manchester opera house 30th october 2006
I feel a little underdressed considering the surroundings, as this is an opera house, Manchester Opera House to be precise. A certain decorum must be observed, a reverence dictated by the oppulent facade. Here there are boards that have been tread, whats that I hear, he's behind you, oh shit. Pantomimes and dodgy musicals are on the bill, fortunately, not tonight. Prog maestro's Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman age going to tease us with acoustic renditions os classic Yes, interspaced with new offerings written by just the two of them.
Mr Andersons has wifely support from Mrs Anderson sitting inthe balcony to the side of the stage, so at moments of mutual secrecy, he would gaze up to her, blowing kisses, waving of arms, and generaly saying hello.
Mr Wakeman has no support apart from his piano stool upon which he sits. Moments of verbal amusement eminate from his section of the stage. A swapping of tales from duo to audience give rise to titters and guffaws, depending upon severity of incident being recanted. Usually of Mr wakemans alcoholic past.
Mr A accopanies Mr W on acoustic guitar, and yes surprisingly it is plugged in ans amplified to a decent level. Reworkings of familiarity are interspersed with smatterings of new stuff, written especially the duo-ic concept. Mr W tinkles ivories like an ivory tinkler tinkleing Yes tunes, which of itself is self evident, for that is what we expect to hear.
Halfway through, just after the intermission Mr A takes up the stool and begins his own tinkleing, much to the amazement of the seated audience. Mr W enters the stage, places are traded, and Mr W gives us reditions of familiar nursery rhymes in the stylings of classical composers, and ends his solo spot with a highly subjective yet recognisable version of Eleanor Rigby. Before Mr A returns to his familiar spot, Mr W tells a few jokes and the evenings entertainment is allowed to continue.
As before is what is after, remarkable renditions of remarkable renditions, expert performances, considering how long they must have been playing some of these songs, to know them backwards is an understatement, but sometimes as Mr W was to quip,
"I didn't play on that one"