Monday, 15 September 2014

Steve Howe - Artrix Bromsgrove

We Love When We Hear - Steve Howe.

From the opening "Pyramidology" to  "Clap" this was a vintage night out with Mr Howe.

It was a tremendous set :-

Family pieces, homages to his expanding family.

Nods to his influences the Blues, Country, Jimmy Bryant, Bream and Vivaldi.

and his wealth of feature progressive acoustic pieces.

It is the latter I would like to dwell on. We often talk about progressive music and debate what precisely it is, for me Steve has mined the fundamental nature of what it is - juxtaposing different musical ideas in a genuinely surprising way. Whether it is the the beautiful melody of a piece like "Sketches in the Sun" or "Masquerade" the rhythmic playfulness of "Corkscrew" or the pocket micro symphonies of Solitaire and Australia he develops an idea draws you in and then adds a flurry an inversion or a rhythmic interlude before returning to flirt with the original idea, teasing you. Each time your return to the theme your attachment to it grows whether its the wonderful chord progression on "Intersection Blues" or the main melody of "J's Theme".

As with the Trio this is relaxed Steve anecdotes about the Orlando audience partying in the front row or joking about the band coming up with  the set list for the European Tour next year. He mentioned Jon with warmth and then played the Cadenza and Song from "The Ancient". A little later the great lost live piece "To Be Over" exquisite.

Pam as ever on the merch and then into the hall a great audience, quiet whilst he played, and warming to Steve as the evening progressed. Once again Steve highlighted where he is now, a proud father and grandparent, and looking round the audience of appreciative middle aged men and woman that felt entirely right, not cheesy but authentic down to earth pride.

The things he didn't say were Yes is in his DNA and the idea that he is anything other than entirely wedded to the band is well, ridiculous, its echoed in everything he does .

The Stalls were nicely full and the venue is easy to find though sat nav took me to the artists car park so I was able to thank Steve personally before heading off into the night.

This member of the Yes family was well content and many there were delighted to see another key member of that family out gigging - Malcolm - wonderful to see you.




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