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Formentera Lady View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The grass is always greener - Colosseum 2010
    Posted: October 24 2010 at 09:27
Colosseum 23rd October 2010 in Berlin

Only a few years ago I discovered Colosseum, so  I am rather new to their music. For me it was too late to see the great Dick Heckstall-Smith (R.I.P.). When I heard, they are on tour again, I at first did not want to go, but when I saw a recent video of them on youtube, I yesterday spontanuously decided to go. The concert took place in a not too big hall, I think for about 1000 people, it was not sold-old, but still full. The audience was probably 55+ (Rick Wakeman would have uttered his surprise that more than half of the audience walked in unaided). Many people were there with beards and long grey hair.

Then the band started playing and I was simply stunned. There they were, pioneers of prog rock I would say. I stood in awe and I asked myself, why aren't there more of those bands these days. They simply played handmade rock, mainly blues oriented with a jazzy touch, no gimmicks, no remarkable stage or light show, but with excellent musicality. Jon Hiseman was the "master of ceremony", he introduced the band and some songs. After an hour or so he said, that they only play one more song. I started to feel disappointed, but then they played a 24 minute version of Valentyne Suite. Dave Greenslade did not play as furiously as 40 years ago, also Chris Farlowes voice was not that brilliant any more. But I did not care much, because they are my heroes, and I admire all of them for still playing live on stage. Mark Clarke not only played a wonderful bass, he also sang with a good voice on several songs, but with too much reveberation effects for my taste. Especially on Valentyne Suite the reveberation was too much, instead of doing a duet with Chris Farlowe (as seen on previous recordings). Jon Hiseman played as furious as ever, his wife Barbara Thompson on saxophone worthily replaced Heckstall-Smith with some superb solos. Also I enjoyed the guitar playing of Clem Clempson. On Valentyne Suite he enriched "the Grass is always Greener". As encore Jon Hiseman played a veeery long and nice drum solo, which merged into "Lost Angeles". "I want to move to Berlin and live there" Chris Farlowe sang, which was rewarded with frenetic applause. The band incorporated Eleanor Rigby into the song under more applause. After all they played about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

After the concert was over, I strolled back and forth in front of the stage, to let the concert sink in, especially the last 50 minutes, which was my personal highlight. Then I slowly strolled to the box, where Colosseum items were to be sold... and there they all stood and gave autographs! So foolish I am I did not bring a CD with me this time (what I normally do, just for occasions like this!). I did not even have a proper ticket (I paid the entrance fee at the box office and received a stamp on my hand), so I had nothing to write on. Finally, I bought a 400 pages book from Jon Hiseman for 20 euros. I have not read the book, yet, but it seems to contain interesting background stories about Jon and Barbara, with a lot of photos. I let all six of the band sign it. What nice and kind people they all are!

This was definitely an evening to remember.


From left to right: Greenslade (keyboards), Clempson (guitar), Farlowe (vocals), Hiseman (drums), Thompson (saxophone), Clarke (bass and vocals).


Farlowe, Hiseman, Greenslade giving autographs


Hiseman and Greenslade still giving autographs


Edited by Formentera Lady - January 28 2011 at 05:46
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2010 at 13:25
Nice!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2010 at 13:41
Also, why didn't you say this is a proper tour? This needs to be advertised!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2010 at 14:50
Now it is advertised here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2010 at 14:57
No, really. LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2010 at 15:03
This was the book I bought (and whose first page is already littered with unreadable signatures):
http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=72539

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 03:28
Great write up, sounds like quite an event.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 05:37
Smile  Thanks for this forecast ... I'm glad to have a ticket for Sunday ...  Cool

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 06:59
Last night I dreamt about Eleanor Rigby, just to remind me that I haven't mentioned it in the review above. So I corrected it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 15:06
Terrific review, Formentera Lady,   It gladdened my heart to hear that the guys are still 'cutting it' in live performance! (Just think...four of the six are pensioners!)
Sadly I can't make it to any of the gigs on this tour, but I'm with them in spirit.
I hope you enjoy reading Jon's biography...it took about four years to arrive (I spent over two year editing it!)
The German fans have always been the most fervent..and loyal. After a break of over 20 years..so many of them were ready and waiting for their 're-birth' in 1993, and have continued with their faithful support on  many tours since, though I suspect that there may not be many more chances to see them in concert.

Best wishes from Colin Richardson (the band's original manager from 1968 to 1971) aka Londonjazzer
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 15:17
Welcome to PA, Colin! Hopefully you'll find this place interesting enough to stay and maybe, why not, tell us interesting things from the classic age of progressive music Big smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 15:26
Oh...and if there are any fans out there that can't get to any of the concerts on this tour and want to buy Jon's biography "Playing the Band"  - it can be ordered from this link: www.viking-music.de 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 15:29
I may well do that, as time goes on.  Meanwhile, there's quite a bit of that on my blogsite:
http://colinrichardsonjazz.typepad.com/blog/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2010 at 15:31
and thankyou for the welcome, harmonium-ro,  LJ Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2010 at 08:09
Well, I thought they'd not regroup after DH-S's passing away, but I'm glad they found somebody inside the historical members(B Thompson had played on Daughter Of Time)....
 
110 minutes for old geezers, uh??
 
Much better than the young Stevie Winwood colleagues who only played some 90 minutes.
 
I hope they come by Brussels (or Belgium) again, coz just the thought of Farlowe singing Eleanore Rigby is awesome to me........
 
 
 
Excellent review, btw
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2010 at 09:48
Well, it very nearly came to that, as Jon was all too aware that Barbara's condition (Parkinson's Disease) would get steadily worse over time.  It is thanks to a new drug, with a more effective delivery system, that she is still able to play (though she has to pace herself).  Unfortunately, it still looks likely that this could be their last tour (though you should never say never with Jon and the others...they still love playing together) 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2010 at 17:10
Originally posted by londonjazzer londonjazzer wrote:

Well, it very nearly came to that, as Jon was all too aware that Barbara's condition (Parkinson's Disease) would get steadily worse over time.  It is thanks to a new drug, with a more effective delivery system, that she is still able to play (though she has to pace herself).  Unfortunately, it still looks likely that this could be their last tour (though you should never say never with Jon and the others...they still love playing together) 

She often sat on the stage or held her back and things like that, but still she plays marvellously, and I bow my head before her performance Clap.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2010 at 17:13
Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

I hope they come by Brussels (or Belgium) again, coz just the thought of Farlowe singing Eleanore Rigby is awesome to me........
Excellent review, btw

Thank you Embarrassed.
But I have to correct something: Farlowe did not sing Eleanor Rigby, they only played it (instrumental), as part of the solos of Lost Angeles.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2010 at 05:21
Your praise is well-deserved, FL.  Barbara has never given in to her PD, but has always fought it (with the help and support of Jon). Though it might have affected her technical ability somewhat, her creative ability is unimpaired and she continues to compose and write arrangements. She will also continue to play whenever she can, though it might be mostly in their studio nowadays.  However, we still have plenty of her own recorded music to enjoy  (check out  "Unity Hymn" on the Paraphernalia CD "Everlasting Flame". One of the best soprano saxophone solo you will ever hear).  She is one feisty lady, for sure.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2011 at 11:25
God bless you Mr.Richardson and positive blessings in 2011 from this Los Angeles guitarist !!
♫♪♫♪*♥✿*.❤.♪**.❤.♪✿*♥*♪♫☆♫♪
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