Band Reviews from 2003

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

Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe – 21 April 2003

See separate page

Rick Wakeman – Leisure World, Colchester – 22 April 2003

See separate page

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

See separate page

Mostly Autumn – The Waterfront Norwich – 25 May 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Wood,

Helm’s Deep

Shindig/Haste To The Wedding

and Out Of The Inn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick Wakeman – Fernham Hall, Fareham – 29 May 2003

See separate page

Rick Wakeman – The Cresset, Peterborough – 30 May 2003

See separate page

Damian Wilson – Oakwood Centre Rotherham29
November 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heavenly Mine

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

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

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

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

Beating inside was next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *