Circa were founded in 1996 by several players with Yes connections (Alan White played drums with both acts). They’re helmed these days by guitarist Billy Sherwood, whose varied roles during the 1990s were always undervalued, and original keyboard player Tony Kaye.
There are also strong links to the now defunct Yoso, who along with Circa’s current drummer Scott Connor also featured those same two musicians.
Circa’s latest configuration, with Sherwood shifting from bass to guitar and Rick Tierney of Alice Cooper/Monkees fame taking over four-string duties, guides the listener through just eight tracks in 73 minutes, three of which exceed the 10-minute mark. With four studio sets to pick from, half of this live record’s eight tracks are sourced from Circa’s most recent offering, And So On, released in 2011.
Naturally, there are nods to Yes, particularly strong during the opener – the album’s title track – but the music also has emphatic melodic inclinations and the reverse end of the spectrum reveals a firm jazz-fusion feel.
Circa are predisposed towards epic material, which is all well and good, but after a while those choral-style vocals do begin to grate.