review & pictures by: Jan-Jaap de Haan.
What a great night! I came to see Pendragon, but because of the special support-act I got a combination of 3 of my favourite groups.
Martin Orford (who was misspelled on the posters as Martin Oxford, which
leads to the conclusion that the other guy has to be Gary Cambridge) and
Gary Chandler were well received as support act.
Martin played The Last Human Gateway,
Subterranea, Tatras (a classical piece), Speak My Name (regrettably no No
Love Lost) after which Gary entered the stage with an acoustic guitar
(although the solos were played electric).
They played a couple of
Jadis-songs in a medley, as well as A Life Is All You Need (great backing
vox by Martin), As Daylight Fades and an unreleased song
called Giraffe Chariot. Martin joined Gary on flute with More Than Meets The
Eye, still one of my favourites. A surprise was the Alan Parsons song Old
and Wise, which they did very well. A couple of hundreds of people were
singing along, very nice!
To conclude, No Sacrifice was played after which the audience asked for more, but didn't get anything extra. The show had to go on...
After the introduction-tape Pendragon entered the stage and started off in a
great way with Stargazing and Higher Circles. They know how to get a crowd in the right
mood! People were jumping up and down and singing along.
Nick wasn't dressed in his special blue/yellow longsleeve Pendragon-jacket, but was just wearing army trousers. Plain and simple, but effective. Clive was wearing a self-made t-shirts with the text "No Hobbits Allowed" on it, very funny indeed.
After a few songs, Nick Barrett was offered a cap with the Pendragon-logo on it. Someone from the audience promised him that during the last concert, back in 1996. Although Nick couldn't remember the guy's name, he remembered the incident and was very pleased. Fudge, the drummer, took over the cap and wore it for a large part of the set.
Clive didn't bring as many keyboards as he had on the Visitor-tour
but that didn't spoil anything. Clive's keyboard-tech would immediately add here that this has to be about quality of music and not about quantity, but I still tend to think this pile of keyboards adds to the show. But fortunately a keyboard-surprise was to come....
The setlist consisted of some of the best material from the last two albums,
including Nostradamus, Walls of Babylon and Last Man on Earth. This last song was dedicated to a famous Dutch disc-jockey (Alfred Lagarde), who died a couple of years ago. He was one of the very few DJs that introduced things like melodic rock (like Toto and Pendragon) to the Dutch audience.
The Shadow and Masters of Illusion represented Pendragon's latest studio album Masquerade Overture. I noticed that these songs were played with more power than the studio-versios, particularly as a result of Fudge Smith's double bass-drums, which really added to the heavy finale of Masters of Illusions.
The Voyager represented The World and was played very well. The acoustic
guitar-intro with Peter Gee on "slide"-guitar is really great. I always
liked this song live better than the studio version.
At this point in the show, the atmosphere was really good, which lead to some jokes and folling around. When people started shouting "Wiener Schnitzel", which was one of the jokes of a few year's ago, Nick immediately replied: "Oh, and there's always some Germans in the audience. German's are famous for Schnitzels". Of course there were also some Belgiums, and the remark followed: "And Belgiums are of course famous for their chickens". Which was quite hilarious, since many of these were poisened recently.
Pendragon decided that this evening, since there was no new album, would be
a bit back-ward-looking, especially since two rarities discs have been
This showed because not only KowTow was present in the setlist, but also the wonderful Circus and an amazing version of Alaska, which is still among my favourite songs. A new "oldie" in the set was Stan & Ollie, which hadn't been played since about 1983 or so. This track hadn't been released before, so it was fun to hear it live now.
One of the encores was Red Shoes which is a fun number. I think every band has such a fun-track whether it be Incommunicado, Turn it on Again, Welcome to the Cage or this one. And it was indeed fun, especially since Clive returned to the stage for this song with a red portable keyboard. He could jump and run around now as well !!
The beautiful Am I really Losing You? was played as the final encure and many people were singing (or humming) along. Awesome!
As you can understand I had a great night. The sound was very good (not too loud) and the 013 was quite full. It was also nice to meet Alain, who travelled from France (with his family) to see the show. Alain's little son was to small to see the stage (which was pretty high) so he just sat on the stage all night!! I think I don't have a single picture of Clive without this little fellow on it :-D
Nevertheless I had a great night and hope Pendragon will return with their new album soon.
The Last Human Gateway (middle section)
Tatras (piano solo)
Speak My Name
(including: Gary's guitar strum / Falling Away /
Sleepwalk / This Changing Face)
A Life Is All You Need
As Daylight Fades
More Than Meets The Eye
Old And Wise (Alan Parsons)
The Walls Of Babylon
The Last Man on Earth
Stan & Ollie
Masters of Illusion
Am I Really Losing You?