Keith Emerson and The Nice - 3rd October 2002 @ Newcastle Opera House a review by Les White

Smart Dressed Man Lee JacksonSet List
[Keith Emerson / Brian Davidson / Lee Jackson / Dave Kilminster (Guest Guitarist)]
The Cry of Eugene
She Belongs To Me
Little Arabella
Hang On To A Dream
Intermezzo from Karelia Suite
Country Pie

[Emerson - solo]
Vagrant / Outgoing Tide (I think this is correct)(Close to Home and Roll'n Jelly were played at Wolverhampton - Doug)
Creole Dance

[Emerson / Dave Kilminster / Pete Riley (Drums) / Phil Williams (Bass)]
I think Dave Kilminster has forgetten which instrument he's playing.Tarkus (full thing)

Fanfare for the Common Man
Honky Tonk Train Blues


America - Dave Kilminster on his knees at the front of the stage with his guitar on the floor in front of him, playing it like a keyboard - everybody was watching him including the other musicians!

Not to be outdone Keoth plays some runs in replyEmerson solo section - Grand Piano wheeled on the stage for brief solo section. Creole Dance was a little less successful than the time Keith played it in the 21 Club - but he wasn't playing a full show then!

Tarkus - seemed like the other musicians were a very good ELP tribute band? Initial vocal parts were played by Dave Kilminster on the guitar until we got to the Epitaph. Dave strapped on an acoustic guitar and played the harmonic opening notes (I was holding my breath, as I knew someone would have to sing this bit) Dave sang Epitaph beautifully using much the same phrasing as Greg - It was awesome!

Hoedown - The opening Synth riff had been sampled and allocated to the bottom note on the Gem Pro Mega One - Keith took the opportunity to play this riff a lot during this song.

Meanwhile Brian Davison keeps one eye on the beat and another on KeithFanfare - Everybody on stage - Two drummers were used to good effect here.

Honky Tonk Train Blues - This was the encore - initially with just the Nice & Dave Kilminster, but I saw Brian Davidson wave his new best friend Pete Riley back on stage to double up on drums, again this worked very well.

This was the first time (apart from at the 21 Club) that I had seen The Nice live (I'm only 46!) and therefore the first time I had seen Lee Jackson sing - He's still got it - with an excellent stage manner and he's funny.

There was a fair bit of noise / barracking from a section of the audience, but the band were able to pick on things to respond to and ignore the rest.

Keith was in good relaxed form, although admitting to being quite nervous during his solo section. Keith bored us with a boring story about a meeting with boring Bob Dylan when they found they had nothing to say to each other - Yawn!

Lee Jackson told us of his biblical relationship with John Peel (ELP are a waste of electricity) via Germaine Greer in the 60's - they all go lots of applause (CLAP!).

The Nice - 2002 version


Keith's stage set up included a grand piano (wheeled on for his Emerson plays Emerson section). His main keyboards were a Goff Hammond and GEM ProMega 3 keyboard with a couple of other synths inc. Korg to his left. He also had the modular Moog on a rack and even played it once although there was no ribbon controller antics or playing with the innards of the Hammond and no knives.

The theatre was full apart from a few empty single seats and the band were very well received. The sound system was exceptional with some really deep resonant bass coming thorough loud and clear.

There was mention in the local press just prior to the concert that the show was to be video'd for a future DVD release, but I didn't see any evidence of this on the night.

I met Les White, another competition winner, at the 100 Club and here he provides his view of the second full Nice reunion show.


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