|Assembly Hall - Worthing||15 March 2001||by David Garner|
Rick arrived in Worthing accompanied by Ramon Remedios, the operatic Tenor long associated with Rick’s work. Rick said that he was going to try to capture as much of his music as possible on this his last UK Tour. The publicity flyers had warned us “Miss this one at your peril”.
Sadly the Assembly Hall was only just over half full. Previous years had seen Rick play at the smaller but more intimate Pavilion Theatre. Still, if Rick was disappointed he never showed it and gave the audience their money’s worth. He played a great and varied set with vocals added to many songs that we have become used to hearing as instrumentals.
Without giving too much away for those yet to see this tour, it is quite different from last year. Rick included two songs from 1984, his collaboration with Tim Rice, in which Ramon gave a wonderful rendition of “Julia”, previously sung by Chaka Khan. This song particularly suited his operatic style – a very moving and emotional piece. The “Hymn” section was just magic.
Rick had some very funny new stories about his friend and fellow Yes member Jon Anderson, a great anecdote about Cat Stevens and Rick’s playing on the original single “Morning has Broken”. This song was one of the evening’s highlights with great playing from Rick and excellent singing from Ramon. Rick told us about how he had to write “After the Ball” on the spur of the moment – there’s talent for you. We heard about NASA’s chicken firing gun, which tests the windscreens of trains? You don’t believe me? You’ll have to hear this one for yourself.
On this night we didn’t hear anything from The Six Wives, Journey or Arthur. Rick opened the show with a wonderful version of “Dance of a 1000 Lights” from Return to the Centre of the Earth, with recorded orchestral accompaniment. The evening never flagged from start to finish. It was good to hear “Sea Horses” again and how Rick came to write the piece. Credit should go to Ramon for his part in the show. He gave a wonderful rendition of “Nessun Dorma” with Rick sounding like a Symphony Orchestra. Did anyone know that Rick has written an operetta? Well he has and it was a unique piece of theatre with great interplay between the two artists.
The evening ended with Rick thanking everyone for their support over the years – It was given freely and willingly Rick. The show ended with an excellent vocal version of “Fool on the Hill” and the by now concert standard of “Eleanor Rigby” in the style of Prokofiev. A few waves from Rick and Ramon and the evening was sadly over.
We can only hope that this wasn’t Rick’s last UK tour and as the flyer said “Miss this one at your peril”.