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Grey Lady Down


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Grey Lady Down The Time Of Our Lives album cover
3.78 | 21 ratings | 5 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
1. And Finally
2. Final Decree
3. The Nail
4. Rollercoaster
5. A Modern Day Cavalier
6. Without A Trace
7. The Perfect Dream
8. Sliding
CD 2
1.Battlefields Of Counterpane
2. The Crime (Parts 1 to 3)
3. Thrill Of It All / The Flyer
4. 12:02
5. Annabel

Total Time: 00:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Sean Spear / bass
- Mark Robotham / drums
- Steve Anderson / guitars
- Mark Westworth / keyboards
- Martin Wilson / vocals

Releases information


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GREY LADY DOWN The Time Of Our Lives ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GREY LADY DOWN The Time Of Our Lives reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent live album!

Line up: Steve Anderson - guitar; Mark Westworth - keyboards; Mark Robotham - drums; Sean Spear - bass; Martin Wilson - vocals Hope this is a correct one as the sleeve is confusing.

[I have to admit that the CD inlay design is terrible so that I do not know the line-up. The correct line-up I got only from the intro of "12:02" track on CD Two. On the photograph, the inlay does not put who is on the picture - they assume the listeners will recognize them. Heaven! How would I know this new band with thousand bands in prog scene????. For the Admin Group, I do not blame you for the wrong line-up list - I blame the band and Cyclops of producing non-informative sleeve!].

As I have mentioned before when I reviewed the band's "Forces" album, my introduction to the band was basically during the time I interacted with Malcolm Parker sometime between 1997 - 2000 - the years of my intense comeback to prog music; the years when I started recollecting my previous cassettes format of prog bands. Interesting comeback actually because I thought prog was not alive couple years before that. Even though my brother introduced me to Dream Theater through "Awake" but I did not consider DT as prog band. My personal definition of prog at that time revolved around Genesis and the like: Marillion, Arena, Pendragon, IQ, Jadis or King Crimson, Yes, ELP. So you can see how narrow minded I was at the time. I was shocked hearing that Saga, Rush, DT were also considered prog. Oh man . what's prog then? When I was in touch with Cyclops (Malcom) through the beauty of internet access - it broadened my mind about what prog was all about. Since then I knew there was very diverse types (or prog heads called as "sub-genre" of prog rock). Marillion was named as the hero of neo prog. So by the time I knew GLD - it was already pigeonholed as neo prog band. So imagined that I would listen to a music similar to Marillion. I was wrong. GLD is different. And this live album, I think, represents the band's best live performance.

Here is my view about this album recorded live at the London Astoria 2, 11th July 1998. There is a bonus track "Annabel!" recorded live in Baltimore, USA 23rd November 1996. I'm not gonna review all tracks but I will feature some tracks in every disc.

Disc One

"And Finally" starts brilliantly with a symphonic keyboard solo that sets a great atmosphere for the whole live show. I like this opening keyboard solo very much as it has an uplifting mood. At [1:59] the full music starts to roll followed with an excellent guitar solo at its transition piece and it turns into a soft guitar riffs. Keyboard enters the music while the guitar plays the soft riffs and it plays alternates between two instrument. Guitar solo is stunning! At [3:35] the music turns into a nice guitar riffs in quieter passage and the voice of Martin Wilson enters beautifully into the music. In some transition between singing verse, the guitar of Julian Hunt [should be read: Steve Anderson. It's the lousy sleeve that cause this mistake!] offers a solo. Keyboard is played at the back, projecting a symphonic nature. Yeap . it's a neo prog touch! I can see Phillip Millichamp does better drumming compared to Mark Robotham. [This is the original write-up when I followed with this site's line-up before I listened to "12:02" track carefully. Indeed, Mark Robotham plays drum in this record! That's the negative impact of terrible sleeve design].He fills the gaps brilliantly. The final verse of this track ends up in a higher register notes featuring lead voice and stunning guitar work.

"Final Decree" begins with a medium-fast tempo music in neo prog nuance. Guitar provides an obvious rhythm section textured by the thin keyboard sound at background reminiscent of PULSAR's music. Martin sings energetically. Oh man . the keyboard solo in the middle of this track combined with dynamic drumming is really stunning! This is the kind of live concert you'd like to attend! Very uplifting man! Guitar plays his role as creative filler - wonderfully!

"The Nail" opens with keyboard solo and it flows into a full music in an upbeat tempo. The song is characterized by keyboard that accompanies the singing at background layer. It reminds me to Arena's music. Drumming is powerful. The combination of guitar and keyboard work is stunning.

"Rollercoaster" of the "Fear" album is an upbeat tempo with heavy rhythm section by combination of guitar and keyboard. It's probably not a song that represents neo prog because it's relatively fast-medium tempo. But the keyboard work can be classified under neo prog style. The transition to quieter passage is brilliantly filled with a stunning guitar solo followed with singing verse. Keyboard alternately takes the music right after singing, combined with great drumming! Approaching the middle of track the music turns quieter with only keyboard and voice line - performed theatrically. The music then returns to a full stream instruments played altogether followed with short guitar solo. The final verse of this track is featuring a combination of guitar and keyboard sounds. It's an excellent closing.

"Without A Trace" is a good composition song opened brilliantly with a soaring sound of keyboard followed with voice line - augmented with guitar fills. This track is performed in an upbeat tempo, exploring the guitar work at the background of singing passage with stunning keyboard sound in symphonic style. There are some tempo changes as well as transition into quieter passages. Those who love neo prog would really enjoy the guitar and keyboard works here.

The band features new song "The Perfect Dream" that is opened with an atmospheric keyboard work followed with a howling guitar sound reminiscent of Genesis music. I consider this as an epic as it spans approx. 15 minute duration. Again, these blokes performed this epic brilliantly on stage - combining alternate guitar and keyboard; accentuated by powerful drumming (that sometimes sound like Bruford's style).

Disc One concludes with a track from "Fear" album that has become Martin's personal favorite, called "Sliding". The track is rich in terms of composition as well as it's dynamic because there are quite intense tempo changes.

Disc Two

Looking at the audience enthusiasm, the opening track of Disc Two "Battlefields Of Counterpane" seems like their favorite GLD track. The opening fanfare with a trumpet sound in studio version is now replaced with a keyboard - but it does not eleiminate the nuance. It's basically picturing a war situation, I guess. The music flows nicely in mellow style with good voice line augmented with guitar fills and keyboard work. I like to hear the crowd participation when Martin sings his lyrical part. The crowd seems familiar with its lyrics. The music turns louder in the middle of the track with symphonic keyboard at background and it turns into keyboard solo augmented with guitar work. It's an excellent part.

The band also performs its long epic - the band called it the trilogy - "The Crime (Parts 1 to 3)" in its entirety and it takes approx 33 minutes of live music performance. It starts with a keyboard solo followed with an upbeat tempo music (reminds me to Marillion's "market Square Heroes" - beat-wise) with a keyboard based composition. When the music turns into quieter passage, the voice line enters firmly accompanied with the long sustain keyboard sound at the back. Martin's singing is powerful here. The music flows in a crescendo through keyboard solo augmented with guitar rhythm. Once the voice line ends the second verse, guitar solo fills in stunningly. Well, it's the kind of sound that neo proggers like it, I think. Overall, this trilogy offers us with a some variety of styles, e.g. the bass guitar is given the chance to perform solo during transition at [24:34] after the quiet passage. The bass guitar is then given a task to bring the music into an uplifting mode as rhythm section. When I use headphone listening to this track, I can hear clearly the role bass guitar in this verse. Excellent track.

"Thrill Of It All / The Flyer" opens with a simple guitar fills followed with a voice line in mellow style. The crowd sing along with Martin - it seems they are all familiar with this song. Great nuance for a live album! I really enjoy this verse Thrill Of It All that ends up seamlessly and beautifully with an intro of "The Flyer" of "Forces" album. The guitar serves as rhythm section augmented with keyboard at the back. Again I can hear clearly the crowd sing along with Martin. This track has some segments with tasty melody and overall it's very enjoyable track.

"12:02" is the last song of the London gig, started with the introduction of the band members. Now I know the line-up of this show. This CD Two is added with a bonus live track "Annabel". - Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is a very emotional live album. The band new beforehand that this was their last gig at the mythical Astoria. A place where they have played very often. I only went there twice (for John Cale and Kino) and it is a special venue. Full of great souvenirs and concerts. The amounts of great bands (prog or not) that have played there is just amazing.

The band have had some line-up problems already but in 1998 (the year of this release), their lead guitarist had to leave the band under the doctor's orders. An old friend and former band mate will replace him (Julian Hunt). Still, Steve Anderson played at that gig (just listen to the band introduction for "12:02"). But lots of personal pressures will force the band to stop.

There were so many fans reactions that the band decided to play a farewell gig. At the Astoria, on July 11th. And the record label will find a very good opportunity to capitalize on "GLD" (it was Cyclops's best selling band at the time) and released this double CD set in November 1998.

The first CD holds a very good unreleased track : "The Perfect Dream". A long and great neo-prog song. It last for just over fifteen minutes but is at no moment boring. As most of their compositions it is a very melodic one featuring great and atmospheric keys like during the intro (hi "Watchers") and wonderful guitar riffs (hi "Watcher" again). It is the highlight of the first CD.

"And Finally" is of course a great moment as well. Almost all of their last album "Fear" is being played here (only "Usurper" is missing). The interpretation is pretty close to the studio one, but the emotional vocals are probably more effective live than in the studio. This will definitely be the case when the band is getting closer to the end of their concert.

An enourmous feeling raises from the songs introduction. As I have said, everybody knew beforehand that it would their last concert. So when Martin Wilson announces that they have recieved lots of requests to play a certain trilogy in full, the crowd only cheerish. Martin goes on : "We never had the guts to do it. But tonight's the night. Here is the song in full. Here is "The Crime". And here we go for thirty minutes of the greatest neo-prog you can dream of. Another great song of this definite album that holds so many...: "Sliding", " A Modern Day Cavalier", "Battlefield..." etc.

This is a wonderful live album. I have almost never felt such emotion (maybe "Keys To Ascension"). A very good moment indeed : almost two hours and a half of great music. Four stars and an excellent way to discover this very confidential band.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Well this was to be the final concert for GREY LADY DOWN in London on July 11 1998 but the band (not the same lineup as here) would release another studio album in 2001 which turned out to be a mistake because it just wasn't that good. Interesting enough that we've got some recent news that the band has reformed in 2011 and will be playing some live gigs in the UK this year and possibly work on a new studio album in the future. So up to the point of this 1998 concert the band had released three studio albums and since this double album has over 145 minutes of music you could say they just about played all their songs (haha). What I like about this recording is that it does capture the emotion of it being their final show.You can hear the audience at times singing along and seemingly hanging on every word from the vocalist.

A couple of treats for those present was playing a new song called "The Perfect Dream" which hadn't been released on any of their previous albums.This might be my favourite track on here. A definite top three anyway.The other gift was playing all three of the "The Crime" songs together for 33 minutes worth of music.The singer says to introduce this epic that they never had the guts to do this before. A top three for sure. It seems that the songs from the first album ("The Crime") that they perform here are the ones I like the best. The other top three is also from that one and it's called "Annabel" and it's actually a bonus track here and not part of that concert. I love how heavy it is and how prominant the guitar is on it.

The second disc is the better of the two by far as they seem to take a while to get going.Or maybe it's just that the material they chose to play first didn't do a lot for me, I don't know. I like at the start of the song "12:02" (another highlight) where he introduces the band then before the song kicks in he says "I will see you again,who knows." Well this year GREY LADY DOWN's fans will get a chance to see them again.

If I could make this one disc with my favourite tracks it would be 4 stars. Over 145 minutes of music and there's a lot that just doesn't do much for me. Hence the 3.5 star rating. Welcome back guys !

Latest members reviews

3 stars "Grey Lady Down" is the previous band of "Thieves' Kitchen"s drummer Mark Robthan. I have ordered this CD along with a couple of their others and will be reviewing it after a good couple of listens. I am writing this 'review' though, to let you all know, that the previous reviewer forgot to menti ... (read more)

Report this review (#2969) | Posted by SkUnKaDeLiC | Monday, February 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The name is spelled wrongly - not Grey Lay Down, but GREY LADY DOWN. If you ever have the luck to find this CD, just buy it. If you ike Progressive melodic Mariilion (old style) and Peter Gabrial (Theatric) music you are right here. Specially CD 2 is just fantastic. Did you miss a new 'Grendel' - Ju ... (read more)

Report this review (#2966) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 19, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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