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Fragile, At The HLC, Rotherham, September 23rd 2000

By A whole army!

Fragile were invited to play for the Classic Rock Society at the Herringthorpe Leisure Centre in Rotherham. Despite a number of organisational problems the gig finally came together and has become our most reviewed gig ever! This page contains the following reviews;

 

  
The Demonic Jon Bastable at Rotherham!

Picture courtesy Classic Rock Society


 
Steve Grant

"Biggest Compliment"

This is one of tightest bands I have seen on stage and that includes Yes. The biggest compliment I can give is that musically if I had closed my eyes it would have been hard to differentiate between Fragile and the real Yes. The lead singer gave an enthusiastic performance and his voice had more clarity than the higher tones of Anderson. The set list from the opening Cinema to the final Starship Trooper was excellent. The Yes Medley was something special with each song flowing seamlessly into the other. Every member of the band had something to offer both individually and collectively to all of the songs This to me really was a band performing and not a group of talented individuals.

 

"Rapturous Applause"

All the numbers were greeted with rapturous applause and I got the impression most people were stunned by the class of this act The disappointment to me was that only around 100 people were there to see it. I attended the recent Yes concert in Sheffield, and given the same setting and conditions this band in my mind would have easily sent the Yes fans in to raptures just like the real article. With the talent in the band and some new material this could be the start of something big. WAKEMAN once said he always thought Yes music in some form would go on forever, this form could well be Fragile. I hope they perform in Rotherham again by which time the word will have spread and a much bigger crowd will be in attendance. 

Steve Grant

 


Bob Parkin

"Knocked Out"

Just a few words to let you know how much we enjoyed the gig on Saturday. Five of us made the trip over from Sheffield on Saturday after I found out about Fragile on the website. To say we are all Yes fans would be an understatement, as we've all been into them since the early 70's and between us we must have seen them dozens of times. When I first heard about the band, I was very sceptical, how could any band attempt to play Yes music ?.

My doubts were soon laid to rest however as soon as the band ripped in to Siberian Khatru and from then on we were treated to a tremendous performance from six blokes who were obviously playing music they loved with great enthusiasm. We were all knocked out by Robert Illes guitar playing, especially the note perfect Mood For A Day when he took the stage on his own.

 

"Complete Band Performance"

To single any member out as being outstanding would be unfair as this was a complete band performance. The highlights of the set to me were a very tight Heart Of The Sunrise and Soon where Steve's vocals were excellent. Just a shame more people couldn't make the effort to go along, there must be a lot of Yes fans out there who don't know what they're missing.

Thanks for a great night.

Bob Parkin

 


Dave Woodward

"Tantalus - Exciting & Powerful"

Herringthorpe Leisure Centre, Rotherham, 23/9/00 I had heard nothing but glowing reports of the band 'Fragile' and was persuaded by a mutual friend to go see them. So, despite having only listened to 'The Ladder' and the occasional piece from the early 70s, I was persuaded to part with £10 in return for an evening of Yes music.

The support band played for about an hour. They all looked like they'd just left the office to play the gig, but I was suitably impressed when they started with some exciting and powerful music. When the singer came on, I was somewhat surprised as I had been expecting someone like Fish to arrive! The quite small and shy-looking chap who came to the front of the stage almost apologetically, had a good voice but seemed to be disinterested in the music. Perhaps I'm being unfair, as he said he had the 'flu, and it must have been a struggle to sing and look excited through a wall of cattargh. I was particularly impressed with the very high standard of their music - in places a little like Arena or Pendragon, and very exciting and well written.

 

"Intimacy"

I was informed by the guy next to me when the intro music started, and then Fragile took the stage and played a truly ripping 'Cinema'. I saw Yes play this earlier in the year and in many ways enjoyed it more this time, as the band were much closer to me and there was more intimacy between them and the audience. 'Siberian Khatru' followed and the singer arrived. I've often felt that the singer has a tough job in a tribute act, as it can be difficult to sound like the person you imitate without resorting to surgery. When Steve (singer) started, I saw people break into grins and breathe sighs of relief. This probably had something to do with him sounding just like Jon Anderson. Throughout the rest of the gig, he sang perfectly with seemingly little effort the tunes that I don't think many other people could possibly do. As for the rest of the band, the sound was virtually spot on. Nothing jarred or sounded odd. Everyone sounded like they were supposed to - not an easy task at all !!

!The lead guitarist (Rob) had a Steve Howe tone. The keyboard player had a Rick Wakeman sound. The drummer was just like Alan White and the bassist sounded like Chris Squire. What higher praise can there be? I didn't spot any mistakes. The only problem I felt was in the mixing which had the Rob's guitar too loud, occasionally drowning out the keyboard parts. Also there was some faffing around with Rob's acoustic, but neither of these were the band's fault. I must confess to being somewhat mystified by the presence of a 2nd guitarist. I must had heard him about 3 times during the entire gig (and I was actually trying to hear him). Was his guitar switched on? Did Yes ever have more than one guitar in the 70s? There wasn't even anything played from The Ladder, which would have used both guitarists. Very strange. I should say that £10 was a bit steep for any tribute act, but that wasn't down to the band either.

Overall the sound was great, the pieces and solo spots nothing short of superb. The evening was immensely satisfying, and made me realise that I have an awful lot to learn about playing the guitar. If you like your Yes, don't wonder whether you should see Fragile. Go.

 

Dave Woodward

 


Dave Kennedy and Paul Allwood

"An encore was demanded"

Opening with Cinema / Siberian Khatru Fragile clearly showed that they had the Yes sound down to a tee. The CRS has always been wary of tribute bands, being particularly concerned over their attitude and the problem they can cause for other bands playing original material attempting to get gigs. It has to be said though that Fragile came across as very down to earth and approachable.

Having demonstrated their ability to reproduce the Yes sound, they were not afraid to play their own reworked versions of Yes tracks, notably Owner of a Lonely Heart and a long medley of various Yes pieces which flowed along wonderfully. Another strong part of their set was a merger of Awaken with And You & I. They even played a promising instrumental of their own writing entitled, I believe, Theme.

They ended the night with the Yes classic, and my all time favourite Starship Trooper, interrupting the final instrumental to introduce the band members and to feature some other classic rock excerpts from Genesis and Led Zeppelin. An encore was demanded and received in the form of I've Seen All Good People.

Paul Allwood


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