Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome back my friends...

Playlist
Transatlantic - Whirlwind
Asia - Omega
Bigelf - Hex
Bigelf - Cheat the Gallows

Up early for day two of the event and a good breakfast again set us up for another long day under a hot sun…





I managed to sell my spare wristband to a lady who lived in a house overlooking the park – didn’t get much for it, considering it would have cost her £80 had she gone through the box office but, seeing as I’d got it for nothing, no one was complaining…

Once again we made our way to the Prog stage and again stood for the entire day watching The Reasoning, Wishbone Ash, Steve Hackett, Magnum, Uriah Heep and Argent (the doc chose Opeth on the metal stage over Argent) before foregoing Marillion to head to the main stage to get a good spot for ELP, who were preceded by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot performing a set of Mott the Hoople covers and who was joined by Ian Hunter for his last two songs…

Again, here are my thoughts…



The Reasoning – like yesterday’s openers, they didn’t cut it for me – again a female singer (though better than yesterday) but no real spark…



Wishbone Ash – playing their classic album “Argus” in its entirety which I don’t remember lasting the long drawn out 70 minutes which this set (including a guest appearance of Ash stalwart Ted Turner) eventually stretched to. It was fine to begin with but they lost me with their over extended guitar solos and I’m afraid my boredom threshold was breached after three quarters of an hour…



Steve Hackett – I moved away from the front for this as I’ve never really taken an interest in Mr Hackett’s post Genesis material. Watching from the sidelines though, I must admit it was quite enjoyable. Telling though that by far and away the best piece was the Genesis classic “Los Endos”…



Magnum – had I ever been a Magnum fan, I’m sure I would have enjoyed this and I did indeed kind of warm to them as I weedled my way back through the audience to the front in time for the next act…



Uriah Heep – the mighty Heep, one of my all time favourites despite the fact that their music really isn’t all that great, like Wishbone Ash, played a classic 1972 album (“Demons and Wizards”) in its entirety. Unlike the Ash however, they played it note for note, which meant a tight, impressive and energetic 40 minute set which, frankly, rocked. And they drew a huge crowd apparently…



Argent – back together for the first time since Russ Ballard left in 1974, the original four piece line up played a ten song set of progtastic music which included no fewer than seven hit singles (some written by Ballard or Rod Argent and covered by Rainbow, The Zombies, Three Dog Night and Colin Blunstone). This set produced my only hair on the back of my neck standing up scenario of the weekend as, following the classic “Hold Your Head Up” they broke into the famous riff from “God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You”…



Joe Elliot/Ian Hunter – sadly having to miss out on Marillion, we walked over to the main stage and enjoyed a set of Mott the Hoople covers. This band, Down’n’Outz, absolutely rocked and just emphasied for me what a great writer Ian Hunter is – and not a single “single” was played until Hunter joined them for “Once Bitten Twice Shy” and “Who Do You Love”. Unfortunately, the day was running late and the four further Hoople hits lined up had to be foregone…



Emerson Lake & Palmer – finally, as darkness fell and after an intolerable wait, the weekend’s headliners took to the stage. Okay so Greg lake looks like the side of a house but what a voice and a superb bassist too. Emerson struggled early on due to irreparable nerve damage in his right hand but finally came good, whilst Palmer drummed like a man a third of his age...



To say it was a spectacular show would be a gross understatement and to see almost the entire park behind us filled with tens of thousands of people listening to and enjoying complex music in something like 13/8 time was astonishing in this day and age – but there they were, people had flown in from around the world for this...



While it wasn’t the tightest set I’ve ever heard, it was mightily impressive, as the trio drew on every part of their discography (thankfully apart from the dreadful “Love Beach” and “In the Hot Seat”)…



So, ninety minutes of prog heaven from the men who almost single handedly buried the genre with their outlandish antics back in the seventies brought a weekend of fantastic music to an end – and tonight there were indeed a few fireworks, not to mention exploding cannons…



The doc and I made our way across the darkened park in search of some sustenance and found ourselves sitting in the open air at a nearby Indian restaurant enjoying tasty curries and cool Cobra lager…

Perfect end to a very enjoyable day…

Highlight of the Day : ELP…

2 comments:

impossible songs said...

Wow! I had heard of this event, great review, thanks.

CBQ said...

Just posting the pics now...