Stone Free Festival, London O2 arena – Sunday 19 June 2016

It was a weekender festival but I only went to the Sunday gigs and saw Wilko Johnson, Steve Hackett, Marillion and Rick Wakeman (there were others..).  Strangely only the main arena plus some VIP areas were ticketed so in effect it was open to the general public. As Wilko Johnson was playing the Indigo stage my mate came along to enjoy the gig (no he didn’t buy a ticket!).  If you want to see some decent pictures of the event go to this web site Stone Free pics – better than my crap work..
Overall the event worked but there is plenty of scope for improvement e.g. large screens,

Wilko Johnson

Lots of typical Wilko RnB guitar twanging, covering his musical career from ‘Going Back Home’ (his comeback album with Roger Daltrey) and finishing on a few Dr. Feelgood classics.  The tight knit trio know their stuff and Wilko looked his normal ‘wild eyed’ self using all his classic struts to move around the stage.  A great pub act!

  1. All Right
  2. If You Want Me, You’ve Got Me
  3. Dr. Dupree
  4. Going Back Home20160619_163630
  5. Keep on Loving You
  6. When I’m Gone
  7. Paradise
  8. Everybody’s Carrying a Gun
  9. Back in the Night
  10. She Does It Right

Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett (prog royalty if ever there was – even more so since he did his Genesis Re-visited CD/tours) and his excellent band did a short set of his own solo stuff plus a few Genesis classics – culminating in a spectacular ‘Firth of Fifth’.  Nick Beggs was his usual flamboyant self in resplendent tartan kilt and Nad Sylvan came on to add some Gabriel-esque 70’s vibe.  Great guitar solo’s and a band in total harmony – I’m sure they could do this blindfold!  A real crowd pleaser.

  1. Every Day
  2. Loving Sea
  3. A Tower Struck Down
  4. Shadow of the Hierophant
  5. Dance on a Volcano
  6. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  7. Firth of Fifth

Marillion

Now I have not seen these since 1980 when Hogarth was just a Fish replacement and yes I lost touch over the years.  Marillion hit the stage with ‘Invisible Man’.  By the end of the song my wife turned to me a gasp at the power of the song and Hogarth’s performance (she was not looking forward to the entire event in truth, but now she is hooked on Marillion and their lyrics).  I too was in awe – in all the years and hundreds of gigs I’ve been too this was the best opening song ever performed – in my humble opinion.
We were quite near the front luckily and there were grown men in abundance with their head in their hands crying at the sheer emotion of their set.  This means a lot to a lot of people!

  1. The Invisible Man
  2. You’re Gone
  3. Easter
  4. Kayleigh
  5. Lavender
  6. Heart of Lothian
  7. Power
  8. Neverland

I’m now reacquainting myself with Marillion.  Thanks for a great gig lads!

Rick Wakeman

The main event – The first time he has played The Myths And Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table since 1975 (not on ice this time and hopefully it didn’t bankrupt him!).  As the original was on LP and around 40 mins long Rick has now reworked some songs, that never made it the first time, to extend the show.  The new stuff was actually quite good and complimented the original. However, that said this would probably be better off as a London show with decent singers.

Rick resplendent in cape stood behind a bank of synths and was joined on stage by narrator Ian Lavender, a full orchestra, the English Rock Ensemble and English Chamber Choir and his son Oliver, on yet more keyboards. Bless him Tony Holt’s voice does this ‘Sword and Sorcery’ masterpiece no justice at all.  He’s at best a pub singer, and this was the biggest down side of the whole set.
Rick’s keyboard wizardry is beyond compare – immense musicianship and compositional skill and dedication, the man is a grumpy old genius!

IMG_2155

  1. The Choice of King  
  2. King Arthur  
  3. Morgan le Fay  
  4. Lady of the Lake  
  5. Arthur’s Queen  
  6. Guinevere  
  7. Lancelot and The Black Knight  
  8. Princess Elaine  
  9. Camelot  
  10. The King of IMG_2157Merlins  
  11. A Wizards Potion  
  12. Merlin the Magician  
  13. The Chalice  
  14. The Holy Grail  
  15. The Best Knight  
  16. The Contest  
  17. Sir Galahad  
  18. Percival the Knight  IMG_2160
  19. Excalibur  
  20. The Last Battle

A once in a lifetime experience. 

Marko 18 August 2016

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