Concert Review Archive

 

Eddie Jobson's U-Z project

Friday, 19th August 2011
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Article and photos By Menno von Brucken Fock

Eddie Jobson A few years ago probably no one knew what Eddie Jobson had been doing since he split up UK and left Jethro Tull in 1981. Many prog fans will have been excited when the news broke in 2008 that the former violinist/keyboardist and composer of UK had decided to perform live again. Since Jobson's first performance in Russia, his new band UKZ did a couple of shows and more extensively, Jobson toured in Japan, the US and eastern Europe with his U-Z project. Proof of the superb performances was the double live CD "Ultimate Zero tour live, with celebrities like John Wetton, Simon Phillips, Tony Levin, Greg Howe and the current Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini.

For the first time in some thirty years Jobson performed in the Netherlands with three other highly talented musicians: Marc Bonilla (bass & vocals), Marco Minnemann (drums) and Alex Machacek (guitar). I must confess I was utterly disappointed De Boerderij hadn't been sold out for this prog icon: it should have been a sold out venue! My estimate is a mere three hundred people showed up to hear exquisite performances of songs from UK, King Crimson, E,L & P and Bruford.

A bit later than scheduled, the lights went down and Eddie Jobson took the stage with his green Plexiglas violin: tapping it and playing like he never had been away, playing with ease and with a stunning sound quality. Then it was time for a real treat: sometimes as a trio or with the full band on stage some of the best UK songs could be heard. Amazing how much Bonilla's voice resembled John Wetton's. In the legendary song In The Dead Of Night, Machacek proved why Jobson invited him to perform with him because he made a flawless impersonation of Holdsworth, at least as far as his guitar playing was concerned.

Eddie Jobson

After four of the best UK songs, Jobson explained that the show was an homage to the great era of progressive music from the seventies and early eighties. He knows there are still a lot of people who never heard some of the songs played live before. Because of the relationship of Marc Bonilla with Emerson -Bonilla has been playing in the Keith Emerson band and recorded with him- , Jobson decided to include the Emerson song Bitches Crystal. Like a few King Crimson songs, Jobson didn't record the songs but in the U-Z project Jobson stated the band is performing these difficult to play songs "just because we can" and also because it's music by artists who influenced Jobson when he was younger.

Eddie Jobson

Indeed with Bitches Crystal it was 'goose bumps time' because the rendition of the song was superb and honestly I think that even in his better days, Emerson couldn't have performed it better! Bonilla, mostly with his long hair covering his face, did a nice job as a vocalist and just one or two times he had to skip a higher note. The sound of his bass was quite okay and if you hadn't been able to see who were on stage you would have thought it was Wetton himself playing: an impressive performance considering he 's a guitarist!

Eddie Jobson

Off course the two youngsters did quite well too: Minnemann did an awesome job playing all of Bruford's stuff as well as some of Bozzio's. Although he lost a drumstick just once, his drum solo was very impressive and well worth hearing and watching. Alex Machacek, using a custom made guitar by Bill DeLap is an Austrian Fusion/Jazz guitarist; he had a fairly easy evening while about half of the songs didn't require his presence on stage, but still what he had to do was truly amazing.

Eddie Jobson Too bad Jobson had one tiny 'black out' when he missed an intro that Machacek should have done. However few people noticed because these musicians are the crème de la crème! Jobson managed to reproduce all of the sounds he used in the past with his lap tops and two 'folding keyboards' and although I missed the Church organ just a bit, his keyboard solo was absolutely top class and the whole building seemed to shake with the deep bass sounds in Alaska. No wonder this is the favorite song of Jobson's keyboard tech, because especially in this case the sound was truly unsurpassed. And as Jobson explained after the show "it always amazes me how these deep bass sounds fill the hall with just a tiny touch on the keyboard by my pinky!" Another great classic, The Only Thing She Needs, was announced as 'last song' and brought the audience in a state of ecstasy.

No one was ready to leave the venue yet and fortunately there were two encores: the song Red, originally performed by King Crimson and Sahara Of Snow part II, originally recorded by Bill Bruford on his solo album 'Bruford'. Perhaps not the most suitable song to end the show but nevertheless a most remarkable evening that was too short for my taste (about 1 3/4 hours altogether). I surely would have loved to hear songs like Rendez Vous 6:02 or Nothing To Lose but you know, sometimes it's never enough when you are enjoying yourself as much as I did with this performance and I know for sure I wasn't the only one. We can only hope Jobson will come back again in the summer of 2012 to play on the major festivals we will have in Western Europe like High Voltage, Night Of The Prog, Summer's End or Bospop to name a few!

Slideshow

Setlist
Intro - Violin solo
Caesar's Palace Blues (UK)
In The Dead Of Night (UK)
By The Light Of Day (UK)
Presto Vivace & Reprise (UK)
Bitches Crystal (E,L & P)
Carrying No Cross (UK)
One More Red Nightmare (King Crimson)
Nevermore (UK)
Keyboard solo
Drum solo
Alaska (UK)
The Only Thing She Needs (UK)

Red (King Crimson)
Sahara Of Snow Pt II (Bruford, UK)

Links
Eddie Jobson Official Website
Eddie Jobson Myspace

De Boerderij

 


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