Concert Review Archive


Credo & Alan Reed

Saturday, 9th April 2011
Wesley Centre in Maltby, Rotherham, The UK

Article By John O'Boyle

Alan Reed

It was strange to see Alan Reed offering the audience seven acoustic interpretations, as his usual arena is working within a band setting playing musical of the electric variety.

From the opening of the set Alan appeared to be slightly nervous, something that he commented on after playing an absolutely stunning version of Sanctuary, as he didn’t know how the audience would react? Well his fears were soon allayed as the audience received the song with interest, a long applause followed, which enabled him to settle.

He displayed a confident approach with the assistance of Mark Spencer, where between them they offered six more songs. The stage banter was humorous which allowed Allan to find his place where he more than confidently re-assured the audience about his newer creations.

He worked each song for every ounce of their worth, teasing the crowd about offering a song from his past band…. The general feeling was Pallas, but much to his hilarity, he announced is was to be Abel Ganz; performing an acapella of Win or Loose from their 1984 Gratuitous Flash album, being a brave move, but where he definitely captured the moment. Begin Again saw Allan close the show the way he started, with quality making it a most entertaining set. Allan was genuinely surprised by the response of all in attendance, commenting that he was looking forward to doing this more often. I for one will be in attendance.

Setlist Alan Reed
Never Too Late
Who’s To Blame
Kean on the Job
Win or Loose
Begin Again


Well where do I start? Studio album number three… Album launch night… An expectant crowd who wouldn’t accept anything more than the high class delivery that Credo is renowned for, the room having an air of excitement and anticipation buzzing around it.



From the opening, the band made a very clever decision to start with Round N Round with its melodic and powerful hooks which just pulled everyone right in, comforting the ear and warming the soul. Mike Varty set the tone with his inviting atmospherics, whilst Messer’s Birrell, Murdoch, Mead and Colton accordingly complied, participating with a high degree of desire, knowing that this was the moment that was going to define the evening. The interaction between Tim and Mike ignited the whole piece setting the mood for the evening that lay ahead, Mark enacted the emotions of the words as he delivered them to the audience, only in the way Mark knows how, which is what made it even more special. As the song concluded the audience was overwhelmed, offering a long and loud applause, something which the band soaked up, fed off and put back into the show, something that put the band more at ease.

Having to pause for a moment Mark told a funny anecdote about having wanted to appear on Top of the Pops when he was younger, calling to mind how Pan’s People use to dance out the songs lyrics, offering the humorous question of how would they have interpreted Skintrade? It’s almost religious keyboard tones kicked in, Martin Meads pounding rhythmic drums and Jim Murdoch’s bouncing bass lines underpinned the whole song. Again Mark stalked the stage with an enacted anger, punctuating the scenes, a method actor, playing with the beautiful soundscapes and evocative lyrics, which disgust one minute, thought provoke the next, whilst you empathically worked with the character. The defining line “Mommy loves you, sister loves you, Daddy loves, and all the boys, they love” sending a shiver down my spine and at a guess a few others too.

The time had finally arrived for the band to lay their souls bare, the first of four new songs from Against Reason, which we were informed, was about the horrors that are brought into people’s homes daily via the electronic picture box positioned in sitting room corners. Acts of violence that are justified in the name of religion? Insanity stepped forward, grabbing the audience by the scruff of the neck ragging them through the storyline, making absolutely no excuse for its conveyed message. Whether the lyrics or whether the musical interactions were operating, you knew precisely what was happening, stirring feelings. Tim’s eloquent guitar tones just soared higher and higher on the magnitude of the backdrop, Mike followed to’ing and fro’ing with Tim, Jim meticulously and frenetically ran his fingers over his bass neck like there was no tomorrow, whilst Martin made sure that it was all time perfect. In weaker hands this song would have just past most people by. Wow…. The audience reacted accordingly at what they had just experienced, being very appreciative, having big grins on their faces.


The band returned to the Rhetoric album playing The Game a song that just burrowed its way into your psyche, a song everyone knew, who cradled the experience of hearing it again bouncing along, its memorable melodies and rhythmic vocal delivery, musical crescendos ebbing and flowing, dexterity to die for, all five members smiling at each other, growing in confidence, which is always a good sign. No sooner had The Game finished the band introduced new song number two, Intimate Strangers a majestic piece that moodily lit the room up, allowing the band time to work their magic but take stock at the same time, developing as it built, little runs here and there, powerchords positioned for effect, proving that yet again the band created another great song for their future shows.

The Ghosts of Yesterday was introduced, another new opus, a piece that was written after Jim had travelled back to his home town in Scotland, where nothing had seemed to have changed, except for the faces, a sad and prophetic view of today’s society. This was word play nirvana which unfortunately had some slight sound issues, being a song that was never going to be easy to play live, recreating the emotions it presents, but with the band being as professional as they are, they just carried on. This will truly be a tour de force to be reckoned with as their familiarity and confidence grows with this piece. If I was to state two songs that defined Credo tonight it would have to be this and the set closer From the Cradle. Mike and Tim just interacted perfectly, hitting all those beautiful and mesmerizing tones, Mark really set the panoramic picturesque view of the situation which again brought long and appreciative applause. This was a crowd that had been won over, an audience who liked what they were hearing and accordingly offered their respect to the band.


The fans were reveling in what they were hearing with Too Late raising the stakes, bringing people back to the land of the familiar, a land that some bands struggle with hooks or writing a lyrical melody, not Credo. Mark again discussed how he’d always wanted to write a song about global warming, the results being Staring at the Sun the closing song of the set and a fitting closer of the evening, a new song that had so much memorable musical interaction, the opening keyboard runs, with their sense of urgency just displaying the total power of the band, a band working along side each in perfect balance adding their passages confidently, again seeing everybody excelling with their interaction, which made it another future staple song for the set with its anthemic approach. This was a song that they all seemed to really enjoy playing and a song that the audience was more than happy to hear.


The set may have come to an end; the audience had other ideas applauding for more, something that the band thought would be a good idea. It was explained that the song that they were going to play was one that they were going to drop from the set, but had thought better of it, a song that they would probably have been lynched had they not played. From the Cradle….. a song that gives a view of love and life long obsessions, a song that describes what really defines what Credo are all about, perfect music constructs married with perfect word play, having been absolutely nailed as the audience just hung on every word and musical note played. Mark made a moving touch and brought his two sons up onto the stage, two sons’ he was very proud of, to help out. The silence of the crowd was deafening, no one moved, no one spoke, intently watching each instrument in turn, with total and utter admiration, until their song arrived at its destination. The band had delivered their Magnus Opus. Neo Prog does not come any better than this and every body in the room agreed.

This was a night that Credo did their music and themselves justice. The band realistically knew that it might have been a difficult task to win the audience over with the new material…… but they succeeded. A highly entertaining night from a highly entertaining band and a thoroughly good night out.

Setlist Credo
Round n Round
The Game
Intimate Strangers
The Ghosts of Yesterday
Too Late
Staring at the Sun
From the Cradle

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