For almost twenty years a group of five progressive music fans have their own local radio program "Radio Xymphonia" in Almelo (Netherlands),
a city in the eastern part of the Netherlands.
Every Sunday night at 8 pm these five guys are in the studio and present both old,
new and live material of their own personal preference ranging from symphonic rock to progressive and sometimes singer/songwriter,
folk and other peculiar pieces are featured.
In the summer (July 8) it would be the 1000th broadcast and that date was getting closer.
As with previous occasions and celebrations, these prog-enthusiasts wanted to celebrate this milestone with their listeners.
The people responsible for all the broadcasts,
which at present can be heard outside of Almelo too via this link
for one week after each show as well as via a stream are René Yedema (iO Pages, Almelo), Aldwin Gerritsen (Symphel, Nijverdal),
Herman Beunk (Enschede, hosts the shows), Christian Bekhuis (ex-Progwereld, Tubbergen), and Maurice Dam (ex-Background Magazine,
Almelo - also the webmaster).
For example: for their 666th broadcast they had the Dutch bands Lady Lake and Flamborough Head in the studio.
In the past they have also organized a festival bringing The Flower Kings and Ritual to Almelo and if I recollect correctly,
for the first time in the Netherlands!
This time they wanted to do something extra special, it had to be for the fans and ..... it had to be for free.
Quite an assignment but in the end all their efforts paid off because they found a willing partner in the Enid.
A band of special interest for two of the organizers because they were and still are long time fans of the band.
The current six piece line up of Godfrey, Storey, Read, Ducker,
Willes and Payne were able to play in Almelo for a minimal fee because they sympathized with this initiative and they like to reward longstanding fans.
A very nice gesture from one of the most extraordinary acts in the genre of progressive/symphonic rock.
In the tiny but very cozy theatre (only seats about 120 people) the band prepared for the show, arriving in the afternoon with their huge Volvo limousine.
In spite of the Dutch national football team playing Portugal that same evening (and losing this important match for the European Championship too!)
the Hof 88 theatre was filled with devoted fans.
The show was divided into two parts and this way the fans could have a good look at the merchandise and/or
watch the football match for a little while or have a drink or two at the bar.
The band was introduced by Herman Beunk of Radio Xymphonia and proved to be in fine form and now with both Read and new addition Payne
on keyboards together with the godfather of The Enid, Robert John Godfrey, the band is able to play truly excellent renditions of their most symphonic,
Featured on that night were the albums Journey's End, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Spell and Salome.
While Godfrey seemed completely in trance of the music and appeared to be very focused on his Roland keyboard, the emphasis was clearly on the music itself.
Jason Ducker usually looks down quite a bit, Storey of course is confined to his small space behind the drum kit and Max Read,
playing both guitar and keyboards, cannot leave his keys and computer as well.
The only ones having some space to move around were Nick Willes and Joe Payne,
partly behind his keyboard in the back of the stage but also front man part of the show because he sang most of the vocal tracks.
A truly nice addition to this fantastic band because his voice reminds a bit of Freddie Mercury's as does his performance.
So a charismatic performer indeed with a nice voice and he's got good looks too!
Bass player and percussionist Nick Willes, who had to be remain behind his kettledrums and assorted percussion
most of the time allowed himself to step to the front of the stage whenever he played the bass only.
A specialty was the vocal version of the originally instrumental title track of the album Tripping The Light Fantastic, for which Payne wrote the lyrics.
Godfrey introduced the band and couldn't help to make a few philosophical remarks.
On his statement that the world might be a much better place to live if the debts of all countries were to be let off,
it was 'hear, hear' from the audience.
Also, he concluded he didn't like all the American ways and influences overtaking the UK so to speak.
Again many seemed to concur. More pleasant news was the band is currently working on new material as a successor to Journey's End.
For members of the fanclub "The Enidi" there was a DVD for sale from the show in Germany at the Night Of The Prog Festival (Loreley) in 2011.
This night's performance makes it all the more clear The Enid is very much alive, a tremendously good live band,
though definitely focusing more on the music than on show elements.
For one I hope Godfrey will live to be a hundred years old and he will be able to keep on playing and composing for the next decade:
the rest of the band is more than qualified to play all the songs most popular with the fans in a superb way.
All the old songs sound fresh and with the current standard of sound quality you cannot hear them performed any better than at present.
Too bad I had to miss the show in Zoetermeer (April 2012) but ever so grateful I could see them live without an orchestra
this time around and a very special treat was that this concert was in my hometown only 3 minutes away by bike!
Thank you very much Radio Xymphonia and a big hoorah for The Enid for their cooperation to squeeze this show in!!
Setlist (running order might be a little different)
Something Wicked this Way Comes
Tripping The Light Fantastic
Sheets of Blue