A Pallas gig these days is a rare beast and the chance to catch the band live is an opportunity not to be missed. With only three dates scheduled this time around we headed to Glasgow as the band are an amazing live act and tonight proved to be another cracker.
First up though we had local heroes, Comedy Of Errors, who provided a highly entertaining set. The band released their first new album in many years, ‘Fanfare and Fantasy’, earlier this year and the set was a good mix of the new tracks and old favourites. Vocalist Joe Cairney was in great form as were the rest of the band and they played their complex tracks with consummate ease.
As always, the highlight of Comedy Of Errors set was the playing of ‘The Student Prince – Parts 1 and 2’. The surprise of the set though was saved for ‘Part 1’ which closed the excellent set. Joe introduced a guest vocalist from a ‘wee band from Aberdeen’, which was the cue for ex Pallas vocalist Euan Lowson to take to the stage to a great cheer.
Euan shared vocals with Joe throughout the track to great effect and went down a storm with the capacity crowd. Comedy Of Errors are still a force to be reckoned with, they are unashamedly old school prog but they still manage to sound as fresh and as relevant in 2013 as they did back in the early 80’s when I first encountered them.
There were mixed emotions at the start of Pallas’s set. Graeme Murray led the crowd in a minute’s applause in recognition of the on-going rescue efforts by the emergency services and the people of Glasgow following the horrific helicopter crash the previous night just 5 minutes from the venue. A suitably noisy minute followed, this then led into ‘Crown Of Thorns’ which kicked off the set. This was followed by a double from ‘The Wedge’ album in the shape of ‘ A Million Miles Away (Imagination)’ and one of my personal favourites, ‘Rat Racing’.
The musicianship on stage was nothing short of breathtaking. From the jaw dropping bass lines from Murray to the soaring guitar work of Naill Mathewson the band never missed a beat. Newish frontman Paul Mackie has now made the position his own and is singing with a new found confidence, he has proved to be an inspired find.
The main reason for these dates, apart from escaping the studio, was to promote the band’s forthcoming album, ‘ wearewhoweare’, which is due for release in 2014. Two tracks were aired from the album, the quiet, lilting ‘ Your Life’ and ‘ Shadow Of The Sun’ which is a full on rocker, both bode well for the coming release. Other mid set highlights included ‘Falling Down’ and ‘Midas Touch’ the latter showcasing the outstanding keyboard work of Ronnie Brown.
It would have been amiss though to have Euan Lowson in the crowd and not invite him up for a couple of numbers and towards the end of the set he duly reappeared. The final section started off with ‘The Sentinel’ and then ran through several twists and turns before finishing on ‘Atlantis’ which has the most epic and powerful ending of any song I can think of.
The guys weren’t finished though and returned to the stage for a mass singalong version of ‘Arrive Alive’ and a rocking ‘ Cut and Run’ to round off yet another great show.
The band have vowed to return following the album release next year, I recommend you get your tickets early.
Review and photos by David Wilson
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