The much anticipated wait by Prog Rock Fans from around the world for the only major live concerts by Rick Wakeman in 2013, is over. Wakeman arrived in Cheltenham in the English Cotswolds yesterday and is already hard at work in rehearsals for two completely differing styles of concerts, one very intimate, the other very grand in musical scale.
Last night Wakeman’s first stop was in Cheltenham to meet with and address the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra and the Cathedral Choir of Worcester who will be performing with him on Sunday and Monday night at the Cheltenham Racecourse Centaur venue in two epic performances titled The Ultimate Rick Wakeman Experience, when almost 100 musicians will take to the stage for these never to be repeated performances. Asked about what fans can expect from the Sunday and Monday concerts Rick commented: “I’d like to think that we will send people away having hopefully gone through as many emotions as you can possibly throw in, everything from seriousness to laugh out loud and having fun. I just want people to go away and think ‘Do you know? I really enjoyed that!’, perhaps having heard some things they weren’t expecting to hear, and hearing some things they maybe were expecting to hear and basically really glad they came. That’s what you aim to do.”
Before getting to Cheltenham Rick will be performing two very intimate concerts at the stunning medieval Abbey of Blackfriars in the City of Gloucester. The concert is called Wakeman with Wakeman with Wakeman with Wakeman, – the clue is in the tiltle that Rick will be performing with three of his six children in a unique musical and chat experience that Wakeman very much doubts will ever occur again. His two sons, Oliver (who recently finished performing with cult band YES), Adam (who plays with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and in complete contrast with Will Young) and his daughter Gemma “We’ve never had all four of us working together and it won’t happen again because Adam is away nine months of the year touring with Ozzy Osbourne and Oliver is away all of the time. There’s a lot of pieces that have never been played before, some of mine and some of theirs. It’s the closest thing to all of us getting together in one of our front rooms!”
Wakeman’s fans are travelling into Gloucestershire from Australia, Japan, America, Russia, Europe and from around the UK.
Blackfriars is sold out but it may be worth enquiring about ticket returns at the Box Office on 07786 177 501, or online at www.rickwakemangloucester.com, just in case last minute tickets become available. The Ultimate Rick Wakeman Experience at the Centaur Cheltenham has very limited availability for Sunday and some availability for Monday night via the Box Office.