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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.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Rick Wakeman - Royal Albert Hall


Maybe he’s better known these days as stand-up comic, raconteur and writer and possibly Rick Wakeman was content to continue with that phase of his career with the odd concert now and then. Luck intervened and the discovery of some lost music for his 1974 concept album Journey to the Centre of the Earth spurred him to revisit the work, re-instate the missing sections and release it. The release was well received so the next logical step was to perform it, and a one off at the Royal Albert Hall turned into two and a full blown tour.

The concert had two sets, the first a short and very funny account of how the project was conceived, composed and released. So stories of music industry indifference, friends and colleagues encouragement to carry on, tripping punters jumping in to the moat at Crystal Palace Bowl coming face to face with inflatable dinosaurs and said dinosaurs rutting in the American Bible Belt, blended with a few key songs and a performance of Eleanor Rigby in the style of Prokofiev, which had to heard to be believed.

After the interval it was to the main event. Rick Wakeman came on stage, resplendent in cape and took his place behind his keyboards, lots of keyboards. With narrator Philip Franks sitting regally in the organ booth, accompanied by a choir and the English Rock Ensemble the next hour and a half or so was sublime. Based on the Jules Verne novel it’s an adventure story that lends itself well to musical interpretation. The explorers’ strange journey through the caverns, sailing on the subterranean seas and prehistoric dinosaur battles are all fodder for Rick Wakeman’s imagination.


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Live At The Empire Pool - King Arthur On Ice
DVD/CD - £9.99

1984 - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 1981
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Live in Lincoln Cathedral
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Live At The Maltings 1976
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Video Vaults
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The Burning 
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Cirque Surreal 
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Gole 
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1984
CD - £9.99

Cost Of Living 
CD - £9.99

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