Saturday, 3rd October 2009
The Met, Bury, The UK
Article and Live Photos by Juan Carlos and Rosa Araneda
There were four years since the last time we had seen IQ performing live at the now inexistent Mean Fiddler, in London on December 10th, 2005.
In May this year, after listening to the brand new album Frequency several times at home in Santiago, Chile, we thought that a live performance of this superb album would be spectacular.
So after reading in DPRP that IQ would be performing the album live only twice, in Berlin and Bury, the opportunity arose.
The Met in Bury is a well known venue for us because we have seen IQ playing live four times there: the two launching gigs of Subterranea on September 5th and 6th, 1997,
and the pre-final gig on April 1st, 1999, and finally one Darkmattour gig on October 2nd, 2004.
Therefore Juan rang to The Met and talked to Ms. Avis in order to buy our tickets.
Manchester weather was not much different to what we knew when we lived there in 2000: chilly, windy and showery.
Piccadilly Gardens was a mess with all the refurbishment on the roads and Metrolink tracks.
As usual on a Saturday afternoon crowds of restless people were on shopping in the city centre.
Anyway we found the way to take a bus and aim on Bury at the evening, after a tasty pizza with the corresponding big pints of course.
We miss so much British ale pints in Santiago!
Doors were opened at The Met just on time to buy CDs and the new blue t-shirt specially designed for the occasion.
We had a big hug from the man in charge of the perfect sound, Mr. Rob Aubrey, and afterwards we took the front row.
At 20:35 the lights went off and IQ appeared on stage and performed brilliantly in front of an enthusiastic audience that received them with a big ovation.
The starting up with Frequency was overwhelming specially after listening to the album so many times.
Elegantly dressed in a black suit with a red tie, Peter Nicholls received a great ovation when he took the stage for his vocal parts.
Just at that moment Mike Holmes detected that his electric guitar did not sound and the technicians went fast over the stage to solve the problem,
which was fixed just in time to allow Mike went on with his guitar section.
Following with Life Support we realized how nice Peter’s vocal performance was.
Mike was as usual solid in his guitar interpretation, closely co-ordinated with Mark Westworth on keyboards.
John Jowitt was perfect with his bass notes and a nice surprise was the return of Paul Cook on drums.
Continuing with Stronger than Friction we felt the beauty and complexity of a track where all the band talents are required through its evolving passages,
that in the end connect the song smoothly with “One Fatal Mistake”.
This was just a very emotional moment in the gig, when Peter’s voice, Mike’s guitar and Mark’s keys were softly over to conduct the music to dream places in our mind.
Afterwards, the keyboards changed the atmosphere to introduce into the powerful track Ryker Skies with John and Paul adding all the energy to the music.
Peter changed his suit jacket for another jacket with hood and lifted down a reflector from the ceiling to illuminate the audience.
Another outstanding moment came with the performance of The Province, a long track full of great musical passages and plenty of energy.
This track is definitively called to be a classic live favourite in IQ gigs.
The stop after Peter singing ”the phone rings … there’s no-one there” marked the start of the track climax and the live performance was absolutely superb.
Last track Closer marked the conclusion of the great performance of this brilliant IQ album Frequency, which received a big ovation of the audience.
More relaxed after playing the whole new album, IQ went into classic tracks, starting with the fine The Darkest Hour (from 1993 Ever album)
and followed with Sacred Sound (from 2004 Dark Matter album) including the projections at the back screen.
The wonderful piece Guiding Light (from 2000 The Seventh House album) was played next and finally the outstanding long track
The Narrow Margin (from 1997 Subterranea album) closed the classic repertoire.
Everybody in the audience wanted more and IQ returned to the stage to play the oldie live favourite It All Stops Here
and concluded with the perfect mix The Wake / Headlong (both from 1985 The Wake album).
The gig ended at 22:55 and all the fans went out with big smiles on their faces.
It was a great night with superb musicians playing the Best Album of 2009 (in our opinion) and another remarkable IQ classic album.
Stronger Than Friction
One Fatal Mistake
The Darkest Hour
The Narrow Margin
It All Stops Here
The Wake / Headlong
IQ Official Website
DPRP's Review of "Dark Matter"
DPRP's Review of "Frequency"