As advertised, my friend Dave and I went to see The Enid last night.
For those who don’t know, The Enid are a progressive rock* band who trace their history back to the early 1970s. The band was started by Robert John Godfrey, who was a collaborator with the band Barclay James Harvest back in the day.
The show was at the Union Chapel in Islington, which is about three quarters of an hour from where I live. I’d never heard of this venue until Dave told me we were going there, but it turns out to be a Congregational chapel built in the 19th century.
Dave learned from FB that it appeared that they were opening the balcony. Dave is phobic about heights and I’m not good at stairs, so Dave rang the venue and asked that we be allocated seats downstairs. This turned out beautifully, we were given seats in the third row, at the end of a row. Brilliant! I noticed they’d done the same for two people in wheelchairs and a few other people who were mobility challenged.** Score one for that venue.
The concert itself was fantastic. I’ve seen The Enid before, and they always surprise and never disappoint, but this show was the best I’ve ever seen them. For one thing they’ve acquired a new singer, a bloke called Joe Payne. He’s…amazing. It was a very different concert than the time Dave and I saw them in Birmingham with an orchestra and a choir a couple of years ago, and on the whole I preferred it.
Dave can identify which songs they did and from which albums. I can’t. I know when I’ve heard a song before, but not usually which album it came from. He can sometimes tell when they last played that song in concert, which is well impressive. And The Enid is not the only band he follows, it’s one of a very large number.
Back to Joe Payne. One song they did that I can name is, “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, from the album of the same name. I’ve heard the song before, many times obviously because it’s on the album and also because they’ve played it in concert, but last night’s presentation of it was absolutely marvellous. The versions I’ve heard before had Robert John singing, and he’s good, but Joe Payne is breathtaking. I’ve heard singers playing leading roles in musicals who were not as good as Joe; watch that guy, if raw talent is any indication, he’s going to be big.
Anyway, you can find a video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/gXOvyfLsQMI
of Something Wicked and Dark Hydraulic. Not as good as being there, but gives you an idea.
*Progressive rock is that area of rock where rock meets symphonic music.
** Enid fans are getting older. Many were obviously my age and I’m 52.