2008 News

30th November

In the Present Tour Equipment list

I have been receiving lots of questions concerning the keyboards I am using on this tour and so here is a list to help people who are unable to see what they all are from the audience!

  • Korg M3 (88 note)
  • Moog Little Phatty
  • Korg T1 (88 note)
  • Korg CX-3
  • Roland XP30
  • Korg Triton Pro
  • Yamaha P-150 (88 note)
  • Korg R3
  • Receptor Pro 9 (Rackmount)
  • Ultimate stands
  • Pro tools and Allen & Heath mixers

27th November

In the Present tour update

Well we are now over half way through the In the Present tour of North America and it has been great fun. We started rehearsals in Hamilton and then the first show (also in Hamilton) went very well but was a bit nerve racking.

Over the first few shows we all had little moments where we were all still finding our way with each other and the music but each show has got progressively tighter and I must say that the camaraderie between the band members is very good. Often meeting for meals or shopping trips when we get a gap!

It would be difficult to pin point high points of the tour so far as each show has been very special but The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York was particular fun and you can see an interview Alan, Chris and I did before the show by clicking here. I also got to hang out with Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theatre which was great as I am a big fan of theirs. You can see a picture of Jordan and I on the photo album section of the website.

The Mohegan Sun Casino was also great fun and the venue was quite outstanding! Over 5000 people and Benoit and I walked around the casino after the show and got to meet a lot of fans.

A couple of nights ago we played in Cleveland which was special as I got to meet up with my sister Amanda which was great as I also got to meet my nephew Finn for the first time!

Last night in Detroit was exciting for a different set of reasons. We had just finished playing Onward which was our 4th song of the evening and we followed it with Astral Traveller and so I prepared to start the song by setting the organ accordingly and following Steves guitar introduction I went to play the opening organ riff only to be rewarded, not with the glorious sound of an overdriven organ, but nothing.....

Thinking quickly I changed the patch on my trusty Korg T1 to an organ sound thinking 'It's ok I can salvage this and still preform the song' so I then went to play the T1 only to be rewarded once again with silence. Frantic looks across to Will my keyboard tech showed that he was also struggling to get any response from the computer he was using to mix the keyboards. We had no alternative but to abort the song as I had no keyboards working at all.

Steve Howe graciously played an impromptu solo to entertain the audience while Will started to reboot everything. When we thought we had it all up and running we performed Astral Traveller but as we were playing I checked on a couple of other synths only to find that 3 of them still weren't working.

Luckily the organ was ok and so we managed to perform Astral Traveller but we had no choice but to take an early intermission to allow Will time to get the back up system up and running and allow us to carry on with the second set.

We started the second set with And You and I followed by Close to the Edge. Nothing like a couple of quick simple songs to test the keyboard rig with! Chris credited me at the end of Close to the Edge and also thanked the 'newly working keyboard rig'!

One thing I must say is that all the people I have had the pleasure to meet at the shows have been extremely nice and encouraging to both myself and Benoit. This has made the enormous task of learning all the material and joining the band so much easier. I am so aware that it is a huge part of peoples life and I am thankful for the support people have shown.

In particular, yesterday the audience were very understanding over the technical issues we had. I guess that's part of the excitement of live music!

I am currently traveling with Paul (the tour manager) and Benoit on our way to Cincinnati for a Thanksgiving meal with the rest of the band and the crew which will be great. This will be my first ever thanksgiving which I am looking forward to as it is not something us British know too much about.

We have now performed 17 shows and have 14 left for this leg of the tour and then its home for Christmas! I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming shows.

Oliver Wakeman
27th November 2008

25th November

Oliver has appeared on various TV and radio interviews during the tour. Here is a link to the interview that Oliver, Chris and Alan appeared on for the CW 11 Morning News show to promote the New York show.

23rd November

There have been so many photographs taken of the shows and some are now available for viewing at www.yesworld.com

20th November

Here is the first review of the tour from the main newspaper in Hamilton, Canada.

29th September

Mike Tiano, the webmaster from the Yesworld website has posted an extensive interview with Oliver for the website 'Notes from the Edge'.

27th September

The tour dates for the 'In The Present' tour are available now. Please visit the Concerts page to see the current confirmed shows.

Click here to read the entire OFFICIAL press release.

The band for these shows will be Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Oliver Wakeman and Benoit David.

31st August

Oliver and Paul has a great time performing at the Wath Beer festival last week. It was great to meet up with familiar faces and the set was very well received.

The set list was as follows

  • Glimmer of Light
  • Mother's Ruin
  • Busy Going No-where
  • Heavens Isle Medley (Piano Solo)
  • Picture of a Lady
  • If You're Leaving
  • Walk Away
  • Wondrous Stories

The last track of the evening was the famous Yes track which Oliver felt would be great fun to play following the cancellation fo the Yes tour earlier in the year and Paul did a great job with the Jon Anderson vocal!

24th June

The German magazine 'Empire' features 'The Agent (live)' on the front cover CD of the current issue.

The track is taken from the live CD which comes with the swing case edition of the 'Coming to Town' DVD. The Magazine is issue 85 and if you require further details about the magazine please visit www.empire-music.de

10th June

Oliver's statement on the current Yes situation....

"I can't pretend that the cancellation of the Yes tour hasn't been a huge disappointment for me, however Jon's health must take priority and I hope that he gets well soon. I totally understand the need for him to rest and recuperate. Having gone through similar health scares with my father I can imagine how his family is feeling and it is absolutely the right decision for Jon not to tour.

I was really looking forward to playing to all the Yes fans and would like to thank all the people who sent kind words of welcome when I joined, and commiserations when the tour was cancelled. I knew it was a big role to step into Dad's shoes but every ones words of encouragement made it all seem less daunting!

As to the future, I hope that I can be involved with the band but the guys have a lot to sort out and decisions to be made and so I guess it's a wait and see scenario! I was very proud to have been asked to do the tour and becoming part of the ongoing Yesstory!"

5th June

The updated official European release date for the new Oliver Wakeman Band DVD 'Coming to Town' is the 9th of June. The DVD will be available in the US on the 8th of July.

The DVD includes an interview with Oliver Wakeman, photo gallery, biography, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and more!

The DVD is also available in a limited swing case edition, including a bonus audio CD with songs recorded during the gig at the theater.

4th June

YES Cancels 40th Anniversary Tour

NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 4, 2008 - Legendary rock band Yes announced today that the group will unfortunately be canceling their 2008 40th Anniversary Tour. The 26-city tour was scheduled to kick off in Quebec next month and run through the summer.

Said Jon Anderson, 'In the wake of my recent respiratory attack, doctors have advised me to spend the coming months resting and recovering. Unfortunately, this means I won't be able to tour with Yes this summer as originally planned. I'd like everyone know how deeply disappointed I am by this turn of events. I was looking forward to celebrating our music with the amazing family of Yes fans once again; but as we all know, health must come before anything else. Wishing you all the very best...'

Said Chris Squire, 'We were all looking forward to performing for our fans after a prolonged leave of absence from touring. I am especially regretful of the fact that I know many of our fans and friends have probably laid out non-refundable airfares and hotels, etc. in order to enjoy the Yes shows this summer. Please join me in wishing Jon a speedy return to health, which at this point in time is our main concern.'

Yes frontman and founding member Jon Anderson was admitted to the hospital last month after suffering a severe asthma attack. He has now been diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and was told by doctors this weekend that he needs to rest and not work for a period of at least six months or suffer further health complications. Upon receiving this news the band has determined that their tour plans need to be put on hold.

Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase. - Source - Yesworld.com

23rd May

The track 'Mother's Ruin' from the new DVD 'Coming to Town' is available to watch on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frve4DOSUsI. More details on the release date to follow.

5th April

The Oliver Wakeman Band DVD to be released through Metal Mind Productions.

Metal Mind Productions presents the first live DVD release of Oliver Wakeman, the oldest son of Rick Wakeman (Yes), one of the best keyboard players in the history of progressive rock.

Oliver Wakeman is a great prog-rock musician known for his many artistic collaborations, including the one with Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena, Neo, Caamora), which resulted in the creation of two genuine masterpieces of the genre: 'Jabberwocky' and 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. Oliver Wakeman already has a cult status in the progressive rock community.

He was acclaimed both as a solo artist and as part of various musical projects by fans and by critics (in January 2008 Oliver was presented with the Classic Rock Societies Keyboard Player of the the Year award!).

His latest studio project - album entitled 'Mother's Ruin' from 2005 - marks a progression in Wakeman's musical career. The album sees a change in direction from Oliver's recent instrumental releases and draws heavily both from his progressive roots and also the experience performing live with his band. It's a collection of hard-edged yet melodic songs, showcasing Wakeman's writing skills. The album also allows room for the dynamic instrumentation which has become a trademark of his work.

In mid March Yes confirmed their world-wide tour with Oliver Wakeman taking the position of the keyboardist.

'Coming To Town - Live in Katowice' DVD is an extraordinary mixture of progressive and symphonic rock, spiced up with intriguing sounds, performed live with both charisma and perfection! This wonderful show was filmed at an atmospheric venue of Wyspianski Theater in Poland. The band performed in the following line-up: Oliver Wakeman (keyboards, piano), Paul Manzi (vocals), David Mark Pearce (guitar), Paul Brown (bass) and Dave Wagstaffe (drums). The DVD includes an interview with Oliver Wakeman, photo gallery, biography, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and more!

DVD is also available in a limited swing case edition, including a bonus audio CD with songs recorded during the gig at the theater.

'Coming To Town - Live in Katowice' DVD will be available on 5th May 2008 in Europe and 10th June 2008 in USA (via MVD)

4th April

New website goes live. Please see the 'What's New?' link in the footer to get a quick summary of the content changes.

31st March

Yes Tour Planned for 2008

It's official - Yes is back! Jon, Steve, Chris, and Alan are planning a world tour, with Oliver Wakeman on keyboards.

For more details read the press release.

The tour dates for the North American leg are now available!

13th January

Happy New Year to all our visitors!

The first bit of news we can report this year is that Oliver was presented with the Classic Rock Societies Keyboard Player of the the Year award at last nights CRS BOTY Awards night. Oliver was delighted with the award and it currently has pride of place on his piano next to the one he won last year!

Oliver would like to thank all those who voted for him and really enjoyed chatting and meeting so many new people last night.

Whilst at the awards night, Oliver also recorded to interviews for the radio stations ARFM and Rock 24 7 online. Hopefully we'll be able to let you know when these interviews are likely to be broadcast.

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