Back to the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow to see Anderson Rabin Wakeman (ARW)…

andeson rabin wakeman glasgow

I upgraded my seat from the one in the gods to this much better view…

andeson rabin wakeman glasgow

It was a great show. I surprised myself at how emotional I got when Jon Anderson entered the stage. He really is in great voice and skipped around the stage like someone fifty years younger.

andeson rabin wakeman glasgow

Rick Wakeman is as good as ever. His parts in Awaken were stunning.

andeson rabin wakeman glasgow

Trevor Rabin is a very different kind of player than Steve Howe and it showed in the older songs. The overall sound was excellent though.

Special mention should go the “hired hands” especially bass player Lee Pomeroy who is just amazing. His extended solo during The Fish was spectacular and a wonderful tribute to Chris Squire.

It was a great night and, unlike some fans, I’m very happy to have two bands out playing this music. Another union would be nice though. We can dream.

It’s a shame that it’s the older bands that are still making money from touring in the UK. I would rather support newer bands but a lot of them don’t seem to venture away from the southern parts of the country. They can’t really afford take the chance and so it’s the old favourites that are getting most of my ticket money.

Fish on stage, Glasgow

Once again I didn’t get to many shows this year but those I did see were all pretty special.

1. Big Big Train, Kings Place, London

The much anticipated live debut of the current BBT line up and they really did us proud. The setlist was perfect and David Longdon revealed himself to be a wonderful front person. Theatrical and confident. A very expensive weekend but worth every penny. Highlight: East Coast Racer.

2. King Crimson, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

I never expected to see Crimson live so was a big deal. The band were on top form, the setlist was great, and the three drummer frontline was a stroke of genius. Highlight for me was a pounding version of Red.

3. Fish, ABC, Glasgow

A fantastic and triumphant end to another troubled Fish tour. A sell out crowd, brilliant support from Lazuli, and a jubilant Fish made this a night to remember. Highlight: White Feather.

4. Steve Hackett, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

A showcase of Steve’s whole career spanning new album Wolflight and debut Voyage Of The Acolyte with a set of classic Genesis in the second half. It’s always a joy to see Steve Hackett. Prog god Roine Stolt on bass was a nice addition. Highlight: the sequence of tracks from Voyage…

5. The Enid, Websters Theatre, Glasgow

Another terrific show by The Enid. Venue was a bit cramped for the ambitious stage show but, technical problems aside, this was a funny and moving performance. I look forward to seeing them again in March. Highlight:it was great to hear In The Region Of The Summer Stars again.

6. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Still sounding great after decades of playing together. Crosby and Nash still sing beautifully together. Stephen Stills is showing his age but can still sing and play guitar brilliantly. A great setlist again and it was nice to see the real old hippies of Glasgow turn out for the show. Highlight: Wooden Ships.

7. Music For 18 Musicians, Steve Reich, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Great performance of one of my favourite pieces of music. Steve Reich was in the audience which made the event a bit more special.

The hotel is booked and the train tickets are purchased. Everything is set for the journey to London in August to see Big Big Train. I’m quite nervous about attending the gig. There’s going to be a load of people in attendance that I’ve only ever “met” on Facebook and Twitter and the anxiety levels will be pretty high. I’m not really good in that kind of situation.

They’re all very nice people though so it’s bound to be a fantastic weekend.

I made an effort to go to as many live shows as I could last year. It’s something that I’ve missed over the last few years. Here’s a short list of my favourite gigs of 2013.

Van Der Graaf Generator, Glasgow ABC

I’d never seen VDGG live before. They were magnificent. Powerful. Thrilling. There’s no hint of nostalgia in their performance. Peter Hammill is still an enthralling frontman. Highlight was an amazing version of A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers. I hope they come back very soon.

The Enid, Glasgow ABC

The last time I saw The Enid it was five minutes along the road but many years ago. This version of the band is great. “New” singer Joe Paine is wonderful singer and brings a certain camp theatricality that seems to suit the music very well. Robert John Godfrey was in funny and naughty form despite having to make a sad announcement about his health. Overall it was a joyous show. Highlights: One And The Many and a rousing version of Summer.

Zappa Plays Zappa, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

This show was badly publicised and the attendance reflected this. It should have been busier. Despite that I loved this show. Dweezil Zappa and band were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Roxy And Elsewhere album and played all of it in the first half of the show. It was great fun. The Bebop Tango section was hilarious and there was a lot of fooling around. The second half consisted of various Zappa classics from the late seventies. The band was fantastic especially Scheila Gonzales. It’s nice to see people leaving a show with big grins. Highlights: Watermelon In Easter Hay and a spontaneous version of Highway To Hell.

Special mention should also go to great shows by Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, and Rush. I’m hoping to go to to even more gigs this year. I’ve missed live music a lot.