Wetton, John - 2004 Amata (Live Acoustic)

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited September 2020 in year-2004

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ARTIST: Wetton, John
ALBUM: Amata (Live In Poland)
LABEL: Metal Mind Records
SERIAL: MMP CD 0940
YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: John Wetton - lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar * John Mitchell - guitar, harmony vocals * Martin Orford - keyboards, harmony vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Circle Of St Giles * 02 Mondrago * 03 Heat Of The Moment * 04 Book Of Saturday * 05 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes * 06 Hold Me Now * 07 Emma * 08 Battle Lines * 09 Night Watch * 10 You're Not The Only One * 11 I Believe In You

Background

Despite a busy career, John Wetton has still managed to find time to cobble up the odd individual performance away from a proper band situation.

The 2004 live recording 'Amata' is one such affair, recording live in Poland with two prog stalwarts for accompaniment: IQ's Martin Orford and Arena's John Mitchell.

I am not normally a fan of live unplugged performances - well this is not strictly unplugged as such, more stripped back, with no drums and electric guitars. The gentle synth layers provided by Orford makes this a surprisingly lush recording.

And the songs which we all know so well from Wetton's time with King Crimson, Asia as well as his solo career are warmly recreated here. What were once complex arrangements are given a simplistic makeover, in this intimate and warm environment.

The Songs

Wetton and team commence with a couple of short instrumental pieces taken from King Crimson's back catalogue.

These are heartfelt acoustic arrangements with Orford's string ensemble rounding out the lush backdrop.. soon we drift into the Asia hit 'Heat Of The Moment', which someone elsewhere described as a rendition not unlike 'Walking In Memphis'. Not entirely correct but hey. They are not my ears!

Crimson's 'Book Of Saturdays' sounds lovely, though quite different to the original. Wetton delivers a few tunes from his solo albums 'Battle Lines' and 'Arkangel', the triumvirate of 'Hold Me Now', 'Emma' and 'Battle Lines', all soulful performances.

These are a few highlights from what is essentially an easy-to-listen album.

In Summary

It's not an overlong recording, just over 37 minutes. Don't worry, I don't think the Polish audience were short-changed by a concert performance timed at just over a half and hour.

'Amata' is a selection of choice cuts which showcase Wetton's sense of melody which is (excuse the pun) amplified even more so by the subtle and acoustic qualities that his songs have imbued within.

A neat little CD for those wanting to hear the familiar songs but without the electrics.


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