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Fragile, At The Fleece, Bristol, June 16th 2001

By Dr Prog with Photos by the Bastables!

This second review of Fragile at The Fleece comes courtesy of "Dr Prog" and is illustrated with a fine set of photos supplied by Jon's mum June and his sister!

Back to Original Review.

Read Andy Thomas's Review of the show.

 

Fragile On Stage At The Fleece 

 
 

 

Dr Prog investigates: Fragile at the Fleece and Firkin Bristol 16th June 2001

 

Having been too young to see Yes in the halcyon days of prog, i.e.1973 (although I did see Yeggles in 1982 but I don't think that counts), I and like-minded members of the prog brotherhood of Bradford-on-Avon decided that, our ageing LPs being worn out, a real live prog outing was required. I therefore found myself in a very hot but not over-crowded Fleece nervously awaiting the appearance of Fragile, the Yes tribute band. Nervously, because I didn't know what to expect and it was going to be a long ordeal if they weren't any good. But I needn't have worried: two and a half hours later we and about a hundred 40-somethings emerged dazed and elated from an astonishing performance of timeless Yes music displaying all the vibrant, shimmering, stunning virtuosity of the originals.

 

After a rather overlong Firebird Suite taped introduction the boys launched into a non-stop procession of the best of progressive rock playing all the classic tracks from The Yes Album and Fragile and excerpts from most of the later albums. Highlights for me were an ethereal version of Wondrous Stories and an extended Yes medley which included the 11/4 part and the "Soon" end-section of Gates of Delirium as well as extracts from Topographic Oceans where the extended percussion sequence from Ritual was brilliant.

 

 

Mitch Does Ritual

Steve Carney
 
 

Jon - Moody Magnificence

 

Reggae tinged??? 

Particularly astounding was their rendition of Siberian Khatru with all the complexity and magic of the piece reawakened for me by witnessing its live performance. In fact all the music came alive again: after years of just listening to the records the interplay of instruments, vocals, harmonies and arrangements was realised in the flesh in front of me, in a smoky and enraptured pub, and I felt that this is what it must have been like in the early days. But there was a crucial difference: instead of 'cosmic', progressive pomposity there was a sense of post-modern joie de vivre - who cares what the words are all about? - where the music can be enjoyed for its own sake and even prog anoraks like myself can put away their clipboards and dance (well nod and stroke their beards). In fact even Mrs Prog (whose favourites are UB40) enjoyed it!

 

My wife and I and Woolley Street Prog Club would like to take this opportunity to thank: Steve Carney High Priest of Prog and Jon Anderson lookalike for vocals and stage presence; Gonzalo Carreras for swashbuckling Wakemanesque keyboards (N.B. needs a cloak); Robert Illes for masterful and sensitive electric and acoustic guitars; the inscrutable and moody but magnificent Jon Bastable Jnr on ultra-rumble bass; the joker in the pack Tom Dawe for guitar and face-pulling; and Mitch Harwood who I presume was behind the forest of cymbals and miked-up drums performing miracles.

 

Tonight Matthew, we are going to be Yes - and Yes you were. Thanks very much.

 
The Iberian Khatru
 
Back to Original Review.
Read Andy Thomas's Review of the show.
 
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