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Wetton-Downes Icon - Urban Psalm album review

Wetton and Downes in their live pomp

Low-key yet absorbing, this is a fine live representation of the magic that acted as a long-time bond between John Wetton and Geoff Downes.

It was filmed at St Mary-Le-Bow church in London during February, 2009, and offers a beautifully balanced set between Icon songs and selections from the Asia catalogue – there’s even a startlingly effective rendition of King Crimson’s Starless. With a highly creative band that includes Dave Kilminster on guitar, Hugh McDowell on cello and Anne-Marie Helder on vocals/flute, the music allows every note to breathe, each nuance to linger. Highlights are liberally spread, with To Catch A Thief, an affectionate duet between Wetton and Helder, being mesmerising. But then, so is an acoustic walk-through of Heat Of The Moment and a sparkling Rubicon. There’s also the high energy, pulsing fervour of Days Like These and Rock And Roll Dream to show this is more than merely a cloyingly reverential set. Wetton and Downes really revel in the whole spectrum of their music here and not only do you get the full performance on DVD (this has been available in a limited sense before), but there are also two CDs with the audio, giving the package real value.