Yes! We’re ready for the challenge: We chat to Steve Howe
In recent years it has become increasingly common for bands to tour in celebration of a classic album and play the album in its entirety. Never a band to do things by halves, Prog Rock legends Yes are celebrating not one album, not two albums, but three albums on their current tour.
Are you looking forward to getting back home to play for your UK fans?
We’re on the road around the world an awful lot at the moment and we’re very much looking forward to playing some shows in the UK. It’s been well over two years since we last played there so yes, we’re looking forward to it.
Many bands have played shows featuring a whole album in its entirety. You will be doing three, The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One. What made you decide to undertake such an ambitious tour?
We needed to do things a bit differently. We didn’t just want to go on stage and play a song from this album then a song from that album. This is how we’ve always played since 1973. We thought about doing two and playing a few songs from our other records but then we talked about doing three and it just seemed to be such a good idea. This way you’ll buy a ticket and know every song you’re going to hear.
Why did you pick those three albums in particular?
We just felt these three deserved to be done on stage. They each have different challenges and qualities and give a good representation of the band. Going For The One has different sorts of challenges with some lighter sides such as Turn of the Century and Wondrous Stories and also has the rock sides with Parallels and Going For The One itself and also the more serial approach to a song with Awaken, so there’s a moving palette in the music that creates different colours and each of the albums work so well together in the show.
There must be a fair few of those songs that you haven’t played in years if ever. Were there any that you initially had trouble remembering how to play?
Not really, although there was some detail here and there that we had to work on, but the overall shape was still there. We’ve been playing many of the songs on and off over the years but there were a couple, like Perpetual Change, we haven’t played that many times so it’s good to revisit those again.
Yes have always put on a great production to go with the music. What do you have lined up for this tour?
We’ll have projections and lights but it will be quite frugal in a way. I say it will be simple but effective.
...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?
Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.