The Enid have confirmed a run of theatre shows for early 2015 – and frontman Joe Payne has vowed the band will deliver a “seamless story” with a strong sense of context.
The performances will be based on upcoming classical album The Bridge, one of two releases planned for next year. Underpinned by founder Robert John Godfrey’s compositions, it’s also a return to roots for Payne.
He tells Prog: “When we first discussed an album of classical music, I insisted we perform it exclusively in seated venues. I grew up in the theatre and I wanted to return to that and put on a really extravagant show.
“We’ve made big developments since I joined in 2011, and I think the shows this year are the strongest the new generation of The Enid have ever had. But there’s always a next step – and we’re ready to take it.”
The set list will be written in stone, he confirms. “It must tell a story. The show must run seamlessly – if a song doesn’t fit the overall concept, it simply will not make the cut.
“There will certainly be pieces from across our back catalogue, but art must trump nostalgia. These shows will be our most ambitious since the Salome Ballet in the 1980s.”
The Enid recently confirmed First Light, a surprise album featuring tracks from both 2015 albums and additional material, set for release on October 6. The Bridge is planned for launch in January while Reset, the working title of the follow-up to 2012’s Invicta, is due later in the year.
Following a run of sold-out seated shows this year, the band play a show based on First Light at the Boston Music Rooms, Tufnell Park, London, on October 11. It’s followed by an appearance at Spirit Of 66, Verviers, Belgium on October 18.
Godfrey remains with The Enid although he’s stepped back from being band leader as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. He was given the Visionary Award at this year’s Progressive Music Awards, where he said in his acceptance speech: “The real burning fire of inventiveness and wanting to succeed is with the young. Let’s hand them the substantial musical skills acquired by the hard work, graft, determination and commitment we have given to our music.”
Jan 24: Tring Court Theatre
Jan 30: Tavistock Wharf
Jan 31: Southampton Hanger Farm Arts Centre
Feb 21: Gloucester Guildhall
Mar 06: Leeds Holy Trinity Church
Mar 07: Glasgow Websters Theatre
Mar 28: Maidstone Hazlitt Theatre