Salisbury, The Old Ale House
13 Jan 2000
1st Set:
2nd Set:
BEETHOVEN (a classical medley)

On Thursday, 13th January, Doug and I went to see the singer/pianist, John Young at The Old Ale House in Salisbury. The first part of the gig consisted of songs from his solo album, entitled 'Life Underground', and the second part focused on a progressive rock theme, with songs from Genesis, Saga and Asia.

The first song John played was 'All Grown Up', which is a song that he wrote about growing up in an orphanage. Although John insists that he has no idea what it would be like to grow up under such circumstances, I wonder....

The next song that John sang and played was 'Closer', a song about love and espionage. The song consisted primarily of synthesised keyboard work and was melodic and easy to listen to. It is important to keep in mind that John has written the majority of songs that he performs for audiences throughout the UK and abroad. Nowadays, it is a rarity indeed to find an artist who plays his own instruments, and the fact that he writes his own music is quite impressive!

The next song that John sang, 'Life Underground', was written initially for the people in Poland when John was touring there. He was moved by a Polish entrepreneur who organised coach trips so the local people could go see a Mercedes at a local showroom. Because these people lived in such poverty, the chances of them ever being able to buy a Mercedes were almost non-existent, so they were happy just to look at one.

The next track that John was to play was a piece entitled, 'When I Was Young', which was similar in style to some Mike and the Mechanics pieces. John has stated that sadly there is not much of a market for this type of music in the UK, as the vast majority of the music on the radio today is more of a finely tuned, well orchestrated marketing ploy than actual talent on the part of the artist. In the UK, image is everything, and it is for that reason that those individuals who look the part are normally the ones who get the job. With a bit of voice synthesisation, one really does not even need to sing, as evidenced by the widespread popularity of such acts as the Spice Girls.

To take a diversion along memory lane, when I was stationed in Germany, I was forced to go on deployment, set up tropospheric radio communications, play war games, sleep in tents with other men and women who were as equally as fed up as I was, and horror of horrors, go for weeks without a bath or a shower. But of course, this was in the bad old days of the cold war before the wall had fallen down. During those days when I was much younger and more physically able to cope with the rigorous demands that were placed on my mind, body and spirit, one of the few pleasures that I was able to enjoy was my favourite Mike and the Mechanics tape in my personal stereo.

The penultimate song of the first half was 'Palmistry', a song about being able to look into the future.

The last song of the first set was 'Ivory Tower', a song that John wrote about love and jealousy. He was inspired to write this song when he found himself to be embroiled obsessive relationship.

Before ending the set, John announced that he has just joined the band Qango, comprised of the musicians Carl Palmer, Dave Kilminster, John Wetton and himself.

When John took his break, he chastised me for spending so much time typing the gig review on my palm top. I don't think he realised that my typing is not all that fast, and assumed that I was typing the words to his music or something sinister like that. I therefore endeavoured to be a little bit more surreptitious, as so not to offend him in any way.

The first song of the second set was a classical medley composed of four tunes: Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Bach's Toccata, Sailors Hornpipe and Puff the Magic Dragon. The next song was a tune by the Canadian band, Saga, 'On the Loose'.

The next song that John performed was a progressive rock tune, 'Childhood's End'. It is a song that he was inspired to write as a tribute to the last day of youth. On the eve before adulthood, all of our toys are gathered around us, so we can play with them one last time. After 'Childhood's End', John announced that he will soon be playing in the Astoria in London and The Brook in Southampton with the band Qango. The next song that John performed was 'Love is Blind', which he dedicated to his dog that was recently killed in a car accident.

The penultimate song of the set that John sang was, 'Open Skies'. John then finished the set with a Yes inspired instrumental and then a Genesis song, 'I know What I Like'. The last piece of the evening was an instruental that had a bit of everything in it, called 'Solar'.

Tracy Porter

Tracy has her own website that you can view if you are interested in astrology. If you want to know what the stars have in store for you, then her web site is a must read. Tracy also has a book that is due top be published soon, The Tarot Compendium, that is a must read. She plans on going on book signing appearances to promote her new book, and has asked Doug if he would like to come along and keep her company. In addition, Tracy has had numerous articles published in Prediction magazine and several American Astrology magazines. Tracy can be contacted on at misstracy71@hotmail.com.

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