Now you can’t know every track of every band that ever made their way into the progressive rock arena, but one has to know U.K. And maybe to have seen them as well – which will become difficult now that they are on their ‘final tour’. So, I went to see them, at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer. Without my camera, since camera’s and other recording devices were not allowed.
I did bring my phone, but the pictures I took with that are not blog-worthy, so this will be a text only report, unfortunately. I’m glad I left my camera at home though: people’s phones were almost smacked out of their hands by security when they tried to take a photograph. Rules are rules, but prog fans are not exactly hooligans, dear folks of De Boerderij…
Now, to be honest, I had not played any UK album for a few years before I went, so I had to prepare by playing their Reunion live album on the day of the gig. Which I did. And I played it on the way back home as well, to hold on to the feeling of the concert. A concert that was not extremely spectacular, but that made me feel like I had a great evening.
The band opened with Thirty years, initially with only Eddie Jobson and John Wetton on stage, joined soon by drummer Virgil Donato and guitarist Alex Machacek.
The band took us through a nice set of UK classics (see list below), with Jobson and Wetton, the old guys, taking the lead of course. That means that there was a lot of keyboard and violin violence, supported by a massive layer of bass. Eddie sure knows how to send a drone into the audience, glad De Boederij is a solidly constructed building. On the other hand, if part of it had collapsed, the problem of finding a parking space would’ve become much smaller.
Where necessary, John clearly indicated his voice hasn’t gotten worse (nor better), and both men took their time addressing the audience, with short stories about the past of the band and the occasional joke. There’s enough energy there to complete the tour, I’m sure – but apparently these men have had their share over the past 40+ years – of which U.K. only covers a meagre 38.
It’ hard to say which of the songs the band played impressed me most, given that I wasn’t completely up to speed with their works. I enjoyed the concert a lot, and was pleasantly surprised with the power the band still radiates. Only minus was that the Eddie and John show seemed somewhat disrespectful toward Donati and Machaceck. Donati got his (brilliantly executed) drum solo, Machacek remained in the shadows of (mainly) Eddie Jobson. At some point, I saw people wondering how Alex played these high notes on his guitar so low on the neck, only realising after a few seconds they were actually listening to Eddie playing ‘guitar’ on an electrical violin. Pity to see a good musician being overshadowed in this way. This focus on the band’s founders was confirmed again in the encore, which they did as a duo, and the other two did not show up for the final applause.
A small blemish on an otherwise great concert, but I guess the two have agreed to this before for the entire tour. Either way, if you have a chance to catch them on one of the remaining gigs of this tour – by all means make sure you get a ticket.
Carrying No Cross
Time to Kill
Violin/Keyboard Solo (E. Jobson)
Drum Solo (V. Donati)
In the Dead of Night
By the Light of Day
Presto Vivace and Reprise
Forever Until Sunday (Bruford cover)
Caesar’s Palace Blues
The Only Thing She Needs
Carrying No Cross (reprise)