Gig preview: Rick Wakeman at St George’s Hall, Bradford

Rick Wakeman. Picture: Lee Wilkinson
Rick Wakeman. Picture: Lee Wilkinson
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RACONTEUR and prog rock god Rick Wakeman is bringing his Yet Another Evening With Rick Wakeman show to St George’s Hall, Bradford on February 1 with a show that has been partly devised by his fans.

Rick, now 65, says this of his show. “It’s always put together from the thoughts and comments from the people who have come to the shows and written to the website with regards to what they hope to hear.”

He continues. “I always try to include pieces that I know people want to hear.”

But it isn’t just an evening of Rick playing songs from his illustrious career.

“No, I like to throw in some surprises and music from the people I have worked with like Yes, Cat Stevens and David Bowie.”

Rick started in the music business very early, while still studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

“I started playing sessions around 1966, mainly for the BBC, and if you do a good job then the word was spread via word of mouth. It was very important back then and still is today.”

It was Rick who came up with the piano parts on Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken, and the eerie-sounding mellotron on Bowie’s Space Oddity.

And David Bowie is held in high regard by the legendary keyboard maestro.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, David is the musician who has had the most influence on me,” says Rick.

“He’s a true musician and artist and totally in love with his art. He’s brilliant on stage and professional in the studio.

“He also cares about other musicians and it was an honour to work with him.”

Rick joined The Strawbs 
and then Yes, with whom he will be forever linked; and as well as recording some of rock’s classic albums like Close to the Edge and Tales From Topographic Oceans, he also forged a more than successful solo career with albums like The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Journey to the Centre of the Earth which, when he toured it again last year, was voted the Best Live Event in the Progressive Music Awards.

In more recent years, Rick has become one of the Grumpy Old Men and has featured regularly on Watchdog, but he still loves playing live, and his one man shows have always been a favourite with his fans.

As for the future, Rick’s diary is always full: “I am planning some collaboration work with some great and talented friends and lots of television.”

Tickets for the Bradford show are available from the Box Office on 01274 752000 and all the usual agencies.