Prog-no­sis looks good as YES cel­e­brate 50th an­niver­sary

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

PROG rock in­no­va­tors YES are cel­e­brat­ing their 50th an­niver­sary, com­ing just 12 months after the band was in­ducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The band, formed by Jon An­der­son and the late Chris Squire in 1968, has been re­spon­si­ble for some of the de­fin­i­tive prog rock al­bums, such as Close To The Edge, Frag­ile and Re­layer, and for their up­com­ing tour they are plan­ning some­thing spe­cial.

The cur­rent line-up con­sists of gui­tarist Steve Howe (orig­i­nally joined in 1970), drum­mer Alan White (1972, and an ever-present since), key­board player Ge­off Downes (1980), Billy Sher­wood on bass (1994) and vo­cal­ist Jon David­son (2012).

Steve says: “We want to mark this an­niver­sary with a tour that en­com­passes some of our best loved work. And we want to play things we en­joy, maybe songs we haven’t done in a while.”

Their lat­est live al­bum was re­leased in Novem­ber, recorded on last year’s Amer­i­can tour. The set was made up of the al­bum Drama in its en­tirety (the first YES al­bum Ge­off played on) and most of the epic Tales From To­po­graphic Oceans, and it is this dou­ble al­bum that will fea­ture heav­ily on the tour.

As well as many of the band’s great­est songs, such as And You And I, Round­about, and Time And A Word, they plan to play sides one and four and ex­cerpts from side three from Tales...

Ge­off ex­plains: “The fact is that we haven’t done To­po­graphic Oceans in Europe be­fore, al­though we have done it in the States. It’s a ‘Holy Grail’ al­bum for YES fans and we have some stun­ning stag­ing based on the orig­i­nal de­signs.”

Back in the day, YES tours were quite rare, but they seem to be tour­ing con­stantly these days.

Ge­off says: “I think a lot of it is down to the fact that we’re do­ing al­bums in their en­tirety, which makes it more in­ter­est­ing for us and the fans. It means that we are do­ing tracks that haven’t been played live be­fore. All this helps to per­pet­u­ate the tour­ing, there’s al­ways an ap­petite for it and it’s a lot of fun.”

“Plus,” he adds, “we’re very lucky to have Jon David­son singing, he has such a great voice that we can play all the songs in the orig­i­nal key.”

Ge­off’s fu­ture plans in­clude work­ing with an old col­league.

“My­self and Trevor Horn are try­ing to carry on with The Bug­gles (who topped the charts in 1979 with Video Killed The Ra­dio Star). We’re kick­ing around a few ideas and we hope to re­lease some­thing.”

“It’s great work­ing with Trevor again and it’s nice that we’ve kept in touch.” And as for YES? “We’re hop­ing to do some new YES ma­te­rial. We’ve been a bit pre­oc­cu­pied with the 50th an­niver­sary, but there’ll be time for a new YES al­bum pretty soon. It’s im­por­tant that we present new music.”

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