Pendragon London 28th February 2020
I have only heard a few of Pendragon’s albums and never got around to seeing them live. When I found out that the London show at the six hundred capacity ‘229’ venue had not sold out and that they were playing all their fantastic new album, I bought a ticket a few days earlier and went down to London on Friday afternoon. The venue is named after the address of 229 Great Portland Street and I had no problem finding it after spending a couple of hours having a Beatles and Pink Floyd pilgrimage at Abbey Road.
After chatting to a few people at the merchandise desk including manager Rachel and cover artist Liz, I had a wander around while listening to Peter Jones AKA Tiger Moth Tales who plays piano and sings. Peter has a great voice and plays extremely well, and his relaxed style is suited for a support act to get the crowd ready for something faster and heavier.
As promised, Pendragon played the whole of the ‘Love Over Fear’ album. I will not list every song as that would take too long but some of the highlights include “Starfish And The Moon” which is a beautiful sombre song, the powerful “Truth And Lies”, “360 Degrees” (which was supposed to have a mandolin but this was left behind at the previous night’s gig and the band had to improvise on electric guitar treated with delay and acoustic guitar played by their guitar tech Mark Westwood) and “Eternal Light” which is my favourite song on the album and sounded even better live.
After the album, the band didn’t take a break but went straight into some of their earlier back catalogue. “The Walls Of Babylon” and “Breaking The Spell “from ‘The Window Of Life’ were both fantastic live but I especially loved seeing “Indigo” and “This Green And Pleasant Land” from the ‘Pure’ and ‘Passion’ albums respectively which are two of my favourites.
Pendragon have some great equipment. Nick plays a couple of Fender Stratocasters and Clive plays two Korg Kronos’ one on top of the other on a rotating stand (I will try to find out what kit Peter and Vinnie use). The band have a superb sound engineer (thank you Dammes), an awesome light show, and lots of visuals on screen. I especially loved the rotating album cover during “360 Degrees.”
After the gig, I hung around for a bit and managed to have a chat with Nick, Clive, Peter and Vinnie before getting the train back home. They are all nice guys, very approachable and I did not feel nervous while talking to them (they may be popular worldwide and talented, but they are not famous). Luckily the venue is right next to Great Portland Street tube station, so I was able to get a train quite quickly. I can see why the band enjoy playing there so much.
As I write this, the tour has had several dates cancelled or postponed due to the worldwide coronavirus. The Cruise To The Edge event both Pendragon and I were attending has also been postponed. This is a great shame for the band as the album deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. Please support them by buying merchandise from their official store.