Ah, back again. This time seated on the opposite side of the circle to the previous evening. The ushers offering to upgrade circle ticket holders to the stalls below – if they so wish – due to spare seating. I am in possession of a row 1 ticket for the circle, enabling me a birds eye view of the stage. I opt to stick with my lot. All the while thinking how foolish the general public are, for missing the opportunity to witness one of the best British artists around today.
The stage appears set for a support act. Indeed, they take the stage. It doesn’t take long to realise that the front man is comedy actor Matt Berry, of The Mighty Boosh, I.T. Crowd and Toast of London fame. I’d recognise that baritone bluster anywhere, “Fossil!”. And what a nice surprise he and his band are. I was completely unaware of his musical prowess, but they are a talented bunch that take in folk, funk, jazz, prog and a few other genres that i’m not sure have been fully identified yet. They dripped fun and enthusiasm, it was a shame they couldn’t have a little more stage time.
An earlier interlude than the previous evening allows the roadies to do their work. Preparing the stage, including a quick vacuum with a Henry, to ready the stage for the inevitable bare feet. The lights dim, the lighting engineer receiving rapturous applause for his fine work with the fader. Craig Blundell ambles on and gets comfortable at his kit. The initial hits of ‘No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun’ strike out into the hall. We know where this is going. Sure enough, Nick is on next. The familiar concert opening bassline locking in with the established drum pattern. One by one the rest of the band take their places and lock in. Mr Wilson arrives accompanied by expectant applause, the band launches into the number with commitment.
Continue reading Steven Wilson: Night 2 – Royal Albert Hall 30th September 2015 – Concert Review
The evening of Thursday 8th of November 2007 at the Oxford Academy, my first live exposure to the musical force that is Mr. Steven. Wilson. Introduced to his work via some very good friends of mine. Like many of you they were already long term fans back then – I was quickly educated by them on his existing body of work, in particular Porcupine Tree.
I now found myself standing a couple of paces back from the stage, and having familiarised myself with their then recent release; ‘’Fear of a Blank Planet’, I pondered, between slugs of warm lager gulped from a plastic cup, on what I might expect.
I came away from that evening having been hugely impressed by the intricate and expertly crafted music. Performed by an immensely talented line-up of rhythmically tight band members and wonderful melodic guitar interplay, framed between huge chugging riffs. Initially at least, I struggled with Steven’s awkward stage presence and sometimes clunky lyrics. But, they had done enough to hook me…
Fast forward Ooo, I don’t know, 8 years, and I find myself seated in the Circle at the Royal Albert Hall. Strapped in for two evenings with the very same man, now sans the ‘Tree. Having forged a very successful career all on his lonesome. Well, not quite. He has some very talented gunslingers at his side…
As I’m sure many of you are aware; in those intervening years Steven has worked incredibly hard at his career. And boy does it show. I have been lucky to attend many, many Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, and solo gigs in that time. Mainly thanks to my afore mentioned friends being unwilling to miss a single event. Until tonight that is. With the gigs clashing with their holiday plans, they very kindly bought me tickets to both evenings as a very generous birthday gift. Hence this article being a thank you of sorts, to try to give them a flavour as to what went down at RAH! Continue reading Steven Wilson: Night 1 – Royal Albert Hall 29th September 2015 – Concert Review