In the Nick of Time-Live in 2003 is the brand new live release from former Yes keyboard legend Rick Wakeman and The New English Rock Ensemble, which features Ashley Holt (Vocals), Tony Fernandez (Drums), Ant Glynne (Guitar), and Lee Pomeroy (Bass). Though the recording is now 9 years old (from the tour that promoted Wakeman's then new album Out There), it's finally seeing the light of day here in 2012 on Gonzo Multimedia. The songs are all taken from Wakeman's solo albums with the exception of "Wurm", which of course comes from The Yes Album.
Fans of the keyboard virtuoso will no doubt be very familiar with most of the material on display here. Opening cut "Catherine Parr / Beware your enemies" is one of Wakeman's true classics of blazing, classical tinged symphonic rock, as his dizzying runs and melodies sound just as good as they did over 30 years ago, and Glynne's metal guitar style adds a real punch to this extended romp. Holt's theatrical vocals come into play on the hard rocking prog of "Out There", which again features some awesome keyboard and guitar histrionics. "No eartly connection" has an almost ELP feel to it, with Holt's soaring vocals matched with Wakeman's orchestral keyboards, as the two seem to be doing their best Emerson & Lake impression, while "Dance of a thousand lights" shows Rick's majesty on the piano. Gorgeous church organ and symphonic synths permeate the upbeat "The cathedral in the sky", and "White Rock" is a real Moog workout for Mr. Wakeman but also contains some white hot solos from Glynne and furious rhythms courtesy of Fernandez & Pomeroy. Yes fans will love the bands version of "Wurm", which is the closing instrumental part of "Starship Trooper", but be sure to listen closely for other quick snippets of classic Yes tunes as well on this one. Both Wakeman and Glynne go to town here on this blazing romp!
Pretty exciting stuff from one of the worlds greatest keyboard players, and he's got a real hot band on this recording to help recreate some of these exciting songs. Seeing as Wakeman isn't part of the Yes machine any longer, let's hope he at least does something else with The New English Rock Ensemble again in the near future.
1.Catherine Parr / Beware your enemies
3.No eartly connection
4.Dance of a thousand lights
5.The cathedral in the sky