I didn’t know what to expect from this show and I wasn’t the only one, judging from other audience members at half time. Adam Wakeman, the versatile keyboard player oft hidden behind a curtain at Black Sabbath gigs or onstage with Ozzy Osbourne as keyboard player and rhythm guitarist has a pretty epic musical career already. He’s worked with Annie Lennox, written with Ozzy, Atomic Kitten and been involved in prog projects with and without his dad Rick. Damian Wilson, as well as working with Adam Wakeman in Headspace has been involved on over 70 studio albums both as a solo artist and collaborator. You can read my interview with Adam and Damian here.
There was therefore a host of material to choose from for the setlist. There were three setlists on the stage and none of them were adhered to. It being the first night and some time since the pair had met up to discuss the proceedings, the night took a very meandering route through the repertoires of the pair but was all the more entertaining for it. With the onstage banter and the fourth wall being firmly kicked down by Damian Wilson as he stretched the mic cable to its limit to talk to individuals in the audience.
As well as some lush acoustic numbers from Wilson and Wakeman’s The Weir Keeper’s Tale there was a chance for Damian to revisit Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. This was a passionate and emotional performance in the context that Damian gave us with his anecdotes. Bowie’s Life On Mars was met with appreciation but the skill with which Adam can work with piano was demonstrated both in his performance of Tapestries, from the eponymous album made with his father, and a fabulously jazzy version of Sabbath’s Iron Man.
Damian’s description of life on a boat had me wishing for a simpler existence , but I’d miss out the part where the boat sinks with all your possessions.
Audience participation was encouraged in Home Grown, Iron Maiden’s The Evil That Men Do (a lovely ballad version) and The Trooper. Finishing with Feel Like Going Home and an encore of Twilight Hour, they left the audience feeling like they had definitely got their money’s worth from the evening.
It was a night of great musicianship, and vocal skills that were enviable. With the vast amount of music Wilson and Wakeman have in their repertoire I can imagine no two nights will be the same on this tour. The friendship between the two and the stories they have to share, added to the great music make this a night not to be missed.