YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman is promising a night of beautiful piano arrangements at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Thursday, November 1.
The UK tour will feature classic tracks given Rick’s unique piano treatment plus songs from his new album Piano Odyssey.
Rick said: “In the footsteps of Piano Portraits, the new album Piano Odyssey features a collection of music old and new that includes some particular favourites of mine.”
When he released his Piano Portraits album in January 2017, Rick made chart history, becoming the first solo piano album to enter the UK’s top ten, eventually reaching number six.
Inspired by the unprecedented public reaction to his cover of Bowie’s Life On Mars on BBC Radio 2 a year earlier, the album features instrumental versions of hits that Rick was originally involved with, such as Space Oddity and Morning Has Broken, as well as others which he chose for their melodies, including Stairway To Heaven and Help.
The 2018 concerts will be based on a selection of tracks from both Piano Odyssey and Piano Portraits, showcasing music that has a special connection with Rick’s own personal musical journey, all accompanied by his memories and anecdotes about the tunes, plus a few musical surprises.
The whole notion of Rick’s stripped-back shows started by accident in Costa Rica when Rick turned up with the band, but the equipment didn’t.
“The promoter said ‘There are 4,000 people out there, and if you don’t play they are going to kill you.’
There was one side of him that was being amusing, but another side that actually meant it.
“I had already booked my return flight and didn’t want to lose money on that, They had already put a beautiful grand piano out there, and so they announced to the people that the equipment hadn’t arrived, but that I was happy to do a show on the piano, and that anyone who wanted to get their money back could have it back right up until the interval.”
In the event, there were just four refunds, and two of those were because the people were ill: “So that’s not bad out of 4,000!
“My band were standing watching and they said ‘You’ve just got to do more shows like this!’
In December, an additional special Christmas tour will follow, in which the set-list will be given a distinctly-seasonal twist.
Tickets for Rick Wakeman Piano Odyssey Tour at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing are available from their box office on 01903 206206 and online at worthingtheatres.co.uk.