Martin Orford & Gary Chandler,
November 13th and 14th 1998,
Universidad Tecnológica Vicente Pérez Rosales, Santiago, Chile

By Martin H. Reich


Hi prog-friends:

I'm back in Concepción (my home town) after spending the whole weekend in Santiago. Guess: doing what? Listening to the music of IQ and Jadis, but in quite different way.

Here I go:

I had the change to attend to those kind of gigs that you see just once in a lifetime; yes, I think that for the inhabitants of the "tail of the world" (as Nick Barret from Pendragon said last april here in Chile) is a unique experience to see Martin Orford and Gary Chandler live, doing an acoustic set in a small auditorium surrounded by kind people, all of them hardcore prog-rock fans. And this pair of concerts had a very special meaning: they were the first gigs organized by the Chilean Progressive Rock Association Arproch (Arproch), after its first year of existance.

It was nice to meet Martin and Gary last Thursday at the House of Rock Pub in dowtown Santiago, where the Arproch organized a "bienvenue" reception for our musical heroes; these guy are so kind, so humble, so funny, etc. In two words : Wonderful Persons (as musicians too, indeed). They seemed to have such a great time here in Chile, as Martin said to me "it's really great to be here in Santiago, so far from home but surrounded by so many friends". As you may know you lucky guys from Europe (with so many gigs at the front of your doors), here in Chile we have a Progressive Hunger, and moments like these, when we can meet the actors of the play and talk to them (and of course see them live) have a special meaning. It was really nice talking to Martin about Subterranea, about the last IQ's concerts in Canada, etc., as members of a big family ! That night played at the House of Rock Metropolis, a progressive-metal chilean band influenced by Dream Theater.

Friday 13 was the big day: the "debut" of Orford-Chandler in Chile. The opening act was Subterra, a neo progressive band from Santiago. They played two songs of their own (both of 15 minutes!!) and a Marillion set: Forgotten Sons, Afraid of Sunlight, Market Square Heroes and Incommunicado. Great versions!!!

And then ... Martin Orford came to the stage. What a musician!!! I think that only a virtuoso has the guts for a solo set. He started with The Last Human Gateway (middle section), then My Baby Treats Me Right 'Cos I'm A Hard Loving Man All Night Long (overwhelming, simple as that!), an instrumental called Quilmes (after the Argentinian beer!!), Subterranea, Speak my name, Came down, No Love Lost and a new instrumental piece (untitled): all of them mind blowing. Martin is also a great singer !
Then Gary Chandler went onstage, he played a solo piece from Sommersault before Martin joined him for a two-piece set of Jadis songs: More than meets the eye (in that one Martin also played the flute), All You Need Is A Life and This Changing Face among others. Gary's a wonderful singer and a great guitarist ! (he looks very young). And also they brought some surprises from England: a song from the Alan Parsons Project (can't remember the name - it was 'Old and Wise' - ed.) and Here Comes the Flood, from Peter Gabriel. A night to remember....

Saturday morning the guys went to Musicland, a progressive record store, where they signed more authographs and the fans took photos with them ... nice guys (again).

Saturday evening: the second and the last concert (snif..)
The mood was settled by Standard Implacable, a very powerful band with influences from King Crimson, Rush and Primus. They played a complete set of their own, and a nice surprise: K.C.'s Red !

And then Martin came to stage with the same set, but he played Laid Low/It All Stops Here (end section)/Laid Low (Reprise) instead of Came Down. The Jadis set was absolutly the same, plus 2 new surprises: a Crowded House song (very popular, but still can't get the name) and Pink Floyd's Confortably Numb !

Well, it was a weekend to remember ... and many thanks to Martin and Gary for coming to Chile, hoping the visit of full IQ and Jadis in the near future ... or whatever prog band !

And best regards to my "progressive friends" form Santiago: - Jorge, Claudio, Carola, Cristián, Mauricio, etc. Saludos de Concepción!!!

Ciao !
Martin H. Reich M.(Concepción, Chile)

 

 

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