RICK WAKEMAN & JON ANDERSON – Fairfield Halls, Croydon (12.10.10)

I thought I’d wandered onto a set from the recent “Sherlock Holmes” movie as rows of candles festooned the stage at the Fairfield Halls concert stage this evening. This was in fact a simple, but effective presentation surrounding the twin keyboards and acoustic guitar of rock legends Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson. Thankfully there was no Sally Morgan…the supposed Medium…to conjure up spirits of the past although music from the past did play a part from the duo’s days in ‘Yes’. For many of us old hippies this was exactly what we wanted to hear delving into a repertoire that included tracks from albums such as “Tales From Topographic Oceans” and “Yessongs” although tonight predominantly concentrating on their new album “The Living Tree”. The fashion conscious (???) Wakeman, bedecked in a black frock-coat and white trainers as ever proved the life and soul of the party with pithy one-liners and the occasional anecdote providing the perfect foil for Anderson’s more serious nature although, having said that, a little aside from Rick did have his partner ‘corpsing’ with convulsions of laughter at one point. The new material was particularly well received including the title track and “Just One Man” a revealing insight into Anderson’s own beliefs. Of course, to cement a good performance you need to rely on the support of a good out-front sound engineer and in this, the dynamic duo were well catered by Geoff Beadman who maintained a consistency in quality I haven’t heard in many years of reviewing. With a well deserved standing ovation the dynamic duo exited stage left with beaming smiles and not a little gratitude from a more than appreciative audience.

PETE FYFE

Artist Website: www.rwcc.com


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