White Rock Theatre - Hastings 12 May 2003 by Neil Watson

As a fan I thought it was a fantastic concert. If you have listened to "Out of the Blue", you should know just what to expect. Starting with "Journey" and finishing with "Starship Trooper". I have never heard Catherine Parr played so loudly and it was just amazing. The light show is a lovely touch, the video camera of the keyboards projected onto the back stage screen keeps you involved in what"s happening on stage.

The new numbers played are from "Out There", with a super back screen movie from the forthcoming DVD. The bad news has to be the sound, as I came away not knowing what any of the two tracks were all about, it was just too loud and did very little to promote the album. The group play well together, laughing and joking all through the set. The funniest moment has to be when Rick plucks an attractive wench from the crowd to come and hold his organ for him on stage. He had his back to me so I cannot tell you if he enjoyed the experience, but she certainly had a smile on her face by the time she returned to her seat. I must admit I was disappointed that he didn"t come my way, not that I wanted to hold his organ, but I did think I could steal an autograph from him, well he did have a free hand.

A great experience overall, but I would love to have heard the set that they originally planned to do – and why it didn"t come to be. My wish for the future is that they let the "choir" take on some more songs- especially "Starship Trooper", it has to be my second favourite of the set but it does struggle without John Anderson. Now I did take the wife, it was her third Rick Wakeman concert, but she didn"t like it – too loud she said, and you know wives are always right?