Wednesday, 24 December 2014

I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake



Let's face it, there was no way I wasn't going to post this one.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas, I wish you a brave New Year...

And thanks for reading, I'm hoping to post a bit more in 2015. Stay tuned for the end of year stuff.

Step Into Christmas by Elton John

Monday, 22 December 2014

Still To Come...

I need to post about my final two gigs of the year but Christmas is kind of getting in the way. I will get it done, but probably inbetween Christmas and New Year.

Just scheduling a few more Christmas tunes for between now and Christmas Eve.

Christmas With The Devil by Spinal Tap

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

It's Christmas (Sing Out Loud) by The Reasoning

Here's another seasonal offering for you. This came out last year and I bloody love it. (And the video looks a lot of fun too)

Monday, 1 December 2014

A Christmas Carol by Tom Lehrer and a bonus rude song by Eric Idle

I did warn you that I was going to start posting Christmas tunes. As it's Cyber Monday (and we're still recovering from the horrors of Black Friday) I am starting somewhat cynically with this gem from the brilliant Tom Lehrer.





And for the hardened cynics out there (and to celebrate my 200th post on this blog) here's a bonus ditty from Eric Idle and John Du Prez. WARNING - contains very rude words, don't play it out loud anywhere where you may get in trouble. ;-)


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Not Sorry

Will no apologies what-so-ever I will be posting Christmas songs throughout December - maybe not everyday, depends how it goes.

If it's not your bag look away until the festive season is over. (Although, there should be three more gig reviews before year end too.)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Asia - 29th October 2014 - RNCM Manchester



Venue - Royal Northern College of Music
Gig Buddy - Emma
Gig Booty - A pre-signed photo.

First of all I'd like to say how much I love this venue. It has an
intimate feel, comfortable seats and even a cafe for pre-gig food. (In fact Geoff Downes was chatting to some friends on the table next to ours in the cafe before the gig and my gig buddy didn't notice.)

There was no support band and Asia took to the stage around about 8 o'clock launching directly into Sole Survivor. The set, which included a short intermission of about 15 minutes, was liberally peppered with hits as well as a few more recent tracks from the new album Gravitas and from the previous album XXX which held their own amongst the classics.

Stage chat was amiable and minimal leaving the songs to do the talking.  New boy Sam Coulson aquitted himself very well with only one small mention of his youthfulness.

It was all over by about 10.15 and we all disappeared off into the night to make our way home feeling fully musically sated.



The full set of my photographs from the evening can be found here. 


Friday, 18 July 2014

Neil Young - Liverpool Arena 13th July 2014

The list of people I am willing to go and see at the Arena in Liverpool is a short one. It's one of my least favourite venues ever. However when Neil Young comes to town and brings Crazy Horse with him you just have to go along.

As you can see from the set list there was a good range of stuff. I was particularly pleased that I got to hear Psychedelic Pill live as I love that track. The cacophonous sounds through the electric bits were something to behold. They vibrated throughout your entire body as guitar licks were traded.

The acoustic bit included a Dylan cover, as featured on the latest album from Neil, as well as Heart Of Gold which was obviously a crowd pleaser. (Well at least everyone seemed to know that one)

Actually there was certainly more back catalogue stuff in the set than I was expecting, though apparently not enough hits to appease some critics.

The finale of an amazing, way out there jam of Like A Hurricane was marred slightly from my point of view by the bloke in front of me lighting up a cigarette (could have even been a joint) and when security arrived trying to fight them off before being escorted off the premises. Anyway, once him and equally drunk/high girlfriend were gone there was a chance to properly enjoy the creative, buzzing mess of a ending. Strings were snapped and minds were blown. I loved it! I was particular amused when I was leaving and over heard a local fan declare "he was alright till he started f***ing about at the end" - but that was the best bit!

Neil sounded great, and looked like he was having a great time on stage, and it was awesome to finally see him with Crazy Horse. 

(Screen grabs courtesy of whichway


Neil Young Setlist Echo Arena, Liverpool, England 2014, 2014 European Tour with Crazy Horse

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Gigs to come

I seem to have booked a few tickets for things recently. My poor bank balance is quaking but I'm quite pleased to have lots to look forward to before the end of the year. 

So far the gig list looks like this - 

2nd July - Monty Python (not strictly a band but there will be music so...) - O2 Arena London
13th July - Neil Young - Liverpool Arena
28th September - Michael Nesmith - Birmingham Town Hall
29th October - Asia - RNCM Manchester
8th December - Sabaton - The Ritz Manchester
13th December - Status Quo (with Chas 'n' Dave) - NIA Birmingham
14th December - Mostly Autumn - The Stables Milton Keynes

I'm hoping that the recently announced King Crimson tour will find its way to the UK, I will definitely find money in the gig budget for that. And there will probably be a few spur of the moment things too, if I have the spare cash at the time.

Thankfully I don't have to start wrapping my head around logistics for the gigs next month, but after that I really need to get my head round the travel plans! 


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Dave Rave - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Pub (two shows)

Chris, Dave, Simon and Mark
What on earth can I say about Dave Rave that I haven't already said in the past? He arrives on the scene like he's never been away. He makes friends wherever he goes and consequently he can't always get from A to B without stopping for a chat with people.

Any show from Dave is guaranteed to be fun. His energy is boundless and infectious and can even fire up an audience on a sleepy Monday afternoon in the Cavern Pub (and a Tuesday evening too!)  If you're toes aren't at least a-tapping during his set then there's something missing from your soul.

I am of course biased...


A careering-spanning set on both occasions (there was a third set that closed the event but I'm afraid it made for too late a night when I had to work the next day) with a smattering of covers to boot, kept the audience thoroughly entertained.

Unfortunately I managed to mess up some of my filming but I did capture two covers. The first is from the Monday and features Steve Moray on guest vocals. (He had literally walked into the venue about five or ten minutes before being called up on stage.) And the second is from Tuesday evening and features drummer Chris Peck on vocals.



Links
Twitter
Bandcamp

Thomas McConnell - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Club (Back)

Thomas McConnellThomas McConnell is the latest in the long tradition of Liverpool singer/song writers. His songs are lyrical and a mostly guitar driven. He's getting about a bit so definitely one to keep an eye on.
The Cavern back is a big room, more so the less people that are in there but he filled it with his sound very well, especially for a Tuesday afternoon.





Links

Dr. Cosmo's Tape Lab - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Club (Back)

Dr Cosmo's Tape LabBilling themselves as Glasgow's newest supergroup this duo consists of Joe Kane (The Owsley Sunshine) and Stu Kidd (The Wellgreen) and they pretty much had us hooked from the first song which is also the opening track of the CD they were plugging on stage. In a moment that could only ever happen in the Cavern Club they actually signed someone's bare backside in a publicity stunt to boost sales!
The quirky set was a joy to behold, especially the Rockney styled Pie, Mash and Liquor which was about a time travelling Astra.


Afterwards I was compelled to purchase the CD, though I forewent having any of my anatomy signed, so you can expect some thoughts on that coming soon once I've had a proper chance to digest it.



Links - 

The Soundcasters - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Club (Back)

The SoundcastersThis was my first time seeing these guys but it wasn't their first IPO. By the end of their first song I was kicking myself for not having seen them sooner.

As they started to play there was a wonderful moment when a large group of their family and friends suddenly appeared in the venue, much to the surprise of the band on stage.

The performance was clean and crisp and the sound was great. They seemed to like dropping into a bit of a reggae beat, and even did a quick raggae cover. Their own stuff was hook laden and catchy and sent me straight off to the merch table at the end of their set to pick up a CD.


Links 


Tony Hazzard - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Club (Front)

Tony HazzardNot everyone will know the name but I bet a lot of people will know some of the songs he has written.

He opened his set with You Won't Be Leaving, a song that should be familiar to my Noonatic friends, and he ended it with Fox On The Run which was a hit of the Mike d'Abo era Manfred Mann. In between he enchanted most of the audience with some fabulous melodies including a song written for Lulu and one about being jealous of Paul McCartney's songwriting skills.

I say most of the audience because unfortunately there was a rather loud group conversation going on during his set on the front stage.  It seemed that the babble was preventing him from hearing his own playing. This is annoying enough at the best of times, but more so when it is someone of his songwriting talent. who I really wanted to hear.

Pushing that quibble aside aside, it was a thrill to see him perform and I hadn't had an early start the next day I may have endured a longer stay on Mathew Street on a Friday night to take in the second set.  However once this set was over I had to do the sensible thing and call it a day.

I hope I get another chance to see him perform again, maybe in a proper venue, as I was completely enthralled.
  Tony HazzardTony Hazzard


Fun Of The Pier - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Pub

Fun Of The PierI was very sad when I thought I was going to miss seeing Helen and Mark at this year's event, but in the end Stephen popped into work for an hour on the Friday afternoon so I could run up the road and catch their first set.

Helen said the first song "Inconsiderate" was for me. I'm sure sure that sounds a bit iffy to anyone who doesn't know the song. but it is a tune for all of us who hate the type of people who go to gigs and then gab to their mates throughout, thus spoiling it for those of us who have handed over our hard earned dosh to actually hear the band. It's one of my favourite songs.  As you will tell from the video below, sadly the Cavern Pub is a venue that suffers from audience noise. The event is (mostly) free and lot of pub regulars aren't really interested in the acts on the stage.

It was a set full of old favourites, soon to be favourites and a cover of a Frank Turner song, (I think I shall investigate him a little further when time allows) all beautifully delivered by Helen and Mark. It made for a nice little break from the hubbub of a busy day in work.
  Fun Of The PierFun Of The Pier



Links

Dave Lloyd - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Club (Front)

Dave LloydA great advantage of staying out for the second Sons Of Jet set was that I was able to catch Dave Lloyd's solo set in the Cavern Club. Dave is in The Suns who are a regular IPO Liverpool fixture.

Armed with just a guitar and his voice Dave filled the archways of the club and seemed to over power the usual chatting you get from people passing by the front stage.

It was a fabulous set and I was really glad I'd decided to not be sensible and to stay out.


Dave Lloyd

Links - 


Monday, 19 May 2014

Sons of Jet - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Pub and Club (Front)

Sons of JetI'd been waiting to see these chaps ever since James has dropped me a line to say they would playing at the event this year, and even more so after hearing the single (which they were giving away free at the gigs)

They did not disappoint. The songs are all immediately catchy with strong, distinctive vocals and a superb guitar sound reminiscent of early 60s instrumental groups.
Sons of Jet
I already love the tracks on the single and I hope the other songs they performed become available soon.

For me the highlights were We Cut Our Hair (dedicated to Stu Sutcliffe and the early Beatles Hamburg days), Broken Record (from the single) and the rather nifty cover of When Will I Be Loved featuring my good friend and IPO buddy Brian Barry (of Minty and The Beeb blog fame) on harmonica.

The Pub set was so entertaining that I didn't leave afterwards as planned, I popped across the road to the Club to catch the second set and enjoy it all over again!
 

Links

More videos - 


Two Weeks Running - International Pop Overthrow - Cavern Pub and Club (Front)

Two Weeks RunningThis band from Bolton provided a fine example of what a difference a venue makes. In the Pub their set seemed noisy and the vocals were lost in the brick wall of sound issuing from the stage. You could hear that there were some tunes trying to break free but the sheer volume just stopped them getting out there. Over in the Club they sounded like a different band, the powerful guitar riffs finally escaped, filled the space and the set felt far more energetic and vibrant.

Links
Website
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Soundcloud


Thursday, 15 May 2014

International Pop Overthrow Liverpool t-shirts

Every year at International Pop Overthrow Liverpool there is an exclusive event T-shirt. They are only for sale at the IPO merchandise stall in the Cavern Club and when they are gone, they are gone.

This year's design is especially cool, and it's the first one in colour too. The back print features all the bands that are playing at the festival.

There are a snip at £10 each and only available at the event.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Mark Ell Band - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool - Cavern Club (Front)

Mark Ell BandI was only nipping into the Cavern Club this evening to purchase my IPO Liverpool tshirt, but a friend on facebook who I have known for several years (more than I'm willing to count since I used babysit her and her brother when I was at school) mentioned this band today so I stuck around for a couple of numbers before I had to leave.
The opener Barmy Army (?) was pretty catchy and the next one sounded good too, so this will be another group that I'll be looking into once the event is over and I can catch my breath!


It was an early dart for me today after a long and unusual day in work. But please remember to check out Minty And The Beeb Go Gigging for more posts about the event!

Split Sofa - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool - Cavern Pub

Split SofaI went to see these guys on a whim and I glad I did. I enjoyed the set especially the ringing guitar sounds that were very reminiscent of some of the west coast 60s stuff I was over indulging in not so long ago. There was a nice bit of bass going on in there too.

I would have liked to have heard them in a better sounding room, no offence to the sound guys who do a sterling job but the Cavern Pub isn't all that acoustically pleasing. (I don't think the comings and goings of the clientèle help particularly, but then again that's just the way it is.)

I'm definitely going to investigate these guys further though.

Links -
Website
Facebook


French Boutik - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool - Cavern Club (Back)

French BoutikI popped over to the Cavern Club after seeing The Shakers thinking I would catch maybe the last couple of songs by this band before leaving for the evening. When I got over the road and down into the depths on the club I discovered that things were running a tad late and therefore I got to see the full set of their French pop ditties. That's the beauty of International Pop Overthrow, I get to go from pounding rhythm and blues to 60s euro-pop simply by crossing the street.
My favourite was the last song Tip Toes.

They play again tomorrow (Thursday) on the Cavern Club front stage at 8.30pm.

Links -
Facebook Page


The Shakers - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool - Cavern Pub.

The Shakers
The Shakers are one of the resident bands in the Cavern Club and can be found in there most weekends pounding out classic Mersey Beat tunes for their appreciative audience. Tonight, however, their set was mostly made up of their own songs from their new LP Whole Lotta Shakers.  Mind you if you were played any of the songs blind and told they were obscure 60s beat singles you would believe it. The band capture the very essence of the driving beat and bass of the early rhythm and blues groups of the area, then mix in a couple of jangly rock and roll guitars and some seriously strong harmonies to cook up songs that sound like they have travelled through time to the modern day.

Highlights included the surf tinged "Draggin' Me Down" and the hook laden "Here She Comes Again." Their cover of "Love of the Loved" should get an honourable mention too! Their set was brilliant way to start for me to start this event, it's set me up for the rest of the week!

They play again on Friday on the back stage of the Cavern Club at 7.15pm.

The LP is definitely worth checking out. It's available as a download for all the modern cats, and on vinyl for the hep cats! (And a review will appear here eventually, it's on the list of things I really need to write about but never seem to get the time)

The Shakers
Links -
The Shakers on Facebook
Buy A Whole Lotta Shakers on vinyl.
Download it from iTunes
Download it from Amazon






Sunday, 11 May 2014

Yes - Manchester Apollo 10th May 2014

This was the final gig for me in a run of five in eleven days and I was beginning to flag a bit. As the band took to to stage to great applause I did wonder if there was going to be sound issues as at first it didn't seem to gel (could have just been me though), however as with other gigs this week the tech crew were obviously on the ball and the sound was very quickly sorted and everything flowed really well after the first couple of minutes. I don't think the sound people get enough credit when every goes right and every gig I've been to lately has been spot on (or adjusted swiftly to be spot on) so here's a big thank you to the people who helped make them all an aural pleasure.

Anyway, back to last night. On this tour Yes have been performing three of their classic albums - Close To The Edge, Going For The One and The Yes Album. The line up is Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes and Jon Davison and they really appear to be having a ball on stage.  Davison's voice is brilliant and filled the venue. Every track was warmly received, certainly by those in our immediate surroundings. Some people leapt to their feet after each one to show their appreciation.

YesIMG_20140511_143852YesYesYes

Behind the band a screen enhanced the show with trippy visuals and also gave a countdown during the interval so everyone could back in their seats in a timely fashion. It all added to the feel of the show.

I find it hard to pinpoint highlights apart from my obvious favourite tracks which are And You And I and Starship Trooper (probably my favourite Yes song, after all I did name this blog after the opening words).
Awaken was amazing, I think I drifted off somewhere else during that, not in a bad way I hasten to add. Something similar happened during Perpetual Change. The end of both halves of the concert had people rising to their feet en masse for standing ovations.

Yes
After the completion of the three album set the band gave an encore of the perennial favourite Roundabout. Took a while for people to get up and dance but it rounded the evening off and off we disappeared into the rainy Manchester night feeling thoroughly entertained and satisfied with the whole thing.

Flickr Set of edited photos
Flickr Set of unedited photos


Yes Setlist O2 Apollo Manchester, Manchester, England 2014, Three Album Tour

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Rick Wakeman Journey To The Centre Of The Earth - Liverpool Philharmonic 9th May 2014

After what felt like an incredibly long day in work yesterday, I rounded things off with another dose of Rick Wakeman and co doing Journey To The Centre Of The Earth at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Essentially it was the same show as the Royal Albert Hall so I thought that instead of waffling about it all again I would just post some photos from the encore and leave a few comments about the performance.

- Somehow the first "half" seemed a bit more rushed than at RAH, not the music, just the talk in between. 
- Eleanor Rigby in the style of Prokofiev is still amazing!
- Occasionally the music overwhelmed the narration soundwise, but it was quickly adjusted.
- How much fun were the orchestra having?! Loved the cellist giving it loads of welly during (I think) Ride of Your Life in the encore. And throughout the show there was a lot of smiling and seat dancing from musicians
- Dance of a Thousand Lights is still breathtakingly bloody beautiful! 
- At the back of the stage at the Philharmonic Hall is a piece of kinetic artwork called Adagio. You hardly ever see it at concerts as they curtain off the back of the stage. Because there was an orchestra and choir to accommodate the piece was visible and during the encore they turned it on, which was a really fab touch from the venue.

Once again it was a great performance, though I do think the RAH gig may have just pipped it soundwise. (But only just, as the Philharmonic is a brilliant venue for sound)


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

International Pop Overthrow UK is almost here!

Every May International Pop Overthrow spreads its wings and flies over the ocean to the UK shores. Now in its 12th year in Liverpool and 4th in London the events bring a plethora of people and performers together for the purposes of pure powerpop pleasure.

The atmosphere and camaraderie at the events is amazing. I have made some amazing friends over the years and seen some brilliant bands at the Liverpool events. Sadly this year there's a few regular faces missing but the flip side is that there's new bands to discover all the time. The scheduling of IPO Liverpool means that if the band on stage isn't really your cup of tea you can pop over to the next stage (or the one across the road) and see what's going on there.

As I have a proper day job these days my time at the event is more limited than it used to be but expect updates here as and when I can (the drawback of the Liverpool event that the Cavern is underground so no mobile data signals and last time I tried it the wifi was about as much use as a chocolate teapot) For better, shinier, more detailed updates on the shenanigans bookmark Minty And The Beeb Go Gigging - they will probably have reports from the London event too (I'll get there one day!) 

The Liverpool event event runs from May 13th - 20th at the Cavern Club and Pub. 
The London event runs from May 23rd - 25th at Surya on Pentonville Road.

For all the details about the UK events (and those in the USA and Canada) pop along to the official International Pop Overthrow website by clicking here!  


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Seekers Liverpool Philharmonic Hall - 4th May 2014


I was supposed to see this concert last year, but Judith Durham was taken ill with a brain haemorrhage and for a while it was uncertain whether she would sing again. Thankfully she made an excellent recovery and after a delay of only a few months the tour was rescheduled.

The Seekers are a band that I am aware of due to my dad. Music has always loomed large in our house and dad would often sing us to sleep (or play his guitar for us) with folk hits from the 60s. So accompanying him to and sharing this concert was pretty important to me.

The band were brilliant. Judith's voice sounded strong and clear throughout the show. There was an interval and another little break for her in the second half where Keith, Bruce and Athol entertained us without her. The pure joy on her face at being on stage and the affection that the band have for her shone for the duration of the whole show.


There was a wealth of beloved songs in the setlist. The highlights for me were Morning Town Ride, the Gospel medley leading into the interval and Red Rubber Ball (co written with Paul Simon by Keith).

Vintage footage was projected behind the band throughout the evening, and although it was clear that everyone has aged in the last fifty years it was nice to see how gracefully they had done so.

I can't fault the performance, it was better than I had allowed myself to hope it would be and evoked so many memories for me and I'm sure it did the same for my dad. The tour is being billed as the Farewell Tour and it's one heck of a way to bow out.





Sunday, 4 May 2014

Ian Anderson Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 2nd May 2014 (updated with videos)

I think this was my fourth Ian Anderson gig. I have to be a bit vague as I really can't remember. It could be my fifth, but I don't think so.

Anyway, this tour is all about the Homo Erraticus album, and because of various factors the night of the show was the first time I'd heard it in any form.

Like the Thick as a Brick Two tour before it, this was a multimedia show. The live band, in costume, were accompanied by visuals on a big screen introducing and illustrating the songs. Also as before, some of the vocal duties fell to Ryan O'Donnell, his voice being a great match to Anderson's.

P1020529
The production flowed perfectly and I will be investigating the album further once I get a bit of spare time.

The second half of the show was billed as the best of Jethro Tull and that's pretty much what was delivered. Again some of the vocal duties were passed on to Ryan, but this was mostly trading off verses or middle eights here and there, apart from Teacher where he was lead vocalist. The blending of vocals this way worked well, even the second half was more of a production than just a concert. There was archive footage shown behind the band and graphics to take us back to the time of each song.

I don't think I've ever not enjoyed a show from Ian Anderson (even the ones I can't recall from my ever diminishing memories) This night was no exception.




Set List
(Homo Erraticus)
Doggerland
Heavy Metals
Enter the Uninvited
Puer Ferox Adventus
Meliora Sequamur
The Turnpike Inn
The Engineer
The Pax Britannica
Tripudium Ad Bellum
After These Wars
New Blood, Old Veins
In for a Pound
The Browning of the Green
Per Errationes Ad Astra
Cold Dead Reckoning

(Best of Jethro Tull)
Living in the Past
Bourée
Sweet Dream
Teacher
With You There to Help Me
A Passion Play
Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die
Songs from the Wood
Farm on the Freeway
My God
Aqualung
Encore: Locomotive Breath

Give Sons of Jet a listen!


These chaps (featuring James from The Popdogs) are going to at International Pop Overthrow Liverpool later this month.
Thursday, 15th May
The Cavern Pub - 7:15pm,
The Cavern Club (Front Stage) - 9:15pm
and they will be giving away copies of this debut CD single.

Band-
James Styring - lead vocal
Martin J. Brown - lead guitar, backing vocal
George Duffy - rhythm guitar, backing vocal
Neil Leak - bass guitar
John Dowd - drums

Facebook Page
Reverbnation Page



Friday, 2 May 2014

Rick Wakeman Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Royal Albert Hall 30th April 2014

After an anxious wait for the tickets to arrive and the announcement of a tube strike over the day of the gig, I was beginning to fret that a disaster of an evening could be looming. However, the tickets arrived just before I needed to leave home for the week and my gig buddy for this adventure, Paul, booked a parking space and drove us from Milton Keynes into the big bad smoke and back again. Anxiety suitably subdued all that was left was to enjoy the gig.

I genuinely don't seem able to find the words to convey how much I enjoyed the show. Starting quietly with hat tips to those key players at the beginning of his opus, Rick treated the audience to an excellent choral version of Morning Has Broken, a version of Life On Mars? with vocals by Hayley Sanderson and a splendid rendition of Summertime by Ashley Holt. Rounding off this short  introductory section was a breathtaking Eleanor Rigby in the style of Prokofiev. I have heard this before but that night it just seemed that much better than before, leaving us eager for more after the interval.

After a quick dash to the merch table and an ice cream for Paul, we were settled in for the second half. As the orchestra finished their preparations Paul pointed out that he could see Rick in the wings complete with cape. I confess than I may have appeared to be far too excited by this, but in my defense this was the first time I had experienced a cape at a Rick gig. It was a spendid, shiny cape of silver and gold. 

Phillip Franks took on the role of narrator, sat on a throne by the huge organ in the hall, and the Journey began. I was pretty much lost in the show from then onwards. The sound in the hall was brilliant. It looked like everyone on the stage was having a ball, especially Rick who had a huge grin on his face most of the time. I'm going to admit to fnding the Dance of a Thousand Lights (transplanted into Journey from Return)  especially beautiful and moving.  Two screens had a images of caves and water for as and when appropriate in the story and the audience, thankfully, treated it as a classical piece and saved their applause for the very end of the story, and were on their feet immediately for a well deserved ovation.

The encore consisted of a bit of Return To The Centre of the Earth and a repeat of the whole end of Journey, this time with solos from members of the English Rock Ensemble, leading to Rick having a quick wander around the orchestra and choir with his keytar.


The final bow saw another ovation and then with a wave from the protagonists it was all over and time to gather ourselves together and head back to the car. 

Recently, friends have been discussing their top concert experiences, this one is right up in the top five of mine, without hestitation. 

I can't wait to do it all again at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on the 9th May.

My RAH photos



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