Damian Wilson and Friends, The Musician Leicester , 15 October 2019
Damian Wilson has had a very illustrious musical career. His distinctive vocals can be heard on over 70 albums, including releases by Landmarq, Threshold, Headspace, Star One, Ayreon, Rick Wakeman and the New English Rock Ensemble, Maiden United and Wilson and Wakeman to name just a few.
The Damian & Friends tour has seen various “friends” appearing at different shows around Europe. Tonight in Leicester, he was joined by his younger brothers Justin and Paul Jude doing backing vocals and Andrew Holdsworth on Piano.
As we were queuing to get in, Damian walked along the line of fans greeting each and every one on his way to his van to write a set list, although the actual show didn’t seem to stick to the script. Songs were interspersed (sometimes mid song) with mostly comical, anecdotes and interactions with members of band and audience.
At one point of the evening, the sword from his recent performance in the Ayreon shows in Tilburg made an appearance on stage. Somehow it became unsheathed, and was waved around in an alarming fashion, before being whisked away to a safer place by sound engineer Alan. This was one of several incidents where Alan saved the day. Earlier in the set a clicking sound was isolated to the piano, and Alan came to the rescue with a replacement something or other. During one song Damian decided to venture into the audience (most of whom were seated). He paused singing and said, “The thing that concerns me the most right now” or something like that, “is that my mic lead isn’t long enough”. Once again Alan scuttled forward, rummaged in his box of tricks and provided Damian with a much longer cable, enabling him to walk to the back of the room.
In between the stories and jokes there were songs. Old favourites like ‘Commune’, ‘She’s Like a Fable’, and of course ‘Homegrown’. Also singalongs to the likes of Iron Maiden cover ‘The Evil That Men Do’, and several songs from his new 5 track EP, ‘The Holdsworth Sessions’.
It was long, it was brilliant, humorous, emotional, jaw dropping, and yes, when it was all over, he stood by the exit to thank everyone with a hug.
Thanks to Danny Mayo for organising another great night at The Musician.