Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Nice

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Nice Keith Emerson And The Nice: Vivacitas album cover
3.49 | 16 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Write a review

Buy THE NICE Music
from partners
Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
1. America/Rondo (11:13)
2. Little Arabella (4:57)
3. She Belomgs To Me (6:21)
4. The Cry Of Eugene (5:02)
5. Hang On To A Dream (10:30)
6. Country Pie (5:57)
7. Karelia Suite (7:58)

Disc 2
1. A Blade Of Grass (2:11)
2. A Cajun Alley (4:11)
3. Tarkus (21:00)
4. Hoe Down (5:06)
5. Fanfare For The Common Man (7:55)
6. Honky Tonk (6:05)

Disc 3
1. Interview with Chris Welch (22:27)

Total Time: 120:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / keyboards
- Lee Jackson / bass & vocals
- Brian Davison / drums
- Dave Kilmister / guitar
- Phil Williams / bass
- Pete Riley / drums

Releases information

Sanctuary Records

Thanks to Dee Dee Ramone for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE NICE Keith Emerson And The Nice: Vivacitas Music

THE NICE Keith Emerson And The Nice: Vivacitas ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

THE NICE Keith Emerson And The Nice: Vivacitas reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Hanging on to the dream

The first gig I ever went to was Emerson Lake and Palmer playing at the legendary Green's Playhouse in Glasgow in the early 1970's. It is fitting (for me) then that Emerson should choose to record this live album within a Tarkus breath from that venue at the superb Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. The RCH is actually more used to gigs of a more up-market nature, such as classical recitals and the annual "Celtic connections" festival, with rock bands usually playing venues such as the Clyde Auditorium, SECC, Barrowlands, Carling Academy etc.

This of course is not ELP, but a reunion of Keith Emerson with Lee Jackson and Brian Davison, his erstwhile colleagues from The Nice. Dave Kilmister joins this line up and the four toured together in 2001/2 as Keith Emerson and The Nice, the gigs being neatly split into two distinct sections. Disc one here covers the first half of the performance, which is dedicated to reviving songs which originally appeared on albums by that band.

As Lee Jackson says after the opening run through of "America" and "Rondo" plus sundry other familiar melodies, "not bad for a 32 year gap". Jackson's distinctive tones have altered little over the years, his signing on a rather subdued "Little Arabella" being as throaty and distinctive as ever. The wonderful "Hang on to a dream" sounds as fresh as it ever did, this rendition including a soft shuffling jazz interlude.

The version of "The Karelia suite" here sounds a little too like one of those awful tributes with Emerson simply rattling out the melody on a prosaic sounding synth. It certainly lacks the majesty and power of the "Five Bridge" version.

Disc 2 sees the Nice departing the stage, and Emerson returning to perform a couple of tracks taken from his solo albums, alone on piano. He is then rejoined by a Dave Kilmister and two new musicians. Phil Williams and Pete Riley take on the roles of Lake and Palmer for a run through of four ELP favourites, including a complete rendition of "Tarkus". Listening to this version for the first time is rather disconcerting as there are initially no vocals, the vocals refrains being replaced by the lead guitar of Kilmister (a Karaoke version indeed!). Vocals do eventually appear for the "Battlefield" section which includes the diversion into an extract from King Crimson's "Epitaph" that first appeared on the "Welcome back my friends.." album.

Jackson and Davidson actually return to the stage for a spirited run through of "Fanfare for the common man". Here we have an enjoyable duel between Emerson on keyboards and Kilmister on guitar, even if it does at times seem like something of a battle!

I find the title of the third disc ("Interview with Chris Welch") misleading, but it could just be me. It is in fact Chris Welch interviewing the three members of the Nice involved in the reunion gig. The guys spend over 20 minutes reminiscing and swapping anecdotes about their time together.

"Vivicacas" is first and foremost an exercise in nostalgia. For those who have enjoyed the music of the Nice and ELP in the past, this is through a worthwhile investment.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ok, two very detailed reviews here, so nothing too much to add.

I came to this album because of interest to Emerson fresh works: in fact it's new concert/recording based on classic compositions. And big part of them are ELP.

As with ELP discography, starting from some point in time we received endless list of collections/ even more live releases with very limited list of songs, mainly from very early time of their career. Similar situation happens with ex-ELP members ( for example, Carl Palmer's Band few albums).

I listened to two huge Emerson boxed sets of last years, happily there were songs and compositions from all possible styles,but no old ELP materials.

When I found this release, I realise, that Emerson turned to play some clessics as well, but with old The Nice guys! So, I purchased thi Glasgow show - and wasn't disappointed.

OK, it's no "new music",for sure. Whenever The Nice name is more from music history, than from some songs you still remember, most interest was Emerson. But I can confirm, that the band are not just some support musicians, but real Emerson partners in this show.

The repertoir is classic,with very pompastic grand orchestral style ( as in good old ELP times),but sound in common and arrangements are quite different from originals ( at least ,originals I am familiar with). Album in overall makes good impression, interesting refresh of classic songs from professional team of musicians. Just don't wait for any news there - it's classical nostalgy.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Who would have thought that The Nice would be playing together again in the 21st Century? Certainly not me, and although I came to The Nice through ELP, it was a band that I had been interested in for a long time. When I was given the opportunity of seeing them in concert I grabbed it with both hands and had a great time. This triple CD set is taken from the concert that was recorded in 2002 in Glasgow. The first CD is The Nice, with Dave Kilminster, and he certainly fits in well with the old blokes! Keith Emerson played the concert with his normal abandon, and I seem to remember that both Lee Jackson and Brian Davison played with huge grins on their faces.

The Nice were one of the most important bands in the progressive rock vanguard, bringing more than a hint of classical music into proceedings which gave rock an air of respectability, while at the same time managing to upset everyone by setting fire to a version of the Stars & Stripes during a performance of "America". No fire this time, but "America" (combined with "Rondo") is the opening number ? proving as if it were needed that they don't need vocals to make an impact. Of course there are 'proper' songs as well, and special mention should be made of "Cry Of Eugene" which all these years on is still a powerful song.

The second CD finds Keith alone, as he performs "A Blade Of Grass" and "A Cajun Alley" then a new line-up takes centre stage. Dave is back on guitar, but they are now joined by Pete Riley on drums and Phil Williams on bass. To cheers from the crowd, Keith announces that they are going to play "Tarkus", all 21 minutes of it! It has been adapted from the ELP version so that it is an instrumental, with Dave playing Greg's vocal lines on the guitar. To hear this was one of the highlights of the concert for me, and on CD it comes across with great power. A raucous "Hoe Down" (which Aaron Copland could never have conceived of) completes this section of the concert.

There is just time for the old boys to come back on and all six (yes, two drum kits) blast their way through "Fanfare". There is just enough time for "Honky Tonk Blues" and it is all over. Well, nearly. The third CD contains an interview with Keith, Brian and Lee talking about the glory days. One of the joys of this album is that it is possible to hear the bum notes, the fluffs, as this is a band on stage that are having a ball. There is no need to go back and adjust all the errors as that takes out the soul of the performance. If you had been there on that night this is what you would have heard, and what a fantastic time you would have had.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Som many bands call it a day, retire, form new bands, become carpenters. So why not the Nice? Several reasons. Lee Jacksons vocals always were dodgy, now they have no power or semblance of music about them, truly bad. Keith Emerson ditched Blinky and Lee years ago to perform with Lake and Palmer ... (read more)

Report this review (#1343023) | Posted by spikey123 | Saturday, January 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am not so sure if this album should be filed under "Nice, The" or "Emerson, Keith". I think the latter one. This album comes with three CDs. The third CD is an interview and as interesting as....... well, make that boring. We are all familiar with the story about Lemmy and the knife. So le ... (read more)

Report this review (#257876) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Glass Jaw in Glasgow Foils Comeback Bout Scene One - the offices of Sanctuary Records late 2003 CEO: Right boys, how about we release a live album from the last tour? LEE JACKSON: Right on bonny lad! BRIAN DAVISON: Great idea! make it a double with us and Keith's band as well KEITH E ... (read more)

Report this review (#169374) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Thursday, May 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE NICE "Keith Emerson And The Nice: Vivacitas"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.