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Fragile, At The Manor, Biggin Hill, July 22nd 2001

By David Watkinson & Paul Harvey

Joining the rest of the crowd for Fragile's show at The Manor in Biggin Hill was none other than David Watkinson, author of the new Yes book "Perpetual Change". David has seen the band before and decided to travel and see them at the Manor as a well-deserved break from book writing and promoting.

Paul Harvey was also there at his first gig by the band since the early days back in 1999! He tells us what he thinks of the band's development.


Fragile On Stage At The Manor



Too Good To Miss - David Watkinson  

This was about my fourth gig by the band and I was looking forward to it since I hadn't seen them for at least a year due to the work on the new book. The venue was pretty good and easy to find, facing the airfield on the hill. I got there early to watch the warm up and to hand out flyers. The place filled late and in the end over a hundred people turned up.

Fragile played a shorter set than usual (by about forty-five minutes) due to it being a Sunday night dropping the medley sections and possibly other bits too. I thought that they had a tentative start but then grew into the set steadily. the best bit for me was hearing "South Side of the Sky" played and played well, never heard that before and I would say a must to keep in the set.

A major problem occurred during one piece rendering the keyboard dead for about five minutes. Much running around for new wires and plugs happened while the audience kept their fingers crossed for a swift resolution. It duly came and the band motored through an entertaining set list.

A surprise for much of the audience came with the creative and musical tributes to bands such as Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull (Very good), Supertramp (My favourite) and Led Zeppelin.

Fragile finished with Starship Trooper, Roundabout and what I thought was a very interesting proggy end to the show (just right for the Finland boys) when "Endless Dream" gently faded out with each member leaving the stage leaving just a keyboard at the end, nice idea.

The end came with all the members joining together on stage linking arms and waving in a good rock band pose (now haven't Yes done that?). I will be there again in September giving them my support and so should you, if you want a good night out.

David Watkinson.

Just Had To Get To The Manor - Paul Harvey

Normally Sunday nights are spent crashed out in front of the box trying not to think about getting up early for work the next day. But being a Yes and Fragile fan, I just had to get to the Manor with a fellow Yes fan, especially as it was only a few miles a way from home.

I haven't seen Fragile since the Woodman gigs and I thought they were good then. Tonight they were even better, tighter with breathtaking versions of Siberian Khatru, South Side of the Sky, Yours is No Disgrace and a version of Perpetual change even better than Yes's live version at the Albert Hall! superb.

As David wrote in his review, there was a technical problem with the keyboards at the start of 'Heart of the Sunrise'. This was handled quickly and with good humour. The classic rock finale was excellent. It was great to hear a brilliant version of Supertramps 'Dreamer', Steve's vocal range and sound just perfect (as it was for all the Yes songs) and Tull's' Thick as a Brick', just great. (Alot of Yes fans are fans of Tull, Supertramp, Led Zep and Sabbath as well...and Rush....)

After the set the Band joined the audience for feedback and general Yes talk, a very nice touch. I'm counting the days to The Standard! Thanks to all of you for cheering up a Sunday Night!

Paul Harvey.

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