Bill Bruford surprises fans with live performance at John Wetton Tribute show

Bill Bruford
(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford surprised fans at last night's John Wetton An Extraordinary Life tribute show at Trading Boundaries by appearing live on stage.

Bruford, who has long been retired from performance and was not billed as playing the event, appeared with Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets bassist Guy Pratt and Squeeze guitarist and singer Chris Difford for a live run through Bryan Ferry's Let's Stick Together, as a host of Wetton's colleagues and friends paid tribute to the musician who sadly died in 2017, aged 67.

Steve Hackett performed a cover of All Along The Watchtower and Genesis' Afterglow while King Crimson alumni Mel Collins and David Cross both performed with kids of the Paul Green Rock Academy, and then joined Crimson singer and guitarist Jakko Jakszyk and Roger Waters guitarist Dave Kilminster for a run through Starless.

Jakko Jakszyk and Dave Kilminster

(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Rick Wakeman had opened the evening with a few of his trademark gags and performing on piano before Prog Editor Jerry Ewing, who was hosting for the evening, made his introductory speech, and later introduced Roger Dean, who talked of working on the Asia album covers with Wetton, and Wetton's son Dylan, who thanks everyone for appearing and attending.

Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and Martin Turner all sent video messages while Downes Braide Association singer Chris Braide sent a video of a performance of The Smile Has Left You Eyes.

Rick Wakeman

(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Former IQ and current Jadis keyboard player Martin Orford made a rare appearance with Lonely Robot's John Mitchell performing UK's In The Dead Of Night, while Orford performed Rendezvous 6.02 solo, and later appeared playing flute while Mitchell and Reniassance singer Annie Haslam duetted on the Wetton/Downes song In The End.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was for the appearance of Family singer Roger Chapman who performed a storming version of Burlesque accompanied by Jim Cregan and former Wishbone Ash guitarist Laurie Wisefield.

John Mitchell and Martin Orford

(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

The evening was rounded off with an excellent set of Icon and Asia songs from an exciting new-look Asia line-up of Geoff Downes, Yes drummer Jay Schellen and bassist Billy Sherwood, John Mitchell and vocalist and keyboard player Harry Whitley, who performed Only Time Will Tell, Sole Survivor, My Own Time (I'll Do What I Want) and an emotional An Extraordinary Life, before bringing the evening to a close with a rousing Heat Of The Moment.

The evening, organised by Wetton's wife Lisa and son Dylan, along with QEDG Management, was raising money for Macmillan Caring Locally at the Macmillan Unit, Christchurch Hospital in Dorset who looked after John when. he was ill, to raise much-needed funds for the creation of a special hospice suite dedicated to John.


(Image credit: Kevin Nixon)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.