‘The only time it will ever be done’: Yes legend Rick Wakeman on his unique new concerts

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Rick Wakeman will make a series of UK appearances in June, beginning on the 15th in Gloucestershire, where the Yes legend will perform an exciting all-new program featuring some of his best known work.

The setlist will include “large chunks of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, about 30-odd minutes worth of that,” Wakeman tells Base Studios in the attached video. “Then there’s about 30 minutes of King Arthur that we do. There’s a couple of the Six Wives pieces that we’re doing in different ways. We do (the early Yes classic) “Starship Trooper” with the orchestra, which is unusual. There’s quite a lot that we’ve thrown in that we’ve never actually done before.”

Wakeman will be appearing at the Cheltenham Centaur with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, the Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir and The English Rock Ensemble. Many of the orchestrations, he adds, have been completely rewritten for these performances.

“It’ll be the only time it will ever be done,” he says. “It will never be done again — because a) it’s too complicated, and secondly it’s very expensive to do. But it’s nice to know that the concerts will be something incredible special. They’re the only ones this year in the UK, the only big concerts. I can’t honestly see it every happening again.”

The June 15 shows are already sold out. Wakeman will also appear at the Cheltenham Centaur on June 16-17, and then at the at the Assembly Hall Main Hall — where he will perform solo 12 times between August 6 and 18, 2013 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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