torsdag 29 juli 2010

High Voltage Festival

image I helgen avhölls High Voltage Festival i London. Festivalen erbjöd flera scener med olika typer av musik. Där fans en prog-stage, där bland andra Transatlantic spelade. När de spelade The Return of the Giant Hogweed fick de förstärkning av ingen mindre än Steve Hacket, som också uppträdde på festivalen.

Dåligt ljud i detta youtubeklipp, men kul ändå – Hacket och Stolt i gitarrduell!

Emerson, Lake & Palmer headlinide av någon anledning classic-rock scenen. Här följer en engagerad rapport från ett ögonvittne - Corbie. Publicerat i ett inlägg på progressive ears:

Karn Evil 9 1st Impression part II - A predictable, exciting opener. Emerson played the entire song on the Korg Oasys on a Hammond setting, no Moog solos. Not sure why but probably a tech glitch that was soon rectified.

The Barbarian - A truly fiery version of this little sucker. Hugely enjoyable. The tone is now being set for the whole evening. The pain on Emerson's face as he attempts big five fingered chords is obvious. His playing is undeniably affected by the problems with his hand. He's giving it all he's got, though and his performance tonight is a brave, thrilling one. Palmer is superb. His playing has changed over the years, sure but we all knew that. Anybody who has seen Carl's own band will know how spectacular he still is. Tonight is no exception. Lake's bass sound is immense! He hits his stride on this number and gives it some nice gnarly fuzztone too. The ending is as thrilling as ever, although CP isn't hurling himself around the kit quite as fast as he did at 19.

Bitches Crystal - I like the idea of putting this number here, amid a little cluster of early period classics; good pacing. I enjoy this song more than I ever used to and this version was spot on. Yes there were sloppy moments but I don't want to focus on them and, to be fair, Lake & Palmer are supporting KE beautifully. They are undiminished as a rhythm section, I think.

Knife Edge - Again, a fiery, exciting take on this perennial fave. Emerson surprises everybody (well, me anyway) by playing the classical "Fugue" section in the middle on a Fender Rhodes type Oasys sound. Lake's darker timbre is well suited to this number and he pulls it off with panache. The bass sounds is awesome here. This is another one with a massively exciting climax. Tony and I (your humble correspondents) are exchanging delighted grins by now.

From The Beginning - Ahhhh. Always loved this song, possibly the finest of the Lake acoustic guitar ballads. Here he plays the guitar solo section on his acoustic while Keef lays down some sympathetic backing. The Moog solo is as delightful as ever although it's heartbreaking to see Emerson playing it on only thumb and forefinger with his other digits clawed in a fist.

Touch and Go - More fun live than on any of the studio versions, I think. Strident and pompy (in a good way) with more excellent, slicing bass guitar. Lake's voice is really good tonight.

Take a Pebble/Tarkus - Oh Boy. "Pebble..." starts out like the "Live in Poland" version with subtle synth. It's a perfectly good take on the song but when the piano solo kicks in there's is a delighted gasp: KE is playing a solo piano version of "Eruption"! L&P leave the stage so he can get on with it. Oh... so, I guess that means we won't be hearing "Tarkus", then? Not on your nelly, Corbie. As "Stones of years" approaches, Greg and Carl return to the stage and ....Blam! We're listening to a full band version of the whole piece. Greg doesn't play any electric guitar tonight so "Battlefield" is a bit odd but still great and includes a whole new line of lyric as Greg, suffering with monitor issues and visibly annoyed, glances to his left and shouts "Feedback. Feedback" FEEDBACK!!!". I guess we'll relive that one on the CD. So will Greg. "Aquatarkus" is short but burbly, clattery and very fine indeed.
Farewell To Arms - OK, so none of us actually love this one but it sits here between two classics and bridges them wonderfully. The later ELP needs an ambassador and here it is. Greg's vocal is emotional and the piece manages to soar as the dry ice wafts and the vari-lights spin.

Lucky Man - The dreaded monitoring issues spoil things for Lakey again here as he fluffs a line while trying to tell one of the backstage guys that his guitar was way too loud. Pity. The boys pull it all back together, though. Keith's solo doesn't lifts things up like it's meant to - dunno why - and the ending is all wrong too but nobody minds and the guys are grinning at each other so the on-stage atmosphere between the players seems happy enough.

Pictures At An Exhibition - One of the things i love about ELP is that nothing stays preserved in amber. Look at that version of "Tarkus" they just played! They love to fiddle about with things and this version of pictures is very different indeed. It's not complete but the edits are in new places. lake sings "The Sage" looking naked without a guitar or bass slung about his neck and only a spotlight and Keith's haunting synthwork for company. We're all holding our breath, knowing that a mistake here would be horrible but the boy does well and suddenly "Hut of Baba Yaga" has begun. It's a killer.

Slow, heavy, almost scary, in fact. WWII air raid sirens herald the intro to "Curse of...", Lake's weird damped bass parts reproduced from the "Works Live" version. Why does he do that? I much prefer the fuzz/wah approach. Sadly, we don't get to hear the whole song, jumping back into a more Hammond heavy "Hut.." reprise and on into one of the best latterday takes on "Great gate..." that I've ever heard.

At the climax, they fire off a brace of bloody great cannons just like they did 40 years ago. My brother saw them do that on the Isle of Wight but he's dead now and here I am, middle aged fart, watching it happen again. It's enough to bring a small tear to the eye.

Fanfare for the Common Man - A respectable version. What else can I say. Yes, there is the Hammond L100. And daggers and a blisteing drum solo at the climax of which fireworks explode all, around us and Palmer got his own little technical glitch with a bass drum pedal.
It was over VERY quickly. We were left breathless and feeling, I think, like kids again.

/// I hope it was the last. It had the feel of an ending but also of a heralding in of this new wave of Progressive rock as the old boys, Keith and Greg embracing happily, waved goodbye to the past and, maybe, hello to good things to come?


Tack Corbie för den rapporten! Bitvis ganska dålig kvalitet på youtubeklippen, men misströsta icke, hela konserten filmades och kommer att släppas på dvd.

Setlists från ELP och de andra banden som spelade på festivalen kan beskådas här.

Det kommer säker med tiden att dyka upp fler filmsnuttar och rapporter från den här festivalen.

Uppdatering 2010 08 20

En svensk rapport.från bloggen Purple Theater. Och en från Garf,s Mikael Söderström.

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