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POWER QUEST, The Vic, Derby 17 October 2009
surroundings of the back room of a pub in Derby hosts the rebirth of
(now all) British melodic power metal band Power Quest. A tumultuous year
has seen the departure of all previous members except founder Steve
Williams - the pressures of maintaining an international line-up in these
tough economic times just proved too much.
Rather than let the band fade away, Steve has recruited a completely
new line-up, and tonight is their first gig together - a warm-up for a
high profile guest slot with Tarja (of Nightwish fame) in Islington on
Monday night. The attendance is not great, but tonight is all about
transferring from the rehearsal room to stage. As some of the new members
have very little live experience, or even none... it is the ideal setting
Steve are long time friend and former PQ stage manager, Paul Finnie, on
bass. Ex-Cruel Humanity stick man, Rich Smith, brings the requisite
experience to the rhythm section, and he is joined by fellow Thunder Force
member Pete Morten on vocals - better known as one of Threshold's
guitarists. The 6-string duties are handled by Andrew Midgley from Liquid
Sky, and one of the country's most promising young guitarists, Ben
Randall, who is making his live debut.
with what is probably the best song from last year's 'Master of Illusion'
album - "Cemetary Gates", the set is a good balance of songs from all
4 PQ albums to date - they have clearly been working hard in the rehearsal
room. Their trademark songs "Wings Of Forever", "Far Away", and "Power
Quest" are greeted enthusiastically by those present, and it is good to
see the band continue to include these great songs in the set.
The small stage does not allow for much movement for a 6-piece band, but
Pete makes full use of what is available and also takes a few excursions
off stage. He is proving to be a very energetic front man, and handles the
vocals admirably. A few of the higher notes are missed, possibly caused by
monitor problems, but more likely because previous singer Alessio sang in
such a high register, that Pete just can't get there without doing himself
some permanent damage.
Photo by Noel
section are tight, despite some technical issues with Paul's bass. I'm
sure Rich must have lost a few pounds during the set, as it was clearly
very hot in the confined space. Andrew and Ben gel really well together,
exchanging solos throughout. Ben's confidence noticeably grows as the gig
progresses. As for Steve, well it is clear that he is just happy to be
playing with a band again. The interplay between members on stage is very
good considering this is a first outing, and does not look to be forced -
probably a result of the existing friendships between many of them.
All in all, this is a good start that bodes well for the future of the
band. With plans to head into the studio next year, we will have to
wait and see what the new line-up sounds like on CD. Hopefully there will
be more chances to catch a live performance along the way too.
Cemetary Gates / Find My Heaven / Human Machine /
Wings Of Forever / Power Quest / Edge Of Time / Magic Never Dies / Hold On
To Love / Civilised / Far Away
by Ian Pollard
Ian Pollard and Noel Buckley (where indicated from the London show, 19
Gig review (London 19 October)
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