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The Assembly, Leamington 12 December 2009
Pendragon Xmas show lived up to all expectations on its first outing at
The Assembly on Saturday 12th December.
started with a set by the highly regarded German progressive rock outfit
Sylvan, a band with a great sound combining both great power and at
times a melodic delicate touch.
released their first album in 1999 called Deliverance and so far have
released seven studio albums, the latest being Force of Gravity. Their set
included tracks from the new album including the stirring title track
which opened the set and the multi-layered Vapour Trail and amongst the
older material played I particularly enjoyed the tender The Colours
Changed and brooding rock of One Step Beyond.
vocalist Marco Gluhmann has both a fantastic voice and very good stage
presence and the whole band impressed me, I especially liked a lot of the
lead guitar work which for me had a few echoes of Marillion's Steve
Rothery (never a bad thing in my book).
kept to their word and gave us a three hour plus set with the first half
taken up with a run through of their latest highly acclaimed album Pure,
which has a slightly heavier sound than some of their earlier releases but
still full of that distinctive Pendragon light and shade we all love.
performed Pure in album order so after the atmospheric intro tape it was
straight into opening track Indigo followed by the up-tempo Eraserhead.
Next it was
time for the first epic of the night the three part masterpiece Comatose,
the power of the out and out rocker The Freak Show and to close the gentle
and moving It's Only Me.
small break the band returned and played another complete show full of
highlights and suprises from their earlier works. This was a night of
fantastic progressive rock music and a band right at the top of their game
with the exquisite guitar work of Nick Barrett just one of the key
in the second set included The Last Man on Earth from The Window of Life
Album, the beautiful and emotional Paintbox from The Masquerade Overture
and from the same album the stunning The Shadow.
included material from a wide selection of their albums including three
tracks from their debut album The Jewel Oh Divineo the rarely played
rocker The Black Knight and Leviathan.
dipped in to the pre Pure studio album Believe with Learning Curve and
played tracks from both the Not of this world and Kowtow albums. The sound
the band produce is breathtaking at times with solid bass and drums from
Peter Gee and Scott Higham respectively, layers of keyboard magic supplied
by Clive Nolan and of course some of the finest lead guitar in the land
from Nick who also handles lead vocals.
and possibly a lot of fans favourite track the epic Masters of Illusion a
cracking bouncing ball of a song with a fabulous guitar solo towards the
Real fun for
the 2nd encores with the rarely played 80's rocker Red Shoes and to close,
this of course being the festive season, a fun version of Fairytale of New
York with help from guest vocalist Tina from the band Magenta.
The band as
promised had arranged for the bar to stay open for a while after the gig
and came out and chatted and signed for about an hour, talking to them I
think they enjoyed the night as much as we did.
Verdict - A
great early Christmas present
photos by Andrew Lock
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