Martin Orford (IQ) live at DPRP
March 21st, 1998
Opsessie, Bussum, The Netherlands

By Ed Sander


The review below is part of the DPRS Diary.

(....)
When Abraxas had finished their encore I helped Martin to get his equipment on stage. It took two people to carry the case of the A-90 keyboard (the one with the brick keys, the lead housing and the nuclear power unit). Fortunately the other keyboard was much easier to carry.

Martin's stuff was set up very quickly, as was to be expected, while Arthur played the last couple of tracks from the DPRPoll, which brought us to the number one, which was IQ's Subterranea. The DPRP team had decided that we needed to present Martin with a tongue-in-cheek present for winning the poll. I therefore got on stage (a very strange sensation looking at a dark crowd with flashing camera lights) and announced the IQ keyboardist. I handed over the present we had bought and after Martin thanked everybody who voted for the IQ album he asked the crowd if he should open it. You can guess what the response was. Martin was pleasantly surprised by assembled Leffe beers and glass and told us that by chance he had seen a Leffe truck on the way to Bussum and how he'd told his dad what great beer that was!

Martin then started his solo gig, which was received extremely well by the audience. He told anecdotes about the origins of the songs between the tracks and seemed very relaxed, though after the gig he admitted that he had been very nervous. You could hardly tell if you didn't count the one or two lines the forgot and the rare wrong keystroke.

The set list, which was a wonderful peaceful intermezzo after the heavy stuff the previous bands had been playing, consisted of some re-arranged IQ songs, a couple of own classical compositions and a Jadis track as well. Martin opened with 'that classical piano piece with the heavy metal title' My Baby Treats Me Right 'Cause I'm A Hard Loving Man All Night Long. After telling a story about himself and Paul Menel being forced on stage to do a song together while they were in Holland he played the Piano/Vocal version of No Love Lost. His vocals were very good, and I wouldn't mind hearing him sing an occasional track for IQ for a change, although I wouldn't go as far as some other people who later started a weird conversation about Martin replacing Peter Nicholls in IQ.

'They all said I couldn't do it, but I said I could' were the words Martin used to announce a beautiful ballad version of the title track of Subterranea. Wonderful and enchanting to hear this splendid version.
Next up was that track he wrote when he was still a teenager and happened to play during a John Wetton tour. When he didn't have a title ready they'd named it after the local beer; Quilmes. The middle piece of Gateway and a version of Jadis' A Life is All You Need, on which Martin used the smaller keyboard for the first time, followed the beer tune.

'This song was meant to be on my solo album, but IQ grabbed it and took it away from me', was how Martin introduced Speak My Name, another Subterranea track.
The next tune, a wonderful long classical piano piece Martin had only recently written, was still untitled. As you can expect it got the name of the local beer, Amstel, as a working title (I'm really looking forward to Martin's solo album with all these beer titles).

The last track in the main set was a medley of Further Away - on which he used the second keyboard again for the opening melody -, Leap of Faith and Came Down.

The audience cheered loud when he left the stage and when they kept on clapping their hands he came back to do another medley after asking me if he had some time left to do another one. 'Yes!' the audience screamed. He announced another medley were a new track would lead into an oldie which would also be present on the re-recorded version of Seven Stories into Eight. He had given me a CDR copy of the re-recorded tracks earlier that evening. 'There's only two copies of it at the moment and Ed's got one', he told the audience, informing them that we would probably play a couple of tracks of it later on, unless somebody would mug me first. The medley proved to be a wonderful combination of Laid Low and the closing section of It All Stops Here. This also closed a wonderful and very well received performance.

While Jan-Jaap told the people that we would be playing some stuff from the forthcoming Arena album in the break we started clearing the stage and got the instruments back into Martin's car. He was very pleased that the gig had gone so well.
(....)

The full diary will is available on the DPRS page and also include Martin's performance for the Almelo Radio show.

Setlist:

My Baby Treats Me Right 'Cause I'm A Hard Loving Man All Night Long
No Love Lost (piano/vocal version)
Subterranea
Quilmes
Last Human Gateway (Middle Section)
A Life Is All You Need
Speak My Name
New Classical Piece (Amstel)
Ever Medley:
Further Away (opening section)
Leap of Faith (solo)
Came Down

Laid Low/It All Stops Here (closing section)

 

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