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Topic ClosedSteve Howe + Fragile

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steve Howe + Fragile
    Posted: November 01 2007 at 19:08

This is how this concert was announced.

"Fragile" is a great "Yes" cover band. So great that Steve joined them for a mini tour in October 07. So, I was really thrilled to go and see them all played at this very special gig at the Spirit of 66. The Belgian temple of prog music. It is a small venue (350 persons) which is very similar to De Boerderij in Zoetermeer (The Nederlands - I need to go there once...). So, actually you are almost on stage while attending..

Each time my brother and I go to the Spirit, we managed to get there just before the doors open to be on the first row but due to pouring rain and bad trafic, we got there only at 7:30 instead of seven as planned.

First two rows were already crowded and since I have been suffering from a slipped disc since December 06, I decided to grab a chair and sit down not too close to the stage (just on the edge). But my brother Jean-Luc had seen that there was a lady in the front row which was seated on a stool. He asked her if we could move my chair aside and she offered me the seat. So, here I went with my crutch towards front row AND seated. I will never be grateful enough to this lady!

There were little to no information about the show beforehand, so my brother and I did not really know what to expect. It was also the first time that we were going to see a "Fragile" gig.

This mini-European tour with Steve was as below :

October 21 - Academy, Basingstoke, Hants
October 23 - Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton, W Midlands
October 25 - Brook, Southampton
October 26 - Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford, Kent
October 29 - Spirit of 66, Verviers, Belgium
October 30 - 013, Tilburg, Holland

About the tracklist : "Fragile" did play VERY old, rare YesSongs.

The opening number being "Astral Travellers" from "Time And A Word" ("Sweet Dreams" will also be featured later in the show). It was followed by "Perpetual Change" (no drum solo) from "The Yes Album" which they will almost play in its entirety.

In terms of rarities, an ultra old "Beatles" cover song was played as well. We got a fully psychedelic version of "Every Little Thing". Very pleasant and totally unexpected.

Next came "The Revealing Science Of God". During this song, one can really appreciate the skills of the band. More than anybody from Steve Carney who is the lead vocalist and co-founder.He sounds close to Jon and is really doing well in terms of gestures. Astonishing how he moves like him!

"Long distance Runaround" was the first "Fragile" song of the night. Just before the break I think.

And then came the moment. Steve was introduced. And I could see him like very few people in their lives have seen him. REALLY close. The master played an acoustic set for about fifteen minutes, which was a good showcase of his great skills but it was not necessary what I had expected. Since he almost left the stage, I thought : that's it ???

Fortunately, it was just to pick his electric guitar and the whole of them started "Siberian Kathru". This rendition was excellent and Steve's solo at the end of the track was really splendid.

I have seen several times in my life (the first time in 1977) but his performance last Monday was huge. It was probably easier to appreciate it because of the proximity (a few meters because we were not in front of him). Very hard version that one.

Next came "South Side of the Sky". The other Steve (Carney-vocalist) introduced the song saying : "Yes never played this song but when we discussed the tracklist of this tour with Steve (Howe), he thought it might be fun to play it". Actually, he was not 100% accurate since the band played it six times during the "Fragile" tour. But let's forgive them for this. It was the occasion of a good damned jam session.

"Yours" won't be forgotten either (but again I don't remember when precisely it took place - I'm getting old...).

An edited version of "Gates" will bring me to heaven. Specially during the magnificent, beautiful, passionate, intimate, emotional "Soon". Might sound funny, but I cried during this section. I can't help. It's like when I see "The Musical Box" playing "Watcher".

The last number of the show was "Starship Trooper". An extended version with another fabulous solo from whom you know. The whole band playing extremely well. But this feeling was felt throughout the concert. Here they are : 

Jon Bastable (the bass player) holding one of Chris's bass, Robert Illes on the lead guitar playing with great talent (but overshadowed of course while Steve came in. His role being - on purpose - more in the background than during the first part. I have expressed my opinion about Steve Carney already. Another band member that stands out is definitely Max Hunt (keyboards). Tom Dawe (rhythmic guitar and the funniest of all of them) and Mitch Harwood (drums) being more than decent.

I guess you all know what was played as encore. "Roundabout" of course. Again, a fantastic job from Steve (but he is ALWAYS fantastic, isn't he) ? After almost two hours and a half of a great gig, the band will come back for a last unplugged little song (or excerpts).

If "Fragile" comes and plays nearby your place, do yourself a favour. Go and see them. You will be transported in the wonderful YesWorld with brio, authenticity and a lot of respect for this great band. Of course when Steve joins them, there is no doubt : you MUST attend. It seems that there will more gigs like this next year. I just hope they'll be back close enough to Belgium to repeat this marvelous experience.

Steve was very relaxed and accessible. He only did not like very much to be photographed during the autograph session. But it was his only caprice. What a great man. What a great gig!

I will post a couple of photo's from it in a few days. My brother took them and will provide some of them next Saturday. Oh yes, it's the day of the concert from "The Musical Box" in Brussels. They will perform the rare "Selling Black Show". I have been yesterday to Duisburg (Germany) to attend another of their incredible show. NEVER performed in Europe. The "Nursery Cryme" tour. I'll post this concert review tomorrow in the same section.

There was an interview with Steve published in one established Belgian newspaper (in French) about this gig. Here is the link :

Sorry to have been so long. But I love Yes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2007 at 06:14
October 25 - Brook, Southampton
Dam missed it. Thats just up the road from me and is  a great venue. 600 people in a small two tear bar. Parents went to see them last year at the brook and we were all planning to go to this one but missed it.
Good write up there.
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