First of all, my sincere apologies! It took some time before this one was published on the website of Background Magazine, so I had to wait until today. I hope you guys didn’t mind!
This would be the first time I would see John Young as a solo performer on stage. I’ve never seen the band Pendragon live, and I heard from several friends that they are a great band to watch. I had the honour to interview John Young and Nick Barrett right before the gig, and you can listen to the interview here. Pendragon was going to play their album The Masquerade Overture in its entirety, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this album. The venue was completely sold out, which is great news for the band, but sadly no good news for me, because I had to squeeze myself through the audience to take pictures from different angles of the venue. Luckily I managed to get some amazing shots of both John Young and Pendragon that evening.
You can really see that John loves to perform on stage, even though he had no band members with him on stage. He played a short set of different songs, and told stories about some of them in between the tracks. John plays on several keyboards and controls a laptop who triggers several other sounds like drums and bass, so it looked like a whole band was supporting John while he played. He’s a very good musician with a lovely voice.
John asked the audience to clap along with Different, which was the last song of the evening. The audience clapped along with pleasure, and even some light effects went on and off on the rhythm of the clapping audience. The music John played that evening was very accessible and catchy progressive rock, and it never bored me one moment. I know that not many people are keen of the fact of watching an artist solo, supported by music that’s not being played and coming from several devices, but I really enjoyed mister Young’s solo performance!
The female vocalists were wearing lovely dresses and nostalgic top hats when they entered the stage. Nick Barret looked very summery with his flower print shirt. He’s not one of the youngest anymore, but he still has the energy of an adolescent when he plays and sings! He’s also very theatrical and interactive with the audience. He also made some jokes, when a roadie came on stage to help with getting some things right, Nick acted like he wasn’t pleased with it and summoned him to go away.
The audience was extremely enthusiastic. Pendragon has a very dedicated audience, I think it was the most dedicated audiences I’ve ever seen in the Boerderij! Some people came from different countries like France and Norway. It was very cool to see that Clive Nolan’s keyboard can turn around 360 degrees so he can turn towards the band or the audience. He also had a small group of ‘hard-core’ Clive Nolan fans, standing close to his side of the stage. Nick was really amused by that group of fans and made some jokes about the dedicated Clive audience, who laughed about his jokes of course.
The track Master Of Illusion ended with a short but bombastic drum solo by Jan Vincent Velazco. When the band finished playing The Masquerade Overture album they started to play King Of The Castle, which is a bonus track of the album. Peter Gee exchanged his bass guitar for an acoustic twelve string guitar for that song.
The band became more loose and energetic as the evening progressed. They were on stage for almost three hours! They did not only play tracks from The Masquerade Overture but also a complete set of other songs as well! The fans were really spoiled that evening and it was a phenomenal performance. A lot of people were singing loudly along with Beautiful Soul. The band came back for an encore and played one long track, which was Indigo.
Pendragon shows us that this band is one of the real progressive rock legends who are still going strong and full of energy. I hope that this band will continue performing live for a long time, because this band knows how to entertain an audience with amazing music!
Setlist John Young:
All Grown Up
When I Was Young
Voice In My Head
Nick Barret – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Clive Nolan – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Peter Gee – Bass guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jan Vincent Velazco – Drums & Percussion
Verity Smith – Backing Vocals
Justine Ferrarri – Backing Vocals
The Masquerade Overture
As Good As Gold
The Pursuit Of Excellence
Guardian Of My Soul
Masters Of Illusion
King Of the Castle
Faces Of Light
Come Home Jack
Breaking The Spell
The Green And Pleasant Land
You can also read my review on Background Magazine:
All photos by me.
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