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."