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Fragile, At The Brook, Southampton, August 18th 2000

By Pete Doxat And Melanie Whorlow

Fragile played at the Brook, in Southampton on Friday, August 18th. It was the band's first trip to the South Coast and judging by the quality of the venue and the reception they received it looks likely that it won't be the last! The Brook is most definitely an excellent setting and Pete Doxat from Portsmouth made the short trip with a posse of friends. Melanie made a rather longer journey and apparently didn't arrive home until an horrendously late time in the morning! Here's what they made of it!

"Wall of sound"

There must be easier ways of earning a living. Reproducing the complex nature of Yes's music has got to be one of the most challenging tasks there is, but to do it well and enjoy yourselves at the same time is no mean feat!

This was my second Fragile concert and the first time the band had been in the Southampton area. The Brook was slow to fill up, the strains of Stravinsky not being heard till around 10pm. The six piece band burst straight into 'Cinema' followed by 'Siberian Khatru', the opening wall of sound just blowing the audience away (I had to convince several colleagues to come and see Fragile - they did'nt believe my previous reports - within 30 seconds I knew they felt the same as me!).

"Time passed just too quickly"

From the opening number onwards there was no let up in the bands sheer musicality and technical skills, whether tackling a ballad like 'Time and a Word' or powering out 'Heart of the Sunrise'. The time passed just too quickly, with the Roundabout encore marking the end of this spectacular two hour plus set.

I am sure Steve and the other members of the band had a good time, they were very capable and very much at ease with themselves. They've had several personnel changes in the last few months, I loved them at Croydon in February, but they're even more cohesive and tighter now.

Here's a stupid challenge: Next time Yes is on tour see them and compare to Fragile - I'd be interested to know your views.......

Pete Doxat


"Blistering Rendition"

Southampton found Fragile playing on a good stage with a very enthusiastic crowd. Fragile opened with a blistering rendition of Cinema. This was the start of a solid two hours which included a wide range from Yes' back catalogue. It is great to be able to hear Yes music played live in smaller venues and the crowd really got into it. The band were obviously having the time of their lives too. Although most of the set consisted of music true to the original songs, Fragile did a unique version of "Owner of a lonely heart" It sounds very laid back and is well worth a listen. They also played their own composition, "Theme" which is an "in the style of..."

For me highlights of the show included "Awaken", "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper", a song that Fragile have always played well. This was one of the best Fragile gigs I have been to. It was great to see the audience and the band enjoying themselves so much.


Melanie Whorlow

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