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Plackband at Herringthorpe, Rotherham, 17th May 2003

This was Plackband's first journey onto our shores ever, and you could call it...And Then There Were Four! Four you may question, but take your hats off to this fine band that very nearly didn't make the journey. The lead singer had his passport stolen before they were due to make the trip, but with a phone call to their manager they decided to come over as a four piece.

After being on a afternoon of high spirits, (1-0 to the Arsenal! (no high spirits in this Spurs household, Danny – ed)) tonight's gig was a bonus, two great events in one day, not bad.  After reviewing the last CD After The Battle, I knew most of the material played. 

Now, these are a very talented band that had an 18-year holiday from their last touring days. The music twists and turns very similar to a middle-to-late Gentle Giant, and there are strong Genesis and Hackett influences too. The keys and guitar compete with each other and answer back, and there are many time changes that flow along very nicely with the bass and drums. The Yes style harmony lead vocals work very well too, but we will have to see the full band to get the full story.

Opening with The Battle, and After The Battle, a bit of a Sgt. Pepper medley, the crowd welcomed the band with warm applause.  After mentioning the lead singer’s miss-fortune, they provided a fine display of musicianship that shone through on Ghost Town, and Hunchback, Seventy Warriors and closing number Blue Flashes.  A fine display of how prog should sound.

Encore time arrived and a little medley was played starting with Dance On A Volcano, blending in with a jamming session.

Well, to say this was a great gig would be not far wrong, but without a lead singer, the four lads played and presented their material very well. The crowd thought so too, I'm sure all their CD's were sold by the end of the night.

Like I said earlier, we will see these again, and with a lead singer too, but all in all, the crowd got more than their monies worth.  A very strong, brave and professional performance, top marks!

Danny Mayo


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