and equally, months of well being.
    When you are feeling good, it is important that you fight the urge to make
    up for lost time. To do so is likely to lead to problems. Try to maintain
    a gradual recovery process by moderating your activity expenditure. Later
    on you could try gradually pushing back the boundaries and slowly increase
    the level and extent of your activities.

    9 Monitoring progress

    Progress at best can be a slow process. It can be helpful to keep a
    diary of how well you feel in any given day. By doing this you can keep
    a record over a longer period of time which will accurately reflect the
    progress that you make.

    Band Reviews from 2003

    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.

    Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe – 21 April 2003

    See separate page

    Rick Wakeman – Leisure World, Colchester – 22 April 2003

    See separate page

    Rick Wakeman – Cliffs Pavilion Southend On Sea – 19 May 2003

    See separate page

    Mostly Autumn – The Waterfront Norwich – 25 May 2003

    In February this year I bought a house with my fianc’e and now it seems I am
    becoming one of those irritating fans that it is harder to motivate to get out.
    I have seen Mostly Autumn quite a few times since their 3rd album was released
    and while I love what they do but I was getting a bit bored of the same set
    live. I was also disappointed they have never managed to fit "Goodbye Alone"
    from the "Lord of the rings" CD in.

    I therefore didn’t make an effort to get tickets for the tour. I wanted to
    hear the new album "Passengers" and see what the set was like.

    Tonight was possibly the best gig for us to go to but I slipped up and agreed
    to look after my children today. It was therefore a nice surprise to me when
    I spotted an opportunity to make the gig at 24hrs notice. A quick bit of phoning
    around and Maria and I were on our way.

    I was a bit apprehensive as to my delight there were 8 news songs in the set
    but I have only played "Passengers" about 5 times. The only song making
    an impression so far was "Passengers" itself. I am dreadfully slow
    at picking up on new songs. I therefore try to get know as many songs as possible
    before a gig in order to enjoy it to the full. In a way I was therefore in the
    rare position of being able to watch a concert and seeing if a live presentation
    of an album enhanced things for me.

    I can’t recall how many were at the Waterfront for Mostly Autumn last time
    but it certainly wasn’t packed tonight. There was plenty of standing room so
    I guess it was half full or so. This is a good thing from a fans point of view,
    as I don’t think the venue is the best for visibility. The stage needs to be
    higher really. Also a few pillars need removing although they are ideal for
    people suffering from ME like me since they at least provide something to lean

    The first thing I noticed about the stage set up was Angie now has a keyboard
    to herself. Throughout the set she seemed to be playing extra keyboard parts
    in addition to her Flute, Recorder and vocal duties. I suspect it was mainly
    on the new songs but I could be wrong.

    The next thing I noticed was Heather seemed to have toned down her stage gear.
    Maria was convinced we had seen Heather in this costume before but I can’t recall

    There were some Varilites in use during the night but I have a feeling they
    belong to the venue and that they were in use before.

    The show started with Winter Mountain and went onto Darkness Before The Dawn.

    Then it was the first new one "Answer The Question". It was good
    to hear but since I am still in absorbing mode it by passed me a bit. (It does
    help that since I have moved I have been permanently wrecked and that I have
    no reserves to tap into for gigs any more. I just have to grit my teeth and
    stick with my current level of Painkiller).

    We then had "Evergreen" which was followed by "The Simple Ways".
    This is where the fun started. Towards the end of the song their backline powered
    down. The road crew started it again and we had a 3 second restart before it
    blew again.

    After some consultation and the embarrassment of being on stage with nothing
    to do the band decided to have the interval early.

    On the restart they decided to have a go at "Another Life" since
    this was a quiet track that built up. They made it through this one OK. Again
    I wasn’t to sure what I thought about this. I was aware that I loved hearing
    the old tracks and I was worried that I am not going to like "Passengers"
    as much. I think it is inevitable that if a band progresses, and that is what
    I expect a band of Mostly Autumn’s standard to do, then it could progress into
    area’s I am less keen on. I do think I just need time though.

    They next moved onto my old favourite of "The Spirit Of Autumn Past"
    and towards the end it, Bang! ir went again.

    At one point Heather asked if anyone in the crowd was not from Norwich and
    she found a few before getting interrupted for a restart attempt or by noise.
    At another she asked who had the new album. There was a good cheer for this.
    Then she asked if they liked it and the cheer was a little less. I decided this
    must be because their were a few like me in the audience and some who had only
    just bought it that night but it didn’t give a favourable impression of the

    Obviously given the persistence of the problem the technician’s needed more
    time to try and trace the fault. The band therefore decided to do what they
    could with acoustic instruments off stage. They went down to the right end of
    the Waterfront near the merchandising stall and played what that they could.

    Liam took Bryan’s 12 string guitar. Bryan the normal acoustic (or Vice Versa).
    Heather a recorder and Tambourine. Angie her Flute and Jonathan a maraca or

    Now I am never that good at naming instrumentals but I think they played

    Which Wood,

    Helm’s Deep

    Shindig/Haste To The Wedding

    and Out Of The Inn

    We then got "Wish You were Here" by Pink Floyd. Bryan sang lead and
    the crowd helped him out. Heather then sung a non-word bit at the end.

    The power was restored by now so the band went back on stage and we got "Shrinking
    Violet". All was well so we continued with "Passengers" which
    I again really enjoyed. This was followed by the "16th Century Greensleeves"
    based "Caught In A Fold". I am not happy at knowing this is such
    a copy but I did enjoy this as much as "Passengers".

    "Pass The Clock" was next which surprised me as I think I have read
    someone viewed this as the new ‘Mother Nature’ and I expected it to end the
    set or something. This one is still growing on me. I think I liked the middle
    section most. I still need more time though. I think it was in this song that
    Liam got his first guitar solo. I was really pleased to see him given something
    to show his presence.

    It was then back to another favourite in "Never The Rainbow". Then
    "Heroes Never Die" ended the main set.

    The band came back to perform "Mother Nature" but just as it was
    getting to the good bit Bang! it went again. They tried 4 quick restarts but
    had to give up as there was a curfew and they had done their best.

    It was therefore a very trying night for the band and audience. I will probably
    try and catch them later in the year and I am sure I will enjoy them to the
    full as per previous gigs.

    Rick Wakeman – Fernham Hall, Fareham – 29 May 2003

    See separate page

    Rick Wakeman – The Cresset, Peterborough – 30 May 2003

    See separate page

    Damian Wilson – Oakwood Centre Rotherham29
    November 2003

    The day before I met Maria I saw Damian singing with Rick
    Wakeman. A year later the day before I officially proposed to Maria we saw Damian
    again this time singing on the Arjen Lucassen Star One tour. We didn’t have
    a gig on the night before the wedding but it is appropriate the two month later
    the first gig we saw as a married couple was Damian Wilson.

    The last time we saw Damian as a solo artist it was a very
    special gig where he had some strings with him. Tonight it was just down to
    a normal band. Well not quite a normal one. It was still a 7 piece. With the
    interesting choice of two keyboard players, Andrew Holdsworth on Piano and Nick
    Slack on Piano and Keyboards. These two in fact were the only remaining players
    from last time’s outing. The newcomers were Bill Shanley on guitar, Matt Hughes
    on Bass, Gordon Mills on drums and Alistair Cowan also playing some bass but
    also doing backing Vocals.

    I apparently stopped typing up my review at this point so
    only have my notes to go on now. Shame.

    Skin Turn To Dust Don’t wanna grow older now. Noticeable electric

    Words Of A Fable on this and I want to build my world around
    you it was interesting to hear performances with extra backing vocals from Alistair

    It’s all about living Love your live and life your life.

    Heavenly Mine

    Don’t blame your chances – Damian alone just before 40min

    Grow Old with Me. I don’t really like this track on the recorded
    version as it is a bit to show like in performance. Live though with just Andrew
    on Piano is was OK

    Adam’s child – This had been severally heavied up with extra
    guitar when Damian wasn’t singing

    The first new song of the night was introduced next. This
    started as a quiet paced song picket up a little between verses and this slowed
    down for the vocals again. The lyric was about Damian believing he was sent
    to someone as they were sent to him.

    Beating inside was next.

    Disciple – Damian Wilson

    In his Career Damian Wilson has sang with Threshold, Landmarq, Jeronimo Road,
    Ayreon and Rick Wakeman. I wasn’t keen on him in Jeronimo Road and I have reservations
    about his voice in some parts of Wakeman’s catalogue but I found him OK overall
    and he is a really nice bloke personally.

    Damian has also sung in Les Miserables so it is unclear what Damian prefers
    to sing. On the basis of this album it seems he likes quieter more introspective

    When I heard of this album I heard it was very soft but quite good. I decided
    to give it a go but wasn’t really expecting a lot from it. As it happens I really
    enjoy the album. This in fact is a special edition package with a 5 track EP
    "Grow Old With Me" included. Altogether the running time is only 55minutes
    so it is a reasonable combination.

    The package’s artwork is made up of children’s drawings. Given the personal
    nature of the album’s subject matter I will assume they are Damian’s children
    although no surname is given.

    Disciple CD: –

    Disciple – Damian uses The City Of Sheffield Youth Orchestra on this album
    and they open this track. I was listening to a bootleg of Jeronimo Road this
    morning to find out my early thought of Damian’s voice. I have got used to him
    over the years so I don’t mind it as much as I used too and I thought him OK.
    I do find some of the louder singing doesn’t really agree with me though. It
    is OK just less to my taste. On this track Damian sings quietly and gently and
    I think it suits his voice a lot more. The Orchestra are not used to make a
    big noise. They often get solo phrases on a single instrument with the strings
    being used for chords

    Brightest Way – This starts with keyboards and percussion. Then the drums kick
    in and this one is a bit more upbeat than the previous song. The orchestra is
    again chord-like. There is a nice use of Organ. I liked the previous track but
    like this more.

    Heavenly Mine – Violin starts this one. Hand drums are in use too. This is
    not as noisy as the previous song but it is still upbeat. It reminds me of Sonja
    Kristina’s solo work. Piano is used and gets a minor break near the end. The
    track is only 3mins so everything is short but it is a good song.

    Beating Inside – Damian starts this almost alone. There is acoustic guitar
    but relatively low in the mix. As the song progresses it gets stronger and other
    instruments join in. This track is long for this album at 5 minutes and at 3mins
    or so there is a bass section (It can’t be described as a solo as it is too
    slow) with the sound of children. There are some strings and then piano then
    the heartbeat drumming slowly fades out. Again a nice sing.

    What a Man Can Dream – A Xylophone starts this one. And the orchestra is used
    in full again. I really do like Damian’s voice on this album. I guess this a
    rather simple song compared to some of the others.

    Never Close The Door – Again this starts with a loud Damian and quiet guitar.
    A violin joins in and then a harp type sound. This song is also a fairly simple
    song. There is less instrumentation but again I like it.

    Nothing Without You – This is a more upbeat song again. The orchestra is used
    in full and there are drums on the track. I guess Damian is more in his Rock
    voice mode on this one but only just. Again it is a remarkably short track less
    than three minutes. There is no intro prior to Damian singing.

    Part Of Me – Damian and the guitar start this one and then there is an orchestral
    backing again. This song feels like it could get big but while it builds a bit
    it never grows that much. The whole album is really about the lyrics I think.

    Adam’s child – Keyboards introduce this one. It is then Damian and guitar again.
    Having seen Damian singing in the pub after a Rick Wakeman gig I can imagine
    him singing these songs to himself very well. This track has a good use of instruments
    again with bits of flute and violin. Then there is some more Piano and just
    prior to the last verse there are some Ah’s. Again a nice song.

    Quietly Spoken – This song starts with the guitar. Then Damian sings with just
    his guitar as accompaniment. On the previous song I was considering saying I
    liked the songs that have busier arrangements and intros to the verses etc but
    I like this song as much as any other on the album. It’s a very low key way
    to end an album though.

    Grow Old With Me EP: –

    Grow Old With Me – This one repulsed me the first time I heard it. It is far
    too slushy and syrupy for me. It is the only cover Damian has done and is by
    John Lennon. The arrangement feels very Stage Musical and there are female vocals
    by Alex Sharpe seems very Sarah Brightman like given my lack of knowledge in
    this area. The track starts with Piano and Damian has more reverb or something
    on his voice. Violin comes in at the end of the first verse. Then Alex sings
    a verse and the orchestra joins her. The orchestra then gets a section and it
    is then Damian and Alex together. It was Damian’s ambition to record this song
    so I pleased he could do it in such a big way. I suspect Musical fans would
    love it.

    In A word – Piano starts this and then drums that I am not keen on. Again the
    orchestra is a lot bigger on this EP than the main album. It much fuller I guess
    more symphonic. I don’t like this EP anywhere near as much as the main album.
    Damian is quite powerful on this song. I think there is a stronger stage musical
    direction in the arrangements.

    Just The Way It Goes ‘ A quiet piano starts this one. Then Damian sings gently
    along with it. Damian is definitely singing stronger and more rock like on this
    EP. I like this song there is a good combination of quiet and loud and the orchestra
    provide good backing. The songs on this EP are fuller in length and therefore
    feel more satisfying to me. I wonder of the main album is underwritten and yet
    I prefer it overall.

    A Monday Night In March – Piano starts this one. Again Damian’s voice has got
    reverb or something on it. We have drums on this track and the piano playing
    chords. The orchestra is also present and actually gets a loudish break between
    Damian’s soft vocals. I expected him to break into rock voice but he remains
    gentle thought the song.

    Nothing Left In Me – It’s straight in with Damian and his guitar. This is probably
    my favourite on the EP. It definitely shows the direction he was to go on Disciple’s
    main disc. It is also seems to be about missing his children.

    So there we have it. It seems I am not that struck on the Grow Old With Me
    EP but I really like the Disciple album. I find it hard to get excited about
    any particular song but I enjoy the album overall. I think the arrangements
    are very good in there quiet understated ways. I do wonder what the songs would
    be like he they were expanded and given a fuller treatment but I like the results
    all the same.

    I will be seeing Damian Live this weekend for a solo gig in Rotherham and it
    will be most curious to see what sort of show he puts on.