Sunday, 27 November 2011

Carl Palmer - Manchester Club Academy 26th November 2011.

Last time I was at the Academy the security couldn't be more helpful, however on this occasion they seemed to have very little patience and as I arrived at the venue had just turfed everyone out into the cold to queue up for half an hour. Not sure why the union bar wasn't open but it would have made a few bob before everyone went in. Then when we did get in we were left milling for a second not knowing which bit we were going to, which seemed to annoy the security people. Some actually signs to the different sections would be really handy you know!

Venue griping aside this was a really entertaining night. Me and gig buddy had a pint or two and browsed the merch stall before the show began. The merch seemed really reasonably priced. I forked out a mere £30 and came away with a t-shirt, a signed drum head and a pair of drumsticks.

The venue wasn't packed which made it possible to get a good way down towards the action. I'm usually slightly shorter that the rest of the audience so I'm used to a limited view at standing gigs.  Nobody pushed and nobody shoved, it was quite lovely.

Opening with the familiar "Welcome Back" section from Karn Evil  9 the set list moved through a selection of well known ELP pieces. The sound from trio was tremendous. Closing your eyes you would have been hard pushed to believe there was only a guitarist, bassist and drummer on that stage.  Paul Bielatowicz made some amazing sounds on his guitar, pulling the best "rock guitar" faces I've seen in a long time. And bass player  Simon Fitzpatrick was also superb, particularly during his bass solo bookended by "Take A Pebble"

Carl Palmer, as you would expect, was faultless on drums, and percussion and big old gongs! He really looked like he was having a ball up there on stage.

The tour is to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Pictures At An Exhibition. The band did their own version of the piece, which although obviously not exact (there is no keyboard player or vocalist) was an excellent piece of work of itself.

We didn't stick around to meet Carl afterwards, instead it was out into the chill November air to head home after a thoroughly entertaining night out.

With thanks to Paul Dean for the photos of the set list and my gig booty!

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