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/Karnataka – Mean Fiddler, London – 12 Jan 2002
See separate page
Dave Gilmour – The Royal Festival Hall, London – 16
This was my first time in the Festival Hall. It is definitely a place of it’s
era. Very 1970’s looking. All dark brown with square boxes on the sides arranged
like a chess board. The stage is situated at the bottom of the setting and there
is a choir section behind it. This was open to the public tonight as well. Apparently
the capacity is 2,900 but weather that includes the choir area I am unsure.
The place was certainly sold out.
Tonight’s support was a small Orchestra and band we were told they were called
Ghostland but they were announced as The London Metropolitan Orchestra conducted
by Andrew Brown, the main vocalist was Cara Dillon and there was a CD mentioned
called ‘Interview with an Angel’, which is by Ghostland so I guess they are
The orchestra had a Double Bass, 4 violins, 2 violas, 3 cellos plus a cello
soloist at front. They opened in this combination and then for the next piece
Cara Dillon, a singer with a nice solo voice, came on stage and the lead Cellist
Rhythm Guitar was added for the next piece which was another Cello piece and
then a Bass player and drummer appeared with Cara and two backing vocalists.
This song might have called "Sacred Touch Of Beauty" and I was quite
enjoying the set by now.
A keyboard player had sat on stage from the start but I hadn’t noticed him
playing until the next song where he added a few piano chords. This was another
Next the Cello player joined the 3 vocalists for something that might have
been "Faith In Love"
The Cello player then took lead vocals on the final piece of the set. She was
also the person introducing the band at the start and end of the sets. This
was something along the lines of ‘Glory, Glory Hallelujah, All my troubles will
be over.’ And I don’t think there were any drum’s bass or keyboards on this
song although they all remained on stage.
At 9.15 a lone Dave Gilmour came on stage he strummed away for a good minute
as though he was tuning the guitar and testing out the effects but I guess it
might have been the start of the first song in a very unconventional style.
Once happy though it was clearly ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ that was being
played. He was using the sustain pedal to hold chords and just playing acoustic.
The audience recognised the start of this song at about 3 points and each times
large sections of the crowd at the back would annoyingly whoop and clap again.
It took good 4 or 5 songs for them to either shut up or for me to focus out
of them. Others sections of the crowd were clearly frustrated at the lack of
respect being given the acoustic nature of the songs too. It’s a shame really.
When Gilmour got to the vocal part I was a bit sad to hear him singing it in
falsetto. It seemed too high for his range and I was surprised he wasn’t doing
what I considered his normal vocal. Perhaps he was and I need to hear the album
again but it felt wrong to me at the time.
Towards the end of the song a sax player came Tenor sax joined Gilmour for
For "Fat Old Sun" the band for the night came on they were Drums,
double bass, acoustic slide guitar and piano. When I saw the orchestra on stage
I had expected them to remain as backing to Gilmour too but they were replaced
during the interval. Instead there were 9 backing singers including Sam Brown
who got the section together. The drummer and pianist sat on stage for this
one but didn’t in fact join in on it.
For the next song Gilmour took a moment or two to get the sound he wanted from
the acoustic and then he started playing with the backing singers Ahhing etc.
The full band then joined in half way through and Gilmour did a nice solo.
The solo Cello player from support act came on stage next and they played ‘Dominoes’
from Syd Barrett’s Solo album ‘Barrett’. Again strangely the Cello player didn’t
actually play on this though.
She waited until "High Hopes" from Division Bell. Gilmour played
a small slide guitar on this and the keyboard player switched to a wind instrument
I didn’t recognise. Dave so liked the choir he got them to reprise some of their
Ah’s with only the backing of the other guitar player.
Next up was ‘Je Crois Enterdre Encore’. The band were as before but with no
There was then a new piece called "Smile". I got the impression this
was written with a backing singer and she was the only one on this one.
Next Richard Wright was introduced on Keyboards and they played ‘Breakthrough’
from Wright’s ‘Broken China’ album. Gilmour used a standard electric guitar
on this. Someone messed up and forgot there was a Tenor saxophone solo so Gilmour
restarted the song from where it should have come in.
‘Wish You Were Here’ was next with Wright moving over to the piano. The crowd
spontaneously but quietly joined in with this one and there was the biggest
response so far.
Wright moved back to his keyboard on the right of the stage for ‘Comfortably
Numb’. Robert Wyatt who was responsible for getting Gilmour to play acoustically
earlier in the year sang/talked the early vocals in the song from his wheelchair
off stage. I thought the ending of the song was slightly subdued but it got
the biggest crowd response of the night.
Next was ‘The Dimming Of The Day’. Richard Wright had now left the stage.
‘Shine On You Crazy Part 2’ was the last song off the set. The Cello player
used an electric cello on this one. She left the stage at the start of the sax
solo. During the rest of it everyone else left too and the end of the solo seemed
a bit abrupt the sax player left to.
The Encore started with ‘A Great Day For Freedom’, which had a good ending
I thought. The crowd were quite subdued compared to the responses for ‘Comfortably
Numb’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’.
The final song of the night was ‘Hushabye Mountain’. Gilmour was only accompanied
by the Piano, cello, double bass and backing vocalists on this one.
It is very difficult to know how to judge this concert. Obviously a lot of
the fans were Pink Floyd fans but this evening was designed to be mainly acoustic.
I guess if you are a fan of acoustical sets it was a good night but if not
you probably felt the same frustration Deep Purple fans feel with Ritchie Blackmore
in Blackmore’s night. I defend Blackmore so I guess I defend Gilmour to do what
he likes but the evening was rather flat for me. It had good moments but it
lacked the spark. A few days before I saw Mostly Autumn who are openly influenced
by Pink Floyd and Gilmour and given the choice of one or the other I would go
and see them instead.
Magnum – Waterfront Norwich – 12 March 2002
I guess if you want a short review this was a good gig with all the standard
songs you would expect Magnum to play.
The band was on good form and the crowd was sold out and happy with what they
You probably want to stop reading now as I am a strange Magnum fan and the
gig cause me a lot of soul searching.
I wasn’t enjoying it as much as the crowd. I am extremely tired and rundown
so perhaps my mood is a little on a downer. I don’t think so though.
I have been listening to the new album "Breath of Life" and although
I am on over ten plays it is still making no impression. The closest I am getting
to a stand out track probably "After The Rain".
My history with Magnum is rather chequered. They were fantastic to start with.
They peaked for me on "Chase the Dragon" and then hit rock bottom
on "Eleventh hour". "Storyteller’s Night" brought them back
with a reasonable album that made them popular and then they peaked commercially.
I completely lost interest after "Vigilante" and then slowly picked
up again starting with the Acoustic "Keep the Night Light Burning".
I also had a catch up period after the first Hard Rain album. Now that Hard
Rain album I absolutely loved. The 2nd one didn’t work for me. I also had the
same pattern with Bob Catley solo. The last album "Middle Earth" was
big improvement on the 2nd though. Live I saw Magnum on the Vigilante tour and
I think I enjoyed it. Then I saw Hard Rain and Bob Catley solo and loved the
first tours but less so the 2nd.
"Breath Of Life" is kind of Hard Rain 3 kind of Magnum. The gig tonight
was a bit like that to. I found "Kingdom of Madness" to be done in
a very Hard rain soundscape. I think it is the short sharp keyboards I am registering
but there might be more. "Just Like January" sounded very Hard Rain
live and was possibly the best new one for me tonight.
Vigilante started us off and I felt something was missing but I couldn’t think
what. I was a bit surprised at how long Tony Clarkin spends on Rhythm and how
little on solos.
At points during the gig I got a strong feel of Fish era Marillion. Probably
on songs from that era.
The last song of the night "Sacred Hour" was a key to my understanding
of what my problem with commercial Magnum is. They seem to have changed the
use of the keyboards. There are lots of additional touches that are completely
missing to my ears in later periods. The band therefore became half the band
to me. I enjoy them but I don’t get off on them as much and hence I am really
craving the wrong Magnum when I see them. When I saw Hard Rain it was Ok because
they played most of the 1st album and a few Magnum classics. That worked really
well for me because I wasn’t expecting Magnum. Magnum on a reunion tour have
to play their greatest hits and they are less to my taste so I actually enjoyed
Hard Rain more.
I was really disappointed with the treatment of the Spirit. I think it has
been done in it’s current style for a few tours but the crowd were noticeably
talking loud during the Acoustic part. In fact half the crowd was buzzing and
singing along and half bored and waiting for them to wake up. I don’t mind a
verse or two acoustic but I really prefer to hear it as the full band rock version.
Would I go and see Magnum again? I guess it depends on the latest release and
the ease of me getting there.
Bob was out in the crowd during Tylar and someone thanked him for coming to
East Anglia as we are often forgotten by bands. It is good the band tends to
make it to Norwich. It is good the Waterfront was at capacity. Perhaps next
time they will be able to do the UEA. The Waterfront holds 600 or so and the
stage is too low really. It would be a nice venue if it was higher and there
were fewer pillars spoiling the view. I like the fact the stage is on the length
of the room. It would be nice if there was somewhere for disabled users and
the likes of me the can’t enjoy gigs standing.
Bob was in good form singing and using his hands to express himself. The drummer
Harry was really popular with the crowd. Bass player Al was really happy through
out the gig. I found Mark Stanway frustrating. He seemed to need different keyboards
when he finely got chance to shine in Sacred Hour. Tony Clarkin was interesting
to watch. He is not a happy player and he does seems to pull faces as he players.
I don’t think I have been in a position to view him in recent years so it was
good to watch him.
Well, well done if you got this far with out getting to cross. I hope I haven’t
annoyed too many Magnum fans. I am sure the gig was great and my fellow travellers
were both really impressed with the gig and wanting to check out more Magnum
so that can only be a good thing. I hope they make it big again. I am already
impressed to hear the album actually made the Uk top 100. Most unusual for someone
Gabriel/Damian Wilson – Oakwood Centre, Rotherham – 13
This gig was originally scheduled for January but got cancelled at the last
minute due Damian Wilson being ordered to Hospital with a bad leg. As it turns
out the gig was well worth the wait.
I booked it mainly because my girlfriend liked the Damian solo album I have.
I like it too but I am not sure I like it enough to trek all the way to Rotherham
and stay overnight though. I would have kicked myself if I had come to realise
later how much I enjoyed the gig though.
The last time I attended a Classic Rock Society gig in Rotherham it was to
see Rick Wakeman and because it was a capacity gig people were banned from sitting
down. Tonight the hall was probably half full so people had the choice of grabbing
a seat from the sides or standing. This was a great relief to me as I find standing
far too tiring. I was therefore comfortable and able to enjoy the gig to the
The previous gig had been a 10th Anniversary gig of the Rock Society and there
had been far too much self promoting and ranting about people not attending
normal gigs. This time this was cut back a lot so not as irritating. I am a
member of the Rock Society and I can understand Martin’s frustration with lack
of attendances etc but I don’t think harping on about it at gigs wins any new
The support act was Gabriel. I was interested to see them, as I was pretty
sure Bryan Josh from Mostly Autumn had mentioned them to me in an Interview.
They were a strange set up tonight. Two acoustic guitars, one lead guitar,
Bass and keyboards. As the set emerged it was revealed they normally have a
drummer but they are currently looking for a new one.
They started with a song I will guess is called "One" as it had the
line "One voice, one hope, one dream" in it. The Electric drum beat
had me wondering what we were in for with this band but it has to be said I
quite liked the chorus. I am not sure how to describe the band. I suppose a
likeness to someone like Barclay James Harvest isn’t completely out of the question.
They probably have a more modern edge but I don’t have anything of that type
in my collection to compare it to.
Next up was ‘Waiting For The Sun’, which seemed to incorporate "Here Comes
The Sun". The band overall are very mellow by my standards. Marc said before
this track that they were playing tracks of both their albums but either it
was introduced with the wrong title or I am going blind because I can’t see
it listed on an album. One of the bands two albums is unplugged. I am not sure
how I would take to that. The main hook for me on this track is the lead guitar
The next song was introduced as "You Don’t Even Know" and again seems
to be unreleased. I thought this was quite good too.
This was followed by "I Wanna Be With You" which is very funky. Lots
of electric wah wah guitar. To my hard rock tastes it was by far the worst track
of the night. It didn’t help that the lead guitarist broke his guitar string
and didn’t have a spare guitar with him so he had to go off mid song and restring
it. The band to its credit carried on without him and told us to imagine the
guitar solo. It seemed a shame one of the acoustic guitars or Keyboards couldn’t
have adlibbed though.
The guitar was still being restrung so Graham did a solo song I think called
"Feels like Home?". This was done with Graham mainly alone and but
Marc did join in on vocals I think. This seemed very country in nature. Again
not really to my taste
Next up was "Faith and Betrayal". Now my ears really picked up on
this one as apparently Bryan Josh had played the solo on the album version.
When it came to the solo I certainly felt it had Bryan’s solo style written
all over it.
At this point I decided to splash out of Gabriel first album Ascension. I figured
if I didn’t like it Maria probably would and I wanted hear what Bryan had played.
I have played the album about 10 days now and I was surprised to find 5 out
of 7 Mostly Autumn members had guested on it. I think I prefer the first half
of the album to the 2nd half but I will see if I can get chance to review it.
Marc commented he was impressed by the audience. They were unusual in that
they were really listening.
"And I love her" was next and is from the unplugged album. I can’t
decide if tonight’s performance was representative of the song or not. This
was probably the softest song of the set and had a keyboard flute solo. There
was no real lead guitar on this one so perhaps it was a good representation
of the unplugged album’s performance
To end the set they played "Feel" which will be on a future album
and was the heaviest track of the night. The lead guitar was riffing and Graham
was playing Harmonica for this track. I quite liked this one too.
At the end of the set I was intrigued enough to buy the album and had enjoyed
a support act. This is extremely rare for me so well done Gabriel. Time will
tell weather I get into the first album enough to make me want to try more.
I found it very interesting that little of the set was from the first album
and that one of the tracks was the one I liked least.
Fancy York being such a good place for decent bands.
So to Damian Wilson. I was truly amazed at how much I enjoyed Damian’s two
sets. I have the Disciple album and I have to say I am far more comfortable
with Damian’s singing voice in this gentler environment than when Damian is
going full out on a hard Rock song. Damian has an extremely powerful voice and
he seems to love singing all types of song. I can’t put my finger on why I think
Damian’s voice is more suitable to folky type rock than hard rock and I am sure
I am in a minority in thinking it is but that is the way things work for me.
It seems Damian has put together a 5-piece band for his solos gigs. But tonight
6 other players joined them. I think the sense of an event was part of the excitement
From Left to right the stage was Catalina Greggains on Flute, Bryony Lang on
Violin, and Jon Ornoifsson on cello. Just behind them was Nic Slack on keyboards.
Next to him was Matt Hughes on Bass and Patrick Hannan on drums. Damian of course
was in the middle at the front and played various acoustic guitars. Continuing
at the back Murdoch Macdonald played percussion. Damian’s brother Paul Jude
Wilson sang Backing vocals then working back towards Damian their was Andrew
Holdsworth on Piano and Paul Williams on guitar. All the additional musicians
except Jon had had some involvement in Damian’s two solo albums. Jon had played
with Damian in Les Miserables.
The set got off to a difficult i.e. unknown, start for me as it was all off
Cosmos and we didn’t have this album until the gig. I could instantly tell the
songs were Damian’s though and they definitely had the feel of Disciple. I instantly
loved ‘Homegrown’ and if Maria hadn’t bought Cosmos I would have just to get
Maria being daft enough to go out with me is quiet keen on long hair. She was
therefore gutted to see Damian has had his cut off. I thought it sad to see
another one bite the dust but it doesn’t look to bad too me.
I didn’t register too much about the strings and flute except they played well.
The Bass player seemed not to mind trying to get the crowd to clap etc. Andrew
is quiet a tall chap and sat to play the Piano keyboard. On the faster songs
his left leg taps a lot which made an interesting sight.
Paul Williams had me baffled on his guitar solos. To me he has a really unusual
style. He always seems to strum, or I have the feeling the term is Surfs, all
the strings. After the gig I asked him how he did his solos and he said he was
using his thumb to close off certain notes. I would like to see him more to
understand how he gets the solos. He makes it look like someone else must be
Nic Slack was stuck at the back of the stage so less noticeable but he still
seemed to play well. Damian wanted him to adlib at one point to fill out a guitar
change and he instantly came up with the music from Captain Pugwash.
Damian was very laid back with his chat and decided to make a standing joke/comment
for the night about how amazing it was that people had come from Holland to
see the gig.
On the ‘Disciple’ album I got the impression some of the songs seemed a bit
too short and lacking in instrumental breaks. I didn’t feel this at all tonight.
I can only assume the band hadn’t rehearsed much together but it didn’t show.
I thought the performance was pretty much perfect. There was certainly never
any doubt about any of Damian’s vocals and when he did "Bring Him Home"
to end the first set you could really see what a powerful voice he has. As he
sings you could really get a feel for the emotion in his lyrics.
During the night the musicians came on and left the stage as needed. Damian
probably did 45mins in the first set and 65 in the 2nd along with his encore.
It was a great night and I am really glad I went along. I would certainly make
an effort to see him again even if there only a standard band set up. In fact
I am quite curious to know how the songs sound without the strings and flute
etc. I must confess since Damian had used a whole orchestra on the album I hadn’t
really expected the arrangements to come across as big as they did. It
was surprisingly effective having just a flute, cello and violin.
Despite having all the musicians with him it didn’t stop Damian tackling a
couple of songs completely solo.
I am now looking forward to the next Rick Wakeman gig in Rotherham and I will
enjoy it just as much as tonight but in a complete different way. Rick is my
normal thrilling music enjoyment. This was original laid back music and made
a great change for me. I am looking forward to seeing Damian in a solo context
Mostly Autumn/John Young – 28 Apr 2002
– Cambridge Junction
Darkness Before The Dawn
Spirit of Autumn Past
Out Of The Inn
Forge Of Sauron
Greenwood The Great
Nowhere to Hide
Shindig/Haste To The Wedding
Never The Rainbow
Heroes Never Die
The Night Sky
It was good to get another chance to see Mostly Autumn. It was back to the
Junction this time. I was rather worried before the gig, as the place seemed
very light on people. The last time I was here there was seating at the back.
I had never seen it there before and it was gone again this time. That meant
a standing gig. Still there was plenty of room for my stick seat and I decided
I would suffer the consequences and really enjoy the set.
As it happens a few people did find some seats and sit at the back but this
time I decided I was going to master what Liam is playing and generally watch
the people I don’t look at from close up.
I finally think I have a reasonable idea of what Liam’s role is during the
gig. I don’t think I hear him as well as my girlfriend does, and thinks I should,
but I understand now he adds a lot of subtle little effects and power chords.
In an interview I am typing up from last October he talks about using an E-Bow
during Mother Nature. It was great to see what he was actually talking about.
It is a little box that has a light in it and I assume it bows the strings rather
than him strumming them. His right hand certainly just seemed to hold the box.
I also noticed at last the he actually sings a couple of lines completely solo.
The star of my observing has to be Iain. I have never had such a good view
of what he does before. I didn’t realise how complex his parts are. I had kind
of convinced myself he was using chords a lot but his work is a lot more complex
than that. It was fascinating to watch.
The other person I had a better opportunity to observe was Angie. It is of
course obvious when she is playing flutes and whistles etc but I hadn’t really
noticed her providing chords and stuff on the keyboard she has behind Iain’s.
I had spotted she plays and sings there on Mother Nature but there is at least
another song where she was adding chords too.
I also realised how much I enjoy the drumming in Mostly Autumn. I am normally
oblivious to drumming as long as it is not monotonous so it is unusual for me
to notice. Also I didn’t notice the annoying Bell thing in ‘Out Of The Inn’.
I wonder if I am just used to trying to ignore it now.
‘Shrinking Violet’ gave me the impression Bryan was doing more solos under
Heather. The song was unfortunately hindered by feedback on Heathers mic but
was excellent all the same. The band did two sets again so this gave the techie’s
chance to sort out this feedback problem for the 2nd half. Mind you Angela then
had it for the opening track of the 2nd set. It must be so off putting to the
It was great to see two new tracks from Lord Of The Rings added to the set.
I am waiting patiently for Goodbye Alone to be added though. Talking to Bryan
they are apparently working on getting it into the set.
The crowd may well have been up on the last time but it was difficult to tell
as we were nicely spread about instead of being on the seat and all the rest
near the stage. I was worried we wouldn’t get an encore though. It was 11 O’clock
as Mother Nature ended the main set and the house lights went on. This confused
the audience and no one was sure weather to just leave or keep clapping. Luckily
some brave soul shouted out for more and the rest of the crowd quickly joined
in. Phew. It was great to get the Night Sky.
Mostly Autumn – The Waterfront Norwich – 5 May 2002
What an amazing difference a week can make when a band is on tour. You would
expect two nights on the same tour to be near enough the same but tonight the
band and audience both seemed to be really buzzing and the set list and been
This was the bands first time in Norwich and consequently they thought they
might end up playing to about 40 people. As it turned out I reckon there were
about 150. There was certainly room to watch in comfort but the crowd were so
We decided not leave as early as last week and consequently we got caught out
by the band being on a lot earlier. I don’t know when John Young was on but
it must have been on soon after 7pm. We arrived about 8.15 and we had missed
‘Winter Mountain’ and the band were half way through ‘Darkness Before The Dawn’.
It was a shame but at least I didn’t miss my favourite ‘The Spirit Of Autumn
Past’. At the end of this I was settled enough to notice how different the crowd
reaction was. The crowd were at least 3 times as noisy and you would never have
thought the audience was about the same size.
Perhaps the layout of the venue is a factor the Waterfront is long and slim
so the audience are all up close to the band and the place feels fuller with
less people. I would much rather see a gig at the Junction though because the
stage at the Waterfront is too low. They don’t supply a drum riser and there
are far to many pillars obscuring the view.
Maria seems to have a good memory for face and she commented a lot of the crowd
were regulars to Mostly Autumn gigs she has been too. Especially a large chap
with long hair and a small wife who tend to stand in the middle at the front.
I must say "Hello" sometime.
At Cambridge I noticed that during ‘Which Wood?’ Bryan sets the pace for the
repeats. He seemed to have a laugh doing this. This week it seemed to have developed
even more and he actually caused Heather to lose her concentration and crack
up. In fact I have never noticed Bryan being so happy looking in a gig. He was
apparently suffering from a heavy cold but I couldn’t tell it. The stage is
not the biggest in the world but the whole band seemed to be a lot more mobile.
Andy on Bass has always moved around a bit and taken up Angie’s place when there
is a gap but Liam and Heather and even Bryan all seemed to move about more than
normal. I don’t suppose individually they did more moving than normal but for
them all to move so much on the same night in my view helped create the atmosphere
Apart from Jonathan’s drums being too low on the stage. I felt there was less
kit too. I felt there had been more drums higher up at Cambridge. This surprised
me as I couldn’t think why it would change. I asked after the show and apparently
Jon has two-stage kits and uses the one that best fits the room he has.
I decided to focus more on the traditional focal point of the band tonight.
And it was interesting how watching Heather and Bryan reminded me of the first
couple of gigs I saw. When I arrived Heather was in a dark shawl. This struck
me as very odd as it made the whole band pretty much one colour and I am used
to seeing Heather being a bright contrast. She took the shale off half way through
the set and it could be seen she was wearing a stripy Blue glitter top and I
think a flimsy skirt over White trousers. For the 2nd set she reappeared in
her long white cloak for the Lord Of The Rings vocal part and then returned
in the costume she had worn at Cambridge. The Gold Butterfly top with white
trousers and Gold Side pieces giving a cowboy sort of look (Apparently they
are leaves and I am not observant enough!).
Either I wasn’t as observant on dress at Cambridge or all the blokes seemed
to have more stage oriented tops on tonight.
The set in the 2nd half contained a couple of changes. First Half a Mountain
was reintroduced and then the new track ‘Noise From My Head’ that only made
the CD-R version of ‘The Last Bright Light’ and which has now been added to
Anthology was played. This was a bit of a let down to me. There doesn’t seem
to be much to the arrangement. Most unusual.
Mother Nature was back to its Encore Slot and the Night Sky was dropped.
After the gig I would estimate at least 50% of the audience stayed behind for
autographs from the band. This compares to almost no one at Cambridge. I have
noticed before that people in Norwich seem to be a lot more appreciative of
the rock bands that come as far away from the main cities as Norwich. Good on
Rick Wakeman/Gina Dootson – Oakwood Centre Rotherham
– 17 May 2002
Time for another Rick gig yippee. This one was kind of special for me as it
was at breakfast in the Hotel after this fixture 7 months ago that I meet Maria.
Maria offered me a little home and by the end of it we both knew, though didn’t
tell each other, we had meet our ideal partners.
We got to Rotherham with plenty of time to spare and checked into the same
Hotel. Then I remembered I had clean forgot to bring the tickets. I have a dreadful
memory so I always use a checklist before leaving for a gig. Clearly this time
I must have read it with my brain switched off. Actually when we checked in
I had to get Maria to write in the guestbook etc as I was incapable of writing.
Having a girlfriend is just too tiring for me. But I like it 🙂
Maria panicked a bit but I felt talking to Martin Hudson of the Classic Rock
society or the band ought to resolve the problem. If the worst came to the worst
we would have to get more tickets and hope it wasn’t sold out.
So at this point we went for a meal. We kind of expected to see the band eating
again as per last time but they weren’t about this time. Typical. Maria then
commented the Hotel had joked the gig was on Saturday. I had a minor panic and
decided to phone home and get mum to check the tickets. Phew I had arrived on
the correct day! I have almost set off a week early before now!
At the gig we managed to get in and the support was Gina Dootson. She was singing
and playing Acoustic guitar. It was interesting for me to see her as she had
sung as a backing singer for either Mostly Autumn or Karnataka. She has a good
voice and has written some good personal songs but they aren’t really to my
taste. Maria liked them though and she bought Gina’s album.
So on to Rick. Well the first thing to note was he is now beardless. He is
also not the slimmed down Rick from Return to the Centre of the Earth. I do
hope he is not putting all the weight back on that he was supposed to loose
after his last illness.
The next thing of course was the Ant Glynn is now unable to play with Rick
due to his cancer. The Classic Rock Society will be doing a couple of benefits
for him in June and Damian will be performing again.
His replacement tonight was Doug Colquhoun. I personally found it hard to judge
if he is good or bad as a player.’ To my ears at least Rick always has guitarist
playing unusual things. He seems to have settled into the band nicely anyway.
Damian is still sporting his spikey short haircut but Adam tonight was wearing
trainers on stage. I was under the impression he liked to play barefoot.
The set started with ‘Catherine Parr’. Rick said hello and they quickly moved
to ‘Buried Alive’.
Rick then decided to tell the story of a last minute appearance on a ‘Scrabble’
program. It was a celebrity version and his competitor was Toyah Wilcox who
was a singer but is probably more a presenter/actress now. She is married to
Robert Fripp and heads up various Dyslexia charities because she is very Dyslexic.
Something it seemed the makers of Scrabble didn’t know! She had agreed to take
part in the program without actually knowing what the show was. They had a go
at filming Toyah without cheating but her words were gibberish and the producers
had to have a rethink.
The 1984 Trilogy was next and while Damian was singing ‘Hymn’ Lee turned some
blue lights on his bass on. It is always hard to know if he did this the first
time tonight or if he pretends to do it the first time. The others in the band
laughed anyway. Lee also got a solo in the piece.
Rick then started to introduce the Two Catherine’s (Aragon and Howard) and
Adam queried if he was no longer sticking to the set list. Rick decided no he
wouldn’t and that it was good to keep the band on their toes. He then said he
had been chatting with Adam a while back and Adam had told him his wife was
not keen on him going out on tour anymore. Adam found it strange, as she knew
he had done it for 11 years. Rick asked who he was playing with on the next
dates. Victoria Beckham and Atomic Kitten! Rick said he didn’t get it. Adam
said he did now. And then thought he better rephrase it.
Adam played opening chords and Rick repeatedly went to play and then didn’t
much to everyone’s amusement.
Next up was The Visit. It struck me there was more Moog keyboard solo in this
one but I am probably wrong.
Next the band went to leave the stage as Rick was to do one alone but he kept
Lee back and a stool was brought for him. They then did ‘Summertime’ with Lee
on the Fretless bass. Rick has performed this for his mum in the past. Do you
think this is the reason he still likes to play it? I can’t understand his fascination
for the song.
As Rick was explaining what he required someone was shouting out and Rick on
the third shout actually asked him to "give it a rest". I assume it
was this bloke that then started waving and jumping about for the rest of the
gig. To me he seemed drunk. Others wondered if he was not a full plank. After
the gig he wanted Rick’s signature and he was really snotty because he had been
told to go to three different places to wait and then there was a queue etc.
He thought it a disgraceful way to treat fans. Then when Rick was signing his
books he was going on about how he wanted them signed personally to him as he
would never sell them on Ebay etc. He also said he had been asked not to come
back to the gig again. I wonder why! His poor partner seemed to take it all
in her stride and Rick was a pure gent to him. I don’t think I have seen him
handle a difficult fan before but he took it in his stride.
Next up was ‘No Earthly Connection’. Rick said that Damian had become a dad
again recently. He then said the band wanted to come along to the Christening.
Adam or Lee suggested they be the Christening band and Rick asked what song
Damian would like him to play "Journey to the centre of the Birth"
or perhaps even "Journey to the placenta of the Birth". Damian said
he would like Rick to play and Rick then said he would give him ‘a really good
Deal’! Typical Rick!
I don’t think I enjoy ‘The Visit’ and ‘No Earthly’ live much. I love both originals
so this is strange. They are OK but ‘No Earthly’ is too long and repetitive
for my tastes. My attention took a dip around this point in the gig but no doubt
it wasn’t helped by me having to stand all night.
There was a quick discussion of football and then ‘Never Is A Long, Long Time’.
I couldn’t see Rick’s Keytar during most of the set so I was worried there
would be no ‘Merlin’ dual tonight. I then spotted it was just hidden behind
Rick’s speakers so my interest picked up again.
I then thought Rick was going to play ‘White Rock’ as Tony went straight into
a Drum solo that sounded like the start of it. Sadly it wasn’t ‘White Rock’.
I would love to see Rick introduce it again though. Especially if Tony is given
a drum solo.
The drum solo ended and went straight into ‘King Arthur’.
Rick then gave us an update on Ant and details of the ‘Ant Aid’ Benefits. This
was followed by ‘Merlin’ complete with the dual. Again it was all done with
great humour. It is really good to see how the band get on so well and like
to have a laugh on stage. Someone commented he wished he got on as well with
his dad as Adam does with Rick. I really like the fact Rick gets Damian to sing
the lyrics to ‘Merlin’. I wonder how many of the audience wonder where they
The encore was ‘Starship Trooper’ and was much as previous gigs with Damian
going into the crowd etc. Perhaps because Ant was missing I noticed the guitar
solos in both ‘Merlin’ and ‘Starship’. I am not sure if they are new additions
or if I just noticed them because it was a new player. I have to say these last
two tracks were stunning they seemed to go on for ages which I really love.
I think the total set was about 2hrs 30 mins and there was no break in the
set at all this time. Another fantastic night and well worth the effort of getting
Classic Rock gigs always seem to have dry ice and good lights so while it is
frustrating it is a 3-4 hour drive you do get to see some good gigs at the Oakwood
Centre. We are tempted to go back for the two Ant Aid benefits but they are
a Friday and Saturday so I would have to miss having my children and Maria would
have to have a half day. Not ideal. Time will tell I guess.
Roger Waters – Wembley Arena – 27th July 2002
This was an interesting gig for me. I have never seen Pink Floyd live but I
saw Dave Gilmour earlier this year and wasn’t to impressed, as he was Acoustic
and a bit quirky in his song choice. I expected this to be more like a full
Pink Floyd show so I had good expectations.
I guess to a degree they were met but overall the night seemed to pass me by
without getting me going enough to justify the fatigue of going.
Waters came on stage about 5 or 10 past 8 so fairly close to the time he was
scheduled. The first thing I noticed was the three backing singers seemed slightly
out of tune. My girlfriend seemed to disagree with me but that is how I heard
it. I also noticed something similar when watching the TV broadcast of Roger
The other thing was I didn’t like the playing of the lead guitarist. There
were two on stage but Snowy White got disappointingly few solos and I think
he was more to my taste. Again watching Glastonbury got the same view so I don’t
think it was a one off problem.
Also I bought the DVD of the In Flesh Tour for my girlfriend and I noticed
I enjoyed that a lot more overall. I am sure the lead guitarist was different
and their was at least one backing vocalist different.
These little problems left me feeling the night was a bit of a B class gig.
Waters himself and the rest of the band were very good. The sound was occasionally
in surround sound so we got so good sound effects from the back.
I was slightly disappointed by the stage set. There were few props to speak
off but there was a good use of projection through the show. I thought it was
a shame there was no TV screen on the main stage as it is nice to be able to
view close ups. There were two side pictures but from my position you either
turned and watched that or you watched the stage.
The set list was very good with most of the Floyd classics being played and
a good sprinkling of Waters solo stuff. The show lasted well over 2hrs hours
so was good value for an arena show.
As a bonus we had a guest appearance by Nick Mason on drums for Set The Controls
For The Heart Of The Sun. This was nice and it means I have in fact seen all
of the Floyd members playing this year.
I wondered how many of the audience knew the set before tonight. They all seemed
to cheer before Wish You Were Here faded out which I found interesting.
Waters seemed to have friends or his fan club in the section on a par with
the stage on the right. He therefore seemed to give them special attention.
This meant when he did decide to go to the left side they made an even stronger
Later during Brain Damage he ventured left again. This time he walked from
left to right and as he did so the crowd stood up in a kind of Mexican wave,
which I thought, was neat. They stayed standing for a couple of songs before
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the show but equally I can’t claim to have liked
it. I felt a bit numb through a lot of the show. I felt a wreck before I arrived
so perhaps that was a factor. Every one I know enjoyed the gig so perhaps I
am not a big enough Pink Floyd fan. Perhaps I am just a tough taskmaster. Oh
Karnataka/Sleeping Giant – Limelight Theatre Aylesbury
– 13 Jul 2002
This was the first time I had seen Sleeping Giant and I have to say I wasn’t
very impressed. The guitarist seemed good but he had no solos and the songs
were just plain. Surprisingly Steve Rothery made a guest appearance for one
track so he obviously rates them.
The last time I saw Karnataka live was in January and it is amazing the progress
the band have made in their stagecraft since then.
When the DVD was recorded last October the band were a five piece and there
was very little stage interaction except when Steve the guest Saxophone player
In January Annie Marie had joined the band full time and had moved from the
guest backing singers at the back of the stage down to the front with Rachel.
She was a good foil for Rachel but she was still a bit of a backing singer.
Tonight she was fully integrated into the band. Both girls came on in white,
which struck me as very striking, and possibly a tip they have picked up from
Heather Findley of Mostly Autumn. Tonight Anne Marie must have done five times
the amount of backing singing and at least as much flute as before.
On top of this both girls were bouncing around the stage and posing with tambourines.
Anne Marie had more free time over the course of the gig and she made use of
every minute of it to interact with the others.
The reason Anne Marie is singing more is because the set contained a lot of
new songs for the yet to be released "Delicate flame of Desire". But
even on the old songs she has had a lot of backing parts given her. There was
only really one song I noticed she didn’t have much of a part in and that was
"Tell Me Why".
Now I have mentioned Annie Marie a lot but she was not the star of course.
The whole band played brilliantly and it is still Paul on Guitar that I love
to hear the most. He is so melodic on his solos and he has a good use of the
bottom end of his guitar too.
Having interviewed the band two months back it was interesting to see how my
perception of the rest of the members has changed. Ian is still relatively quiet
on stage although he has come out of his shell a lot. I appreciate now that
he and Jon are the brains behind the music and they considered themselves songwriters
more than showmen.
This was the first time I had been to Aylesbury and I have to say I was impressed
by the set up. It is a small little art centre type venue that holds about 120
people. The room itself looks like it is a school gymnasium during the day but
at night there is pull out seating to create an amphitheatre type setting for
the band. Apparently the seating isn’t always used but I would think if it isn’t
bands are hard to see as they are on the same level.
I would definitely travel to the place again to see a band as the place really
I was also surprised at how many of the audience I knew by sight. I hadn’t
expected it but it must be fans from Uriah Heep or Karnataka Mean Fiddler gigs.
Overall it was a great night out and far exceeded my expectations.
The set was: –
After The Rain
Should Have Known
Every thing Must Change
Writing On The Wall
Tell Me Why
Heart Of Stone
Gabriel/Mostly Autumn ‘ Halesworth – 10 Aug 2002
I didn’t get chance to write this gig up at the time so I can’t remember too
much about it. As with last year I was impressed that a place like Halesworth
can successfully put on a show such as this.
I had a quick word with the lead singer of Gabriel before the show and asked
if they had played here before and they had. This triggered a memory of liking
a band that was playing just as I arrived but thinking overall they were too
soft for my tastes. Gabriel are a bit soft for me but I do enjoy them and now
have all their CD’s. I very much enjoyed the set again today. It was good to
see they now have a drummer.
Mostly Autumn got a bit longer than last year but I think the set was very
similar. There was a massive difference in crowd reaction this year though.
Gabriel who were on before them had started to get the crowd up. For Mostly
Autumn the audience were standing like they had done for only headline act Sam
Brown last year. It is possible the band were on a bit later but I would like
to think that Mostly Autumn are getting more of a reputation now. It is interesting
even though I didn’t like an Irish band called ‘Grow’ I could still remember
seeing them last year so with Mostly Autumn having played Gig In The Park since
it started they must be quiet familiar to a lot of the audience. They were heavy
on Jigs by normal standards and these always go down well and get the audience
I thought Heather made a bit of a mistake on stage. She mentioned the audience
might be interested to know that they were selling CD’s over there. And someone
said they weren’t and told her to get on with it or something. She got a bit
uppity which was a bit unnecessary especially as a fan with all Mostly Autumn’s
CD’s might well joke the same thing. She then made a mistake in the next song
so I don’t know if she had got flustered.
Overall it was a good show and very good to see again. I am rather desperate
to hear some new material though or even some more tracks from Lord Of The Rings.
This however seems unlikely, as it seems there is to be an Anthology disc 2
before they record a new album. Classic Rock Legends do a good job marketing
but I get the feeling from a lot of fans that they are getting fed up with the
over marketing and repackaging of old material. I am concerned that the band
are not introducing their new material into the set. Did they feel Music From
Lord Of The Rings wasn’t good enough or was it just too difficult to produce
live? With another UK tour coming up they will surely have time to rehearse
for it so it will be interesting to see if the set is much the same or if it
has been given a facelift to give keen fans like myself something new to hear
live. There is obviously a balance to be achieved between new and old stuff
but I doubt anyone would object to a shuffling of old numbers being played and
2 or 3 news ones. Obviously I didn’t expect that to happen at this gig though.
This was pretty much a one off show the band have enjoyed doing for several
Sonja Kristina – Astor Theatre – Deal – 26 Aug 2002
Well I have waited a long time to get my first chance to see Sonja Kristina
perform live. I took a long time to get into Curved Air and then I discovered
Sonja’s solo CD’s and quite possibly preferred them. Sonja performed Songs From
The Acid Folk live but I am not sure about Harmonics Of Love. Sadly it has been
too long since that the last album was released.
Tonight was a sort of try out of new material written with Violin/Keyboard
played Marvin Ayres (who normally plays Cello). The majority of the known songs
seemed to be from "Songs From The Acid Folk" with one or two from
"Harmonics" and a few Curved Air songs.
Sonja is obviously not the same girl she was in Curved Air and I found it interesting
that watching her made me loose focus on her voice. If I listen with my eyes
shut I was able to pick up much more on Sonja’s delivery. Visually I can’t help
saying I thought with Marv on Keyboards and in sunglasses as he was at the start
of the show that they looked rather similar to Yazoo.
I have to say the combination of Marv and Sonja writing songs for the future
looks very promising. I could tell from the news songs that Sonja still sang
in a Harmonics of Love style way (I am sure she has moved on but that is the
closest album) and Marv was clearly using his excellent experimental soundscape
skills to make interesting backings.
We had six list members present which was good and it was nice to meet other
fans. The audience in general was a little poor but I guess it is not surprising
considering Sonja’s lack of recent work.
The Astor is a nice little theatre set up in a sort of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz
club way with lots of tables with Candles on them. It was about 3 tables deep
by 6 across.
Sonja had a very good use of backing lights patterns although I felt a spotlight
on her might have been nice.
Tonight we had a support act of Paula Wolffe. She was a singer songwriter who
played an acoustic guitar. I don’t like this sort of music and I found Paula’s
voice too much for me. She sang then talked through songs and was very feminine
in pitch. Not my thing.
Sonja came on and performed Melinda More Or Less for her first track. Marv
was on Violin for this and the first few songs. Being a duo some of the songs
tonight worked better than others but this one worked well.
Next up was Anna. Sonja has spilt some water on the floor and was worried it
might be dangerous. She therefore turned the amp off until it was cleared up.
She then tried to start the song and realised the amp was still off. The she
realised she had forgot to plug the guitar in. Most amusing and soon forgotten
as this is one of my favourite songs. I can easily imagine singing this song
to my daughters etc.
Devil May Care was next. Probably my other favourite on the album. I was slightly
worried we were going to peak to early. Marvin had some good treatments on his
Violin on this apparently he wasn’t controlling them himself. They were done
from the sounddesk. I liked this though.
For Angel Marv moved to the keyboards where he stayed for the next couple of
If This Was Love followed. The arrangements on Keyboard were quiet busy and
again worked well.
The first new song continued. As mentioned this struck me as very much in the
Harmonics of Love flavour. I liked it and look forward to hearing the full arrangement
after the Jazz CD is released. One of the lines was "How do you know when
it is all over?"
We moved into another new song and this one used lots of very long backing
echoes to make a good harmony section. Marv used his voice on this one too.
It ends on "It’s not really physical it’s spiritually sexually". Again
a song I look forward to hearing in the studio and I wouldn’t mind seeing live
It was back to "Blindman" for the next song. Sometimes I felt Sonja’s
guitar was too low in the mix. It was there but it could have done with being
a little more up front in my view.
Marv moved back to Violin for the next track. This was another new one and
the one I thought Marv was most experimental on. I guess it is just the effects
on the violin sound. The song might be called "One more step".
"Man He Colour" followed and again was very effective as just a duo.
Marv moved back to Keyboards for another song. This might have been "Night
is for lovers"
A second new song followed and then to finish the set we got my favourite Curved
Air song. "It Happened Today". Marv started out on Piano on this and
then moved to violin for the solo at the end. First he captured a piano backing
run that was then kept repeating. Sonja left the stage at the start of the solo.
Nicely done I thought.
Sonja returned and did a Curved Air track she thought "wasn’t very respectful
to the song but it is fun anyway". The song was Everdance and Marvin’s
Keyboard settings were very modern sounding. I am tempted to say spacey but
I don’t know how to describe them. Sonja was right though. It was fun.
This then merged into Back Street Luv and the gig was sadly over. The crowd
wanted more but were too few in number to get going on a real chant.
After the show it was really nice to be able to chat with the other fans and
Sonja came out and had a drink. Marv was a bit slow. I have curiously been e-mailing
him for about 3 years just as a friend so it was quite a coincidence when he
got together with Sonja about a year back. It was really nice to meet him in
person. He is a really nice bloke and as I say I think his collaboration with
Sonja will produce very good results.
It was a great night out for me and I would have liked to make it to Sheffield
to see the other date but (un)fortunately I am going to Holland to see Arjen
Lucassen’s Star One featuring Ayreon and that is going to be something special
Star One Featuring Ayreon – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer – 28 Sep 2002
See separate page
Star One Featuring Ayreon – 013, Tilburg – 29 Sep 2002
See separate page
Karnataka/John Lawton Band – Mean Fiddler – 28 Nov 2002
We had not intended doing this gig but Praying Mantis’s touring Keyboard player
Leon Lawson is now playing with John Lawton and I thought it would be nice to
go and see him. As my previous reviews suggest I am not a big fan of John Lawton.
I think I probably described the music as B class rock and the sort of stuff
I would enjoy in a pub.
Tonight therefore I was pleased to get the impression the whole band has stepped
up a gear. I like Errol the guitar player’s work in particular and John Lawton’s
voice is very good. The songs still don’t do an awful lot for me but the set
seemed enjoyable and even Maria thought it was better than when we last saw
There seemed to be a bigger crowd for John tonight no doubt because of the
Uriah Heep Festival weekend. He seemed to thrive on the relaxed friendly atmosphere
and the crowd certainly enjoyed the set. I was surprised to find I didn’t spot
more than a couple of songs that I remember hearing before so that always makes
it tricky for the to enjoy a set to a maximum.
Having Karnataka as support was definitely a major motivation for me. I have
been following them for over a year now and really enjoy them live perhaps more
so than on CD. They are probably Maria’ s favourite current band so we were
sure to enjoy the set.
I misjudged where we were in London and we only got to the gig in time to hear
the intro of "Karnataka" from the new album, as my bag was being checked
on the stairs. Rather annoyingly the Internet said the show started 7.30 and
the band had come on at 7.15. The Mean Fiddler has a really strict and early
curfew so I had half expected this and I had intended being at the gig for 7.00.
It is still frustrating though. Having said this it probably meant we got a
1hr set instead of a 45min one.
Once we were in it was great to see the band again. The band are now able to
fully promote "The Delicate Flame of Desire" and as a consequence
they did a lot of the album. I am not sure there was anything particularly new
to me (perhaps ‘Strange Behaviour’) as they played a lot of the new album when
I saw them earlier this year. I am still only just digesting the album but live
it is good to watch the girls mucking about and I really love the guitar work.
The girls seemed to being vamping it up even more tonight and actually seemed
to be playing to the average bloke’s lesbian fantasies. There is certainly no
doubt Anne Marie and Rachel get on well and have a good laugh on stage. I also
couldn’t help wondering if they will do themselves an injury with all the backwards
Anne Marie is on the new album but since it was recorded late last year and
early this Anne Marie’s role in the band had not fully developed. The band live
therefore even on the new songs are a completely different beast. Anne-Marie
is only backing vocals but she does sing a lot of parts and she is full power
on quite often during the night.
I was pleased to see the band kept "There Must Be A Way’??? in. I think
this is my favourite and I am now rather fond of "The Right Time"
too. I can’t help feeling it reminds me of Steve Hogath’s Marillion but it is
a great song all the same. It is also great to see Jon playing a couple of nice
solos in it. He is a little reluctant to do this as a rule but it really makes
my day when he does.
We are planning to go and see the band in Deal in December and it was be great
to take in a full set again.
Time Standing Still
Can’t recall the title but it started with something like ‘One more romance
lost in the stars it’s no surprise’
Delicate Flame Of Desire
I should have Known
After The Rain
The Right Time
There Must Be A Way
Heart Of Stone
The crowd wanted an encore but there was no time.