Wetton-Downes Icon - Urban Psalm album review

Wetton and Downes in their live pomp

Wetton-Downes Icon - Urban Psalm album artwork

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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.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.