Concert Reviews

Pendragon (Classic Rock Society Awards Night) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 01, 2017    
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Pendragon (Classic Rock Society Awards Night) - Montgomery Hall, Wath-on-Dearn (UK) - 04 March 2017

Thanks to the good work done by the Classic Rock Society guys, something quite rare occurred this evening. Usually, whenever I see Pendragon, I know it is going to be a few years until I see them again (festivals not withstanding) due to the general apathy shown to this style of music in this country. However, tonight was the second time I had seen them in the space of just under ten months – a rare occasion indeed.

The reason for their quick return was that it was the CRS Awards Night which, as far as I know, is the only occasion where the Progressive genre of music is actually acknowledged – good, and bad at the same time. The evening kicked off with Sarah Dean, also known as the Incredible String Blonde, who sat centre stage behind her harp and sang us some of her own compositions. It was a slightly unusual sight to see a harpist at a Rock show. And then again, no, it probably wasn't. Dean had about thirty minutes to prove her point, which she did adequately with a good sense of humour displayed during the amusing patter between songs. The audience were suitably relaxed for the arrival of Pendragon. Before that were the awards which was what tonight was all about. This took around another thirty minutes where most of the awards seemingly went to the band Big Big Train, although Pendragon did walk away with best gig of 2016.

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I had been curious to see how similar tonight would be compared to last year's Masquerade Overture 20th Anniversary. I already knew that Nick Barratt had retained two female backing vocalists (despite one of them being a different person) which boded well, and also indicated that there would be material played as last year. To a large extent, it was. The majority of the numbers were the same, although it was a shorter set, probably to fit in the time available alongside the awards. What was missing from last year was 'Masquerade Overture', 'Guardian Of My Soul', 'Schizo' and 'Nostradamus', while the two different songs they did play were 'Pieces Of Light' and 'Stargazing'. The shorter set did not detract from the enjoyment at all, anybody who has attended a Pendragon concert will know that it's a good night out every time, even when the main man was full of cold. Barratt was fine tonight which would obviously have been easier for him.

The one thing that always puzzles me about this though is the fact that in 2015 and 2016, I went to the Albert Hall to see David Gilmour. Nick Barrett's music isn't very different from his, or Pink Floyd's in general, but Pendragon play (in this country at least) in halls that hold a couple of hundred or so. How strange.

Andy Brailsford

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