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JOHN WETTON Camden Underworld, London
16 March 2003

A fair sized crowd for a Sunday night - 250-300 people for the first UK date in a while for John Wetton (Asia/Uriah Heep/UK/King Crimson/Family). The show started with a DVD of Cartman from ‘South Park’ singing Asia’s hit single ‘Heat of the Moment’! A bizarre start to say the least.

John Wetton’s bass gave him some trouble from the start but after the opening track, the instrumental ‘Red’ it was fine. Asia’s ‘Sole Survivor’ was up next with great harmony vocals from guitarist John Mitchell (Arena) and keyboard player Martin Orford (IQ/Pallas). New song ‘New Day’ came over well but the other new song aired, ‘Down to the Waterline’ got a rousing reception. A classic slow builder featuring a very catchy chorus, which was co-written with John Young.

UK got a look in with ‘Rendezvous 6:02’, never heard much by UK but I enjoyed this track. Surprise of the night was a cover of the Beatles ‘Ticket to Ride’ and a very good version it was too! The harmonies of Mitchell & Orford again adding to the Wetton’s lead vocals. Wetton sang solo with just Orford’s keyboards for Asia’s ‘The Smile Has Left Your Eyes’. John Wetton seemed to enjoy the show the more it went on and we kept getting little one liners between songs, usually plugging the new CD!

Encore time saw ‘Battlelines’, featuring some great guitar work from John Mitchell. Two Asia classics closed the show ‘Heat of the Moment’ and ‘Don’t Cry’, a track that literally sent shivers down my spine! One of my all time favourite tracks and great to hear it live by the original vocalist. A very intimate show and very enjoyable, can’t wait for the full UK tour in September.

Text © 2003 Jason Ritchie

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