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Review: Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy @ 1865 Club, Southampton on 29 January 2019

Review: Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy @ 1865 Club, Southampton on 29 January 2019

by John Perry

Carl Palmer, together with guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick delivered a master class in progressive rock virtuosity to a packed crowd at the 1865 Club in Southampton.

Although officially a seated concert, by the end of the two-hour show, everyone was on their feet, having witnessed a truly awesome performance that served as a reminder of the power and passion of the remarkable Emerson, Lake & Palmer back-catalogue.

The show kicked off with a storming version of Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn – which also kicks of Vol. 3 of Carl Palmer's excellent 'Working Live CD collection – well worth investing in if you don't have it already.

From there, it was a tour-de-force of classic ELP – Karn Evil 9, Tank, Knife-Edge, and, my personal favourite, the title track from ELP's 1972 album, 'Trilogy'.

Next up, Simon Fitzpatrick dazzled on the Chapman Stick, with a spellbinding version of From the Beginning; producing sounds that seemed impossible for one instrument to produce…

There were also classical highlights – most notably Paul Bielatowicz's remarkably subtle interpretation of Debussy's Clair de Lune, and the band’s full-throttle version of Tchaikovsky's Nutrocker, which closed the show.

There were also outstanding performances of fan favourites Lucky Man, Tarkus and Fanfare for the Common Man – the latter featuring the kind of spectacular, jaw-dropping drum solo that seemed to take even the drumming maestro himself by surprise – and an unexpected bonus of an impassioned cover of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man.

Added to this, Carl Palmer regularly took to the front of the stage, sharing anecdotes and stories from his days with ELP and letting the audience in on his plans for 50th Anniversary celebrations next year.

Judging from the length of both the applause and the queue of people lining up for the band's signatures after the gig, tickets for these shows will be much in demand – book early!

John Perry. Southampton. UK. 31st January, 2019.

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