Colston Hall Say YES in May with Delight

Colston Hall Say YES in May with DelightColston Hall Say YES in May with Delight

Yes, are back in Bristol. Colston Hall is full on a sunny May evening. The hall is energised with a prog rock vibe as memories are re-told and shared as the minutes on the clock tick around until seated we all wait for the show to begin. Tonight was a chance to hear two albums from Yes discography, Drama and Fragile from beginning to end.

Colston Hall Say YES in May with DelightLights are low and a Rickenbacker Bass is place centre stage with a spotlight a tribute redolent with dignity and emotions. Chris Squire  rembered through a video tribute and the swirling memories for many of the audience. His passing last year after a tragic illness left a huge place to fill. Chris Squire wanted Yes to play on, Billy Sherwood was his choice who should pick up the bass. The music played was Onward from Tormato, the emotional audience applauded the life of a virtuoso bass player that added so much to the sound of Yes.

The first act of the concert tonight was Drama with a backdrop reflecting the music. Opening with Machine Messiah we were off on a musical ride courtesy of Yes, the lights flashed with numbers and machines this was music up close, personal and the acoustics hummed with delight. Into The Lens, had the audience singing to the line ‘I am a camera’. What a delight with a camera/phone embargo everyone focused intently on the stage, no one viewed the gig through the back of a camera through choice or not. This intense concentration of the audience gave the music space to cascade the falls and shaping of notes and words to swirl unimpeded around the packed to the rafters Colston Hall.

 

Tonight proved Fragile/Drama combines into a concert that lingers long after the fading of the music and the house lights go up. Time waits for no-one and Tempus Fugit the bass playing from Billy was deep and intense just as it should be a brought the wonderful live rendition of Drama to life. Drama is a mix of Yes with clang of melodic metal in Machine Messiah and the shortest in the Yes repertoire White Cars. Before the intermission Time and Word, from the 1970 album of the same title was played as a tribute to Prog Rock guitarist Peter Banks, Steve Howe’s predecessor who died in 2013. Closing the first set Steve Howe revealed Steven Wilson is re-mixing Tales from Topographic Oceans in 5.1 next year; a chance to rediscover a concept album that was often talked of disparagingly and yet at the same time it was an intriguing enigma. Then Siberan Khatru, Don’t Kill The Whale, Owner of a Lonely Heart. Three tracks that seared into your music memory bank. What an opening set and we had more treasures to hear.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With a collective breath the audience got ready to immerse themselves in Fragile. The album is anything but Fragile. Roundabout, often heard but the rest is a pleasure. Now for the keys to take centre Stage, Cans and Brahms. Geoff Downes on a bank of keys was superlative his fingers danced across the keys with a delicacy and form. His feet choreographed with step perfect precision as he danced across the pedals changing tempo and textures of the keyboard. Magnificent.
Everyone was waiting in anticipation for Billy Sherwood to step forward to showcase The Fish a piece forever associated with Chris Squire. As Long Distance Runaround faded the bass picks up and the huge appreciative applause reflects that he did good tonight. Fragile was drawn to a conclusion with Heart of the Sunrise the music soared we wanted more.

Tonight was more that the playing of two albums, this was a prog-rock classical concert. Steve Howe on guitar was spellbinding, his acoustic solo, Mood For a Day, breathtaking, the mixing of electric guitar mesmerizing and lap steel casually dragged into and out of position with a foot added to the theatre. The vocal prowess of Jon Davison who hits seemingly impossible high notes with a purity of a choir boy. He has shaped the lyrics and approach so that they are his interpretation and they work. With Alan White sitting behind an impressive array of drums Yes is in safe hands – what two albums would you like heard in full the next time they tour. Before they go the encore lifted the roof as Starship Trooper entered the auditorium, standing ovations long and enthusiastic, and deserved. The performance was impeccable.

What a night of glorious prog rock the performances were masterful. A timely reminder how powerful an album is when you listen intently from beginning to end as originally intended. All too often in this day-and-age of instant music the random button gets pushed. Every Yes album is a work of art from the cover, sleeve notes and from the first to last note tonight we had the pleasure of hearing the art live.

Colston Hall Say YES in May with Delight

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell

 

 

Tonight no camera so could concentrate on the music from the first to the last so one advantage of no photography permission for the show.

The hall was packed, the audience excitable and  I wondered how many would try and take mobile phone shots despite being informed on entry NO Photography. Yes, people still did leaving the stewards the impossible task of identifying  and re-informing people and this was a distraction from the music I certainly did not want. The staff handled the situation so well, but they should not have had to do this we were told – respect the artist wishes and just sit back and enjoy the show of magical Cornell sound.  Then there was the getting up and down… gripes over and on with the glory that was Colston Hall a Garden of Sound with Chris Cornell. With no opening act due to circumstances beyond control, it was straight to the main act we all wanted to hear. Opening with  Before We Disappear, from Higher Truth, with Bryan Gibson on keys,the lights illuminated the backdrop and red heart, script and diagrams the show was underway.

The songs flowed and the set list was extensive – twenty-three numbers plus three additional in the encore. The set was interspersed with tracks from his latest album including Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart and Worried Moon, and the Sound Garden tracks Black Hole Sun and Blow Up The Outside World. The re-writing/updating of the Dylan classic re-titled Times Are Changing Back was a highlight showing that this was a set-list that entertained with sighs, laughs and tears.

For over two and half hours Chris Cornell entertained with a smile, witty stories and interaction with a packed house and his music spanning the Sound Garden years and his solo career joined on stage for some of the tracks by multi-instrumentalist Bryan Gibson with cello and keys. His tribute to Prince was raw and stripped back so the intensity of every word was savoured and then spread out across the auditorium, yes Prince Nothing Compares to You and a purple stage reflecting back the emotions still tender to touch for so many music fans. In the mix tonight was Josephine, for his wife.  The stage had an extra member tonight, mandolin player James from Nottingham who Chris had first met at the Manchester gig who joined Chris on Fell On Black Days after displaying a request placard. Impressed invited back for a repeat performance tonight in Bristol. This is what makes live music so special, always expect the unexpected. Fans shouted out requests that will have been a muffled noise by the time they hit the stage, Chris felt he had caught the words Drunk In the Forest a song title that should have been written, So we had a new experimental ditty from him including the importance of having crumbs (which he did not) in your pocket before wandering and getting lost in a forest! Quick wits and fun  exuding from  the stage tonight. It was truly A Day In The Life of a musician and a great rendition of this Beatles number from Sgt. Peper’s album, and then closing the set with the  words of John Lennon’s Imagine, if only we all could all live as one in harmony.

The music was spellbinding a walk through the music of Chris with Bond, James Bond the theme to Casino Royale You Know My Name and it was received with delight by the audience spellbound by musical narrative unfolding on stage.  People were on the edges of their seats as their own special Cornell song was delivered to a Colston Hall that wanted to hear more from the singer of songs on stage tonight.

Ghosts swirled, ebbed  and flowed of music past, lovers lost and found and musicians who have passed. The web flowed through Sound Garden and Chris Cornell’s material Dylan to Prince, Michael Jackson to Led Zepplin, Beatles and Metallica and U2 joined together in a Cornell Mash-up we were united as One applauding the power of music, the emotional feast of lyrics. Thank you, Chris Cornell we stood and appreciated as the fading notes of the title song of his current album Higher Truth faded away. The passion of live music lived on long after the lights of Colston Hall were switched off tonight!

Clap of Thunder Rocks Colston Hall Bristol

Clap of Thunder Rocks Colston Hall Bristol

 

Colston Hall WM-5657
Colston Hall, Bristol we made it through the chaotic traffic that was conspiring to make us late. We overcame and were there to see the first band in a smorgasbord of styles on offer tonight. With three bands it was going to be wall to wall guitars, vocals and keyboards with King King, Terrorvision and THUNDER!

What a start King King are not a bottom of the bill blues rock outfit. Thirty minutes are just not long enough we wanted more of Alan Nimmo’s honey dripping vocals that pour over his guitar strings. They made the best use of the time, chatter kept to a minimum they let the music do the talking. One thing for certain they made another phalnax of fans tonight, who will want to hear the band again very soon – you are in luck they are back on tour – checkout dates and venues HERE. King King are more than a little bit special they are a quartet of talent. King King are a band that celebrate each other’s abilities, thus the musical depth is greater than the sum of the individual inputs. Kilted and dazzling as ever front man Alan Nimmo adds the shining finishing touches to the surround provided by his musical comrades. The keys add lead breaks and curlicues of chords to every track thanks to Bob Fridzema, and the rhythm section, drummer Wayne Proctor and Lindsay Coulson on bass adding yet another tonal layer to the King King’s rising blues Rock Banner. What an opening act! We wanted more but sadly was not to be appropriately squeezed into a whistle-stop tour of King King songs was Hurricane kicking up a storm before Thunder, and then Bristol had a chance to sing with Rush Hour and You Drive Me Crazy. King King came and once again excited and royally conquered Bristol with blues rock that appeals and thrills every time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What an efficient turn- around equipment taken off the front of stage and Terrovision were set up and ready to take over the baton handed to them by King King to entertain.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Terrovision, a band from Bradford not one I have heard much of so intrigued. Would they be terrifying or a visual delight? It turned out they for me were neither! For me they just did not connect in my musical lexicon. They were a letdown following the opening set. They delivered a set of high-octane power rock-pop, many fans in the audience were delighted with the antics. The second keyboard player of the night, who kept rocking the keyboard into a strange angle which added nothing the sound. Terrorvision definitely infused the high energy set with powerful riffs. Tony Wright fronting the band cavorts across the stage delivering his vocals whether on Discotheque Wreck the opening number right through to the expected songs in the set. The fans loved the trip down nostalgia road – My House, Alice and What’s The Matter. The set was showmanship over substance why take your shirt of Tony it added nothing to D’ya Wanna Go Faster as he leaped around the stage. Thankfully he did put another shirt on. Terrorvision fans were delighted they understand what Terrorvision are about musically this metal-pop just did not ignite.

Thunder WM-5944Another quick set change. Entering the stage to Edgar Winter on the PA followed by a clap of thunder! Danny Bowes and Thunder under a blaze of lights hit the stage in Bristol the applause, shouts and whistles were thunderous. The atmosphere just got hotter and hotter the energy and the thrill of the audience was uniform from the front of the stage up through into the seats upstairs. Starting the show with Wonder Days, title track off their current nostalgia drenched album. Danny had complete control of the crowd generating an electric atmosphere that he continued to re-fuel throughout the set.

Thunder is a band that refused to fade away, they have a fan base that is alive, well and growing this is the renaissance of a much underrated rock band. The reward a top-ten album, chart topping DVD and sell out shows – Colston Hall was sold out months ago.

Danny’s vocals are superb as he spits out the lyrics and then throughs in a gentler side. With his long-time partner in music Luke Morley on guitar. Adding into the Thunder mix that blew up a storm are one of the most popular drummers Gary ‘Harry’ James combined with Chris Childs the rhythm is assured. We still need a another layer of tones so who else could fill the role it has to be multi-instrumentalist Ben Matthews who not only plays a splendid cowbell his true role is guitarist and keyboard player. Fantastic to see him back on stage after his brush with Cancer.

This is not a strutting testosterone fueled rock band. Thunder want to have some cheeky fun, they want to have a rock fest of joyous energy. The set list was laden with songs from Wonder Days. There was also time to revisit past glories including River of Pain from the 1995 Behind Closed Door album and further back Like A Satellite. The crowd whooped with delight and earned a chiding from Danny as he smiled and said “you’re not helping”. Despite the passage of time, which Danny referred to his vocal prowess has not diminished with the passing years. He is unarguably on of the finest rock voices on the circuit today.
Luke Morely played with his characteristic way, tasteful considerate and never overwhelming the band. As Danny Bowes left the stage the acoustic was his chosen guitar with a gentle number fitting neatly into the set a juxtaposition to the rest of the evening. The interlude was short-lived the Gibson flying V tool over the voice was back and the band picked up the rock tempo with a flick of the lights adding more power to the set Rock Conquers All. The Colston Hall crowd loved every maneuver Danny used to get them participating the sparks between stage and audience were as intense as an electric storm. The cowbell added to I Love You More Than Rock and Roll, and Ben used the bell for a short while in the next track before casually throwing it towards the back of the stage where it was deftly caught. Picking up the guitar the bell was silenced.

The noise rose and rose as the demand for an encore was screamed, stamped and shouted for and the enthusiastic and happy audience was rewarded with Serpentine from Wonder Days and the inevitable Dirty Love.

Thunder tonight, played a magnificent set of classic rock sparking with lightening of guitars and keys and the thunderous power of ‘Harry’ on drums. SUPERB!!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Joe Satriani on UK TOUR 2015 with special Guest Dan Patlansky

UK TOUR

o2 Apollo Manchester                                                       November 1st
Symphony Hall Birmingham                                         November 2nd
Royal Concert Hall  Glasgow                                          November 3rd
City Hall Sheffield                                                              November 4th
St. David’s Hall Cardiff                                                     November 5th
Cliffs Pavilion  Southend                                                  November 7th
Colston Hall Bristol                                                            November 8th
Guildhall  Portsmouth                                                       November 9th
 Eventim Hammersmith Apollo London                    November 10th

U.K. Dates:- Ticket hotline: 0844 888 9991, Book online: Tickets

Joe Satriani featuring singer-songwriter and guitarist Dan Patlansky as special guest starts  the UK stage of   Shockwave Tour 2015 on 1st November.  Patlansky has support Satriani since October 9th   across 25 shows in 10 countries, and over the course of 33 days, taking in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, as well as the UK from 1st NOVEMBER!.

Patlansky filmed a special announcement video for the extended tour

 Says Patlansky; “Joe Satriani has been a massive inspiration in my life and to many others. He is the most forward-thinking and most inspirational guitar player of our time and I am extremely honoured and excited to be on the road with him.”

Dan Patlansky latest album Dear Silence Thieves the first single, “Backbite” received 14 weeks of radio play rotation on Planet Rock Radio and the station has invited Patlansky to perform as one of the headliners amongst artists such as Rival Sons, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Darkness at Planet Rockstock Festival on December 4th, followed by an intimate concert at London’s The Borderline with special guest Aaron Keylock.

Joe Satriani latest album Shockwave Supernova has recieved widespread acclaim.

 

About The Album

It would be easy to call Shockwave Supernova a “masterpiece” or “the last word on guitar” from the world’s most commercially successful solo guitar performer. Satch, however, sees it much more personally. He has consistently advanced the artistry of the instrument; an effort he dedicated himself to on 18th September, 1970, the day his idol Jimi Hendrix died.

Photo Credit: © Stephen Fourie
Photo Credit: © Stephen Fourie

Read why Bluesdoodles gave Shockwave Supernova a perfect 10 HERE

 

photo rights Bakkes Images
photo rights Bakkes Images

 

Read why Bluesdoodles gave Dear Silence Thieves a perfect 10 HERE