Greg Lake brings his informal shows to the UK: ‘A meeting, rather than a concert’

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Already a smash hit in America, Greg Lake’s “Songs of a Lifetime” tour is headed to the UK for a series of 11 November dates. The co-founding member of both King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer is also selling the audio version of his new autobiography, appropriately titled Lucky Man, at these shows.

There’s plenty to tell: With Crimson, Lake helped craft prog-rock’s most celebrated debut in 1969, then departed to co-found ELP — the genre’s initial supergroup — in the early 1970s. Along the way, Lake would become one of prog’s signature voices, rivaled perhaps only by Jon Anderson of Yes and Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, before beginning a concurrent solo career some 30 years ago. Emerson Lake and Palmer last reunited more than a year ago at the High Voltage Festival, but there are appear to be no immediate plans for future projects together.

On tour, Lake is performing key tracks from Crimson, ELP and his solo projects, interspersed with stories about his legendary career and other songs of interest: “Things that had a big influence upon me,” Lake told us, in a free-ranging SER Sitdown. “I hope it will be a mix of elements that people will enjoy. I suppose it all goes back to times and memories we’ve shared together. So, it’s a meeting, rather than a concert. Like a sort of town-hall meeting, or a social gathering, as much as anything else.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW: Here’s our review of King Crimson/ELP founder Greg Lake’s terrific 2013 album souvenir from this tour, also called ‘Songs of a Lifetime.’]

The “Songs of a Lifetime” concerts will be held Nov. 12-13 at Pocklington Arts Centre; Nov. 15 at Edinburgh Queens Hall; Nov. 17 at Glasgow Lomond Auditorium; Nov. 18 at Newcastle Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre; Nov. 19 at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre; Nov. 20 at Liverpool Philharmonic; Nov. 22 at Cambridge Corn Exchange; Nov. 23 at Guildford G Live; Nov. 24 at Southampton Guildhall; and Nov. 25 at London Shepherd’s Bush O2 Empire.

Audience participation is encouraged.

The Lucky Man autobiography is eventually going to become a trio of audio books, narrated by Lake himself. The print version is due by year’s end. Lake is also selling albums and DVDs at the shows. Special VIP packages, available at every stop through, include a pass for sound check, a post-show meeting and photo with Lake and signed merchandise.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: KING CRIMSON/ EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER COFOUNDER GREG LAKE: Greg Lake is going it alone on an upcoming U.S. tour – playing songs and sharing stories of his time with King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer and as a solo artist. Fans can expect a generous dose of acoustic favorites from across his lengthy career in rock – including “Lucky Man,” “Still … You Turn Me On” and “From the Beginning” – but Lake says the concert experience will expand out from there to include personal memories and key cover tunes, as well. “Things that had a big influence upon me,” Lake told us.

ONE TRACK MIND: CARL PALMER, “FANFARE: DRUM SOLO” (2004; 2011 reissue): This tune begins, in its familiar way, with a soaring keyboard signature we’ve all come to associate so fully with Keith Emerson’s opening of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as interpreted in 1977 by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. But then the Carl Palmer Band, led by the drummer from that concept-rock trio, goes into a new place … and it’s loud. No, not loud. Make that furiously, bashingly, skull-crackingly loud.

KEITH EMERSON – THE KEITH EMERSON BAND FEATURING MARC BONILLA (2008) For vintage prog-rock fans, Keith Emerson is an icon for his trailblazing virtuosic and often flamboyant keyboard work that broke ground in the rock world. He made it possible for other rock keyboardists like Rick Wakeman to become stars in their own right. Beyond his work with The Nice, and more vitally, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Emerson has had an on-again, off-again solo career that’s focused more on soundtrack work, detours into jazz and classical, and other diversions that has attempted to show other facets of his artistry. Here, Emerson seems to finally be fully embracing his prog-rock past outside his association with those two bands where he first made a name for himself.

ONE TRACK MIND: GREG LAKE ON “LUCKY MAN,” “COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING,” “TOUCH AND GO,” OTHERS: Prog-rock legend Greg Lake, co-founder of King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, describes what made Crimson’s initial lineup such an endlessly interesting amalgam, the special chemistry that Carl Palmer brings to Emerson Lake and Palmer, and how the legendary keyboard solo on ELP’s most memorable song almost got erased before anyone ever heard it. Lake also shares his memories his memorable initial encounter with ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore.

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