Uli Roth – The Railway, Ipswich – 9 Sept 2012

I am very much into my hard rock bands but I am not big on guitarists as a rule. Last night at The Railway, Ipswich. I got to see someone that I figure is in my top 5 of guitarist that I just love to hear playing Uli Roth. (Others that spring to mind are Carlos Santana, Victor Smolski, Steve Morse, Tino Troy)
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
I saw Uli was going to play Ipswich about a month ago and even though I am not sure about all of his solo work I had to go along. I wasn’t sure what he would play and boy was I in for a treat.
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
He came on about 9.15 and played a set of about 50 minutes. The set was an interesting mix of music that he likes (I can’t think why else he did Deep Purple’s Mistreated), Hendrix (who was always his inspiration, Electric Sun (his 80’s band), Scorpions (the main reason I knew of him) and an Ian Gillan track I didn’t realise he had played on.
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
I just loved watching his fingers move and the passion with which he plays. I was very satisfied.
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
Then at 10.30 he returned for a second set. This mainly consisted of “Tokyo Tapes” era Scorpions tracks. I was in heaven. I only appreciated who Uli was when I saw him on a German Hendrix tribute and loved his playing. It made me realise what had happened in the Scorpions. I love most eras of the Scorpions except the 80’s albums they are most liked for (Lovedrive and Blackout in particular leave me cold). For me they become a typical rock band and live their set never included much from my favourite era. I assume the reason is Uli created much of the sound of the early Scorpions and his replacements had different styles. Being in Ipswich last night was like seeing Scorpions as I had always wanted them to be. The sound from my position directly in front of Uli was dreadful. I couldn’t hear the vocals but I didn’t care much as I was able to add them inside my head. More importantly though I was just lost in Uli’s playing. My recent album experience of him was that he had moved into playing the upper range of his guitar but last night he played the full range which meant he was down in the lower registers again and I was hearing him as I loved him.
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
I have had “Tokyo Tapes” since 1980/81 and my favourite track is “Fly To The Rainbow”. We didn’t get a full version of it last night but we got the bit that for three decades I have wanted to see. Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
The track starts as normal and then going into a quiet section with Uli Vocal and great feeling on the guitar. This is where we started. It then builds up and ends in a great feedback solo. Over the years I have played it loud so many times. It always moves me so to see it live and be stood just 2 feet away from the action I couldn’t have asked for more. It was fascinating seeing how it was done.
Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012
I felt the crowd was a bit disappointing in numbers but someone associated with Uli said he wants to get more regular UK gigs going as he is just so passionate about playing. I hope he will make it back into area again soon.
Uli didn’t leave the stage until about 11.45. He was really accommodating and friendly on and off stage. A really great night

Uli Roth Ipswich 9 Sept 2012

Update: As I wrote this I had a sense that I had missed any important guitarist but I couldn’t place who. It was Tony Iommi. I have always loved his solos. Especially on the likes of my favourite album “Technical Ecstasy”.

It also occurred to me that I totally focused my review on Uli and failed to say anything about the band. It is perhaps hard for me to comment on them as I was so lost in Uli but I think I should give special praise to the Bass Player/Singer. I would love to have heard his vocals clearly as I think he had a great voice and an interesting interpretation. He is certainly a fun guy to watch. I was also impressed buy the second guitarist who I believe was only 16. On twin guitar parts he seemed very in sync with Uli and clearly has a good command of his instrument. It would have been nice to hear who these people were but sadly I couldn’t.

Karnataka – High Barn, Great Bardfield – 26/1/12

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

Firstly, praise for the venue, a lovely 14th Century barn. It is a great setting for a gig with good acoustics. As you drive to it, you wonder where a crowd will appear from as it is in the heart of Essex with only villages around it, but Karnataka still managed to draw a good crowd. Some were fans of the band, a lot seemed regulars of the venue.
The last time I saw Karnataka was in Rotherham in May 2004. Of course since then there have been massive changes, a new album with a new line-up and subsequently another big split. Based on tonight’s performance the band’s name and music are safe in the hands of Ian Jones, the band’s founder.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

My first big surprise was the band is now a six piece. I see the website doesn’t list the drummer, and I couldn’t catch his name but the member who surprised me was Colin Mold who plays violin and guitars. This adds a nice extra dimension to the band and one that I look forward to hearing on the next album. Hayley Griffiths has a pure voice and handles Lisa Fury’s and Rachel Jones’s songs wonderfully. She is already delivering the lines with her own phrasing.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

Enrico Pinna is excellent on lead guitar and was very enjoyable to watch.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

Cagri Tozluoglu on keyboards had an interesting role as there is quite a bit of difference between the “old” Karnataka keyboard role and the “new” one. I wondered if Cagri would add more notes to the old songs to make the original material more like the modern style, but my initial impression was he played them as they were.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

The set list was a good combination of old and new, and we had about 2hrs of music spread over two sets. When Hayley announced the second set was almost over after only 30mins it felt too short but the last song was “Heart of Stone” and the encore was “Into The Gathering Light” both lengthy songs. The second set also started with two tracks from Hayley’s solo album. These were very good tracks as performed last night. I am interested to hear if anyone has heard them on CD and if the arrangements are as good. I was also pleased that “State Of Grace” was played live. This is my favourite track from “Into The Gathering Light”.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

I assume this is the second gig for this line-up, and if there was one weakness in the performance last night; for me, it was the lack of interaction between members on stage. The stage was a tight squeeze so perhaps there wasn’t enough room for movement, but Enrico did look like he was interested in interacting with the others but this didn’t happen last night.
My wife’s comments were that Hayley could use a tambourine for the moments when she on stage but not singing and that her favourite band was back. We are both keen to catch another date on this tour and if like me, you haven’t been to see the band in a long time I recommend you get along to a gig soon.

Karnakaka - High Barn - 26/1/12

Rick Wakeman In Concert as seen by Jon Hinchliffe

Pictures from Rick and the Band on the "Out There" tour are here

Pictures from Rick and the Band in Rotherham are here

Pictures from Rick’s "last one-man" show in Braintree are here

Pictures of Rick and the group at the Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey are
here

Pictures from Rick’s Charity Performance on the Isle Of Wight are here

Pictures from the band performance in Marlborough Aug 2000 are here

Pictures from the An Evening With Rick Wakeman Tour are here

Pictures from The Half Century Church Tour are here

I have commented on quite a few Rick Wakeman albums in my time. See here


The Gospels at Rochester Cathedral Friday 24th July
1992



Ian Lavender (“Pike” from Dad’s Army) is on the Left with White
Hair. Ramon Ramedios is behind the post in the Black Jacket and Bow tie. Then
it is of Course Rick. David Paton is on Bass (in front of the Keyboard) and
Tony Fernadez on Drums. The Choir belonged to the Cathedral.



Nov 22nd 1992 Leisure World, Colchester – The Wakeman
With Wakeman Tour.



Seeing this reminds me how long it’s been since Rick used Lighting
and Dry Ice at a gig in the UK. I guess it was the No Expense Spared Tour



Poor Old Wop (Tony Fernadez) was well hidden wasn’t he?



The No Expense Spared Tour December 1993 Leisure World, Colchester



The First Time I plucked up the courage to have a photo taken
with Rick. He started the long process of signing all my CD’s, LP’s Book and
Videos.



Leisure World, Colchester on 17th May 1996 – The
Wot’s On TV Tonight tour.



I suspect Rick was finally finishing signing all my collection.
Except of course the recent stuff.



The Piano Tour Halstead Baptist Church, Essex On Friday December
13th 1996



Rick was telling a Joke about Never getting Real Candels and
the Church Staff brought him some out. I have a feeling he was Surprised the
staff certainly spent some time hiding them from him. But of course it could
have been a good bit of acting.



During the Encore



Sunday 3rd May 1997 – The 25th Anniversary
Concert Of the English Chamber Choir and Preimer of a New Piece of Work called
“Noah”



The Strings section was The English Players. The Cathedral was
Southwark Cathedral in London



The Never ending task of meeting the fans. This time Graham
Johnson from the Wakeman Discussion list is on the Left.



Ronnie Scots Birmingham on 22 and 23 July 1997 – Rick looking
very casual Stage clothes wise



Doing the Dual during Merlin



Not a clear shot but on the tables in the audience.



Doom Joins on Guitar during Starship Trooper



Ricks Keyboard Set up. The Chords are written out for Lost in
Time, Vienna (I think), Etna, Starship Trooper



This time I was far more interested in talking to Chrissy than
Rick.

Gig’s I have been too

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.

Gigs from late 96 – 97
Gigs in 98
Gigs in 99
Gigs in 2000
Gigs in 2001
Gigs in 2002
Gigs in 2003
Gigs in 2004

GIG LIST

Gigs seen I can’t recall date for

Lou Reed – New York tour
Jethro Tull in Ipswich Twice
Roy Wood – Brentwood Leasure Centre – 1992?

1980

June 9 – Saxon /Tygers of Pan Tang – Ipswich, Gaumont
Oct 13 – Rory Gallagher, Rage – Ipswich, Gaumont
Oct 15 – Hawkwind, Vardis – Ipswich, Gaumont
Oct 21 – Gillan, White Sprit, Quartz – Ipswich, Gaumont
Oct 22 – Motorhead, Weapon – Ipswich, Gaumont
Oct 23 – Ozzy Osbourne, Budgie, Unknown – Ipswich Gaumont
Dec 8 – Saxon, Limelight – Ipswich, Gaumont

1981

Feb 17 – Iron Maiden, Trust – Ipswich, Gaumont
May 15 – Def Leppard, More, Lionheart – Ipswich, Gaumont
Nov 22 – Gillan, Nightwing – Ipswich, Gaumont
Nov 29 – Herb Miller and his Orchestra – Ipswich, Gaumont
Dec 19 – Gillan, Budgie – Ipswich, Gaumont

1982

Dec 16 – Toyah

1983

Mar 21 – UFO, Scrates – Ipswich, Gaumont
Nov 11 – Ozzy Osbourne, Heavy Petting – Ipswich, Gaumont
Dec 7 – Robert Plant – Ipswich, Gaumont

1984

May 29 – Status Quo – Ipswich, Gaumont
Sep 1 – Queen, General Public – Birmingham NEC

1985

May 8 – Rick Wakeman, Clair Hammel – Ipswich, Gaumont
June 22 – Deep Purple, Scorpions, UFO, Meatloaf, Mountain, Mamas Boys,
Blackfoot, Alaska – Knebworth

1986

Feb 21 Ozzy Osbourne, Ratt – Hammersmith Odean
Mar 2 – Ozzy Osbourne, ? (crommm Vince Mat??) – Ipswich, Gaumont
Mar 15 – Moody Blues, ELO, Robert Plant, Big town playboys, Denny Laine, UB40,
Roy Wood, The Fortunes, The AppleJacks,The Rocking Berries, Steve Gibbons Band,
+ Noddy Holder, George Harrison and Mike Sheridan – Birmingham NEC
June 28 – Marrilion, Gary Moore, Jethro Tull, Magnum, Mamas Boys – Milton
Keynes Bowl
Aug 9 – Queen, Big Country, Status Quo, Belouis – Knebworth
Aug 16 – Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Def Leppard, Motorhead, Bad News, Warlock –
Donington
Oct 10 – Magnum, FM
Oct 20 – ZZ Top, Terraplane

1987

Mar 3 – Deep Purple, Bad Company – Wembley Areana?
May ? – David Bowie, Wembley Stadium

1989

??? – Wishbone Ash – Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall.
??? – Blues Band – Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall.
??? – Canned Heat – Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall.

1992

Mar – Lou Reed – Wembley Arena

1993

Jun 5 or 6 – Velevet Underground – Wembley Arena

1994

Apr 13 – Black Sabbath,Cinderalla,Godspeed – Hammersmith Odeon
Nov 16 – Rick Wakeman – Alone at last. Harlow Playhouse

1995

Nov 8 – Ozzy Osbourne – Fear Factory – Ipswich. Regent

1996

Feb 24 – Deep Purple – Cambridge Corn Exchange
May 8 – Lou Reed – Hammersmith Odeon
Aug 28 – ELO Part II/Dant’
May 17 – Rick Wakman – Colchester Lesuire World.
Nov 25 – Kiss – Wembley Arena
Dec 13 – Rick Wakeman – Halstead Baptist Church

1997

Feb 27 – Paul Rodgers, ??? The Forum London
Mar 20 – The Roy Wood Big Band – Theatre Royal Norwich
May 3 – Rick Wakeman, English Chamber Choir, English players – Southwark Catherdral.
Jul 10 – Hard Rain – The Oval Norwich
July 22 & 23 – Rick Wakeman – Birmingham Ronnie
Scott’s

July 30 – Son of a Bitch – The Oval Norwich
Sep 12 – Fish – The Oval Norwich
Oct 1 – Hard Rain – The Oval Norwich
Oct 21 – ELO Part II – Ipswich, Regent
Nov 18 – Rick Wakeman – Norwich Theatre
Royal

Dec 4 – Black Sabbath, Fear Factory – Birmingham
NEC

Dec 22 – Roy Wood Big Band,Dr and the Medics,
Trextasy – Thertre Royal Norwich

1998

Feb 7 – UFO / Dirty Deeds – Norwich UEA
Feb 15 – Wishbone Ash – Oval – Norwich
Feb 20 – Blues Band – Ipswich Corn Exchange
Mar 5 – Yes – Hammersmith Apollo
April 10 – Rick Wakeman – Stalham Baptist Church
April 21 – Yes – Brighton – Dome
May 2 – Fish – The Oval
May 31- Rick Wakeman – The Philharmonic Hall
Liverpool

Jun 22- GOWAN – Colchester, Oliver Twist
Oct 14 – Deep Purple – Wembley
Oct 18 – Motorhead – Norwich UEA
Oct 22 – Uriah Heep/Dio – The Forum, Kentish Town,
London

Oct 24 – Praying Mantis – Bears, Epsom, London
Nov 1 – Praying Mantis – Kings Head Putney, London

Nov 3 – Praying Mantis Dean Swift, Commerical Road,
Aldgate East, London

Nov 4 – Praying Mantis – Royal Standard- Walthamstow,
London

Nov 9 – Praying Mantis – Macana, Sendai Japan
Nov 10 – Praying Mantis – Banana Hall, Osaka
Nov 11 – Praying Mantis – Bottom Line, Nagoya
Nov 12 – Praying Mantis – Club Citta, Kawasaki
Dec 1 – Squeeze – Ipswich Regent

1999

Jan 22 – Bob Catley And Emerald Rain – Midway
Park Hotel Castleton

Feb 20 – Blues Band – Ipswich Corn Exchange
Mar 8 – Roy Wood – Norwich Theatre Royal
Mar 10 – Uriah Heep – The Waterfront Norwich
Mar 25 – Kiss, Wembley London
Apr 8 – Porcupine Tree – Colchester Arts Centre
Apr 30 – Lyadrive (Also Blackfoot Sue and Groundhogs)
– Astroia 2, London

May 28 – ELO Part II with the London Philharmonic
Orchestra – Royal Albert Hall

10 Jun – Rick Wakeman – Norwich Cathedral
11 Jun- Rick Wakeman – Bury St Edmunds Cathedral

26 Jul – Praying
Mantis (1981 lineup) – Shebeen, Acton, London

26 Sep – Deep Purple and Friends – Royal Albert
Hall

1 Oct – Amazing Blondel/Annie Haslam/Caravan
14 Oct – Def Leppard – Wembley Arena
21 Oct – Schindler/The Stranglers – Ipswich
Regent

29 Oct – Gary Moore – Norwich UEA
26 Nov – Roy Wood Army Spectacular – Brentwood
Leisure Centre

27 Nov – Jethro Tull – Ipswich Regent
18 Dec – Praying Mantis – 10 Year Party – Dean
Swift

19 Dec – T-Rextasy, BC Sweet and Slade II –
Ipswich Corn Exchange

2000

19 Feb – Blues Band – Corn Exchange, Ipswich
20 Feb – Yes – Royal Albert Hall
6 Mar – Rick Wakeman – Sudbury Quay Theatre
7 Mar – Rick Wakeman – Sudbury Quay Theatre
16 Mar – Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe
26 Mar – Gary Moore – Cambridge Corn Exchange
23 Apr – Bob Catley/Native Caine/??? – Chinnery’s
Southend-On-Sea

16 May – Peter Green’s Splinter Group/John Mayall’s
Blues Breakers – Ipswich Regent

18 May – Lou Reed – Royal Albert Hall
19 May – Alarm-2000/Big Country – UEA Norwich
24 May – Blackmore’s Night/Mostly Autumn
– Cambridge Corn Exchange

26 May – Samson/Angel Witch – Astoria 2, London
27 May – Saxon – Astoria 2 London
14 June – Santana – Wembley Arena
20 June – Lynyrd Skynyrd / Company Of Snakes
– Hammersmith Apollo

15 July – Uriah Heep – London Astoria
31 July – Praying Mantis – Dean Swift, Dean Cross
Street, London

1 Aug – Praying Mantis -The Cartoon, London Road,
Croydon

4 Aug – Praying Mantis – Wacken Open Air Festival

26 Aug – Rick Wakeman – Marlborough
5 Sept – Lou Reed – Shepherds Bush Empire
5 Oct – Camel – Waterfront, Norwich
11 Oct – Jeff Healey – Norwich UEA
20 Oct – Hawkwind – Brixton Academy
31 Oct – Praying
Mantis – The Cartoon, Croydon

2 Nov – Praying
Mantis – Dean Swift, London

4 Nov – Praying
Mantis – The Gods Festival Maximes, Wigan

5 Nov – Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe
21 Nov – Praying
Mantis – Dean Swift

22 Nov – Praying
Mantis – London Astoria 2

6 Dec – Status Quo – Ipswich Regent
9 Dec – Uriah Heep – Mermaid Theatre
15 Dec – Rick Wakeman –
Winter Gardens, Ventnor, Isle Of Wight

2001

23 Feb – Paul Rodgers / Asia – Ipswich Regent
25 Mar – Rick Wakeman – Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone
27 Mar – Apocalyptica – Kings College, London
31 Mar – Gary Moore – Ipswich Regent
27 Apr – Erik Norlander/Lana Lane – DeBoerderji, Zoetermeer,
NL

28 Apr – Erik Norlander/Lana Lane/Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon)
– Theatre ‘t Spant, Bussum, NL

28 Apr – Rick Wakeman – Theatre ‘t Spant, Bussum,
NL

6 May – Fish/Skyclad – The Junction, Cambridge
17 May – Rick Wakeman –
Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey, Cornwall

30 Jun – Mostly Autumn – Mean Fiddler, London
5 Jul – Remus Down Boulevard – Walthamstow Standard
27 July – Blues
Band – Christchurch Park Ipswich

11 Aug – Mostly Autumn/Sam Brown – Halesworth
18 Aug – U2/Kelis – Earls Court
31 Aug – Rick Wakeman –
Braintree Institute

20 Sep – Mostly Autumn
– DVD Premier

25 Sep – Mostly Autumn/Blackmore’s
Night – York Opera House

29 Sep – Rick Wakeman and
Friends – The Oakwood Centre Rotherham

27 Oct – Karnataka/John
Sloman – The Mean Fiddler, London

21 Nov – Mostly Autumn
– The Junction, Cambridge

24 Nov – Mostly Autumn/Uriah
Heep – York Opera House

1 Dec – Yes – Brighton Centre
7 Dec – Uriah Heep ‘
Shepherd’s Bush

8 Dec – Mostly
Autumn/Ken Hensley And John Wetton – The Forum Kentish Town London

19 Dec – Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band – Ipswich
Corn Exchange

2002

12 Jan – Mostly Autumn/Karnataka
– Mean Fiddler, London

16 Jan – Dave Gilmour – The Royal Festival Hall,
London

12 Mar – Magnum – Waterfront Norwich
13 Apr – Gabriel/Damian Wilson – Oakwood Centre,
Rotherham

28 Apr – Mostly Autumn/John Young – Cambridge
Junction

5 May – Mostly Autumn – The Waterfront Norwich

17 May – Rick Wakeman/Gina Dootson – Oakwood
Centre Rotherham

27 Jun – Roger Waters – Wembley Arena
13 Jul – Karnataka/Sleeping Giant – Limelight
Theatre Aylsbusy

10 Aug – Gabriel/Mostly Autumn – Halesworth
26 Aug – Sonja Kristina – Astor Theatre – Deal

19 Sep – Deep Purple – Ipswich Regent
28 Sep – Star One Featuring Ayreon – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
29 Sep – Star One Featuring Ayreon – 013, Tilburg
28 Nov – Karnataka/John Lawton Band – Mean Fiddler

2003

4 Apr – The Rubettes/The Sweet – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
19 Apr – The Rubettes/The Sweet – The Orchard, Dartford
21 Apr – Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe
22 Apr – Rick Wakeman – Leisure World, Colchester

19 May – Rick Wakeman – Cliffs Pavilion Southend
On Sea

25 May – Mostly Autumn – The Waterfront Norwich
29 May – Rick Wakeman – Fernham Hall, Fareham
30 May – Rick Wakeman – The Cresset, Peterborough

29 Nov – Damian Wilson – Oakwood Centre Rotherham

2004

30 April – Mostly Autumn – Norwich Art Centre
15 May – Karnataka – The Oakwood Centre, Rotherham
12 July – Yes – Braintree, Towerlands Arena
18 Sep – Lana Lane & Erik Norlander Band/Oliver Wakeman Band – Herringthorpe
Leisure Centre, Rotherham
2 Oct – Landmarq/Focus – Oakwood Centre, Rotherham
14 Oct – Mask – Bar-Ginglik, Shepherd’s Bush Green, London

2005-2006

Oh boy I hope I can re-trace these gigs someday. I just don’t have the
time/energy nowadays

2007

20 Jan – Headspace/Landmaq – Herringthorpe Leisure
Centre, Rotherham

Headspace – Herringthorpe Centre, Rotherham, 20th January 2007

Headspace are a new band created by Adam Wakeman. The band features ex-Rick
Wakeman band members Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Damian Wilson (vocals) along with
Rich Brook on Drums and Pete Ronaldi on guitar. Tonight was their first gig. The
Herringthorpe Centre is a sports hall which is used by the Classic Rock Society
for their gigs. The stage is situated on the long side of a hall that I guess my
might hold 400.

Headspace being a brand new band with only a demo recording
available on their  http://www.myspace.com/headspacetheband
website tonight were support to Landmarq. I choose not to listen to the demo
clips before the concert so tonight’s music was completely fresh to my ears.

Adam’s brother Oliver has a band with the same instrumental
line-up and both bands play music with complex time changes but they are by
no means similar in sound. Oliver plays keyboard solos in a virtuoso way
like his dad Rick Wakeman. Adam however seemed more integrated in a general
band sound and in fact Pete Ronaldi seemed to get more of the soloing spot
light than Adam.

The general sound of Headspace is hard to define. Especially for someone that is
not good at listening to new music! My overall impression was that while Oliver
Wakeman goes for a Classic Progressive Rock sound, Headspace go for a more
modern approach. Damian’s vocals were sometime treated. There were sound effects
used in songs. The bass line or Rhythm guitar lines reminded me very much of
what Arjen Lucassan does on Ayreon albums. In fact his current band project
Stream of Passion has the same sort of modern feel to it that Headspace do. Not
that the two projects sounds similar in any way.

I spoke to Lee Pomeroy before the gig and I was stunned to hear the son who had
just been born the last time I saw Lee with Rick Wakeman was now 3 and half
years old. Lee now has long hair but it was really good to see how he still
really enjoys being on stage. All night long he had a smile and seemed to be up
for playing with the others on the stage.

Damian Wilson was very much the Damian Wilson I have grown to love over the
years. His voice suited what was played very much. Sometimes I haven’t like
Damian’s rockier work but I had no such qualms tonight.

Pete Ronaldi was very good on guitar. I was most intrigued that he used an 8
String guitar too. I tried to see how he used it but it is very hard when you
don’t know the music. I wonder if it is guitar version of the bass "Stick" and
weather the strings can be set to play different sounds. I hope to see Headspace
again and start discovering the answers 🙂

As usual I can’t possibly comment on Rick Brook’s drumming as drumming
bypasses me completetly. I see because he had to set up on the right hand
corner of the stage I didn’t even manage to get a decent photo of him.
Sorry.

Headspace played about 45minutes of what I expect is original material. I
would very much like to know who the writers were. Some of the lyrics
sounded very interesting. After this they got an encore and played a medley
of songs not all of which I know but that included Rush’s Tom Sawyer, Led
Zeppelin’s No Quarter (this didn’t surprise me as one of the original songs
sounded like it was using the keyboard sound from that song) Black Sabbath’s
Black Sabbath (Adam having played Keyboards on a reunion Black Sabbath
reunion tour), King Crimsons 21st Schizoid man and Yes’s Roundabout.

When Headspace finish recording their first album I will definitely be getting
it. I really enjoyed their set and hope to get to see them again

Mask – Bar-Ginglik, Shepherd's Bush Green, London – 14 Oct 2004

This is the first gig I have attempted a review for in a long time.
Mainly because I have a train journey home for the first time in ages.

Mask are Marvin Ayres and Sonia Kristina.

Sonia was in Curved Air and Marvin and I have been chatting to for
years because he said "Hello" in e-mail one day. It was purely
by chance he answered an advert and got in touch with Sonia who happened to
be in one of the bands I liked.

Marvin produces albums of sonic textures using his electric cello.
Tonight he was also using his electric violin and a keyboard. Sonia was on vocals
but also electric guitar.

Bar-ginglik is a member’s only club actually under the green at Shepherd’s
Bush. According to a friend of Sonia’s who has known her since they were in
their late teens the venue used to be a
Gent‘s toilets and then a snooker
hall. Now it is a club with expensive drinks (2.95 a bottle of cider) but a
nice atmosphere and nice food (which was much more reasonable).

Like Sonia’s solo gig in Deal Mask had images being projected on them.
There was actually video too but this wasn’t too visible on Mask themselves.
Luckily the venue had a large TV screen should people have been curious. I didn’t
pay too much attention but it looked like some the images were from the forthcoming
Mask DVD.

I have both of Marvin’s soundscape albums so I was aware of the
field he comes from. I also knew the evening was not to be like a Curved Air
gig. I was opened minded but didn’t really expect to get too much from the gig.
(Having said that as I am tidying this up to put it on my web page I am playing
Marvin’s Cellosphere again and quite enjoying it would be too strong but I am
not disliking it. I guess it is mood music since in the right mood I am happy
listening to it but at other times I haven’t got the patience for it and just
want to rock. )

As it happened it was much more up my street than I anticipated. The
first two songs in particular had me thinking of Sonia’s “Harmonics of Love”
album. Another track had me thinking of “Songs From The Acid Folk”. I assume
everything was completely new to me but I did wonder if one or too lyrics were
familiar. I would guess not. It was probably just Sonia’s delivery.

Not all the songs were songs mind. The third piece was more like a
Marvin solo piece. He clearly has got Sonia interested in his field of music.
I seem to recall this piece was Marvin on his Cello and Sonia vocalising without
words. On their very professional looking flyers it says “Mask are … an exciting
blend of intuitive pieces, created by strings and voices and mixed spontaneously,
fused with down tempo songs, which melt into a subtle and bewitching weave of
sound.” I guess that is a reasonable description really.

Another piece towards the end of the 1hr set (I hope it was only an
hour I had to catch a train so missed the last number) was just Sonia building
up vocals using a delay pattern. These bits interested me less than the songs
with lyrics but they were what I expected and I found it an interesting experience
and atmosphere to be in.

Considering the pieces were performed by just Sonia and Marvin I thought
they came across really well. There was a Mac on stage so there were extra effects
but it was always clear what Marv and Sonia were actually playing Live.

I have to say I really enjoyed seeing Marv playing the Violin and Cello
in more conventional ways than on his albums too.

I am now looking forward to the release of the DVD and single. Apparently
the mix is in 5.1 so this should be an interesting new album experience.
(These are now out check out the Mask
website)

 

If you can make a gig and fancy something different check them out.
Their album "
Heavy
Petal" is/was due for release on June 13th 2005

Karnataka – The Oakwood Centre Rotherham – 15 May 2004

It seem’s unlikely now that I will get around to writting a gig review for this one. It was an excellent gig though with 4 tracks I had not heard before. 2 I believe were on the new live Strange Behaviour album which I got on the night.

Since the Oakwood is a very crowd friendly venue I got chance to play with
my Digitial Camera a Monolta Dimage S414. I had almost decided it would not
be any good for photos at gigs. I don’t like using the flash as it annoys others
and whites everything out. I was getting very poor results without the flash
though, I cartainly wasn’t getting the 1 in 4 passable shots I normally get
with my film camera. In final desparation I had another look through the manual
settings on the camera. I switched Exposure Mode to Manual. Left focus on AutoFocus
and put the ISO onto 400. I then noticed I was able to control the shutter speed
and I played around for sometime with this and by my standards got some reasonable
results. Some of which are below.

My daughters Becky and Abbie were at the gig. So was Zoe but
she stood with us at this point.

Band Reviews From 2004

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.

Mostly Autumn – Norwich Art Centre – 30 April 2004

The amount of gigs I have made it to has significantly dropped
lately. One of the main factors is probably lack of energy on my part but also
the problem of what to do with the children. Over the last two years or so my
two children have asked for couple of Mostly Autumn Cd’s. Maria has two children
too and Liam (10) tends to like bands but the break through this time was Becky
(8) was interested in going to the show as she had seen Mostly Autumn on DVD
a couple of times. This meant we had a full set of children at the gig which
was really nice for us.

The Norwich Art Centre was probably not the best place to
take Becky for her first concert as it was a standing gig. It was actually the
first standing gig for all of them and this was not a popular feature.

It was the first time I had been to the Art Centre and it
was a converted Church just like the Art Centre in Colchester. The stage was suitably raised
at one end then there was a flat floor section and at the back a small raised
walkway. When we arrived we dashed to the front for the children and ended up
in front of Ian near a speaker. This was probably a bad move as at the start
of the 2nd half Zoe (13) and Becky grabbed a space on the walkway and Liam and
Maria eventually moved too. Apparently the stage was easier to see and the sound
a lot less distorted. If we ever go back I must remember this. I will be surprised
if Mostly Autumn plays there again though. To be honest I was surprised they
were playing there anyway. Last time in Norwich they played the Waterfront. The Art’s Centre was a lot smaller but
the good news was it was sold out.

There was not a lot of room on stage. Ian Jennings brother
on drums had a really tiny drum kit. Andy on Bass was next to him and then there
was Liam on guitar. The front of the stage was Bryan on his usual left. Then Heather, Angie
and Ian. Angie’s keyboard was set up pointing to the audience and she stored
her flute on it.

This tour when first announced was to be for the album after
Passengers. The "V" shows next week were supposed to be the premier
for this album. I thought it was a highly risky move by the record company to
announce shows for a record that had not even been started and so it proved
to be. I had heard this before I booked for this show so I had a rough idea
of what to expect and I was actually pleasantly surprised. The set list has
been revamped and we had a couple of new old ones in it. There was a good sprinkling
of Passengers in the set but more songs from the first three albums again. This
worked well for me as Passengers has never grabbed me that much. It is an OK
album but for me it lacks a Mother Nature, Heroes Never Die, and Spirit of Autumn
passed type attention grabber.

Having dropped "Pass The Clock" and "Mother
Nature" return for the encore therefore pleased me somewhat although Abbie
(11) who stayed with me at the front was struggling to keep going even though
throughout the show she had bopped and interacted with me on my headbanging
and enjoying of things.

To my surprise the set opened with "The Last Climb".
I am not sure I have ever thought of that as an opener and Maria and I were
focused on the new drummer (sorry I don’t know his first name). During the first
number he seemed a little basic but I soon lost focus on him and the rest of
the set seemed fine. Normally at some points in the set Jonathan the previous
drummer used a cowbell type sound and this used to get to Maria and me a bit.
In "Spirit" I noticed he was crashing a cymbal rather hard but it
didn’t have the piercing distracting quality of the cowbell. I will be interested
to see what he is like at the V shows if they get released on DVD. (I hope they
do but how will the set be different enough to justify a new release to the
press and casual fans?)

"Caught in the fold" was next then "Something
In Between". This seemed to have a slower start than I remember and the
whole arrangement seemed a bit revamped which I always appreciate.

"The Spirit Of Autumn Past" was followed by "First
Thought" and then "Evergreen".. much to my relief as the children
particularly like that one and I knew it was unlikely there would be any jigs
which they were also hoping for.

Next up was "Half A Mountain" and then the first
new old one "Boundless Ocean". It was
good to see Bryan leave the
stage and Liam step forward for an E-bow guitar solo in this.

To my surprise the set ended with "Shrinking Violet".
I always associate this with "Evergreen" so I didn’t expect it to
be until the 2nd half if it appeared. I was glad it did.

The 2nd set started with "Darkness Before Dawn".
We then had "Answer The Question" and "Passengers".

"The Last Bright Light" was the other new old song.
Again Liam stepped to the front this time on acoustic guitar. I think I must
need to listen to this track on cd again. I didn’t recall much about it as I
heard it live.

We then had "Simple Ways"
and "Pure White Light" and the 2nd set then closed with "Heroes
Never Die".

As mentioned previously the encore was "Mother Nature".

In the past I had registered Heather using Acoustic guitar
twice during a gig. Last night she seemed to use it about 6 times. I was not
as aware of her using recorders as much as previous times.

I also felt Angie was using her flute less and the keyboard
more. I think she only used a recorder once and that was probably in "The
Last Bright Light"

I very much enjoyed the set and almost wish I was making it
to a "V" show. It would be nice but it is far too complicated and
tiring to make.

Karnataka – The Oakwood Centre Rotherham – 15 May 2004

See separate page

Mask – Bar-Ginglik, Shepherd’s Bush Green, London – 14 Oct 2004

See separate page

Rick Wakeman – Out There Tour – 2003

Rick Wakeman – Spa Pavilion Felixstowe – 21 April
2003

We arrived with plenty of time at what used to be my local venue. The first
thing that struck me as I walked in were the blue lights lighting up the stage.
They were a good colour and they were nicely positioned with some atmospheric
smoke already on.

The next thing was the size of Rick’s rig now. It is more like the set up on
the last tour with Ashley Holt in 1990. A Semi-Circle of Four sets of keyboards.
Two keyboards on Rick’s right. Rick’s main moog was perched before the next
set. This had a camera/projector watching it throughout the show. A Gem and
a Roland keyboard were on the 2nd stand. Two korgs on the third. Another Moog
was positioned in between the 3rd and 4th stands and there were two more keyboards
on Rick’s left.

Ashley Holt had a small space in front of Rick and he had a music stand so
he tended to sing looking towards the left of the stage. Tony’s drums were on
the left with Lee Pomeroy on bass just in front of him. There were two more
keyboards at the back on the right including the Piano set-up with "Candles".
In front of these were Ant’s Glynne’s two Marshall amps.

Just before the show started there was a stiff no Damian warning! Something
like "Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the vocalist
originally contracted to sing with the band on this tour will, with immediate
effect, no longer be performing with Rick and the New English Ensemble." They
then announced Ashley would sing instead and gave his credentials.

The PA then played the Overture from Return To The Centre Of The Earth as has
happened on previous tours. The back of the stage had spinning spirals projected
on it.

As the overture finished Rick came on stage on a long black and gold long coat.
His hair is now getting quite long again. I still find it surprising that he
is clean shaven although I am sure he has been like this sometime now. I guess
I have just been trained expect a bearded Rick for so many years.

I have to say I was really touched to see Ant back on stage again. Given how
UK doctors had written him off with his cancer and he had his last piece of
brain surgery in March it was amazing to see him embarking on such a long tour.
He played well and really enjoyed the night so I wish him all the best.

A 20+ minute version of "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" was the first
song of the night. The intro seemed a bit long to me and Rick seemed a bit lost
in the mix so I am not sure if there was a slight glitch somewhere. Anyway it
was great to have Ashley back on the vocals. I really like Damian as a person
and as a singer but I have always felt that his voice is not best suited to
Rick’s work. He is much better singing his own solo stuff and on Arjen Lucassen’s
Ayreon and Star One projects.  Maria is very much a Damian fan and she
was really gutted when he walked out on the tour and she wasn’t sure she was
that bothered about seeing Ashley again but even she admitted that he suited
the songs much better.

When Ashley came on both Maria and I thought he looked thinner and healthier
than when we saw him in Braintree with Rick.

With the lights coming on at the start of the show some red lights were used
and these seemed to point right at us in the 2nd row making it hard to see stage.
Luckily we either got over it or they were not used that much later in the show.

There was a full lighting rig with Varilites too. This tour is apparently put
on by a company with Jim Davidson (A UK Comic) as Chairman so it is to him we
have to thank for allowing Rick to tour with a full production.

As mentioned before when Rick soloed on his right moog the projector was stitched
to show what he was playing. Being on the 2nd row I was a bit to low to get
the full effect of this but I am sure it was fascinating to watch for people
that could see it.

When Ashley was not singing he played tambourines.

During Journey Ant’s guitar was not very loud but it seemed to get better during
the night.

It was great to see there was lots of in band humour going on despite the loss
of Adam and Damian. There were lots of smiles between Rick, Ashley and Lee and
then a bit later Ant and Ashley talking and laughing.

I am pretty certain Rick used all his keyboards during Journey. He started
on his Left. Moved to the right pair and did "Hall of the Mountain King"
on the Front left side.

"The Realisation" and "The Spaceman" from "No Earthly
Connection" where next up. Prior to doing this Rick mentioned they didn’t
remember much about recording the album. They were in a studio next to a vineyard
and after 7 weeks they had drunk so much wine the vineyard started sending them
wine with their own special label on it.

I need to hear this piece again as there seemed a lot of reworking going on
in this one. For instance Ant seemed to play a completely new guitar solo. I
couldn’t follow it at all. It seemed highly unmelodic to my ears but perhaps
I need more time to get accustomed to what I was hearing. That is one thing
I find with Ant’s guitar. He can be quite crunching and I guess Steve Via "modern"
to my ears.

Ashley seemed to have two volumes loud and louder! Even on a quiet section
he still seemed to be belting it out. He was actually left at normal volume
in the mix when the rest of the band were quieter perhaps he would normally
be turned down a bit.

Catherine Parr was next and this was pretty much a standard recent live performance
of this. Rick had to make some big leaps around kit on this one and again used
nearly all his keyboards again. At one point Rick seemed to solo with his left
hand on the moog. Unfortunately the keyboard was too quiet to hear. I will have
to try and watch out for it again tonight. (Lucky Me!)

The first half ended on "Out There". Erik Jorden was on the spare
keyboard. Lee Pomeroy turned on his bass’s flashing lights. They seemed to be
screening footage from the DVD on the back of the stage but again I struggled
to see this.

This version of "Out There" was completely instrumental. Rick mainly
tripleted on most of the lead vocal areas but Ant took over lead vocal on his
guitar for quiet section.

I have to say that by the point I was wondering about the crowd. It was not
as big as it could be which is a shame. I did get a poster pack but I am in
an area without a local date as such so my efforts were limited. I am also rather
shy so it took me all my courage to even ask about putting a poster in the local
Virgin. It didn’t help they didn’t have any obvious place to put it. But the
manager did take one and it got easier for me. I hope this promotion worked
better in other towns.

Back to the crowd not only was the place perhaps only 2/3rd full but the crowd
seemed dazed or engrossed. I couldn’t decide. They certainly seemed quiet. Although
they applauded as usual there seemed to be no atmosphere. I was also amazed
at the end when no one seemed to wait for Rick’s autograph. Perhaps I was in
the wrong place.

There was a 20 min interval and then Tony started off the 2nd half. This time
his opening drums were for White Rock. Yippee. I have to say it seemed a little
sluggish compared to how I remember it and didn’t seem to have the impact I
expected for it. The back projection was of the "White Rock" official
Olympic film, which was nice. It was the Toboggan section for those that don’t
know.

White Rock went into "Searching For Gold" for a couple of phrases.
Ant and Lee then left and were shortly followed by Rick. That left Tony doing
his Drum solo. I thought that was strange timing for a drum solo really and
it was quite long. Maria is more into drums than me but I haven’t remembered
to ask what she thought yet. Tony had three DDrums in his kit as well as normal
acoustic ones.

The lighting for the solo was very good unless you hate strobes!

This again merged into the next song, which was King Arthur. Something was
really tickling the band in this one. Ashley seemed to have a problem with his
mic at one point but I couldn’t decide if he was just putting it on for the
bands amusement.

"Dance Of A Thousand Lights" was next with nice lighting. They used
white lights on a mirror ball and Purple light on Rick over on his pretend Piano.
They also had various projections going on.

I think "Cathedral of Sound" was next although my notes are poor at this point.
Rick had introduced this using Ashley’s mic and he attempted to really tighten
the Mic for his tall height. When Ashley returned he struggled to undo it or
at least that was the gag they decided to perform.

Erik was back on Choir for this one and Ashley sang it. Again I have to say
this sounded more suitable for his voice than it does for Damian’s on the CD.
It sounded very No Earthly Connection. Having said this Ashley was not perfect
on the song. Actually as he got to end of the lyrics he was pretending to shoot
his lyric sheet and giving Rick "you B******" looks.

At one point Ashley conducted Erik on the Choir, which creased up Rick. Then
at another he went into boxer mode because the beat felt a bit like the Rocky
theme tune.

There was a full band intro by Rick at this point. Ashley had actually done
one a bit earlier but it wasn’t as comprehensive.

To end the set they did "Merlin The Magician" with Ashley on the vocals that
were never on the original. Rick did a Keytar solo and went into the crowd as
usual. He sat behind one bloke and he didn’t even turn round to see. I just
don’t understand some audiences. Rick picked a lady to go on stage and for once
it was one that didn’t seem to be too worried. Unfortunately Rick didn’t get
the Keytar into Piano mode at the right point so he had to run into his main
kit and find the quickest Piano sound he could get.

The encore was "Starship Trooper" with Ashley on vocals. During the
first "Time Can Remember" section he seemed to lose it completely
and Lee started helping him out. On later ones I wondered if he had it correct
but for once the vocal mix was too quiet. Ashley certainly took the section
at a deeper pitch than normal.

Lee took a solo at the start of Wurm. I then noticed Erik and Stuart Stanway
had joined in. Ashley was again highly playful during the Wurm section. When
Ant was out in the crowd doing his bit Ashley decide to pretend to play one
of his other guitars. Then once Ant was back he pretended to play Rick’s other
moog.

The show ended with the end of "Out There" being played on CD. It might be
a different track and I have it down wrong.

Overall an excellent night and the best production I have seen with Rick. I
think Damian has kind of shot himself in the foot by walking out on the tour,
as the show is probably better with Ashley. Having said this I know Ashley is
not everyone’s cup of tea and he does occasionally miss notes. He does have
a lot of power though and I think this is what Rick’s songs need. I don’t think
he will ever replace Jon Anderson in Yes though if Startship Trooper is anything
to go by.

I feel very disappointed that the crowd in Felixstowe wasn’t what it could
be. I wonder if all the one-man shows have had an effect. Certainly there have
been bigger audiences there for Rick. I also wonder if playing Colchester tonight
is a bad move. We often joke about bad routing of tours but it does make sure
audiences don’t overlap. I have a spare ticket for tonight as Maria’s daughter
originally wanted to go but has changed her mind. I tried giving it to a friend’s
dad at the gig last night but he doesn’t feel he can get out for another night
on the trot. If tours crisscross the country and come back to an area at least
people have a bit more time to save for a ticket and are not quite such a burden
on resources such as babysitters.

Rick Wakeman – Leisure World, Colchester – 22 Apr 2003

I didn’t make notes for this one and I didn’t get round to writing up while
I could still remember. The main things I remember are the intro lighting sequence
didn’t work for the Return Overture and there were a couple of other lighting
problems during the night. I of course was able to see which jokes were pre-planned
for each gig and which were genuine. Tonight Ashley "pretended" to
play Ant’s guitar but didn’t go into Rick’s keyboard area. He had more room
on stage tonight so he tended to give Lee a bit more company.

In the 2nd half Rick appeared in a cape. He didn’t do this the first night.

This was the first time one of our children had gone to a gig with us. Liam
really enjoyed the show and is trying to talk us into taking him again. He was
too shy to go and talk to Rick so Rick kindly went and talked to Liam. Tony
Fernandez joined in and they had a chat about Football. Actually Rick was discussing
football after the gig the night before at Felixstowe too. He is clearly still
mad on it.

Leisure World was not full to capacity. The was a lot of space on the side
but I have to say it was probably as full as I have seen it for any Rick gig
and they were a much more responsive audience.

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

This was my third date of the tour and we were really looking forward to it.
We weren’t to be disappointed this was the best show we had seen for several
reasons. It was a good omen, when the pre-show announcement about Damian being
replaced by Ashley was made, the crowd actually cheered.

I could be wrong but Ant’s hair seemed longer than at the last gig. Rick’s
looked a bit lank.

Rick wore different stage clothes tonight. He wore shimmery gold cape and white
under suite for the first half tonight. This certainly goes down well with old
fans of Rick. Growing his hair and wearing capes seems to be showing Rick is
trying to play to the audience. Sadly I believe the audiences won’t be enough
for the tour to break even. This is really disappointing but then the posters
were not over strong on pushing the fact it was Rick and a band. I guess fans
not liking a one man show might have not bothered this time. It amazes me the
number people asking the merchandise stand what band Rick used to play with.
I checked why the person next to me was at the gig. He apparently tends to go
to most 60’s gig. I am not sure what made him go to Rick but he knew he was
funny. At the end of the first half I asked how it was for him and he commented
"he doesn’t do short pieces does he?!" but he did seem to think it
OK.

The camera on the keyboard was on a wider setting tonight so both of Rick’s
main keyboards when on the moog could be seen well. The screen seemed higher
up above the band tonight so I was able to see the projections better than on
the previous nights.

Sometimes the projections were lost slightly in the lighting. Also I noticed
on "Starship Trooper" they had a really poor slowing down of the screen rate
switched on making it a little pointless watching it.

I couldn’t decide tonight if there was some new lighting. There were some half
circle lighting effects on the on background which seemed new to me.

Rick was still in good spirits. He really started having fun in No Earthly
Connection.

I get the impression Lee is one of the catalysts for the fun making on stage.
He always seems to be happy, smiling and looking for an opportunity to interact
with the others.

Tony seemed to throw in an extra few drum beats on his d-drums during No Earthly
Connection and this had Rick really laughing.

Another thing I noticed this time was Ashley was the one controlling the end
of the song. In the past everyone seems to have taken their cue from Rick.

During "Catherine Parr" Rick seemed to adjust the sound on his Rick’s Left
hand keyboard via the Moog on his left. Is it likely that the Moog would be
controlling the sound of another keyboard too?

An example of Lee looking for fun was during this song he went up to Rick’s
rig and seemed to egg him on for his solo run’s. Rick was finding it amusing.
Lee was also the screen as well as the Rick in person.

Actually I noticed during this that video frame rate was not keeping up with
Rick’s fingers. I don’t think it was a special effect just that it wasn’t the
normal rate we are used to watching.

I hadn’t noticed before but Ant is a bit of a face puller when soloing so he
clearly feels what he is playing.

During "Out There" I got the impression we were seeing new animations.
I guess it is possible I just didn’t remember them all but I had noticed the
clips were being repeated a lot at previous gigs.

Ashley is now singing on "Out There" but he is not taking the same
vocal lines. He has had to adjust it to suit his style and range more. Rick
still seemed to enjoy it though and was visibly singing along.

I also got the impression there were more sound effects being playing during
this song now. To be honest I am a little baffled at the choice of "Out
There" as a closer for the set. I guess I am just not keen on the song.
I think I preferred it instrumental to with vocals on CD or live.

For the 2nd half Rick returned in a black suit under the cape he wore in the
2nd half at Colchester.

In "White Rock" I noticed Rick was watching the film projection as he played.
I haven’t noticed him take any notice of it before. This venue was by far the
best for seeing the projections so perhaps Rick had watched it before but it
wasn’t noticeable. Given Rick plays music while visualising images I wonder
if watching the film would be a help or hindrance to his playing.

With exception of the two new songs Ashley is now singing to the audience rather
than Lee and the music stand.

Ashley now sounds pretty good throughout "Cathedral Of The Sky".  This song
got a really good crowd reaction too!

During Rick’s walkabout with the keytar Rick grabbed a drink while soloing
away. The lady he chose as a keyboard stand tonight also got the hang of it
straight off and this seemed to give Rick more time to solo and show off.

To my amazement Rick got a half audience standing ovation at the end of the
main set. It is amazing how audiences in different areas react differently.

In my notes I have it written down that for the encore Rick was back to his
first cape. As it has taken me a week to finish writing this review and I am
completely blank on weather this was the case or not. I am certainly surprised
to read it.

Lee didn’t turn on the flashing lights on his base tonight. I wonder why?

Ashley was also a lot better on Starship Trooper tonight. In fact he didn’t
have his music stand on stage at all for the encore.

There was a new feature for Wurm. Ash is now bought a guitar case on stage
from this he gets a blow up guitar. While Ant is out in the audience Ash is
really having fun on stage.

When Ant came back Ash went into Rick’s rig again but the time Rick was prepared
for him. He had collected a blow up hammer from behind his kit at the start
of Wurm. As he soloed perfectly he was bashing Ashley on the head with it.

During Ant’s Wurm solo I got the impression it sounded a lot like Trevor Rabin’s
arrangement on a 90125 Yes show that was shown on the BBC.

The band got a full standing ovation for this song. It was really nice to be
in such an appreciative audience.

After the show we hung around as usual. Rick was longer than normal coming
out and one lady got quiet snappy with Mike Holden on merchandising because
he said Rick normally comes out after about "ten minutes and it was now 16minutes!"

I grabbed a word with Ant and he said how he was really enjoying the tour and
he felt like a had found the real Ant again after the traumas of last year.
I was really pleased to hear it.

Rick Wakeman – Fernham Hall, Fareham – 29 May 2003

I am not sure what my write up of this one will be like as I have seen a 2nd
gig since then. We were not booked to see any more Rick shows but Liam had really
enjoyed the show he had seen. With it being half term there was no reason why
my daughters could not come either. They had fancied it before I booked Liam
to see a show with us but their mum had booked them tickets for Westlife and
S Club for their birthday’s and things didn’t work out.

We originally eyed up Peterbough as the gig to go to as an extra but at Southend
Mike had mentioned the tour would be filmed at Fareham. We thought therefore
it might be nice for the children to see a gig that would later be released.
Unfortunately the venue was switched but never mind.

Fernham Hall is a nice little theatre and had sold pretty well. It had some
flat seating and some tiered seating. People tended to go for the tiers so the
side seats at the front were empty and we got third row seats on the right hand
side. Our view was slightly restricted but I got a different perspective on
the show which was nice.

Something looked different about Ant’s hair tonight so I wondered if he had
had a haircut. I guess I will have to wait for my photos to return.

Mike Holden was sounding extremely tired on the merchandise stall tonight.
You could certainly tell it was the end of a long tour. Malcolm didn’t seem
too unhappy but we didn’t really bother anyone tonight.

We meet up with Marc Harry and his family which was nice and then the children
were desperate to get to their seats so we went in and waited.

Ashley came on stage in a lively Hawaiian shirt tonight. And Rick’s hair was
in better shape again.

From our position on the right we could see Rick playing his right hand moog
from the front as well as on the screen. This was really nice it also allowed
me to see Rick changing the settings throughout the songs.

At the start of the show we didn’t seem to be able to hear Ant too well. We
were in front of PA which meant we were getting a sound full of Rick, some drum
and vocals but I noticed Ant asking for more on stage too. His amp’s should
normally have swamped us being on the right anyway.

During Journey it was good to see Rick still enjoys the lyrics as much as ever.

I was pleased to see my daughters were really engrossed in the show from the
off.

In "No Earthly Connection" the band seem to have got in the habit of playing
"Statues" when the music is supposed to stop. They were certainly doing it earlier
in the tour and it is still present. I got the impression Rick started his solo
on a different keyboard tonight. Normally in NEC it is the back right one
but this time it was the front left one and then to the back right one. I of
course could just have failed to notice this every other time.

Tony didn’t do the extra drumming in the quiet sections of NEC tonight

Again Ashley was in charge of signalling the start of the last note and the
end of it.

I got the impression there were some extra cymbals in Rick adlib bit of Catherine
Parr.

It was amazing watching Rick’s fingers as he builds up on moog and I was also
surprised at how much sound adjustment Rick does to the Moog.

I have seen "Catherine Parr" many times since I first saw Rick in 1985 and
this is probably the first tour where I have really enjoyed it. All of a sudden
it has just registered with me. It might help that Maria and I enjoy the fast
bit near the start and end of it but I am appreciating Tony and everything about
it a lot more.

For the start of "Out There" Ash went to the back with Rick to watch
the video footage. Rick is definitely watching the video and playing to it on
"Out There". I don’t know if he needs to pick up on some signals in order to
keep in time etc

Lee had his Bass lights turned back on tonight.

It was a good size crowd but I have to say they seemed a bit lethargic again.
I wonder if it is an age thing. I suspect I am still at the lower end of the
majority of the crowd. There are a few youngsters about and one or two children
but the majority of people still seem older than me.

At the end of the first half my youngest Abbie who is 10 wanted to know why
it was "called Rick Wakeman when he doesn’t even sing!" When she saw him after
the show I told her to ask him but I ended up doing it for her. I was curious
to see if he would have an off the cuff remark for her but it was a pretty much
straight forward answer of he didn’t think he should call the band "fat
man from" and I forget where. He then got on to joking about how Ashley
is the "Former Fat Man of Pop" now that he has lost some weight.

Rick’s capes were as per Southend although I doubt he changed in the encore.
I need my photos back again but I have only just sent them off.

He remained  in his white suit all night tonight though.

The Projector here was lower than Southend again. The main way I could tell
was that it was hard to see the lower keyboard freeze frames on White Rock.
They were easy to see at Southend.

I was curious to see what my daughters would make of Tony’s 10 Minute drum
solo. They liked the lights but did find it a bit boring. Maria loved it still
and Liam has wanted to play drums since we first saw Rick.

Having said the crowd were quiet they did seem to react well to the drum solo.

In "Arthur" there was some interest off stage on right. When I asked Ant later
he said the people on the sound desk had been wearing hats and giving scores
at various points during the show.

Being on the right I couldn’t see too much of "Dance of a 1000 lights" but
there was a mirror ball tonight so the lights were nice to watch again.

It was about this time in the gig we started thinking seriously about weather
we could make Peterbourgh the next night. We may never see another UK Rick show
to this standard and the children had heard us wondering about it in the interval
and said they wanted to go again. We just had to worry about the cost and a
babysitter for Becky again. We did try to interest her the next morning but
no she still didn’t want to go despite the glowing reviews from the others.

I really do prefer Ashley singing on "Cathedral of the sky". He really does
a good job on it.

At the start of "Wurm" not only did Rick leave his area to sneak the blow up
hammer in but he went to the piano keyboard and wrapped up Stuart Stanway in
his Cape while playing it.

It was a cracking end of show again and a handful of people did stand up to
give the band an ovation.

Rick Wakeman – The Cresset, Peterborough – 30 May
2003

Well I wait a well over a year to take my daughters to a gig and then I take
them twice in two nights. Poor bank balance!

I can’t remember if I have mentioned this before but and I can’t confirm it
from tonight’s gig but I have seen Lee has a Moog box on the floor and I am
pretty sure it is a set of Bass Pedals.

For this gig we managed to get Row 5 seats on the flat section and this time
on the left. I could not believe how badly these seats were filled again. The
children had no trouble seeing and the view was perfect. The place did seem
fairly full though. To my amazement at the end of the show Wayne came up and
said "Hello".  I was convinced he was avoiding going to any gig I was going
to go to. We have had numerous oppertunies to meet over the years but never
made it. It was good to see he is a real person and not just an e-mail response
🙂

The main thing I noticed from this distance was how much clearer and nicer
the Varilites were. I assume it was the distance and not a change of set up.
They were set to multi beam patterns and really effective.

Tonight’s show was being videoed but I don’t know how good it will be as I
could only spot two camera’s. I didn’t look hard though.

The Cressent is a larger theatre than Fareham and has good facilities in an
out of town location. I will have to remember it for future use.

During "Journey" the keyboard playing projections were a little lost in the
lights. I wonder if the lights needed to be brighter for the filming?

Again the band were playing musical statues in NEC. Rick and Lee were also
bouncing and bopping around together earlier than normal.

I was disappointed to find I still could not see what the sounddesk were doing
that was providing such amusement on stage.

For the first time on the tour I could see Tony behind drum kit. That made
a nice change and I could see how much interaction with the others he gets too.

Throughout the first half I was mucking about playing Abbie’s leg as a keyboard
etc. She loved this and even when I stopped she continued to play the keyboards
on her leg herself. I tried to get Zoe to join in but she wouldn’t have any
of it. I guess at 12 it was not good for her street credibility. I still felt
the fun we were having really made the 2nd night special for me. My dad has
never paid much attention to any music let alone music I would like so it is
a really strange concept to my that my children could enjoy something I love
so much with me.

Rick seemed to be throwing extra moog notes in "Catherine Parr" tonight. I
thought through out the show he seemed to be trying to outplay himself and make
the songs extra special.

I wasn’t quite sure about Ashley’s vocals on "Out There" but perhaps I still
need time to adjust to the new arrangement.

In "White Rock" I was convinced it was a normally a White strobe that was used
as the band came back on for the last minute. Tonight however Multi-coloured
strobe.

During "Starship Trooper" I thought Rick seemed annoyed about something early
on. My impression was that he thought he fluffed something but I didn’t spot
it. Then it seemed like they replayed a section or got something wrong somewhere.
It will be interesting to see if "Starship" gets included in the DVD and a shame
if not.

The night was again excellent and I was really glad to have made an extra show
and to have taken the children to it. They really loved it and have talked about
the experience a lot. After the show they wanted things signed again. Rick had
promised Zoe a new pen the night before because he had used her’s for signing.
Little did he know she would say she was going the next night though. As it
happened he didn’t give her a pen but he remembered his promise and apologised
to her.

There has been a cameraman at all the aftershow signings. I have no idea why
he needed so much material. Anyway Liam was desperate to be filmed and deliberately
trying to walk into shots etc not realising how bad it looked. However the cameraman
noticed when I asked Tony to give Liam a tip on how to start as a drummer and
Liam was then videoed having a lesson and being given some of Tony’s sticks
(signed of course).

I think the camera man comment to us that people wouldn’t believe we were in
different locations because we had been to so many after session signings. That
gave Maria chance to mention how desperately Liam wanted to make the DVD. He
then suggested that Zoe, Abbie and Liam do a little sketch. Liam had to
say "I want to play Drums like Tony Fernandez". Abbie "I want
to play keyboards like Rick Wakeman" and Zoe "I want to get drunk
like Ash". They had several takes at it. It will be interesting to see
if they do manage to make the DVD at all.

Regardless they were all buzzing about it and chuffed to bits.

I was also amused when Ant gave Abbie a kiss goodbye. The look on her face
was a picture. She really looked starstuck. What a shame I didn’t get it on
film.

I would hate to think this was the last time we saw the band playing together
but if it was it was great to have managed so many dates and to have taken the
children along and for them to have enjoyed it.

Zoe and Abbie have even taken a Rick Wakeman video home to watch. I am stunned.
Having said that I showed them a clip from Melbourne 1975 and they thought it
dreadful and really laughed when they saw Rick and especially Ashley. They much
preferred the current band DVD.

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.