Concert Review Archive

 

THE TANGENT

5th February 2011
The Watson Mansion, Bradford, UK

Article by John O'Boyle

To be quite frank and honest I never ever thought I would be writing a review like this. Let me elaborate on that opening statement a bit more as it could be slightly misleading.

The Tangent

Firstly I need to set the scene. December 2010 was the month for the celebration of a very special little lady who goes by the name of Izzy. Her third birthday celebration was more or less upon her, so her daddy - DPRP Reviewer Brian Watson - put on his thinking cap, took time out, thinking on how to mark this joyous occasion, a day she would remember forever. Eureka! House party. Now there’s nothing new or unusual about that you might add, but here’s the twist. Instead of having a clown, let’s get a band. Not just any band but Britain’s best kept prog secret The Tangent. Contact was made, conversations were held and the maestro and gentleman that is Mr. Tillison agreed to play.

The Tangent

Now due to circumstances beyond our control in December, poor weather condition to me and you, the celebration for one lucky little lady had to be cancelled. Mr. Tillison and co. didn’t want to disappoint, so offered another date. Arrangements were made, confirmed and fingers crossed.

Now the scene is set, guests arrived and there was quite a buzz of intrigue and excitement in the air. All I need to do now is to tell you all about it.

There were a few surprises tonight, the first being that a sneak preview of the new DVD release from the Tangent, (stunning stuff which you need to order), secondly the band played a brand new number from the new as yet unreleased album COMM, a track called Mind’s Eye. Oh yes and this was the first house concert that The Tangent has ever played.

So Ladies and Gentlemen........... Please be upstanding for the magnificent, the mighty and talented The Tangent.

From the opening of the beautiful, poniant and powerful Where Are They Now? the perfect bookend to In Earnest, the band meant business. There wasn’t going to be any compromise, no acoustic mellowing to appease the local neighbours, no siree. Andy, Luke, Jonathan and Tony switched to overdrive, becoming one, symbiotically producing some of the best prog this side of EVER.

The haunting and beautiful guitar melody started the whole evening off, Andy’s keyboard work was adept as ever, dancing round his keyboards whilst Luke just played with ease, stamping his authority on each note, each totally immersed in the wall of sound that was being created. Time and time again Tony and Jonathan pinpointed time perfectly all the punctuations within the song. The audience just listened, baited breath unbelieving of what they were witnessing.

The Tangent

G.P.S Culture was up next, another firm favourite of the audience, musical dalliances akimbo, keyboard runs bouncing merrily around the room, the whole band immersed, intently playing, lost in the whole piece that was being created around them, feeding off the positive vibes of everyone in the room, every notation pricking the ears, fascinated time changes, nice jazzy interjections all clean and precise. The whole essence of the music being that no two pieces of music sound alike aligned with clever wordplay;

“Through seas of countless choices I'm chosen once again, to fill the air with crafted sound....,
you give me space, in your space, a window in your time, at a level which your soul allows”

The Tangent



What more could you ask for? The Music Died Alone the penultimate song of the first set was introduced being another stunning piece, once again touching on those slight jazz influences, being presented with sensitivity and crafted skill that such a classy song deserves. The dynamics of Luke’s guitar runs stepped to the front, his facial expressions mirror his style, one minute powerful the next sedate, remaining fluidic throughout.



The point of interest and excitement for everyone was the crucial song new song Mind’s Eye getting its UK premiere tonight, having only been played publically once before, in Belgium. This marked the first recording of this line up, a song that all these guys have been allowed to add their own personality too. It was a very intriguing, almost like a natural progression for the band to move in.



I absolutely loved the way Andy and Luke symbiotically, traded licks with precision, it felt almost like a coming of age, the whole song was just so dynamic and full of character. Initially it seemed slightly rockier than the previous songs, but on reflection I don't believe that to be the case. It certainly got a vote of approval.

The Tangent Set two kicked off with A Sale of Two Souls from the Not As Good As The Book, an unexpected choice, a dark musical tale, seeing Jonathan having to earn his crust, having to follow Andy’s angst ridden vocals looking at the irony of youth culture and how it’s portrayed, musically swinging emotionally as did the lyrics. The epic In Darkest Dreams saw the band throwing down the gauntlet to all the prog pretenders, displaying what really categorises and defines what The Tangent are all about, their ability to really play succinct but complex music, long interludes that carry a melody, twisting and turning at any and all opportunity, never allowing you to guess the next step, but still allowing you to participate, displaying that there are no rule books, just fun to be had. With Andy’s keyboards driving and swapping with Luke guitar soirees, Jonathan and Tony balancing the backline, with Jonathan’s bass tones really sending a shiver down the spine.

The gracefulness of the bands interaction was just stunning, absolutely nailing the song, having the audience singing, maybe not tearing the walls down, but singing. Andy introduced the next song Perdu Dans Paris in French to the amusement of the audience, which kicked into its laid back Gallic tone, Jonathan anchoring the whole piece, while Andy stamped his soulful tones, mesmerising vocal images and melodies throughout, a piece that is always a musical discovery, a song that always presents something new every time you hear it. Luke switched from peddle to peddle to create musical soundscapes, such were the strength of the tones created that if you closed your eyes, you could see and smell the city, whilst Tony really gave the whole piece that extra pizzazz.

The Tangent Paroxetine 20mg was not as immediate as the rest of the set, it never is, but it offered an indifference to what had passed, which cleverly mirrored the ethos of the song. The song built as it worked its way to its completion, being thoroughly enjoyed by all. The final song of the night was introduced by Andy who commented about the complexity of this, their piece de resistance In Earnest, with this probably being one of the last times that this track would be played for a while. Interestingly Andy stated that this would be the last song, no encore’s as they don’t play them, which more than highlighted the lack of egos, what you see is what you get. His comments made were met with rapturous applause as did the mention of In Earnest. In Darkest Dreams may state what The Tangent are all about, but In Earnest exemplifies what Prog is all about. The band played this thought provoking and heart rendering song that brought a tear to both Brian’s and myself eye and if I was to be honest maybe a few others too. By this time the band had the audience eating out of their hands. Their music built images, taking everyone on a journey, leaving no stone unturned, an emotional rollercoaster. The whole group just fell silent watching every move made, listening intently to every note played, with its crescendos and powerful semblance. The whole room was total immersed and lost in what had just been created and then silence fell. For a second nothing, due to the disbelief in what had just been witnessed, having being created by four men, who if truth be told, seeing them interact are more than just mere musicians, more brothers, at ease and at peace with each other; then massive applause, an ovation truly earned by the band.

The Tangent

Did Izzy enjoy the show? I am more than sure that she thoroughly enjoyed herself, bonding with the band, showing them her toys. Only time will tell as to whether this will be a musical path she will travel. One thing is for sure, that she was definitely buzzing about the night’s event.

Interestingly enough, the band couldn’t use monitors; they did struggled to hear each other, which could have caused slight issues, but such was the competence and excellence of these four musicians, if they did no one noticed. By no stretch of the imagination are any of these songs easy to play, but yet again the band nailed the whole event.

The beauty of the band is that whether they are playing to thousands or to a few people, it makes not one jot of difference. There is no compromise; it is all about the music and their audience period. There are no battling egos, no attitude, just love and emotion to be shared with their fans, which is something that their fans appreciate and offer back. As a footnote the band are touring over the next couple of months in various places. This is not something that you want to miss.

THIS IS PROG ROCK OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

No one upon no one in the UK is producing or making music like these guys. No band in the UK can entertain like these guys either. Seeing is believing.

“Playing on, through the Ether sphere, playing on, nothing interferes, and in our own sweet time, in our darkened homes, we’ll sneak a listen, to the music that died alone”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZZY!

Set Lists
Set One:
Where Are They Now? G.P.S Culture
The Music Died Alone, Mind’s Eye

Set Two:
A Sale of Two Souls, In Darkest Dreams, Perdu Dans Paris
Paroxetine 20mg, In Earnest

Links
The Tangent - Official Website

 


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