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Porcupine Tree last night

Well that was just astounding…

Last night was spent in the beautiful environs of the Royal Albert Hall enjoying the last night of the mighty Porcupine Tree’s current tour—and what a night it was! The gig started at 7.45, and went on ’til dead-on eleven. No support, just the band, with two small intermissions. The band opened with a semi-acoustic set at the front of the stage, featuring electric piano, guitars, double bass and brushed drums. After a break they then “went electric” and performed two cracking sets of material old and new, including much of their most recent long-player, The Incident.

Porcupine Tree are, without doubt, a force of nature. In a Facebook post last night, during one of the breaks, I said that they were (and stop me if I’m being too technical), “As tight as a gnat’s chuff.” Crikey, they were good. For example, I’ve spoken before about Gavin Harrison, and he didn’t disappoint: a truly mesmerising drummer, with a phenomenal groove underlying astonishing chops.

So… in case you’ve missed it, I really enjoyed last night (grin); it was a delight for this old muso wannabe to see musicianship of the calibre presented by Messrs Wilson, Harrison, Barbieri, Edwin and Wesley. Bravo!

(Someone has already compiled a comprehensive set-list for the night, so if you’re a fan, check it out. On a personal note, I was particularly thrilled that they did Sleep Together from 2007’s Fear Of A Blank Planet).

Now the band was right on it, the sound was crystal-clear, the venue splendid. What of the show, the visuals? Lasse Hoile has provided these for Porcupine Tree for some ten years now, and he stepped-up last night: atmospheric video and assorted imagery was projected on a pair of screens to the rear of the stage (Hoile also does all the photography and design work for their albums). The man himself came on stage at the end of the gig to photograph the audience: he makes for quite a striking character, reflected in his (often macabre) work.

A thirteen-month tour complete, what now? Happily, Steven Wilson is very prolific, and is now working on a new solo release, and this is especially exciting for me, as he has recorded with none other than Steve Hackett and Nick Beggs. Oh I think 2011 will be a good year for choons :-)

Comments

  1. color me jealous!John Head#
  2. They are one of my fav bands. Saw them in Melbourne in Feb and they were awesome. The sound was crystal clear, the crowd was great and the band were phenomenal.

    Wow, up the downstair and sky moves sideways….. Jealous :).

    Funny thing the Lotus community - you can come accross people that are into the same things music wise…

    Again, jealousAndrew Mihulka#

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