Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Rick Wakeman

Perth Concert Hall
Rick Wakeman - Perth 2015

April 14th 2015

Not a whole lot really to say about this one, other than it was a hugely entertaining evening spent in the company of the redoubtable Richard Christopher Wakeman and his big black shiny Steinway.  The modest looking set list may suggest a short gig, but Rick’s lengthy between-song banter meant he was actually on stage for almost an hour and three-quarters.

His anecdotes, covering his music career from a five-year old obsessed with the breasts of his well-upholstered first music teacher to his performance of the Six Wives album at Hampton court in 2010 (the DVD of which almost had to be scrapped due to narrator Brian Blessed salaciously embellishing his script more than somewhat), complemented the music perfectly.

Rick’s ramblings were humorous, informative and downright bawdy in equal measure, but never less than engrossing.  I for one was amazed to learn he had appeared on Countdown for eight years.  Christ, how did I miss that?

It was man and piano for most of the evening, although strings on backing tapes were utilised on both the opener – Pachelbel’s Canon in D – and also on his own composition Dance of a Thousand Lights.  The recording worked well on the former I felt, but just cluttered up the latter which I should much rather have heard naked, so to speak.

We were treated not only to a rendition of the first tune Rick ever performed in public – a nine note  epic entitled Put a Monkey on a Stick - but also a piece he introduced as The Nursery Rhyme Concerto.  This took the format of a series of nursery rhymes, each performed in the manner of a recognised composer:  Ravel, Mozart etc.  All very silly, but made even more so by the interjection of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star played in the style of Les Dawson – bum notes and all.

The instrumental arrangments of David Bowie’s Life on Mars and Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken were a delight, but for a fat old Progger like me, the highlight was his take on Wondrous Stories – which was just…ahem…wondrous.

Rick Wakeman - Perth 2015

Rick Wakeman - Perth 2015

Set  list

Canon in D
Put a Monkey on a Stick/The Jig
Catherine Howard
Morning Has Broken
And You and I/Wondrous Stories
The Nursery Rhyme Concerto
Dance of a Thousand Lights
Life on Mars
Eleanor Rigby

Merlin the Magician

1 comment:

  1. I do like when artists like Mr Wakeman, with a bit of history in their back pocket, take the time to reminisce and share their memories.
    Sounds like a very enjoyable gig.