Great gig at The Diamond last night. It was the first gig with the new rhythm section and it went spendidly, with Mick and Ed acquitting themselves magnificently, and the audience cheers were nice to hear. It all went smoothly, except that I got over-enthusiastic during ‘Sons of the Sleeping Giant’ and knocked one of my cables out — took me a while to work out what was wrong! [Update: I forgot another problem that occurred in ‘Aching’, when an ‘Octave down’ button got knocked by my DI box by mistake and I ended up playing a part an octave or two lower than it should have been!]
It was rather a treat for us as afterwards we got to listen to some prog classics played superbly by The Prog Doctors, who I can highly recommend, they’re experienced performers who know what they’re doing on stage, they know their way around the complex material but they also know how to rock. They were also a great bunch of guys. My favourite bits, well, it was all good, but my very favourite bits were the chorus on ‘Court of the Crimson King’, where the lush four-part harmony and Mellotron brought the hairs up on your neck, ‘Spectral Mornings’, because there’s a great song I love that I’ve never heard played live before, and ‘Alaska’ by UK was an inspired choice of opener which really made full use of the keyboards. [Update: And how could I forgot Pod hitting the high notes on the ‘Hocus Pocus’ yodel?]
Speaking of the keyboards, it was a particular treat for me because Paul the Prog Doctors keyboard player had an authentic rig and a half, including a Mini Moog, a double-manual organ he had (being a technical whizz) built himself, a Nord, a string synth, and a Memotron (a digital recreation of a Mellotron, which sounded great). Possibly another one as well. Plus one of their guitar players had his own keyboard. And then we added our three in, to make about 9 (or was it 10?) keyboards on stage! Pictures below. Paul was the real deal as well, handling parts by Wakeman, Jobson, Banks et al with aplomb, and also displaying proper organ skills. He tells me he also plays in a prog originals band called The Garden Wall — they don’t have a web presence yet as they’re keeping a low profile for the time being, but there’s one to watch out for.