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Oliver Wakeman - Coming To Town - Live In Katowice (DVD) CD (album) cover

COMING TO TOWN - LIVE IN KATOWICE (DVD)

Oliver Wakeman

 

Prog Related

3.36 | 4 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars

In 1976 I was watching the just released movie Yessongs in a small cinema and went to Vintage Keyboard Heaven during Rick Wakeman his solo performance: wearing long blond hair and a glitter cape, Rick stunned the audience with his virtuosity and creativity, especially the Mellotron part is mindblowing symphonic rock magic, goose bumps! I turned into a huge Rick Wakeman aficionado and one year later I succeeded to see 'the caped crusader' live during the Going For The One tour, one of the best progrock gigs I have ever seen with Rick Wakeman parading between his huge array of keyboards, including 5 Minimoogs! More than 30 years later Rick Wakeman has two grown up sons who are both professional keyboardplayers, I had seen Adam on the DVD Live In Buenos Aires (with father Rick) but I was not familiar with the work of 'other son' Oliver.

Well, watching this concert in Poland by The Oliver Wakeman Band, it's incredible to notice how much Oliver looks like his father Rick, both visually as musically: if I listen to Oliver his sparkling piano runs and his flashy synthesizer flights and look at his face and way of playing, I tend to think that "it's Rick Wakeman Junior!" But seriously, in the Extra's you can find an interview in which Oliver tells about his love for Jon Lord and Deep Purple, listening to this live DVD that influence is very obvious: singer Paul Manzi can be described as a 'laidback version of Ian Gillan' while the powerful rhythm-section and the heavy guitarwork sounds as the foundation Jon Lord had in Deep Purple. But Oliver doesn't use the organ sound very much, he colours the melodic rock music very tastefully (but less abundant than his father) with a varied sound, from dazzling and fat sounding synthesizer runs (spectacular solos in Don't Come Running, Three Broken Threads, I Don't Believe In Angels and the titletrack with sensational use of the pitchbend button) and sumptuous classical orchestrations (The Agent and Three Broken Threads) to dreamy or sparkling (like in Dangerous World and Enlightenment) work on the piano. Despite those excellent keyboard escapades Oliver remains a teamplayer but looking at the camera positions, it's quite obvious why the band is named The Oliver Wakeman Band! Watching this live DVD I got more and more impressed by the very tasteful and professional melodic rock, from fluent mid- tempo songs to compelling bombastic or moving ballads and Heavy Prog (like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Steve Perry era Journey). I am also very pleased with guitarplayer David Mark Pearce, he sounds like an archetypical rock guitarist but more varied, in the track Enlightenment he got room and he used it to the limit! And in The Agent and the epic Wall Of Water the interplay between the guitar and keyboards is awesome and exciting, this band rocks.

So don't expect progrock or keyboard driven music, just enjoy this alternating and pleasant melodic rock, embellished with an inventive lightshow. My rating: 3,5 stars.

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |

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