Concert Review Archive

 

U.K.

Saturday, 26th May 2012
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Nertherlands

Article By Menno von Brucken Fock

Not too long ago, Eddie Jobson played "De Boerderij" with his U-Z project on August 19, 2011 to be precise. Then only 300-400 fans showed up to see the violinist/keyboard wizard live after just over 30 years. To my utmost surprise and disappointment I might add there weren't more enthusiasts. Instead of having Marc Bonilla and Marco Minnemann on board, Eddie brought Gary Husband and.... John Wetton! Just as in August last year the guitarist was Alex Machacek. So with Wetton the band could be called "UK" and obviously that name made the difference. The venue was sold out and the atmosphere was just great. Eddie demanded a 'non-photographers' policy from "De Boerderij", in fact for the whole tour, so none of the magazines, newspapers or webzines were granted any photo passes. Of course this was a huge disappointment for both photographers as well as fans who like to read an article illustrated with one of more nice photos of their idols. Not this time. I didn't even see people using mini cameras or mobile phones and somehow this was a weird experience but having witnessed the show I can't say it was an ordeal: on the contrary! No flashing, no arms waving their camera's right in front of your nose, so to be honest looking back I quite liked it. If such discipline could be maintained I don't see any reason why all artists couldn't do shows allowing everyone to take photo's for just 10-15 minutes. That way everyone could be happy and the publicity artists surely are in need of to survive wouldn't be at risk.

The show itself was pure magic. With this line up the band was able to play material from both albums and surely with Machacek on board the songs from Danger Money sounded even better! John was in fine form and his singing was surely more convincing that some 30 years ago. In spite of being a bit overweighed he seemed to enjoy himself and judging by the way he played his white "ZON" bass guitar, some of the damaged nerves in his hands must have regained their functionality. Gary Husband is a very experienced drummer, but he usually plays in a somewhat different genre of music. Although he played very well I must admit I'd rather seen Bruford, Bozzio or even Minnemann, who is a phenomenal drummer too. The quality of the sound was spectacular: crystal clear and no too loud. Only criticism could be that the balance wasn't perfect. Up front (but later I understood on the balcony people experienced the same) the bass guitar seemed very loud. The metallic sound overruled Jobson's keyboards and Machacek's guitar sometimes. The drums were a bit too loud too compared to both keys and guitar. Nevertheless it was a magnificent performance by these four gentleman. Being quite hot in the venue, Wetton had his shirt partly unbuttoned and it revealed a big scar on his chest where the team of surgeons did their fine job restoring the blood supply to the heart of one of the most distinguished prog-musicians of all time. Admitted: Wetton did have a minor setback in his impressive career but today he's totally on top of the game and I couldn't imagine what would have happened if his open heart surgery hadn't been successful: no more UK, ASIA, ICON nor Wetton solo......

Instead we can hear UK live again after 33 years from the split up and like probably many fans I hadn't seen the first time around. Jobson opened the show with Alaska, one of my favorite UK-songs. The rendition with the U-Z project last year in my opinion was slightly better however because of the more powerful sound of the keyboards. The feast of recognition was continued with In The Dead Of Night, followed by Presto Vivace & Reprise. The partly dreamy song Thirty Years went down well and in spite of the band being called UK, still a King Crimson song was featured: Starless in which Wetton's bass filled the hall. Jobson explained how UK was formed in the first place. It was during the late seventies (King Crimson had released the album Red) when Eddie was asked to join Bill Bruford, John Wetton and Robert Fripp in a project to be called "The League Of Gentlemen". At the end of the day Fripp decided he didn't want to participate in the project and that's how the remaining members were left without a guitar player. Allan Holdsworth was top of the list and when he joined the newly formed band was named UK......

On the show went with Carrying No Cross and then Wetton introduced Mr. Jobson. The man is a genuine virtuoso player both on his electric violin as well as on the keyboards. His technique was stunning and no doubt he is one of the greatest prog-keyboardists: in fact I think he can play the Emmerson, Lake & Palmer material better that Keith Emerson these days. Obviously classically trained, Jobson played a similar solo as with his U-Z project, with bits from his magnificent Theme Of Secrets Album. Then Eddie on his turn introduced John Wetton saying "one of the advantages of having John Wetton on board is we get to play more King Crimson songs". A superb and subtle rendition of Book Of Saturday by John accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar. The title track of UK's second album was absolutely top of the bill, in fact I never heard it performed better than on this evening with a nice contribution by the amazing guitarist Machecek, mastering both the "Holdsworth style" as well as the "Fripp style". Hearing Nevermore and all these other songs Jobson proved to be right with his remark "one could hear King Crimson here and there if one listens carefully". An ecstatic audience wanted more and the encores Caesar's Palace Blues and the former single The Only Thing She Needs were performed equally brilliant. The second encore came with a slight delay: there was a temporary communication problem between the keyboard and the amplifier. Jobson was a bit annoyed as he explained that "this keyboard is the most sophisticated on the planet, controlling three lap tops" and indeed it was stunning to hear all those sounds from the late seventies reproduced meticulously by the digital system Jobson has managed to create. Some minutes later the sole keyboard was functioning well again and a really beautiful acoustic version of my all time favorite Rendezvous 6:02 was a truly magnificent finale of a great evening. Too bad we weren't able to please the fans with some nice pics but nonetheless it was a night to remember. I surely hope it will not take another 33 years as Jobson promised before we can see these maestro's again. Now "the only thing we need" is a new album by Jobson & Wetton......

Setlist
Alaska
In The Dead Of Night
By The Light Of Day
Presto Vivace & Reprise
Thirty Years
Starless
Carrying No Cross
Keyboard / Violin Solo
Book of Saturday (John Wetton solo acoustic)
Danger Money
Nevermore

Caesar's Palace Blues
The Only Thing She Needs
Rendezvous 6:02 (acoustic)

Links
UK Official Website

De Boerderij

 


© 1996 - 2017 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page