I am Spock by Leonard Nimoy

This is a very good book but like before it I was surprised at the lack of
detailed coverage of his early years. If anyone is planing to read "I am
not Spock" as well as this book definitely do so first. The coverage in
"Not Spock" is less detailed and most of the important stories are
covered in this volume. I missed the Spock/Nimoy chats in this book. Some are
contained but mainly only as chapter headers. I suspect this book could be
summed up as covering Nimoy’s public life. Where as "Not Spock" gave
up as bit more on his internal thinking. The stories that are in both books
tend to have been expanded a bit in this volume. It is interesting to hear
Nimoy’s views on the making of the films. I don’t think they add anything to
William Shatner’s Star Trek Movie memories but it helps validate Shatner’s book
for me. Definitely a good read. Buy it.

I am not Spock by Leonard Nimoy

This book was very good read but I felt it did not tell me enough about
Leonard Nimoy. He basically mentions only his work. Nothing about his upbringing
and childhood. Mind you the book and is thin i.e. only 130 odd pages. I greatly
enjoyed the Dialogues between Nimoy and Spock and I liked the introspective
thoughts of the first few chapters where Nimoy wonders who Spock is. It’s a
daft thing to complain about but I found it confusing that the anecdotes
changed mid-chapter without a line break. I kept looking for some connection
that was not there until I got used to it. It’s great that I don’t have to wait
20 years to read "I am Spock".

Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

I first read this book as part of my English Literature course. I have
always remembered enjoying it so I decided to read the book again nearly 18
years later. I have to say I probably enjoy the book even more this time. I
love the characters and I love the plot. I am tempted to move straight on to
the Moonstone. I am glad my English teacher got us to read this or I would
never have heard of the book.

Band Reviews from 1998

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.

UFO – Norwich UEA 7th February 98

I heard about this gig with only a week before when I got a flyer for
another venue. I have always found UFO to be fairly good but not great LP wise.
If I am desperate for a new CD they would be a good band to catch up on. Since
there was a new CD out I thought I had better get it so that I know more of the
set. It is a bit of an odd CD as it contains 8 tracks from 1995 plus 2 classics
remade and 3 bonus tracks from MSG, Moog/Way and the Phil Raymond Project. The
new UFO Stuff is very good though.

I was concerned about the gig as it meant I would need to stand (not
something I find easy to do for more than 2 minutes) and I did not know what
the set would be like. At the start of the gig there was a lot of stuff I did
not know but I still found it really enjoyable (most unusual for me). Then we
got a couple of numbers of Walk On Water and then we moved into the closing of
the set with all the well known Classics like Rock Bottom, Lights out and
Doctor Doctor. Some of these were done over two Encores with fairly long gaps
between.

The Drummer was different from the album Steve young I think and he is
apparently Ex-AC/DC. Phil Moog on Vocals was much as I remembered him. He was
mixed a bit to low though. I am not sure I have seen Michael Schenker before
and he was incredible cool and rooted to the spot. He seemed to be the
"Stereotypical German" type character. He was played great guitar
thought just how I liked it. Phil Raymond moved around a fair bit. Well between
his Keyboards and I assume Rhythm guitar anyway. Much more than Moog and
Schenker. Then there was Pete Way. This guy is a real character. I don’t think
he was in UFO when I saw them before either. He certainly gave the audience
something to watch with his Bass on an Extremely long strap. He did all the
tricks. You know behind his head through his legs. Laid on the floor and
constantly running around and seemingly trying to get in Schenker’s eyes sight.

It was a great gig and I would recommend any go and for that matter get the
new album.

Yes – London Hammersmith
Apollo – 5th March 1998

This was my first Yes gig and I was not really sure how I would feel about
it. I only decided to go because my friend and I had attended a few gigs at the
end of 97 and we had run out of concerts to go to and we thought we might as
well take a look Yes.

The day before the gig I developed a Sore throat and general Head cold and
that combined with my ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome meant I was in a terrible
state for the gig itself. Not a good Omen I thought. But luckily overall the
gig was very enjoyable, not outstanding, but as good as I could hope for
really.

I am glad I was positioned on the Left hand side of the theatre. I think the
band need to rearrange their positions on the stage. All the Main Solo/Leads
were on the Left. I.e. Igor, Steve and Jon Anderson. This was great from my
Position but I think I would have been annoyed if I was on the Right of the
Theatre.

Billy Sherwood was given very little to do. And what he was doing was
incredibly difficult to hear from my position. His backing vocals and ever his
Guitar solo in Starship Trooper were all very low in the Mix. Perhaps they were
all coming out of the Right Speaker banks.

Alan White played Drums much the way I expected I have to say I think I
prefer Brufords sound but I have no problem with Alan.

Chris Squire seemed to Enjoy Hamming it up when it came to doing his solo
spots etc. I could see what someone meant when they said he was intimidating.

Jon Anderson seemed in good form and was clear in the Mix.

Steve Howe completely dominates the show. Everything seemed based around
him. I could not understand why he did not Share some of his parts with Billy
Sherwood. But then again what I could of Sherwood’s solo on Starship Trooper
made me think he sounds a bit Modern (Fast runs with little feeling) so maybe
that was for the best.

I am a Rick Wakeman fan more than a Yes fan so Igor was always going to get
a tough time from me. I thought some of the reviews of him stating that he was
just pleased to be in the band seemed harsh. He seemed very much to have his
own style of doing things. And it was interesting to me that even he did not
get very good sounds from his keyboard sets up’s either. There were Moog like
sounds but I was not convinced it was a Moog he was playing and I think perhaps
it should be. Judging from the free format stuff he played he seemed more
Jazz(?) influenced and perhaps more like Moraz in style. Since I don’t like
that sort of style it was not easy for me to judge. Despite this I thought he
did very well. He was certainly more essential to the night than Billy Sherwood
IMO.

The Set list was I guess much as the American leg of the Tour. There was no
Mind Drive though and we had Wondrous Stories and From the Balcony which I was
not expecting. I probably just have a faulty memory though.

I enjoyed the night and I am now considering going to a date in the second
leg of the Tour in April.

Rick Wakeman – Stalham Baptist Church – April 10 1998

There were flood warnings for most rivers in my Area so Mum (my Driver) and
I decided we had better go early. As it turned out we had no delays and no
trouble finding Stalham Baptist Church which is 66 miles from Ipswich and I
assume more of a village than a Town. We ended up being an hour early and
surprisingly 3 or 4 other cars all turned up at a similar time. The Road crew
was also just entering the Church for the finale sound check before the doors
opened about 6.45.

We were all requested to be seated by 7.15 for a 7.30 start and that was a
good move as they had sold out and it seems, sold too many seats, as they had
to fill the isles with buckets seats. I assume no one from fire safety was in
the audience! Apparently until two weeks before the gig they had been wondering
if they had made a Mistake in getting Rick back as tickets sales had been very
slow. And then everyone bought them. Clearly Concert promotion is not for the
faint hearted.

The church was about 20 people wide by 10 rows and had 3 or 4 rows in a
circle upstairs. Rick had played the church on the last Piano tour so it was
going to be interesting to see how much variation there would be in the stories
etc.

The Tour it seems was originally going to be called the 40 days and 40
nights tour but ended up as "Words and Music". I preferred the
original title given it was Good Friday but "Words and Music" is very
descriptive.

Paul Field came on at 7.30 and while he held little interest to me I was not
praying for him to end or anything. Rick it seems had encouraged him to tell a
joke and his general in between song chat was interesting.

Of course my main interest of the night was Rick and he I guess came on
around 8.30. Unusually he went straight into a chat. He re-told the Countdown
stories from the last Theatre tour but as Gill mentioned updated it to say that
he had just recorded some more shows.

He then played Gone But not forgotten on the pretend Piano. IE The Keyboard
set up and dresses to look like a mini Piano. As Rick sat down someone in the
Audience suggested he was "Close to the Edge" which amused Rick
enough

to repeat it into the mic.

Rick then told a story about how stubborn his family are and in this case
his Grandmother. She had decided she was going to see him do Journey but the
promoter had forgotten to hold back Tickets for Rick. So Rick had to buy them
from a Ticket tout at 6 times value. He had given some to Peter Sellers and his
Wife but they were not together and it turned out Ricks Grandma was sat between
them and refused to move. He also then told the Story of Morning has Broken and
how he never got paid and there never told anyone how to play it.

He of course then played Morning has broken

Rick then told the Story of the Recording of Jane Seymour from the last
Theatre tour. IE How the Vicar did not charge for the facilities of his church
but kept dropping subtle hints that he was short of funds for a new roof etc.

Rick then played Jane Seymour and that was again the highlight of my night.
I love the deep tones and that and I am a real sucker for Organ pieces. It is a
shame Rick did not let Rip on the Church Organ which was situated on a balcony
above but it is of course understandable that he didn’t

Next up was the Story about him Doing Breakfast TV when it first started
here in the UK. This was last told on the What’s on TV Tonight tour so although
I had heard it before it was quite fresh to most people. Basically Rick had
been due to do a TV appearance the same Morning as Two Monty Python stars one of
whom was dressed as a Parrot. That Morning as the program went on Air news of
Gandhi’s assassination came through so the Programs presenter told Rick the
whole program would be dedicated to the news and it would not be appropriate to
use Rick. The Python in the Parrot suite then asked if the same applied to
them.

Rick then said he was doing Merlin the Magician but he needed a volunteer as
it was not possible to play it by himself. Since he needed some chords holding
as he went to the mini Piano for the last section. He therefore grabbed a lady
from the audience and did it as a "duet". Of course not quite as the
pre-song run through had suggested as when he got to the Piano a roadie bought
him a letter to read.

Next up was the Story of Rick’s mum liking the Piano concerts but not the
full blown Rock concerts. She decided she was take 12 people from an old Folks
home to the premiere of the 1984 tour thinking it was a piano concert. And When
Rick said it was not she told him he would have to change it. Of course he did
not and the old people went to the gig and some even enjoyed it which impressed
Rick and told him not to Pigeon hole people into stereotypes.

Rick then played the 1984 Overture and Hymn. This again was done on the last
Theatre tour but not the Church tour. And since Adam was not singing in this
one I enjoyed it a lot more.

We then got the standard intro to the Nursery Rhyme concerto. And of course
the piece itself

Then the potentially long chat of Ricks conversion. I was most curious to
see what he did here. And basically it was a brief over view of his beliefs but
a big expansion on how Nina had been converted. I don’t think the main part had
been told on the church tour before but it is conceivable that I had heard the story
before at sometime (thinking about it, I guess it was in "Say Yes").

Rick then played Help. This being appropriate as Rick had needed a Mortgage
to help pay a large tax bill.

Rick then said the next song would be Eleanor Rigby and did the standard intro
but then he moved on to tell the "That’s by Dog" story from the Wot’s
on Tv Tonight tour. I can’t think how to summarise it briefly so I won’t 🙂

And that was the end of the set. Except Rick did not bother leaving the
stage before the Encore as he thinks it is a stupid tradition.

He then said he was going to finish with "The Day Thou gavest lord has
ended" (Anne Boleyn) which is the song he played before going to bed.

I guess the total set was only 90 mins (instead of 2hrs of the theatre tour)
this time due to the support act but not having Adam and Frazor singing meant
it is far more Enjoyable for me than the last tour.

I look forward to the next tour of any kind and am very grateful to Rick for
Touring England so much 🙂

Yes – Brighton Dome – 21 April 98

The venue for this gig was really nice. Being a Dome even though I was Two
rows from the Back and in seat 74 I was still almost in line with the Right
Speaker Bank. And being in the Balcony I had a really good view of the
Keyboards and every thing. The Seats are very raised for each row to. So
basically I loved the venue.

As for Yes they disappointingly did the same set as the last leg of the
tour. This was disappointing only because the band had talked of making some
changes. Actually Steve Howe changed his last Solo song to "Clap" but
I don’t enjoy his stuff anyway.

I went to Brighton in the morning arriving at my brother Mikes at mid-day so
in theory I had time to recover but not in practise. Most of I new I was in bad
shape as we head off to the gig and my memory is very blurred of it but I
enjoyed it and it was good to see Mike’s house at last.

Fish – The Oval – 2 May 98

A Good gig. Not as long as the previous one but still very enjoyable.
Actually there was less gaps between songs so it flowed better.

Rick Wakeman – The Philharmonic Hall Liverpool – 31 May
98

Well I did not know weather to make the effort for this gig or not.
Liverpool is a six hour train ride away and if I sitting for more than 3 hours
a day I am guaranteed to be uncomfortable and "out of it" at the time
and suffer for it for a few days after. I decided I would go for it though as
the Risk of missing playing any thing with an Orchestra was to great. I did not
expect Rick to do anything with them and in fact I suspected it would only do
about 20 minutes of stuff. As it turned out it was as I expected but I still
enjoyed the night and if I had been a local to the venue would have thought it
extremely good value. The ticket price was 14 UKP. It was in aid of the
Clatterbridge Cancer Research trust. The Event started at 7.30, had a 15 minute
interval and finished at 11.00. So it Rick was only on 20 minutes what was the
rest of the show?

Well it started with Rick introducing the Merseyside Youth Orchestra. (He
would introduce all the acts). They did a few Film Fanfares, The Waltz from the
Orient Express and then Theme From Star Wars. I have never seen a full
orchestra before and I was very impressed. I have to say they did not make as
much noise as I expected but it was still really good. I was about 10 rows back
and in the centre of the hall. In my Estimation exactly the Right place for
such a wide presentation. And the Acoustics for the hall seemed very good.

Next was a Pianist Glenys Carroll who I have to say did not really interest
me. The music she played stuck me as more Lounge Lizard stuff (Mind you I am a
hard Rocker at 32 was one of the youngest in the very old and Grey audience).
They were "I Won’t send Roses" , "Bilitis", "On My
Own", "Chaplin Medley".

Next up was a Local Comedian who’s name I have forgotten. I has or will be
on Live At Jongulers and he was fairly reasonable.

The we had the Flint Male Voice Choir. They did "Entrance and March of
the Peers", "Si Hei Lwli ‘Mabi", "Sound and Alarm" and
"Bryn Myrddin". They were very good and conjured up images of Coal
miners and Slaver working.

Then we had some one from the WWF with an Exotic Species, According to Rick.
It was a Comedian with Sid the Venezuelan Flocking Parrot. This was great stuff
in a very similar vein to a Monty Python or Two Ronnies Sketch.

Finally Rick Adam and Frazor closed the first half with Eleanor Rigby.

Rick then Start the 2nd Half with Nursery Rhyme Concerto and then
Adam returned to help our on Jane Seymour. This was good but did not impress me
as much as at the Church tour I last saw it on. I like the Church version
because it was really in Stereo. This did not seem to be the case as much here.
Mind you I had forgotten what Adam part in it was and had to look up my records
to see if he had played on it when I saw them on the last 3 piece tour. (He
did)

The Flint Male Voice Choir then did some more songs I could list but won’t.

Then Bobby Davro a Comedian/Impressionist did a fairly length section. He is
a bit to much of a Variety Act for me but Rick and the Support technicians etc
really enjoyed him and Rick got him to do a bit more.

Finally the Orchestra and Choir did Pomp and Circumstance March No .1 (i.e.
Land of Hope and Glory) and Jerusalem. Rick and the other acts did appear in
the Corner to help sing Jerusalem but I slightly disappoint Rick did not help
out on Keyboard. It was good stuff no the less. I would certainly consider to
see an Orchestra doing Popular Classics again.

It was a good night out and a very interesting challenge for my body :-).

GOWAN – Colchester, Oliver Twist – 22 June 1998

Well this was one of the most unusual gigs I have ever been too. Gowan is an
Artist that has sold 8 Platinum albums and had 4 number one singles in Canada. On
at the Weekend he is playing the Diana Memorial Concert at Althorpe park to
around 25,000 people. Tonight he played to a 6 people! This was I Discovered
always likely to be the case because England were playing (and losing) in the
World Cup. In Hard Roxx Magazine it said that Gowan is just enjoying places new
and seeing how he goes down in a country where he is unknown. I guess this is a
good thing. He certainly did not let it put him off the gig. He was going to do
two sets but decided given the audience that he would take requests and
questions and just play through. This he did. We got a 2 hour set complete with
two new tracks and 2 he said he had not performed live before. The audience got
a big boost when another fan arrived after the game had finished. Gowan was in
the unusual position have having met all the audience up to that point.
Interestingly there were two magazines there to report on the gig and me with
my DAT machine so maybe a few more will hear the set or about it. Anyway as
Gowan was coming off stage he spotted the new guy and said something that
prompted the guy to say he has missed "Guns and God" earlier. Gowan
therefore decided he would play it again and this time just with his twelve
string acoustic (no power) on a stool where the crowd should be. Provided my
film works I have a picture of the crowd (minis me of course) as they watched.

It was mainly Gowan and his keyboard (a single line of keys). On one song he
also played Harmonica and of course he also used the 12 string acoustic. He
played most of the tracks from the "Homefield" album released. And of
course Criminal Mind. I read in Hard Roxx that this song needs to be seen for
full effect (I thought it was great anyway). And I could see what they meant.
Gowan really seems to enjoy putting himself in to the twisted mind of a
criminal. This I am sure will be lost to people in a big crowd unless there is
a video screen. Hopefully the BBC or whoever shows the Memorial Concert will
Criminal Mind.

I really good night out and all for five pounds. The fools don’t know what
they missed!

Ipswich Evening Star 4th July 1998

Lawrence Gowan, The Twist Music Venue, Colchester

TALENTED musician that he is, Canada’s Lawrence Gowan was in the area last
week promoting his first UK album release, HomeField. He has already achieved
platinum status with eight of his albums in his home country and four number
one singles.

HomeField comprises Lawrence’s better-known work plus many tracks off his
previous two albums; it proves a brilliant taster for any new listener.

Last Saturday, Lawrence was privileged to perform at the Diana Princess of
Wales Tribute Concert at Althorp Park alongside Chris de Burgh, Wet Wet Wet and
Lesley Garrett among others.

His show in Colchester, a bit smaller in audience numbers than Althorp, was
simply chock-full of first class melodies.

The rhythmic opener Innocent followed by the excellent Good Catches Up
served as perfect indications of Lawrence Gowan’s velvet voice and spot-on
piano playing.

Throughout the show Lawrence maintained a familiar banter with the some what
intimate audience, eagerly accepting and performing any track requests, some of
which were the first time he had played there live. A Criminal Mind, the track
for which Gowan is most notably known is superb live – his haunting vocals send
shivers up the spine

The Quality of his performance was outstanding, featuring some passionate
balladry in the form of Make It Alone and Holding This Rage. It is no surprise
that Lawrence Gowan has been so successful. I have no doubt that he will be
repeating that success here in Britain.

NIKKI SHARIAT (also writes for Hard Roxx Magazine)

Deep Purple – Wembley 15 October 1998

I have very mixed feelings about this gig. The Set list I saw earlier this
year looked very poor on paper. I therefore decided not to look at what was
being played recently. I was very disappointed by the Abandon album it is very
mediocre and to even for my tastes. Certainly not a patch on Perpendicular
which really excited me. I seemed to recall the set list I read said the band
started with Hush which I was looking forward to seeing but we got Ted The
Mechanic for an opener and no hush at all. I thought it a good opener and for
several songs I thought this was really great. The band looked so happy and I
liked the fact Strange Kind of Woman had a Drum and Guitar interplay instead of
the normal Gillan Guitar one. Then we got to the middle part of the set with
the Abandon tracks and while they were OK that is all. I liked Steve Morse’s
guitar Solo and I have to say he didn’t seem so obsessed with throwing in the
boring fast guitar runs. He seem a bit more rounded. Maybe I was just enjoying
the live thrill of it more and did not notice. Gillan I have to say was in
cracking form. I have not seen him in such good voice before. At Cambridge last
time the scream were almost in audible he get taking the mic away to much but
this time he was great.

After the gig I saw a friend and he to was very disappointed by the set list
and the Abandon tracks. After the gig on the last tour he was so impressed in
went out and bought Perpendicular not this time though. He also thought there
were too many solos and not enough tracks. I think I disagree here though.

I think in summary I gig had the potential to be one of my best gigs ever but
a disappointing selection of old material and weak current album slightly
knocked the shine of for me.

Motorhead – Norwich UEA 18 October 1998

Not a lot to say about this gig. We booked it because we had no gigs coming
up and we were bored! Little did we know it would end up in a heavy patch for
me. Deep Purple was loud the other day but this felt Louder. My DAT machine
seems to disagree that it was louder though. We got about 90 mins plus two
songs in an encore. It was OK. Lemmy was a little low in the Mix(noise?). I am
not a great Motorhead fan so I think I will leave it at that. Oh there were two
support bands. Radiator who were OK but had a Tape on for the Lead Guitar and
another band whose name I did not catch and did not like anyway. (They were Groop
Dogdrill)

Uriah Heep/Dio – The Forum, Kentish Town, London – 22
October 1998

Well I was very impressed with Uriah Heep and left cold by Dio. I have never
seen either band before but I have Video of Bernie and the band in 87. When
they took to the stage I was surprised to see that Bernie looked much like he
did on the video. I was surprised because the shot of him in Sonic Origami
makes him look a lot fatter. I was pretty much expecting a greatest hits set
with 3 or 4 Sonic tracks. Boy was I surprised. I don’t know the older tracks
but the set was something like this

Between Two Worlds
I Hear Voices
Universal Wheels
Down At The Edge Of The Rainbow(?)
Only The Young
Feels Like
No Idea
Heartless Land
?
Everything In Life
Easy Living

Encore

Question
Bird Of Prey

I really enjoyed the set. I thought when Question started that it was going
to be the Golden Palace but I think that is a false memory. Shame. The sound at
the Forum was terrible IMO and Bernie kept indicating he wanted turning up.
Mick lost power on his guitar I think during Universal Wheels but I am prepared
to be corrected. This caused amusement amongst the band. And they all seemed
extremely happy to be playing for us.

Next up was Dio at just after ten. I needed to catch a train so I did not
see the whole set. He left me cold when he was not annoying me with his
mannerisms and emphasis in his singing. I Like a fair amount of Dio in the
studio (well the Rainbow and Sabbath stuff) but live he just does not work for
me. We were given Heaven and Hell and Children of the Sea and Rainbows
Stargazer but these were so disappointing especially Stargazer. I was extremely
tired from standing by this set so perhaps my mood was not good but I could not
wait until it was time to go. A shame I was not a 2hr solo set from Heep. Dio
fans did not seem over keen on Heep. Especially when they got out the acoustic
guitar for Heartless Land.

Praying Mantis – Bears Epsom 24 Oct 1998

I don’t think l have ever gone to a gig so on edge. I have no logical
explanation for it. But l guess 17 years without ever having seen them play
live builds up a lot of desire (Let’s face it l have also got to be slightly of
my head to have decided I will be attempting the Japanese what with the expense
and my ill health) I have of course seen the Captured Alive In Tokyo City video
and in my view that was great. But tonight’s gig is the first of four UK warm
up gigs and I have no real idea of what the venue will be like. l expect it to
be small hopefully with a little stage but who knows? As for the Audience I
again find it hard to imagine. A couple of fans have said they will be going
but will their be a local turn out or just friends and family of the band? I
doubt there will have been much publicity.

I am also curious to see how Tino and Dennis will mess around when there is
unlikely to be any room or point to them dashing about in there usual style.

I will find out in six hours I guess

– – – – –

Well What a cracker!

Bears in Epsom is a typical UK pub that has bands in. I suspect the most it will
hold is 100-150 in the corner is a triangular stage area about 4 Metres by 4
Metres. As is to be expected there are six members of the band tonight. The
addition for the tour being Leon Lawson on keyboards. As the band were settling
up they must have blown the circuit about 10 times.

This created a slightly tense atmosphere and people were wondering if they
would get chance to play at all. It was eventually worked out that Leon’s
keyboard rig was the problem and he was therefore reduced to one keyboard for
the night. Never mind it still sounded good to me.

There were about 50-70 people in the place. Some locals but mainly friends
of the band and two people from the internet Ger Lemmens from Holland and
Derrick Sheldon who discovered the gig was happening two days before.

With the problems setting up the band had to adjust the balance and volume
as they went along. The volume overall was really too loud for a pub but it was
good for the band to get out and play to some real people.

I don’t intend telling you the set list but I will say it is probably as you
would expect. We did not get a full set so I don’t know what is being dropped
from the last tour.

Having just interviewed Bernie Shaw and hearing all his comments about Tino
"Dripping charisma" and doing any thing for a performance it came as
no real surprise to me that Tino was the putting his all into it even if it
meant bouncing up and down on the spot due to lack of room. This in turn rubbed
of on Chris. I was really amazed at how much concentration Bruce puts into his
playing. It was clearly visible on his face throughout . I mentioned this to
him and this was apparently because he was trying to play quietly. Tony sang
really well but neither he or Dennis were in Tino’s arena performance mode. There
approach was what you would expect with the lack of space in a little pub.

The music was every thing l hoped it would be and I let myself get into.
Roll on next Sunday at the Kings Head Putney!

One further thing the band were very tolerant and allowed Ger and me flash
away on our cameras they even posed for us. Gers photos should be better than
mine as he was moving round to get his. I will no doubt be adding some to the
pages before I go to Japan. They also patiently signed all our CD sleeves.

Praying Mantis – Kings Head Putney 1 Nov 1998

Chris had indicated this would be a better gig for people to attend. From
that I figured the venue would probably be a dedicated Band room and that it
might hold several hundred. When I got to the venue (1hr later than I intended
due to traffic) I was pleased to see the band had a proper stage set up
including monitors. I had been told by the venue the band might go on and play
around 8.30pm. Since I got there at 9pm I was pleased they did not go on until
9.30.

It also gave me a bit of time to meet the fans I know through the net. Yoko
Kayumi had traveled over from New York as I expected but when I met her she
introduced me to Ko Yamada. He had come over from Tokyo just for this gig. He
has been quite a good contact for me in Japan helping to keep me up to date
with news articles and TV appearances. I had no idea he was coming over so I
was absolutely gobsmacked to meet him. Derrick Sheldon had made the gig again
this time bringing his daughter along. Rick Gillyon from Tyne & Wear and
also made with gig with his brother. This therefore made an interesting start
to the evening for me. The audience overall I would guess was only 50 but I saw
no sign of any advertising and I don’t think the band had as many people along this
time.

Right now for the music. Well I was extremely happy to have seen the band at
Epsom but this gig was so much better. Everyone was a lot more relaxed and
confident about the sound. I think I will work left to right. Leon Lawson had
his full keyboard set up tonight. And the Venue had a dry ice machine which was
behind him and kept making Dennis and Leon disappear. I have to say I did not
really notice what he was playing so much tonight. I was just enjoying the
overall presentation. Dennis was a lot more relaxed and into it tonight and did
not let a broken guitar string during the first number put him off. The band
did have to take five to give him time to sort it out. Tony have some effects
on his voice tonight and he really let rip. I thought he was having to hold
back a lot at Epsom because of the sound and volume problems and this proved
it. There was still no room for running around on stage etc. so it is still
difficult to see exactly what Tony’s stage manner is going to be like. He was
certainly a lot more expressive with the Mic stand and his hands tonight
though. Bruce still looked very concentrated. And I have to confess I did not
pay much attention to him tonight either. Chris seemed to be a lot more up for
this gig from the start and at first I thought Tino seemed a little subdued but
I think I was probably just remembering how up for it he was towards the end of
Epsom. IE it was just a problem with my preception. I sat probably 10m back
from the band this time. At Epsom it was probably 1m. It is surprising how even
that sort of distance changes affects perception. I think that is why I was
watching the band more as an overall entity and not so much as individuals.

The band played much the same set as they had at Epsom. The did do two
numbers different both of the last album and nothing of Time Tells No Lies.
Tony dedicated three songs tonight. One each to Yoko and Ko and one to a friend
that sadly died before last Saturday before making it to a gig that I know he
was looking forward too. I was very moved that they should do this for him. I
am sure he would have been very happy.

Dean Swift Aldgate London – 3rd Nov 1998

This is apparently Dennis’s local pub and from the posters he plays here in
a band called the Clangers most Sundays. I was expecting I will find it hard to
find things to say about each gig but each gig so far has had a completely
different character.

The swift is a very small pub. Basically the room is an oblong with a
squarish bar section in the centre of the long side and a slight raised area on
the other length. I guess at most it was 2-3m deep so the band were spaced out
along its length. I was sat at the side of the room so I could not really see
Tino or Chris. It was back to a basic pub set up again so there was no echo on
Tony. Leon did get to use all his keyboards though. Since I was sat right
behind him I got a very good view of what he had to play which was nice. Being
Dennis’s local the crowd was very receptive and seemed to contain a lot more
Rocker/Biker types. Dennis’s also bought his son Jack along. He also did more
of the between song chat and seemed happy. Tony seems to be getting more
relaxed and again was able to scream without fear of being too loud. Bruce was
facing in Chris’s direction so I could not see how much fun he was having and
from the little I could see of Tino and Chris they were having a good time as
you would expect. This was defiantly the most photographed gig. The crowd of I
guess 70 really enjoyed it. At one point even an old guy went up front and had
a drunken dance around.

The band have now a rough idea of the running order of the set and we were
treated to two more songs not played so far this time. One thing is for sure I
don’t think anyone will guess the set list. It has certainly surprised me. It
is excellent just surprising. It is beginning to look like this tour should be
sub-named the "Bruce wrote this" tour as that is becoming the
standard joke 🙂

Praying Mantis – Royal Standard 4 Nov 1998

This was a very good venue for the last warm up gig. The Standard was the
biggest venue they had played and is what I would call a rock house. I reckon
the place could hold 400-500 people and tonight must have had 200-300. The
venue had a good set of PA equipment, lights and monitors. It also had some room
on stage so tonight we experienced Tino’s first run down to Dennis’s position.

I suspect the crowd were mainly neutral rock fans and while they seemed to
enjoy it but I thought the crowd at the Dean Swift piped them overall on
volume. The set list was the some as the previous night with one exception they
came back and played Smoke on the water as a final, final encore. They did not
start playing until 9.40 so I was very surprised when the decided to break the
set into two halves again. That meant the and 2nd set did not start until
around 11pm and I am sure the crowd had thinned down a bit (perhaps because
they have work to go to etc? I struggle to believe it would be because of the
music but I was interested to hear not all Mantis fans like Tony’s vocals. I
think the majority do though). The ones that remained however were really into
it. I noticed a lot of the same faces from the Dean Swift and Dennis had bought
Jack again. He and a friend of Dennis’s had been head banging all night and
during the last number of the official set list Dennis tried to get Jack to
join him on Stage. Jack was to shy so a couple of Dennis’s mates worked on him
for a few minutes and he finally went up. The crowd had really warmed up by end
of the encores and still wanted more hence for a laugh they did a totally
unrehearsed Smoke. Bruce had actually started going into the audience before he
realised another encore was required. There was a good 20 people up the front
head banging and dancing to this.

There were rumours Gary Barden and Phil Moog might attend I don’t know if
they did but some one who was in the crowd was Dave Potts. He was happy to give
me his phone number so when I recover from Japan I will interview him. Overall
it was a cracking gig and now it is Japan’s turn!

Sendai Ma.ca.na – 10 Nov 1998

Wow this place is small I would be surprised if it is bigger than the Dean
Swift after the bar area is removed. Mind you there is a lot of equipment. I
reckon 70-100 lights. The stage I think is about the size of Walthamstow. I
went into the gig about 10 minutes before the start and was amazed at how full
the place was. It was packed.

The place holds 200 and 150 tickets were pre-sold so I guess 200 were there
. And very enthusiastic they were to. They were singing and arm waving all
night. It was great to see how different Mantis were to such a friendly crowd.
From the moment they stepped out on the stage they were a different band to the
one in the UK. Dennis and Tony in particular but Tino and Chris too. Even Leon
was able to look up from his keyboards more. I again forgot to look to see how
Bruce was looking.

Banana Hall – Osaka – 11 Nov 1998

This was a nice venue maybe 50m x 20m. The front 10m was standing only. Then
there was some normal height seating and then further back higher stools. The
crowd initially looked a little disappointing I believe about 220 tickets were
pre-sold. But by 7pm and show time the Audience looked more evenly spaced. I
believe there was still only 300 there though. I was expecting the gigs in Japan
to be about 1000 a show but never mind the show set up was a lot more
professional than in the UK so the venue size did not effect the show. Ticket
prices seem incredibly expensive at 6300 yen and a couple of fans I spoke to
before the show were complaining of this and wondering why Sendai had been 500
yen cheaper

The stage here was full size so everyone was on radio leads and fully
mobile. At one point Tino even decided to go and play behind Bruce. The crowd were
keen but I suspect the Sendai atmosphere was better. It was difficult for me to
gauge though as I could not see anywhere suitable to sit in the main hall. I
therefore decide to watch the main set from the spotlight rigging about 10m in
front of the stage and in the ceiling. This made for a good view and I was able
to observe Leon and Bruce a lot more easily. I stupidly forgot to take my
painkillers to the gig so by the end of the main set my back was killing me and
I decided to go and stand for the encores that’s when the change in the crowd
from earlier grabbed my attention. It is getting hard to comment on the bands
overall performance now as I enjoy them so much. I therefore won’t try.

I clearly meet Masami Mizutani after the show as I took her card but it
doesn’t have an E-mail address and I did not take a photo so I need reminding
as to why I got the card.

Bottom Line Nagoya 11 Nov 1998

This gig was a very hard one for me to enjoy from my personal health level
as I had decided to rest from the extra painkillers I was taking while in
Japan. I was getting very fatigued by this gig so there was not enough
adrenaline flowing through my body until Tony, half way through the show,
complained no one upstairs was singing. Upstairs was closed to the public so I
was the only fan up there. This effectively personal comment had a remarkable
effect on increasing my enjoyment from that point on.

The hall was much the same size and shape as Banana Hall except the stage
was length ways. The audience was not as big as it could have been. Nagoya is
apparently a tough city to play for a lot of bands. For some reason the fans
there aren’t as keen on hard rock as in other places. The band did not let a
little thing like a disappointing crowd put them off though.

While the show was not quite up to the previous two nights for me Tino
commented after Tokyo he thought he had played better at the previous night so
it could well have been a better gig music wise. The sound was definitely
better though. Leon’s keyboards have been struggling in the mix at times (IMO)
but tonight I could hear what he was playing. During Can’t See The Angles Tony
surprised everyone, me included, by disappearing from the stage (still singing)
and reappearing upstairs. While everyone one was looking for him the band
switched the chorus to "Can’t see Tony from here". At the end of the
encore Bruce got to wear Chris’s bass guitar so he decided to give us a ‘solo’
in true Bruce style.

Original version was

This was a very disappointing gig audience wise I bet there was only 200 –
250 there. The place was similar to the Banana Hall except the stage is on the
long side. There was also an upper tear but that wasn’t opened since there
weren’t really enough to fill downstairs. I decided the best place for me to
sit was upstarts. And I stayed there all night so the last time I saw the
Audience in full was with about 20 minutes to go. The place seemed so empty I
was quite lacking enthusiasm for the gig (my body also showing severe wear and
tear) luckily the band hit the stage with the same enthusiasm as the other
Japanese gigs.

It was a good show but not quite up to the previous two nights for me (Tino
commented after Tokyo he thought he has played better at the previous night so
it could well have been a better gig music wise. I did not ask anyone who had
been to both).

Mind you the sound was better. Leon’s keyboards having been struggling in
the mix at times (IMO) but tonight I could hear what he was playing. During
Can’t See The Angles Tony surprised everyone, me included, by disappearing from
the stage and reappearing upstairs. While everyone one was looking for him the
band switched the chorus to "Can’t see Tony from here". At the end of
the encore Bruce got to wear Chris’s bass guitar so he decided to give us a
‘solo’ in true Bruce style.

Tokyo -Club Citta -12 Nov 98

Being the Final gig of the tour and by far the biggest I was very much
looking forward to this and I think the band were too. Anyone having seen the
Captured video or the TV special from an earlier tour will have seen the size
of Club Citta. I guess it is about 50m wide by 100M and holds just Over 1000
people. I believe there were 600-700 in tonight but from the stage it looked
full. The lights to me were the best of the tour but apparently not as good as
previous tours. Again the signs of the economy in Japan. It is probably a good
place to mention that the band were very unhappy with ticket prices. At most
gigs they seemed to be one of the most expensive on the forthcoming events
posters. The band have stated in an interview that next time they would like to
reduce their costs and therefore ticket prices. This assumes though that the
costs the band can effect are significant in the final ticket price. And I am
not sure they are.

The gig was being filmed so that it might be possible to show an MTV gig
review quality recorded song on Masa Itto’s TV show. I have to confess I am
slow writing this gig up (it’s the 16th today) so I am struggling to remember
the differences between this gig and previous ones. Looking at my photos I
think one was that at the start of one song Dennis and Tino decided to sit on
the drum riser to do their quite intro. Tony also decided to sit on the floor
for "Remember My Name" and on a Monitor for a latter song. There was
a 1m gap between the stage and the audience and on a couple of occasions Tony
jumped into the gap. The 2nd time walking from end to end shaking hands. The
band enjoyed Bruce’s bass solo the previous night so they got him to do it
again. There was also a professional photographer at work for this gig. That is
something I have found really strange about the Japanese gigs. In England
Photos aren’t allowed and cameras are often searched for but people still use
flash cameras during gigs. In Japan the same rules apply and yet I never saw
one flash (except my own). Does that mean people never take photos here or just
that they wisely keep their flash turned off to avoid attracting attention?
Given Japan’s reputation for bootlegging I am sure Japanese fans can’t be completely
law abiding.

I got to meet a 3 more of my e-mail contacts after this gig which was nice.
I have of course become aware of a lot more fans during my trip and hopefully I
will get to chat with a few by email. Some it has to be said a far more dedicated
than me waiting around for hours just to see the band for a signature at a
train station or Hotel etc. It amazes me how well the fans discover the bands
movements.

I have heard that one of the UK venues was interested in having Mantis play
again soon so I might not have to wait for a new album to see the play again.
This is the first time the feedback in the UK has been so positive. A good sign
for the future I hope. The band have certainly been extremely happy and relaxed
on this tour and really want to get on with a new album to solidify what they
consider to be there strongest and hopefully most stable unit to date.

Squeeze – Ipswich Regent – 1 December 98

I was not bothered about seeing these but since they were in town and I have
an album which I like I thought I would go. The Album is Cool For Cats and I
guess it was there first but there music seems to have slowed down since then.
I therefore found the whole night a baffling experience. Actually I liked the
guitar breaks as they were very old fashioned and clean but there was no
excitement in the show and I did not really understand how others were getting
there enjoyment. There was a lot of woman there and they seemed to like bopping
with there partners. There was a bloke in front of me and he was a real
"Dad" type dancer. I found him really funny.

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.