Central Theatre - Chatham 04 March 2011 by Paul Muscat

As a fan of Rick Wakeman for many years I have always wanted to meet him. Strangely enough it was ever since I first brought a video many years a go. It was a horror flick from the 1980s entitled "The Burning",it came out around the time of all those "video nasties" anyway I put the film on and got blown away by the music score. Being 12 years old at the time I found it a fascinating piece and especially the main theme (one which I still play today).

At the time I never really heard much on Rick but always had this dream to meet this man who brought music to my ears! And a couple of years ago I saw Rick on the television it was his grumpy old picture show. My mum and dad where totally hooked I thought I would love to see him live in concert, So I was sitting there in the dentist waiting room of all places and noticed a booklet for the central hall chatham, I flicked through and low and behold Rick Wakeman live in chatham! that was it I booked tickets for me and my mum who just turn 70.

The day came I even went to Chatham early in case I saw him (you never know)I went home and thought about the concert till it was time to get ready. We parked up outside and noticed Rick's car I knew it was his I said to my mum thats his car!! She said how did you know? I kind of guessed from his number plate(without giving any info out). So we walked in the front entrance and stood in there it was cold. We chatted to the guy (name I cant remember) he was selling cds,and items he was so friendly and we chatted about Rick for a hour.He told us he will be meeting everyone after the show I was really excited.

On with the show the lights faded to black and his intro classical theme starts for a few minutes, Rick strolls on the stage looks around and the music begins. He got is famous audience participation with Bird man of Alcatraz he also mentioned how he had fond memories of the central (especially round the back!) everyone laughed! Not fun when your on your own! He replied this brought even more laughter. I remember before the interval he raised hie glass headed of stage and really banged his head and loud it was, as a professional he didn't let it bother him (think me and my mum were more concerned. After his two hour performance we were left spell bound it was incredible to actually see him live! I was lucky enough even to get my Burning Soundtrack signed and his biographies which I would highly recommend! I even asked a few questions but was really star struk My mum even had her picture taken she was thrilled to bits! Only problem now my mum only plays Rick Wakeman nothing else! But then so do I! If you can see the legend live then do it! you will not be disappointed! And if you are really lucky you will meet him too! Trust me its like talking to a old friend you haven't seen in a while! Top Man Rick Wakeman!