The answer is yes, Fragile are alive and well, and yestribute.com is pleased to announce the band's return to action. Consistent with time honoured tradition, Fragile took their usual winter break following completion of last year's `Corridors of Time' dates in November, but have now reconvened and confirmed plans for 2004.
Steve confirmed that the band will be performing at two June dates on the 4th June at Club Riga, Southend, Essex, and the 11th June at Mr Kyps in Poole, Dorset. "We chose these venues because we enjoy the vibe and intimacy they offer.
Plans for beyond June were also discussed and Steve outlined the band's current thinking and strategy. "We are looking to shake up our gig portfolio and locate suitable new venues for the band. We will also be concentrating our gig activity in the south of England which we have kind of neglected since 1999/2000. The autumn tour schedule will reflect this strategy and soon as plans are firmed up we will announce them at yestribute.com. We want to put together a fairly substantial date sheet, but as ever its dependent on logistics and finance. At the end of the day we are now focusing on quality rather than quantity, and future live work will be based on this principle".
Steve commented on past plans to gig in Scotland and Wales, "The fact that these gigs have never happened has not been for lack of effort or desire on our part. Unfortunately venues and promoters in Scotland and Wales just don't seem interested in a Yes tribute. We will continue to explore possibilities and hopefully something will happen sooner than later!. We are also looking at fresh options for continental Europe as our experience in Belgium and Finland has been excellent and it would be nice to build on this platform".
What about developments on the recording front?. "Jon is currently going through material recorded over the last few years with a view to us putting out a compilation CD in time for the Fanomenon. We have a great performance of `Astral Traveller' and `Machine Messiah' from last year's Robin 2 gig, and a wonderful cut of Max's `Henry' arrangement recorded at Club Riga. There's also some Jon and Vangelis material prepared by Max and myself, and some period pieces from the Helsinki gig in 2001. It would be nice to bring these recordings together, and people have been regularly asking if we will put out a further CD".
What about `One Star' and `Theme', and indeed the Aquaplanage project?. "Well, `One Star' and `Theme' are recorded and ready to go, and we will be looking for a publishing deal to promote these titles which are very much aimed at specialist markets. The idea is to generate an income stream to underpin the Aquaplanage recording project which is long overdue". Why has `Aquaplanage' been delayed? "a number of reasons including time and availability, technical difficulties, finance, and unforeseen developments. We wrote most of the material back in the spring of 2002, but Gonzalo left during the autumn of that year which meant that recording planes were shelved. Last year was focused on relaunching the band with Max, and last summer saw some major personal and business changes for all the guys, myself included. We suddenly found ourselves in the autumn of last year honouring previously agreed dates, which on reflection was probably the wrong strategy. We took time out early this year to think through the band's future and basically take a rain check. We have been gigging since 1999 and it was time to reflect a bit, which in fact has been very productive and if anything re-energised us. We are intentionally leaving some holes in the schedule for this year to provide some space to get long overdue objectives delivered, and to accommodate for the unknown!".
Also on the recording front, what about 2003bc and the collaboration with Jon, "Jon and I have around a dozen new tracks in the bag, but the nature of the project has changed to the extent that a number of the titles may now be more appropriate for `Aquaplanage'. Jon has really got a grip on Cubase technology, and it's a challenge to stop him being creative at the moment!. One song in particular is a potential anthem in the making, and may set the standard for the `Aquaplanage' project". What about news on other fronts?.
"Well, a quick visit to the Tantalus website will reveal that Max is as busy as ever with his many ventures. Tantalus are relaunching their last release with some quality label support, and I am working Max to ensure our diaries don't conflict. Max and I are also hoping to put on some Jon & Vangelis shows late this year diaries permitting. I know that Dr Bob has a wealth of material lying around and is hoping to put it together in some format when the opportunity arises. Mitch is busy as ever with other music commitments, but like Tom is standing ready for Fragile's return to action".
The website was quiet during parts of 2003, what was the reason?. "I think last year was a challenging experience for all of us in some way or another, whether personally or professionally. There were babies, job changes, and health issues, and altogether that had an impact on how much we could deliver and by extension the amount of news there was to report. The important point is that we survived, and this band has a great spirit which guides it onward. There is a real desire to get us kicking again, and the Liverpool festival has provided the focus around which to move forward in a positive way".
So, Fragile are up and running again, and yestribute.com stands ready to keep you posted on all the news and developments as they occur. Normal service is resumed, and 2004 looks immediately brighter with Yes back on the road, and the definitive European Yes tribute back in action!
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