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2 stars Well a "meteor band" it was...that is a strange arrangement of a new line-up conceived by John Kenneth Wetton, trying to give the old melodic stuff by ELP and Asia a new birth: but to me it was -above all- another gift from Carl Palmer, invited by his old friend to play together once again live on stage, with the support of John Young and Dave Kilminster, a couple of good musicians. So this idea brought about a certain enthusiasm, but I've nothing else to say about this project:the mixing is bad,despite of their good performance, as usual (except on some vocal parts by John, being not perfect for this kind of songs anymore,but it never minds...) and,as for all these considerations, at the end I don't know whether the whole thing is useful or not.Although I always like to hear them in their live performances yet, especially during the execution of some classics by ELP,being able to forgive them for some tracks by Asia (with the exception of "Time Again") and a strange cover of "All along the Watchtower" as well,which is not interesting definitevely!!It makes me feel not completely involved into this project and let me think that this album is for the collectors only...make your own choice!!
Report this review (#30522)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Actually I quite liked this album. Palmer's drumming was like a dynamo, Wetton's voice was good - and so was his bass playing, Young's keys were excellent. He shows great potential and I hope he achieves it. He now works for the reformed Greenslade, And If Rick Wakeman ever left Yes again; I'd vote for this guy! The only person who didn't impress me was Dave Kilminster. I get cheesed off with these flashy Vai clones; they should of had someone with a sound of their own. Maybe one of the ex-Asia guitarists like Aziz Ibrahim should have played instead. Apart from that, this is a good AOR album, and I loved the "bovver boys" type of cheering at the beginning. It's a shame this band didn't carry on.
Report this review (#30523)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This lone memento from the Qango project / super-group / reunion / whatever the hell it was is almost by definition a collectors-only item, regardless of how good (or poor) the performances on it might be. That’s because really only the serious fans and collectors who will appreciate what the record represents, or at least what it was supposed to have represented, which was a reunion of the original Asia lineup. That didn’t happen (see ‘Phoenix’ for that – eventually). But what ended up happening was some very lucky fans in Britain got to see John Wetton – clean, sober and in pretty darn good form with Carl Palmer and a couple of young bucks on guitar and keyboards who should probably consider themselves lucky. From what I’ve read Keith Emerson showed up as a guest star for at least one of those performances as well.

The tracks are a combination of Asia (mostly early) stuff, some ELP and a cover that was probably included because everyone in the group already knew it.

The performances here are all quite good, especially considering the lineup that finally managed to headline some shows was slow to evolve and I can’t imagine these guys had a whole lot of time to gel as a unit before putting themselves in front of the lights.

The Asia tracks were all no-brainers from the beginning of the band’s career: “Time Again”, “Sole Survivor” and “Heat of the Moment”. The ELP tracks were also pretty obvious choices, since like “All Along the Watchtower” the three ELP songs were already quite familiar to everyone in the group. Gratuitous solos are of course a very necessary part of a live concert, especially one where old geezers like these need time to go get oxygen once and a while, and all of the solos on this record were primo examples of top-notch musicianship, so nothing lost there.

The one surprise choice was “The Last One Home” from Wetton’s ‘Arkangel’ album, something that brought the otherwise lively tempo of the concert down, and one which I’m sure the other members had to take time to spin up on. I suspect this was a cathartic one for Wetton though, and possibly meant to be a spiritual/emotional connecting point with the crowd, sort of like David Crosby’s heartfelt rendition of “Wasted on the Way” with CSN back in the eighties. I will say that the Steve Vai clone Dave Kilminster managed to not only smoke his fret board on this one, he actually seemed to have injected a little human emotion in the process, something Vai has yet to do as far as I know. Definitely the highlight of the album, and I’m sure a very emotional point in the live shows as well.

This record would have carried more weight and been more important if the early plan to reunite all the original Asia members had played out back then. But the time was not right and this lineup managed to put on some decent shows. But the whole thing never lasted and I think everyone knew it wouldn’t. I should say this is for collectors only and therefore worthy of only two stars, but we all know Wetton and Palmer are better than that even on their worst night, and this was not their worst night. So a solid three stars and recommended if you can find it.


Report this review (#172631)
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Team
3 stars Take a dash of Asia, add in ELP and you will have a good idea of what this album is like. Dave Kilminster and John Young join John Wetton and Carl Palmer for this enjoyable romp through classic numbers from both bands. Of the ten songs, two are solos, and of the other eight three are by ELP (including a much more rockified version of "Fanfare"), and three are from the debut Asia album. Given that John and Carl have been playing together on and off for years, and that Dave is actually a member of John's touring band then it is little surprise that these guys play well together, and although the major glory days are behind them, songs as good as these still deserve to be heard. I am not sure if they plan to tour again, or record together, so if you want to be able to hear yet again how they sounded on tour I 1999 then I suggest you get this now. Although it has been released on ELP's old Manticore label I see that this is now released through Voiceprint.

originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

Report this review (#968444)
Posted Saturday, June 1, 2013 | Review Permalink

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