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London Astoria 2
19 May 2000
Heat of the Moment
Book of Saturday
Battle Lines
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Thirty Years
Hold Me Now
Rendezvous 6:02

The note next to the ticket booth stated, in no uncertain terms, the times of the two sets, WETTON/ORFORD being due onstage at 19:45. I believe the note was to make sure that the audience, or those that bothered to read the note, knew of the 22:30 curfew, the hall turning into a nightclub after that. We arrived just before 19:30, to an almost empty hall! This did not bode well for the evening. However, by the expected start time, numbers had picked up and there were probably 100 folk waiting for the support. 

It was thus a surprise for John and Martin to be five minutes late in starting, ambling onstage, Wetton dressed in black shirt and jeans, Orford in white T-shirt, black waistcoat and jeans, with  “Good morning boys and girls.” That was the only introduction HEAT OF THE MOMENT got. It was a cut down version, only a lone acoustic guitar, vocals (obviously) and keyboards care of Martin.  They played much slower that the Asia version - possibly the slowest version I've heard, making for a very poignant version, Wetton seeming unsure and hesitant in places. Only a brief introduction to Martin Orford and a “Thank God it’s Friday” comment before the King Crimson number, BOOK OF SATURDAY, with Martin playing flute rather than keyboards. 

“We’re going to carry on with the title track of one of my solo albums. Its called BATTLE LINES”. The whole introduction seemed very hesitant, as if John wasn’t sure exactly the source of the track, or could not remember which track was supposed to be next. He also had a couple of minor off-key moments during the quiet introduction, though the voice was fine for most of the remaining set. Martin was back on keyboards for this song, though I felt the Qango arrangement (two acoustic guitars) worked better. Again, this track had a very laidback feel to it, giving a reminiscing feel to the lyrics, though it did power up towards the finale as usual. The song had an unusual interruption after the “they still run free” line when one of the audiences mobile phone rang, Wetton sharply asking, “get that will you”, adding, “it’s for you” before he and Martin, both smiling broadly now, continued to the end of the song without further interruption. The audience was fairly noisy throughout, one in particularly shouting for Rendezvous 6:02 at every opportunity.

Before the next song there was a short discussion about the next track, Martin reading from his set list, Wetton saying, “No, we’ll do that later”. What they did do was another off his solo album, EMMA. “A song from way, way, back. It's a song about jealousy" followed, THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES. There followed a bit of banter with the audience, one of who commented about the track being a hit single, Wetton replying, “and it was one of Asia's minor hits”. The voice was back on form on this track in particular, holding the long notes well. It was then “over to Mr. O” who moved into THIRTY YEARS which eventually faded directly into an emotional HOLD ME NOW, “a song about your mum” which featured a touch of echo on the vocals. This track had the best audience reaction of the set, lots of clapping and cheering, more so than any of the older numbers..

Finally, the member of the audience who had been shout, since at least Heat of the Moment, for RENDEZVOUS 6:02, had his wish granted. The “song about a ghost” featured only keyboards, Wetton giving a very animated performance with plenty of hand and arm motions (such as holding up a hand, five digits extended during the “It’s five o’clock” line) being free of playing. Part way through Martin got a bit lost, stopping and admitting “sorry, I’ve forgotten it”. After a brief laugh from Wetton (and the audience), Orford continued, having regained his composure. Wetton added some hand motions to this track too, raising his arms during “there you go… what can you do”. 

And that was it, just over 35 minutes of music before they left the stage, Wetton telling us to “have a great evening with Jadis”. Most of the audience were surprised by the short set, and lack of an encore, but that was it.  Wetton’s voice was in fairly good shape, though the unshaven face and hesitation in places, perhaps gioving the impression that his mind was elsewhere at times. Still, the short set went down well, livening the audience up for the main band of the evening, Jadis.

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  This page is Copyright © Doug Anderson 2000 - 2002. Created: 10 May 2000. Last updated: 6 August, 2002.