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Live at The Brook - Southampton England
06 July 2001
Concert Review

Review and HTML © Russell W Elliot 2001
Formatted for 800 x 600 or larger windows
Last updated: 15 July 2001

The buzz grew exponentially with anticipation when the well-known exerpt from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" played as Fragile came to the stage. The Brook is an intimate venue perfectly suited for the enthusiastic crowd that had come from across southern England to hear an evening of Yes music. Whilst there can only be one Yes, Fragile certainly delivered an outstanding two-hour Yes performance.

An impressive band of individually talented artists in their own right, Fragile is comprised of Steve Carney (vocals), Jon Bastable (bass), Mitch Howard (drums and vocals), Gonzalo Carreras (keyboards) and Robert Illes (guitars and vocals). The band's sixth member, Tom Dawe, was away on holiday and did not perform. Members hail from the London area but gig throughout the UK and continental Europe.

Fragile effectively replicates the Yes sound but the artists each contribute elements of their own styles as well. Steve Carney's outstanding vocals and on-stage persona effectively deliver a Jon Anderson-style performance. Complete with a Rickenbaker bass, Jon Bastable joins a rare breed of players that can effectively build on Chris Squire's melodic sound. Robert Illes electric and acoustic guitar playing is fantastic--effectively illustrated by "Clap," a new track for Fragile this year that was certainly appreciated by the audience.

With only two keyboards, Carreras effectively replicated the symphonic sound of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson in one of the encore medleys that included bits from "Karn Evil 9," Supertramp's "Dreamer" and a solo including elements from "Six Wives". Mitch Howard's drum playing is a cross between the soft sound of Bill Bruford and the shattering Alan White. The band's own "Theme" an instrumental written in a Yes style was well received.

Fragile played a full set of classics taken from The Yes Album through 90125. Steve-Mitch-Robert vocal harmonies in "Wonderous Stories" were performed tremendously, a result of recent acoustic studio rehearsals done in preparation for adding it to their repertoire. We especially appreciated their performance of "Perpetual Change," also added to their 2001 set.

The band's dynamic performances of "Heart of the Sunrise," "Long Distance Runaround," "Soon," "Southside of the Sky," "Siberian Khatru" and "Starship Trooper" were outstanding. Their interpreation of "And You and I" obviously impressed the audience.

After thunderous applause from the audience, the band returned to the stage three times, concluding their show with "Roundabout." Already well known to CRS audiences, Fragile are very talented musicians and an excellent Yes tribute band worth seeking out in the 14 remaining dates of their "Going For 2001 Tour."

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