Rychard Carrington reports on Yes - Cambridge Corn Exchange, 8 November 2011

Yes 2011
Cambridge Corn Exchange, The

It was good to see Yes, in their senior years, retaining the flourish that made their musicianly rock so popular in the 1970s. The line-up is now Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White from the vintage days, plus Geoff Downes (of the Drama line-up, also of Asia and Buggles) on keyboards. The lead singer is 45-year-old French Canadin Benoit David, formerly a singer in a Yes tribute band, who impressively does manage to sing much like Jon Anderson (removed from the band in 2008), and even has something of Anderson's diminutive stature.


On record, Yes can seem ponderous or fey. On stage, though, the live sound gave them the extra beef to produce satisying rock, in which delicate passages segue into cascading flourishes of liquid energy, grand, ethereal and uplifting. All instrumentalists contribute well, but Chris Squire's fluid bass lines mention special mention, and even more special mention should go to Steve Howe's many outstanding touches as an electric guitarist, as well as to his acoustic playing that balanced the rock energy nicely. 


The set (no support act, no interval) was two and a quarter hours of very even quality. Numbers from the new album stood up alongside the ones from The Yes Album and Fragile, not very different in style at all. At the end the five musicians joined together and bowed, conveying what looked like sincere appreciation for the support of the audience. Chris Squire thanked us for our loyalty. Indeed, it feels good to have stood by one of the most disdained bands in the history of rock and roll. They haven't let us down either.



Yours Is No Disgrace
Tempus Fugit
I've Seen All Good People
Life On A Film Set
And You And I
Steve Howe solo: Solitaire and The Clap

Fly From Here (full suite)

Wonderous Stories

Into The Storm

Heart Of The Sunrise
Starship Trooper

encore: Roundabout


Writer: Rychard Carrington