Yes: In The Present: Live From Lyon

December 2009 French show.

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Before Trevor Horn decided he wanted Buggles-buddy Geoff Downes back on board for the Fly From Here album, Oliver ‘son of Rick’ Wakeman was performing perfectly well on some of the trickiest keyboard parts in Prog history, as this live album demonstrates.

Not that many Yes fans were scrutinising him: they were busy judging singer Benoit David, handed the thankless task of making people temporarily forget that he isn’t Jon Anderson. They’re now warming to him, and he’s close to faultless here as the revolving-door personnel toss out thrilling, circuitous masterworks like Siberian Khatru, Heart Of The Sunrise and Starship Trooper.

Steve Howe’s guitar continues to reach unlikely, giddy places, and if South Side Of The Sky doesn’t drive as hard as the matchless studio version, there’s a freshness and verve to this that demolishes doubts.

Comes with a 55-minute DVD, and, as importantly of course, a new Roger Dean cover.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.