Monday, 1 October 2012

ABWH Live At The Birmingham NEC 1989 Review

Classic Rock Radio Dot EU - Classic Rock Concerts For Sale
Topic: Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (Live at the NEC_Oct 24TH 1989)

Released 2012 - Gonzo Multimedia (2 CDs / 1DVD)

Talk about something coming from WAY OUT of left field. Got a new 'Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe' (from here...typed ABWH for short) product in my possession. You remember them? A spin-off of the progressive rock group; Yes. Four core ex-members. Together and recording under the name, ABWH (remember...for short), they did one studio album, back in '89. Out of that came a couple / few singles, some videos, a behind the scenes featurette (making of the album) and a live offering; An Evening Of Yes Music Plus. Professionally recorded. A double CD covering the audio, and a VHS tape housing the concert experience that was; ABWH. Or was it? Is now out on DVD, by the way. All ABWH products in the Uncle G Collection receiving repeated plays over the years. One of my favorites is a cassette single I have for the song; Brother Of Mine. The flip side of the tape is a studio song not included on the ABWH album; Vultures. Infectious tune, with lyrics one remembers, years later after hearing it last played.

I raised a question, and now will provide the answer. Sure it was. The guys put on an awesome show as only they could. One thing was missing; Tony Levin. Dude caught ill after a show in Houston, and as a result, missed some performances. Jeff Berlin who previously worked with Bill Bruford, stood in. Did a super job !!! Berlin's a superior bass player. Unfortunately, those performances with Jeff, is not the concert I saw and heard, which by the way, was in Houston; 28 Aug 89.

I kept my eye on Tony Levin that evening. My first time where Levin, and Bruford are playing in a live concert setting, that I was attending. I have already been listening to these guys for years. Was a King Crimson fan. Tony not only played with them. Here's a few others; Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, and John Lennon. I'm just naming a few super classic rock acts that he's performed with. So I notice while Tony and the band is on stage, that something seemed weird. Like a bad vibe. I'm sensing somethings wrong. There was; Tony's appendix. He's sitting on the drum riser while playing. Almost looking doubled over in pain. Didn't miss a beat, that I being an audience member was aware of. I had my appendix out, back in '09. HURTS like HELL when it goes. So now he's on the sidelines getting it taken care of, and in the process missed the BIG Cable broadcast concert ABWH was doing in California (Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Jose). That's where the officially released live material came from. That is, until now.

This concert, includes Tony Levin. Almost two months later from the Houston gig. This time around being recorded professionally, by the BBC Radio. The two audio discs cover the set list. Not exactly in order, but their are limitations on how much material fit on each disc. It's all there, and that's really what matters most.

One stand out offering not on their first official live release, is a duet between Bruford / Levin. Not that I'm saying that one track is worth the price of this alone. If a Yes / YesRelated Collector, it is. Would have been a good enough reason for me. Tony's playing is all over this. He's part of the original project playing bass on the studio album. This to me, is a proper live recording of ABWH in concert.

Like I said, a must have for the collector. The people who are already fans. But also a must have for even the most novice prog rock music listener. These guys were a real prog SUPER GROUP. They most certainly were. The music contained within the two audio discs, essential, Prog 101. Worth of study, and more then capable of providing that all too groovy style of progressive rock music. The mellower moments are beautiful. Interwoven with rock that together make some of the most interesting sounds these gentlemen ever performed together. Add their greatest accomplishments, performed on this one stage, with the BBC broadcasting it out to the masses. A truly magical radio moment. And if you missed it, or just like to have a copy of it in your collection, well then here it is.

Here's a break down / track listings of both audio CDs:

Disc One

01.) ...the very tail ending of; Benjamin Brittens Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra / Jon Anderson - Solo (with Milton McDonald and Julian Colbeck_supporting players): Medley: Time And A Word_Teakbois_Owner Of A Lonely Heart_Time And A Word (closing).

02.) Steve Howe: Clap
03. Steve Howe: Mood For A Day
04. Rick Wakeman Solo
05. Long Distance Runaround / Bill Bruford (solo)
06. Birthright
07. And You And I
08. I've Seen All Good People

Disc Two

01. Themes / Bruford-Levin Duet
02. Brother Of Mine
03. Jon: Dialogue (mentions BBC Radio recording the event)
04. The Meeting
05. Heart Of The Sunrise
06. Roundabout
07. Starship Trooper
08. Order Of The Universe

Comes with a bonus DVD. It's entitled; ABWH - Off The Wall (a short film by Julian Colbeck). Behind the scenes stuff. Pretty cool fly on the wall moments.

Rating: Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G gives the ABWH - Live At The NEC Oct 24th 1989 CD (with bonus DVD); 5 stars. Like I would give this anything less? In a way, it closes a chapter. A true representation of the ABWH Tour that rocked all over the World. For just the one project together, these guys did an OUTSTANDING job. From demos, to the studio recordings, to the live shows. It's a shame this line-up / group didn't go any further then it did. Here's a cool reminder...a sample...of what Uncle G was digging on '89. Good memories !!

One last thing, this comes in a DVD case, and not a CD one. They reprinted the tour program. You find it when you open the case. It's right there on the left side. Nice booklet actually. If I would have known back then that I'd be getting this now, I would have purchased a tee-shirt instead.

 *GB* Gary Brown
ABWH Live At The Birmingham NEC Is Available ONLY From Here:

1 comment:

  1. Typo -- The first disc (audio) includes a track 09; Close To The Edge. Sorry for that omission.

    * GB *