Tameside Hippodrome - Tameside 21 May 2003 by Ray Banister

Well, most of you will have been reading the reviews so you know about how the show starts with the disclaimer about Damian and the set list - so what about the show?

This is the first show I have been to where Rick has been with a group, I have only attended his one man shows in the past (being a late convert) so I didn't know what to expect, although all the reviews had promised something worthwhile. I was not disappointed.

It was good to hear all the favourites and the new 'Out There' tracks and to experience these with the lights and back projection, especially for the keyboard close ups. This show was put on by a group of very talented individuals who are all skilled in their particular musical area, from Ashley on the vocals, Ant and Lee on guitars, 'the Wop' on drums and of course Rick on the keyboards. Mention must also be made of the choir - otherwise known as Erik - how did he do that?

I was a bit miffed though when Rick sat down with his Keytar and started chatting to my mate several rows back... while continuing to play the damned thing ! Amazing stuff. One thing that also came across to me was that the guys all seemed to be enjoying themselves and didn't see the evening just as a means of earning some cash.

The encore - Starship Trouper - was unbelievable, it's worth going to the concert just for that alone.

In summary, two and a half hours of fantastic entertainment from a bunch of guys who know their stuff and enjoy delivering it. I enjoyed every minute and the standing ovation at the end was more than justified - those of you who haven't seen it yet - you're in for a treat!

Finally, a note of praise for Rick for waiting to sign all the autographs and for talking to his fans after the show, especially with such a hectic schedule. I suspect he's one of the few who does this these days.

Thanks Rick and the NERE!