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Rick Wakeman - In The Nick of Time - Live In 2003 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 15 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars In 2003 Rick released a new album, 'Out There', with The New English Rock Ensemble. The line-up was his touring band of the time, so he was joined by drummer Tony Fernandez, bassist Lee Pomeroy, guitarist Ant Glynne and singer Damian Wilson. Now I have a few of Rick's albums (okay, most of them), and when I heard it I was just blown away and I rated it as one of my albums of the year. So, I was extremely eager to catch him on the tour to promote the album and it was a major surprise to everyone (including Rick) when Damian dropped out of the tour just a couple of days before it was due to start. So, the choice was to either cancel the tour or to find someone at extremely short notice who was familiar with at least some of the material. Step forward one Ashley Holt who of course had sung on both 'Journey' and 'King Arthur' among others. He has a very different vocal style to Damian, and of course knew none of the new album either, so there had to be a radical shift in the setlist (hence the album title).

So everything was in place for this to be a disaster, but instead the show I saw was an absolute triumph with all of the audience understandably annoyed that Damian wasn't there, but very pleased indeed that Ashley was the person who had stepped into the breach. The DVD was released in 2004, but for some strange reason it took until 2012 for this CD to be made available but at least it is here now. My biggest issue with it is that it is way too short at just over an hour, and while there are some songs on the CD that are not on the DVD it is also true the other way around so why not make it a longer album and more like the setlist?

But, this is worth getting just for the version of "Out There" alone where Ashley doesn't attempt to hit Damian's notes but instead uses control and passion to make it his own while the rest of the band simply rock. Ant is a revelation here, as while he is content to provide the muscular support required by Rick he is not adverse to moving to the fore when the time is right. And any album that contains versions of "Catherine Parr" and "Wurm" is going to sit well with progheads isn't it? Absolutely brilliant.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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