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Fragile, The Victoria Hall, Stoke, Feb 15th 2002

By Dave Walker, Martin Farmer, Geoff Mather, Ian Evans & Alan Ridgeway

 

Something to Look Forward To

Forgive us for we know not what we do. I don't think Stoke on Trent were truly aware of the talent in their midst. Well screw them I say. They missed it and we didn't. I hope our small gathering gave you a welcome.

Neil and I were there, as always. This is gig five for us now and the experience does not fade. We are getting very picky with age. recent gigs in our repertoire were - Yes symphonic - Transatlantic (Neil) - Dream Theatre. All excellent shows with excellent musicians. Real spectacles and I truly wish we could watch you guys play through a 'fuck off' system to a big crowd because you are definitely in the aforementioned league. I think Fragile certainly transcend the tribute band status.

Tonight's gig just confirmed your abilities in a difficult setting. If tonight was the first time you played C-T-T-E all the way through then I am amazed. The first half worked brilliantly although I have to be honest and say the second half fell flat for a few bars but for a first stab , wow. I have old footage of early Yes playing it very averagely. I can imagine with a few more gigs under your belt performing that little number it will sound brilliant. As for the rest of the show - well superlatives fail me so I won't bother searching through my Thesaurus for suitable acclamations, suffice it to say, for a sad cynical 42 year old, your gigs give me something to look forward to, other than the Horlicks and the slippers.

I wish you long life and recognition for your noble efforts.

Dave Walker

Loud Applause

This review is not a song-by-song analysis but an overview of Friday 15th February gig at the Victoria Hall.

With this being the start of this year's tour and the added bonus of being played at a venue close to home prompted me to get my tickets as soon as it was announced. The Victoria Hall in Hanley has seen some impressive acts over the years and were fragile to add to this list? Well read on…..

The turnout at the impressive Victoria Hall venue was way down on its capacity and perhaps the on off saga regarding if the gig was going to go ahead or not would have also affected ticket sales.

There were the familiar repertoire of yes classics in the two part set with what must be mentioned a very impressive rendition of close to the edge - the first time I have heard it played live in over 25 years. The band performed it well. Talking to Gonzalo afterwards in the bar he had one or two bits he was still trying to get right in the early hours of the day before the gig.

With the addition of close to the edge to the running order something has to go and the yes melody was not performed along with owner of a lonely heart. Personal favorites of mine Siberian Khatru, Roundabout, Starship Trooper ,and You and I were included in the show - all played well.

I have seen fragile perform at the Limelight three times and once at the Victoria Hall now and I can say that all four performances were an exceptional display of complicated yes music executed brilliantly. It was a pity that more people did not come to see the show but the low turnout made up for the lack of large numbers by loud applause.

The new fragile backdrop looked good behind Mitch's drums. Well done to fragile.

As to fragile living up to the Victoria Hall reputation - well yes.

Best Regards Martin Farmer

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

I don't need to be kind to you

I saw you for the first time at Victoria Hall in Stoke last Friday. I've just got to say "It was Brilliant !!!!"

I know every Yes song inside out and back to front - every note - so I was ready to be "kind" to you and let you off with a good attempt. However - I don't need to be kind to you at all - you were excellent. Where you strayed from the actual Yes-notes, it still sounded great and I think it's completely right that you do that anyway; I know Yes never play a song the same way twice. Like you said on your website, this is carrying the music forward and reinterpreting it.

I do have one minor problem with your show - the clothes: Yes are still going! They are a current act, and they are as great now as they ever were. Magnification is a superb album. I felt that your overly "hippy" dress really relegated the band to the past, in a way that is unfair, and may put off some people if they were going along as guests to your show. Who wants to be associated with Hippies these days? I don't - but I still love Yes music. Maybe this is worth having second thoughts about.

Anyway, as they say: "I'm not one to complain!!!" Your show was truly great - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work!

Geoff Mather

 

 

You can't wish for everything!

WHAT A FANTASTIC NIGHT WE HAD ON FRIDAY 15TH, STUNNING SHOW, STARTED A LITTLE TO EARLY, AS WE HAD TO TRAVEL FROM CREWE WE MISSED THE OPENING SEQUENCE, BUT NEVER MIND. BUT WHAT ABOUT 'CLOSE TO THE EDGE' YOU HAVE FINALLY GOT ROUND TO PERFORMING IT 'STUNNING'.

SORRY YOU DIDN'T DO 'SOON O SOON' BUT YOU CAN'T WISH FOR EVERYTHING CAN YOU. WE LIKED THE LITTLE BIT OF 'ELP-TRILOGY' TOOK A WHILE FOR IT TO SINK IN WHAT IT WAS (THE WIFE RECONISED IT FIRST). JUST ONE COMPLAINT - THE LACK OF LIGHTING EFFECTS, OTHER THAN THAT 'STUNNING SHOW'

AND BY THE LOOK ON THE GUYS FACES THEY ENJOYED IT AS WELL, HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON.

Ian Evans

 

The Crying Shame

What a crying shame the people of the potteries missed one of the best concerts I have seen in a long time. I think the problem could have been lack of advertising, I only new about it the same day by chance of a few words put out on radio stoke. I was expecting it to be sold out, so I phoned the box office and booked two seats, but when I arrived I was ashamed at the pitiful response. The concert was excellent and couldn't have been bettered by the band themselves. I did find it a tiny bit too loud though, I would have liked to hear a little bit more of the excellent vocals. Definitely give them another watch if ever they should come this way again, but I doubt it.

Cheers Alan Ridgway.

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