Eddie Jobson And Marc Bonilla at Under The Bridge, London - live review

Duo pay tribute to John Wetton, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Allan Holdsworth

The crowd at a prog gig
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

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There’s a slightly bemused feel when Eddie Jobson takes to the stage before an appreciative, if hardly packed, crowd in the capital. On the one hand, people don’t really know what they’re going to get on stage tonight. On the other, some more proactive promotion for the gig might not have gone amiss.

Jobson appears first, seating himself behind his keyboards, and chatting with the audience in a matter-of-fact fashion. He admits there’s no real set precedent tonight, and he thought he’d start by chatting with the audience and telling stories of his recently fallen comrades, before playing some of their music.

Jobson’s mix of native north east via Los Angeles accent seems to settle everyone, a few eager punters diving straight in with ‘the trainspotter question’ about what’s left in the archives. His heartfelt reminiscences of John Wetton, and tributes to Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Allan Holdsworth, are touching.

The last time that this writer saw Jobson at this fine venue, he was with John Wetton as they performed a set largely made up of UK numbers. Tonight however, proceedings are, as pre-gig information suggested, very different.

ELP’s Trilogy, performed by a solo Jobson, kicks off the musical part of the evening. The sound emanating from just one man on stage is terrific, before Bonilla joins, taking the vocal lead on Crimson’s Starless And Bible Black. Three UK numbers follow: Rendezvous 6:02, In The Dead Of The Night and By The Light Of Day, before a short break, after which Jobson’s violin finally appears after his own Nostalgia for a strident solo.

Then it’s on with the show, for ELP’s Bitches Crystal and Crimson’s Fallen Angel, before Bonilla helms the Keith Emerson Band’s A Place To Hide. All of this is handled with honour and respect, before From The Beginning and UK’s Carrying No Cross lead to an encore of Lucky Man, a respectful blast of Jobson keys rounding things off.

You have to admire both musicians for even daring to put on such a show at short notice. And applaud them for the stylish manner in which they perform. A special night.

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.