Fragile, At The Winding Wheel, Nov 29th, 2001
By Neil Besley
This was billed as Fragile's first theatre show which I expected would bring
in a big crowd, but ten minutes before it was due to start there were only a
handful of us in the bar. As the first few notes of Stravinsky's Firebird
Suite struck up the theatre was three quarters empty.
Well, what a treat you missed if you're within striking distance of
Chesterfield but didn't make the effort! Fragile gave a powerful and
remarkable performance of some of the best Yes tracks.
First we had Siberian Khatru and the first few bars were enough to turn
any looks of scepticism (only on the faces of those who hadn't seen Fragile
before) into appreciative smiles of pleasure. Feet began
to tap, heads began to sway and nod. Here was a band playing Yes music
live, sounding like Yes, with a singer who bore quite a resemblance to Jon
Anderson, dressed like JA, moved like JA and, most importantly SOUNDED very
Jon Anderson - Steve Carney.
What followed was two and a quarter hours of Yes music, played expertly,
fluently and enthusiastically. Visually the show was good (I liked the
illuminated skull as seen on The Yes Album sleeve), though not as
dramatic as I expected from the web site publicity. Lighting was better
than most tribute bands I've seen (except Think Floyd) but if Fragile's
popularity continues to grow and swells the bank balance I'm sure we'll be
seeing 'Dean' style
internally lit fibre glass sculptures on their stage before long.
This band are obviously more interested in putting on a 'Yes' experience
than making money or this gig would have been cancelled.
The first set included All Good People, South Side of the Sky, Heart of the
Sunrise, The Clap (expertly played by Robert Illes but unfortunately a
gremlin got into the sound system for this one) and a storming Perpetual
After the interval we were treated to Cinema, And You and I, and then a
medley of about 9 Yes pieces including The Fish, excerpt from Gates Of
Delirium followed by Soon, Synth solo from The Revealing Science of God and
drum solo from Ritual (brilliant Mitch!).
Then we were back in the days of the Yes Album again with a rendition of
Yours is No Disgrace (sounded perfect - were they miming to the LP?) and as
good a version of Starship Trooper as I have heard - and I have heard many
over the years! Gonzales really enjoyed himself on the keyboards here - he
manages to do with 3 keyboards what Rick Wakeman does with about 12. Finally
the show finished with Roundabout.
If you weren't there you should have been.
Steve Carney - much like Anderson
Gonzalo - The Iberian Khatru
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