Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Gig reviews
Special features
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gig Reviews...

Just witnessed your best live gig?.. send us a review!

The Peel, Kingston 14 August 2010

For me personally, this was certainly a case of then and now.  I first saw Twelfth Night back in 1984 at Mid-Kent college in Chatham ,the original home of the Chav.  I was a fresh faced schoolboy back then, grateful for a gig in my home town.

After the success and excess of ELP, Yes and Genesis, punk destroyed all in it's path, but there was a new generation of post-punk rock fans who were discovering music after raiding their older brothers album collections.

Along with Marillion, Pallas and IQ, Twelfth Night were at the forefront of the new wave of British progressive rock (NWOBPR, now, why didn't anyone think of coining that acronym at the time?).

When I first saw the band, they had just released 'Live And Let Live', a live album recorded at The Marquee Club with Geoff Mann on vocals who had left the band by the time of it's release.

Andy Sears was the new boy and the band gave a most memorable gig that has stayed with me forever. Big things were planned for Twelfth Night, who soon after signed a deal with Virgin Records who were hoping to match the success of Marillion.  However things didn't quite work out and the band disbanded a few years later.

26 years later it feels as if I am travelling in a time machine.  Singer Andy Sears looks almost the same, as does drummer Brain Devoil whose hair has now turned to grey, but it took me a while to work out which one was Clive Mitten. Back in the eighties Mitten was the cool dude in the band.

Playing some thumping bass, he was the envy of us teenage fans with his dreadlock waist length blond locks.  It was easy to confuse him with the guy from Kajagoogoo.  Now with glasses, a plain shirt and a receding hair line, he looks like the kind of guy who would bore you into submission taking out a life savings plan in your local bank.

The years were soon wiped back as they opened with 'The Ceiling Speaks', exactly as they did 26 years ago, a song that is pure prog rock nirvana,  the perfect opener. Memories came flooding back for me. The Peter Gabriel Genesis era storytelling sound of 'We Are Sane' was the first of the lengthy numbers which saw Sears acting the part complete in bowler hat.

Original founding member and guitarist Andy Revell is not part of the current touring band although he did partake when they first reformed three years ago and I'm sure he will be back at same stage when time permits, however new boys Mark Spencer and also Roy Keyworth and Dean Baker both borrowed from Galahad play a predominant role in the new line up.

Instrumentals such as 'Fur Helene' and 'The Poet Sniffs A Flower' are enjoyable arrangements and are by no means self indulgent.  Most of the set is made up from songs of 'Fact And Fiction' album with only 'Human Being' amiss, but a song good enough, that should be included in the set.

Clive Mitten is the ring leader of the band these days often introducing the songs himself with a little story behind the music.  Mitten also shows off his credentials by swapping his bass for acoustic guitar or the keyboards.

'The Collector' was segued into world war one themed 'Sequences', but I wish this number was played in it's full twenty minute glory as it was such a highlight when I first saw the band those many moons ago, here's hoping for my next visit.

For the encore Andy Sears was joined by former Pallas singer Alan Reed in a fitting embrace to sing the charming 'Love Song'.  The loyal fan base here tonight, many who travelled from afar, lapped up every joyous moment.

I hope Twelfth Night will play on for a long time yet, and this is one band I would love to see at a festival like the High Voltage Festival because they really do deserve much more worthy recognition.

Set list: The Ceiling Speaks/ We Are Sane/ Last Song/ Fur Helene/ The Craft/ Take A Look/ A New Day/ Creepshow/ This City/ World Without End /Blondon Fair / Fact And Fiction /C.R.A.B /The Poet Sniffs A Flower / The Collector/ Sequences ... Encore: Love Song

Review  by Mark Taylor

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group