Some members of the egroups list reckoned this show was better than the Lemon Tree one 10 days earlier. My view is that it was certainly as good rather than better.
People said before the gig that
Pallas didn't know that Wiz had brought the varilights again. Not true
I'm afraid - they just didn't mention the fact in advance. Wiz
is also the guy in charge of the overactive smoke machine
which Jump complained about.
A Call to Arms & Hide and Seek provided a rapid introduction to the set. The band seemed much more relaxed than at the previous Rotherham show. I'm not sure if it was that, or the fact that I'd heard A Call to Arms now, but the set seemed to take off straight away - unlike November when I felt a little disappointed at not getting that 'rush' of seeing an 'old friend' in action again.
The fact that the guys have been rehearsing more (and played a gig or two within six months - rather than five years) probably helped too.
There was just enough time between these two tracks to allow the audience to rapturously applaud the band - and Pallas certainly seemed to have got the crowd going during that first number.
The Executioner was the first 'oldie' of the set and an old crowd favourite and a good singalong number.
The smoke had really built up by this point (and I guess Wiz had extra to use with the support band not making use of it). I think this is what caused Alan a few vocal problems during the delicate beginning section of Rat Racing. He soon cleared the vocal pipes and put in a good performance of his early morning view of the rooftops of central Aberdeen.
Graeme introduced the next song as 'going a little further back in time' to which one wag in the crowd shouted out "Wilmot" (referring to a track on the bands first EP - about as far back as Graeme could have gone). Alan leapt straight in with the comment 'Strange you should say that - we're NOT going to play it!'. Instead they launched into a full rocking version of Cut and Run.
Having played a Sentinel track Alan introduced Beat the Drum with a comment about how it was written in the hope and expectation that the world had moved on since those days. It's just a pity that it hadn't (a veiled reference to the wars still happening around the globe). First time around this track was an instant favourite with me - and it just gets better live. It was the only new (as opposed to 10 year old from the 88 tours) song off the new album which made an instant impression on me. I guess that's what made it the albums lead track.
The eerie Ghosts (one of those 10 year old tracks) came next - introd as being about an old friend who left, not quite this earth, but certainly this postal district'. A veiled reference to one of life's many sad drug stories. Even at this point the smoke still kept coming - making for an impressive light show - but not too nice for those of us near the point of origin.
Time for Ronnie to show off his sensitive side (and fingers apparently) now as he leads us into Blood and Roses, a bit of a showcase for just him and Alan. There were no interruptions from the audience this time either (unlike Aberdeen) so we could all enjoy the song. A very delicate performance from both participants - with well presented lights. Wiz did a great job of the lights the whole evening (even for Jump) though you could tell he was unfamiliar with the music of the support acts (especially Nightwind) when the lights didn't quite match the music. None of these problems with Pallas though - he's well familiar with all the material.
More coughs from the audience
as we begin the climax of the main set - The Atlantis Suite.
This piece of music really does raise the spirits - light and shade
throughout - and it's especially nice to have East West performed as
part of it. I guess this track was the highlight of the evening
Having had one highlight, the return of the band had me missing the usual Sanctuary (though perhaps Beat the Drum is an attempt at a similar song theme), though a welcomed replacement was the live debut of Insomniac. Being the first performance Alan had taken precautions (in an Ian Gillan sort of way) and brought an autocue - well a rolled up sheet copied from the album sleeve of Insomniacs lyrics. (This was later signed by the band for Nightwind by the way - a nice gesture). In a manner similar to Mr. Gillan, Alan found the lyrical aid useless - it rolled itself back up when he laid it on the floor! (Gillan's problem - which could have easily happened care of Wiz - was that Black Sabbath's smoke obscured his lyric book).
The track worked really well and I hope it remains in the set - though I'm sure Alan hopes that the section after the Deep voiceover won't. Yup, this is where the band pulled a little surprise on him by launching into a jam, based on Insomniac, but sounding very Floyd inspired. The look on Alan's face had to be seen to be believed. He made a brave attempt to sing Breathe but Naill just kept shaking his head. I guess these were Alan's 3 most embarrassing on-stage minutes ever (unless you know different Al).
(From what Alan said later, it was just a jam round Insomniac - though it certainly sounded VERY Floydy. That explains why Naill kept looking over when Alan sang 'Breathe'.)
No time for breath between the end of the jam and the beginning of a storming version of Arrive Alive with a tremendously powerful pounding drum introduction. Alan's only comment was 'I BELIEVE this is Arrive Alive' - obviously a little dubious of what else may be in store for him. Instead of Kashmir Alan prompted Ronnie to Pick a tune - Imagination. One verse was all we got and the bean left to massive applause.
A stonker of a show - you really
should have been there. No further encores unfortunately, though
it was well after midnight by this point I guess.
The only disappointment must
be the the crowd seemed smaller than last time.
When the boys tour this Autumn (not mentioned at this gig as it was in Aberdeen) make sure that you get to see them. You will not be disappointed. Make it so.
To see the original version
of this review check out the following link: http://www.egroups.com/group/pallas