The Oliver Wakeman Band — Coming to Town: Live in Katowice
(Metal Mind MMP DVD 0137, 2008, DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2009-07-01Yes fans are probably aware that Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver has been playing keyboards on their recent tour, and for those curious to see what his own band looks and sounds like here’s your chance. Filmed in Katowice, Poland (yet another Metal Mind Production!), this DVD presents Wakeman and his band (Paul Manzi: vocals, David Mark Pearce: guitars, Paul Brown: bass, Dave Wagstaffe: drums) running through about an hour and a half of material, half drawn from 2005’s Mother’s Ruin and the rest from the Clive Nolan collaborations Hound of the Baskervilles and Jabberwocky. Some may be surprised by the aggressive and almost metal-tinged sound of the band (particularly Pearce’s Ritchie Blackmore-inspired approach) on songs “Don’t Come Running” or “The Agent,” where Wakeman rips through an electrified solo a la Derek Sherinian. Oliver’s pedigree is on display in the slower, more balladesque songs like “Mother’s Ruin” where the use of busy-fingered filigrees reveal his father’s tutelage. The DVD includes some clunkers, like Munzi’s attempts to get the crowd engaged in some audience participation, and songs like “I Don’t Believe in Angels” demonstrate that Wakeman has some maturing to do as a composer and lyricist. But he’s undeniably talented (if a bit stiff as a performer), and his band do an admirable job overall. This DVD is on par with past Metal Mind productions and the sound, lighting and camera work are uniformly excellent, plus you get a chatty interview. He is a Wakeman, after all.
Related artist(s): Oliver Wakeman
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more