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Peter Gabriel (The Hydro Glasgow 2014) – Gig Review

August 23rd, 2014 Comments off

There is no question that Peter Gabriel is one of classic rock/prog rock heavyweights. He does not fail to deliver live shows with anything less than 100% commitment to quality in every respect of his performance. Having seen him 5-6 times since 1984 I have always come away from his show totally speechless and awe struck.

The songs, musicianship, atmosphere, delivery, sound, light and performance are all totally superlative. It is perversely ironic that the guy who was ridiculed for being pretentious (critics’ favoured word for prog rock for some reason) by wearing a fox’s head and red dress now delivers a full ‘multimedia’ live performance that sets the standard for this kind of music and the audiences of 12000-18000 per night

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Peter Gabriel – Back to Front Tour

“Peter Gabriel Back to Front Tour 2014” Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Gabriel is a master performer in every sense of the word and has an on stage persona which is second to none (no matter how many times Sky Arts show Queen and Freddie Mercury!).

The true highlights for me were:

Mercy Street – performed laying on his back on the floor with interplay from the lights.

In your Eyes – with dance routines: true World Music which must touch everyone.

Secret World – a deceptively simple song with great dynamics that most rock artists are incapable of.

This is the Picture – I remember them playing this in the mid 80’s withe the whole band playing ‘strap on’ instruments with the obligatory wee dance routines. Awesome

Categories: Classic Prog, Modern Prog

People get Ready (Greg Lake – Songs of a Lifetime)

April 6th, 2014 No comments

I first saw Greg Lake performing this song at Tarrytown Music Hall in  April 2012. I had never heard the song before but I was totally gobsmacked at this song when he played it. With no introduction and as the last song of the set, he casually meandered over to the Nord Stage 2 keyboard sat down and played this Curtis Mayfield  cover on his own style with such soul and passion.

And you might wonder why would he play keyboards when his longtime bandmaster and collaborator is the best rock keyboardist in the known universe.  Either way he played a fairly simple piano/string pad arrangement of this song which was absolutely stunning. He sang with control and emotion and with a voice that is so rich and often gospel like (despite his comments about being staunchly European in his musical roots) he stunned the audience.

Greg Lake rarely gets a lot of credit for his voice but this song ( and many others in his repertoire to be fair) proves that he is a masterful musician both as a singer, bassist and performer.  If ever there was a showcase for him (but let’s face it does not have to prove anything to anyone) this song will destroy any preconceptions about being a prog dinosaur (yawn) and all the usual standard  music journalist cliches and proves that this guy is as good as singer/musician as anyone in rock music.

A great cover of  a great song by a superlative singer and performer. What else to say?

Whimwise at the Ferry Glasgow (supporting Focus)

June 23rd, 2013 Comments off

I had heard Whimwyse the last time they opened for Focus at the Ferry. I had not known a great deal about them or even their ‘name’ Nick Mays who is a graduate from The Enid school of musicians. They mostly look like a bunch of rejects from Middle Earth (and I don’t mean that unkindly) but they made some excellent music.

Some people may struggle with their brand of eclectic no limits prog fusion music but you cannot fail to be intrigued by this band. Keyboard player Gonzalo Carrera has a bit of a career with others but between him and Nick Mays (a tall lanky guitarist with bigger hands than Frank Dunnery.

Categories: Classic Prog

Fan views from Cleveland

April 2nd, 2010 2 comments

The IMWAN Forum has a few ELP Fans  chatting about the ‘debacle’ in Cleveland.

Robert Gerard Hunt  actually posted a photo of the empty Emerson Lake stage in Cleveland. in his blog.
How ironic is that!

Emerson Lake – first 3 shows cancelled!

April 2nd, 2010 23 comments

I have said it before many times: you get little reward for being a fervent ELP fan. It’s bad enough that (if you live long enough) you wait 15 years between tours then when the tour comes round it stutters to a false start.

Some people in Cleveland are a bit pissed off that that they drove 200 miles to the gig to be told it was cancelled at the last minute. I have spent months making all sorts of arrangements, and a fair amount of money, to fly from Glasgow, Scotland to New York to see the gig at The Nokia Theatre.

How angry do you think I’ll be if that gig is cancelled!

For sure it must have been incredibly disappointing and frustrating to get to the gig and waiting on it all happening only to be told that there is no gig. I have never heard of such circumstances in all the gigs I have  attended over 30 years.

It seems particularly irksome that there seems no good reason forthcoming at this point….. at least not yet anyway. There is a lot of speculation about in fighting but I personally don’t believe that. They must have been rehearsing for weeks before the tour and would have cleared up all artistic disagreements before this point.

Furthermore after the amount of time they have been in the business, they must have a degree of professionalism that would have overcome petty arguments.

I mean, even Roger Waters and Pink Floyd played music together at Live 8 in a professional manner and look how much abuse they had hurled at each other over the years. Even if you hate each other it is still entirely possible (and good for your career and reputation) to get over that and go and get the  job done. Yes the show must go on. Its is an entertainment cliche but it is true

My view is that it is some kind of health issue, bureaucratic issue or something more important than Emerson and Lake swinging handbags at each other. The management press release mentioned at cleveland.com states that the tour will continue from Monday at Annapolis MD. If you have an arguement you don’t generally agree a date for  a truce do you?

In the modern business/celebrity arena people are very cautious about opening their gob until they have worked out the ‘best outcome scenario’: check out Tiger Woods or these English footballers and their wives. And given how little ELP ever tell the world anything, it is not suprising that no info is forthcoming. I mean they barely told anyone about the bloody tour! All the fans had to find out via the jungle drums and private detectives and then passed information around the  Secret Society!

Let’s hope the tour continues on Monday and the long suffering fans get what they deserve: some ELP music played by EL(P): that’s it – surely not too much to ask!

Otherwise any one fancy a beer with a jetlagged scotsman in Time Square NYC on Thursday night?……. cos I may have a few spare hours to spare!

ELP set to continue working beyond 2010?

March 28th, 2010 No comments

In an interview for the first Emerson Lake gig of 2010 at Lakewood Civic Auditorium the website cleveland.com spoke with Keith and Greg and got some hints that we may see more from the duo/trio following this tour and the High Voltage gig in London in July.

Everyone knows that they have been writing together and the only reason to write is to record and release new music. This is very exciting since their creative output has been fairly minimal since their real ‘Imperial period’: the last real album was in 1994’s In the Hot Seat. Whilst the album certainly does have it’s moments the widely held view is that it is not an ELP landmark.

But then given the arm problem Keith had at the time and the ‘post tour syndrome’ they always seem to suffer these days it is hardly a surprise.

It sounds like both players have may have mellowed with age and realise the ‘chemistry’ the have (described by Greg Lake in one of his online chat sessions) is actually worth cherishing and hopefully they can find a way to give the long suffering ELP fans a reward for their endurance.

And given the amount of crap music we all have to suffer these days in mainstream media (including the internet) we could really do with some quality music to listen to. My Brian Salad Surgery CD (an album which is impossible to listen to enough) has been played so much it is as worn as my vinyl  – now that takes some amount of playing.

I personally can’t with to go to NYC next week to see the new gig format and have them chatting to the audience too!!!! wow. Like a rare warm scottish summer it looks like 2010 is gonna be a bumper year for ELP fans.

Frankfurt Music Prize 2010 for Keith Emerson

March 25th, 2010 No comments

Keith was awarded The Frankfurt Music Award for artistic and technical innovation. The award was given to Keith at Frankfurt’s Town Hall ‘Römer’on the eve of the annual Frankfurt Musikmesse, 23 March 2010.

See some German TV coverage of Keith arriving at the event, preparing for and playing at the event on Tony’s blog

The Frankfurt Music Prize was founded in 1980 and is awarded annually on the occasion of the international Musikmesse in Frankfurt by the Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation (Kuratorium Stiftung Frankfurter Musikpreis zur Internationalen Musikmesse Frankfurt) to personalities from the world of music for special achievements in the fields of interpretation, composition, musicology and teaching

Emerson Lake Live – San Francisco date added 26 April

February 25th, 2010 No comments

According to Pollstar Keith Emerson and Greg Lake have announced another date in April – the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on 26 April.

Keith Emerson at Les Mercy show in Santa Monica 15 Feb 2010

February 17th, 2010 No comments

Keith Emerson is shown with Les Mercy after attending their show at Santa Monica.

ELP Photos from 1973 and 1978

February 12th, 2010 No comments

I just stumbled across the website of photographer Al Ligammari 11 (Alimar) with some great backstage an concert photos of ELP from several shows by Al himself.

1. Backstage at Toronto in 1973 (Maple Leaf Gardens?) with a few stage shots (black and white)
2. On stage in Buffalo NY (Rich Stadium?) in 1974 (black and white)
3. On stage in Buffalo NY in 1978 (colour)

Can anyone confirm the venues?

Great shots Al – thanks for sharing
Al also has others personal photos of Yes, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Steve Hackett and Gentle Giant