Spock’s Beard: The X-Tour Live

X marks the Spock.

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Just as Spock’s Beard had begun to lay the spectre of Neal Morse nine years on, founder-drummer-turned-singer Nick D’Virgilio bowed out late last year. His swansong is a rueful reminder that he was asserting his own vocal identity and becoming a surprisingly accomplished guitarist as the band power their way through X – their best album in a decade – before taking a refreshing dip into the 90s.

But D’Virgilio is not alone. Keyboard player Ryo Okumoto notably raises his profile and guitarist Alan Morse is sounding more effective.

And with Ted Leonard from Enchant (who sang at High Voltage) confirmed as D’Virgilio’s replacement there’s reason to believe this will be a comma rather than a full stop in the band’s story.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.