Fragile, At The Gun Tavern, Croydon October 5th 2000
By Simon Arnold
It's probably a bit dubious having me review Fragile because of my close involvement with them but for reasons that should become obvious this gig was never likely to have another review submitted for it. It was a low-key, "intimate" affair . . .
It had been an even rougher day at work than normal which is saying something, I had two choices of how to unwind. Go home and kick the cats around the room for half an hour or make a headlong dash from Portsmouth to Croydon to see Fragile in action. Fortunately for me and of course the cats I chose the latter.
I got there just about in time and was greeted by a fairly empty back bar at the Gun. I guess it's not surprising because the band have played a large number of dates in the area this year and of course have the big London dates at the Standard and the Astoria with Pallas to come. In fact I think that I just about made the crowd up to double figures - a far cry from the recent attendances at places like the Robin!
Anyway, given the intimate atmosphere the band dispensed with the grandeur of "Firebird" and Steve and Gonzalo opened the set rather unusually with "The Meeting" from the ABWH album. It was a gentle start to the show but beautifully performed. Soon however the rest of the band joined them on stage and the place began to rock. The band ran through the majority of the Yes standards that fill the backbone of their set including a great "All Good People".
The time just seemed to fly by and despite the small crowd the band performed as if there were a couple of hundred there rather than just ten. Before we knew it "Starship Trooper" was drawing the set to a close and of course we were treated to a quick medley ranging from Tull to Genesis via Black Sabbath as the band did their quick solo spots.
After "Starship" the band had time for one more, ignoring my cries of "Silver Machine" they then delivered an effervescent version of "Roundabout" to rapturous applause from those of us who had found our way into the centre of Croydon for the night. Thankyou Fragile, the cats and I are very grateful!
PS In case anyone is in any doubt I would actually never kick anyone's cat let alone mine!
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