Rick Wakeman to perform his classic solo albums at two London shows in 2023

Rick Wakeman and the English Rock Ensemble outside a barn
Rick Wakeman and the English Rock Ensemble take a break from rehearsing for their upcoming shows (Image credit: Lee Wilkinson)

Rick Wakeman is to revisit his classic solo albums and a some of his best-loved material with Yes in two full-band concerts with choir at the London Palladium on February 22 and 23, 2023. 

The first show will see him perform The Six Wives Of Henry VIII during the first act, and during the second, he'll turn his attention towards The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table. The second show, on February 23, will see him dedicate the first act to classic Yes material and the second to his 1974 album, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth.

He'll be accompanied on both performances by the English Rock Ensemble – Dave Colquhoun (guitars and backing vocals), Adam Falkner (drums), Lee Pomeroy (bass and backing vocals), Hayley Sanderson (vocals), Adam Wakeman (keyboard, guitars and backing vocals), plus percussionist Ed Scull – as well as the English Chamber Choir and a special guest narrator, who'll be announced closer to the time.

“This is one hell of a line-up to have with me, performing some of my music that has somehow managed to survive the last 50 years or so,” says Wakeman. “I never tire of playing these pieces as the music is so adaptable and indeed, there will be surprises at these shows – I might even surprise myself!”

Tickets go on sale from 10am (BST) on Friday, September 23.

Meanwhile, Wakeman recently confirmed he's finished work on his latest solo album. The follow-up to 2020's The Red Planet is due to be officially released in spring 2023 with pre-release copies available during his 2022 Grumpy Christmas Stocking Tour. He's told he's Twitter followers: "I'm so happy the way it's turned out."

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.