Oliver Wakeman
News Archive

2009 - 2011

2011 News

6th December

King Friday EP released

Some of you may remember a news post about Oliver's involvement with a new band called King Friday earlier in the year.

Oliver was unable to commit to the full album but has played on a number of tracks for the forthcoming album. In the meantime, a 5 track EP has been released via iTunes which has 2 of the tracks featuring Oliver.

Please click here to go to the store to see more details. We hope you like them!

 

To find out more about King Friday, please visit the band website.

2nd December

Oliver's Questions Blog - November...

Dear all, as promised - here are the answers to the questions posted in November.

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Joe Internaut. Why wasn't "In The Movies" on the Coming to Town DVD/CD? It's the only Mother's Ruin song not on it and one of our favorites from the original album.

I'm really glad that you like 'In the Movies', it is also one of my favourites.

'In the Movies' was a track which we played live in the OWB set on many occasions, I have a rough bootleg recording of it somewhere!

However, as the show in Poland had to be no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes it became really difficult to decide which tracks to do.

I know I had to include a few Jabberwocky and Hound tracks as the albums sold well in Europe but I wanted to play as much of Mother's Ruin as I could so as to have a recorded version with Paul singing.

Because of the arrangements on 'In the Movies' I decided to leave it out as I always wanted to do it live with a string section at some point. Also I didn't want to play the whole of Mother's Ruin on the DVD.

I also had the difficult choice of choosing an instrumental to play - either 'The Enchanter' (from 3 Ages) or 'Three Broken Threads' (from Hound). I went with the track from Hound in the end but hopefully these other tracks will appear one day on a DVD!

Oliver

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Joe Internaut. Oliver, How do you approach composing music as opposed to writing a song? What are the differences and what are some similarities? Is there any difference at all?

It really depends on how I'm starting out and which way the melodies are pulling me. For example - commissioned work is very defined about what is required and so melody and sounds are at the forefront when I start writing.

However, sometimes I just sit with a guitar or at a piano and start singing and it seems obvious that it is going to be a song.

On a very few occasions, an instrumental I've written has become a song.

'At Home in the Mire' (from Hound) is a perfect example. It was meant to be an instrumental track but during the Hound writing sessions I also wrote 'Three Broken Threads' and it didn't seem right to have two fast paced instrumental tracks that close to each other and so I sat down in the studio and started to sketch out some words for it. Once I had the line 'Come Inside...come and see my home....this is truly where I belong..." the imagery took over and it was relatively easy to change it from an instrumental to a song.

But, more often than not, I will write a song and find that I've written an instrumental idea which seem to fit together and then the whole larger song/instrumental style feels appropriate - 'Wall of Water' for example.

Not sure if this makes perfect sense but it does in my head!

Oliver

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Re: Live In Lyon CD. On the Yesfans forum there were lots of questions about the live mix for the new Yes Live from Lyon album which Oliver played on and whether parts were overdubbed..for example.

"...very true about not being able to know unless you were there, Andersonic. The only thing that makes me think there aren't overdubs is the fact that so many of the trademark Benoit strains and wobbles seem intact. You'd think they'd correct every missed pitch if they were cleaning it up in the studio.:"

I sent the following reply to the forum...

"From what I can recall there were no overdubs on the live album.

I worked with Karl Groom on the mix for about 3 weeks in 2010. With any live recording there are going to be sections which don't sound perfect and occasionally things do go wrong. Someone might hit a wrong note or a cable might come loose. A snare skin or guitar string can break for example.

I do remember when Karl and I were working on the album, I spent ages going through all the areas which I felt could need attention.

After checking the parts together, Karl and I decided to leave a lot of things in which weren't technically perfect but showed the band accurately and retained the feel of the show, otherwise what's the point, you may as well listen to the studio album!

If there were any sections that really weren't acceptable and had to be repaired, rather than get people to replay parts, we went through other live show recordings from the tour and utilised a part from that show in order to ensure the live feel was kept throughout.

There was talk of the whole show possibly being made into a DVD at the time from the two shows that were recorded (Rouen & Lyon).

I seem to remember the Rouen show was not as good a show as Lyon and therefore it would have made syncing the music from one show to footage from two shows a bit of a logistical nightmare! But as this was a possibility - we had to keep the music mix as close to the actual show as possible."

Oliver

7th November

Oliver's Questions Blog - October...

Many of you may have seen on the Facebook site that I asked if anyone had any questions they would like to ask me. I am still receiving quite a few so it is proving to be a popular idea and so here are my responses to the questions asked during October.

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Kevin G. Kern - Well, I loved the music and spirit of your Dad's "Family Album"....musical portraits of your family of course . It seems since that was awhile ago, there would be enough new "material" for a collaboration between you! O.k. a question..just wondering how much formal musical education you may have had, and informal as to observing and listening....thanks!

Daniel Hanson - I'm also interested in the answer to Kevin's question (as one who used to spend about 4 hours a day in the practice rooms at a music school).

Thanks for the questions Kevin (& Daniel). I really liked the family album and it was created by Dad at a time of relative stability for the Wakemans (which is quite unusual!). A collaboration on a new one would be fun but as Dad now has lots of children and grandchildren along with lots of pets it might have to be a treble CD release...

As to the formal training question, I had initial classical training as a young child from about the age of 5/6 then stopped in my early teens (when I started to study guitar). I then started playing keyboards in lots of different bands from the age of about 16 and developed my love of playing on stage.

Whilst at college (studying Graphic Design) I used to spend my lunchtime and free periods practicing in a small piano room. I just used to play to myself coming up with ideas and melodies.

Following college (and whilst performing on the Devon music circuit) I felt I needed to go back and relearn my technique from a classical teacher. I studied classical piano and theory from a great teacher called Rev Cockram. I was working in a bank at the time and used my spare money from my paycheque to have lessons with him. He was a lovely man and I really enjoyed my lessons with him which continued until my mid/late 20's.

I always maintained that I learnt my technical skills from my lessons with him but my experiences from working with various bands from an early age (generally with musicians who were all much older than me) taught me just as much about music as my classical lessons did. Both I felt were equally important to me.

Oliver.

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Steve Kessler - Any plans to work with your Dad on the upcoming "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" show much like Adam did with the "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" shows at Hamption Palace? Or perhaps both you and Adam playing with your Dad?? Best wishes nonetheless !!

At the moment there are no plans for that to happen. I haven't ever been involved in any of Dad's solo shows. The only times we've played together was at a couple of the Xmas shows that Dad does occasionally and once at the launch of my 'Mother's Ruin' album.

I did go and enjoy watching the 6 Wives show though, it was a lot of fun! I'll hopefully get an invite to see Journey too!

 

Oliver.

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Scott Arnold - If you ever have time, I'm sure your fans would love to see a picture of your current rig onstage. (Sort of like what Rick has posted.) While I know it varies depending on what you are doing, I'd really be interested in knowing what you were playing with Yes.

I've seen the boards in your pics of Yes, but can't make them all out. The M3 and Moog LP of course, and I thought I saw an old Yamaha EX7 (one of my favorites despite its laborious editing) in a video of you onstage, but I've never seen it anywhere else. (Downes' all Roland set up really inhibited the sound on stage--but then, he never has had your finesse anyway.)

I will try and source a picture showing my rig but for the record the keys I used in my Yes rig was as follows...

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, Ultimate stands and an Allen & Heath mixing desk.

Occasionally when the Little Phatty was playing up badly (which it did from time to time because of a dodgy motherboard which I had to have fixed) I would put a Korg 01W as a 'place holder'! There wasn't a Yamaha EX7 up there although there was a big Yamaha P-150 piano which I loved (still do!).

For the eagle eyed amongst you who may have seen more than one show might have seen a second Moog Little Phatty. I did have two for a while, a Stage I and a Stage II. Unfortunately on the South American tour it got stolen which made the last few shows rather difficult as I had to programme and find various replacement sounds.

The keyboard which was replacing the moog was sometimes a keyboard which was needed used for something else and so that keyboard part would then have to be moved to a different keyboard and so on...All in all it made the last few shows rather fraught and complicated but it was satisfying when no-one noticed the problems!

 

Oliver.

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Elena Aliboni - Do you have any "routine" rehearsals pieces to play before a concert, as "warming up", apart from the soundcheck things? Do you have a "practice keyboard" in your dressing room?:) Or do you prefer not to play anything at all? Thank you always for all your replies, Oliver! x

I don't tend to have a set routine for performing before a show. I tend to soundcheck if it is possible (sometimes traveling between venues makes this impossible). When I do get to soundcheck I tend to just experiment and have fun. Often lots of musical ideas come to me at this time, the solo I did on Benoit's Mystery album came from ideas at a soundcheck for example. I also find that during a soundcheck it gives me a great excuse to really experiment with the keyboards and find out more about them, I learnt a great deal about my Moog this way.

If I was to choose a piece that I play more often to practice it would probably be Pachelbel's Canon in 'D' as it's a great way to warm up the fingers - although Benoit would always shout at me 'You're playing it too fast...!" from the side of the stage. Therefore, each time he was near I would play it a bit faster to wind him up...

As to playing before a show or having a practice keyboard in a dressing room - it depends on where we are playing. If there is one there I can't help but have a little play. I remember on the 2009 tour there was one venue in Germany where there was a lovely Grand Piano which I played a great deal during the day!

I always have a small USB keyboard on tour so I can always have access to check something when my rig is not nearby or on route. For example if something hasn't gone quite right at a show or there is some confusion about a part it gives me a chance to double check stuff - I also have a little piano app on my iphone for those moments when a keyboard isn't to hand! Oliver.

24th October

We are delighted to announce that the 2009 Yes 'In the Present' tour, of which Oliver was the keyboard player, is due for release in late November/early December by Frontiers Records as a live CD/DVD package and triple vinyl album.

As many of you are aware, Oliver was part of Yes's touring line up from mid/late 2008 up until his departure in mid 2011. During this time Oliver performed over 150 shows as a member of the band.

During the Autumn (Fall) tour of Europe in 2009, various shows were recorded. During this period a documentary was also filmed with all the members of the band. The two French shows were also filmed.

At the end of the tour Oliver came back to the UK with all the hard drive pro-tool recordings of the shows, which he guarded over the festive period!

Oliver had recommended his friend Karl Groom to the band as a great person to work on a live mix for a future release. Oliver and Karl had worked together on many occasions as Karl was responsible for the mixes of 'Jabberwocky', 'The 3 Ages of Magick', 'Hound of the Baskervilles', 'Mother's Ruin' and Oliver's last release 'Coming to Town' (live).

Oliver spent the beginning part of the new year going through the files, working out which of the recorded shows had the better performances. He then went to begin work with Karl on the mixes.

Oliver and Karl worked on the album over a 3 to 4 week period in the beginning of 2010 and the final mixes were given to the other band members for checking prior to the recording sessions later that year.

Unfortunately Oliver has not been involved in the latter part of the albums release but is extremely pleased that his performances as a member of the band are going to to be released on an album. He hopes you enjoy the album and his contribution to Yes's long and varied history.

You can read more about Oliver's tour with Yes in Europe by going to the Stories tab above.

18th October

Oliver's Questions Blog - October...

Many of you may have seen on the Facebook site that I asked if anyone had any questions they would like to ask me. I am still receiving quite a few so it is proving to be a popular idea and so here are my responses to the most recent questions!

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Elena Aliboni - A very good review from magazine "Paperlate" No. 46, 2001. Sorry for the quality, my scanner can't work, I had to take a photo.

That's really kind but unfortunately my command of foreign languages is very limited and so if anyone can be forthcoming with a translation (providing the review is complimentary!) that would be great. Thanks in advance. Oliver.

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Billy Wilson - Who are your musical inspirations? Who do you like listening to?

I have quite a broad musical taste ranging from Progressive through rock, metal, grunge, swing, relaxation, piano, classical, folk etc...

I think the music I listen to generally fits with the mood that I'm in, I can really enjoy listening to classical music (Chopin in particular) but then enjoy a track by Papa Roach, followed by Dan Reed Network for example. On another day it could be Sting followed by Alannah Myles and then Dido. I really enjoy music if it's well played and written from the heart.

As a teenager I did have certain favourites who have remained with me through my adult years and for the record those include:- Deep Purple, Dan Reed Network, It Bites, Cat Stevens, Suzanne Vega, Pink Floyd, Rush (Hold your Fire was my first ever CD!), Styx, Marillion & Harry Connick Jr.

There are probably many others but I think it's important to experience a great deal of music to understand how different musicians convey their emotions through song.

I must be honest though I am not a fan of dance music though, maybe because I just can't dance....

 

Oliver.

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Joel Pirard - That is really very interesting Oliver, with respect to your wanting to succeed on your own terms. I was also impressed by how you were able to play those MEXICO dates AFTER knowing you were 'out' so to speak. Truly professional! BTW, the guy who did vocal monitors for you guys on those YES tours is my close friend Dean Mattson! I have known him for almost 30 years!

Mexico was a tough experience to be honest and a little strange psychologically but I always enjoy playing to audiences and to other people in different countries and I genuinely enjoyed the shows there.

In some ways I was able to 'let go' a bit knowing the end was near so to speak! Benoit and I had great fun on 'Starship Trooper' for example with him up ion the keyboard rig with me!

It was a bit of a shame that at the last concert the intro music started prematurely and we weren't all ready to go on. In retrospect maybe I should have gone up and done a solo spot! Oliver.

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Kase Yoshiko - Thank you for your replies, Oliver! The blog format is very nice; could see your personality! btw I look forward to hearing Yes live Lyon album with your performance!!! Good luck with your own band!!

I have recently heard about the release of the Live From Lyon Yes album which I was extensively involved with. It is great to think that I will be a part of Yes' recorded history as opposed to just the touring element. I'm looking forward to its release. As soon as we have more info I'll post it on the websites. Oliver.

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Magdalena czka - You've said that you are going to tour Europe - are you coming to Poland? Because it's been 4 years since you've been to Katowice (with the whole band). We're waiting for you and your band to come ;)

For those who aren't so aware of my recording history, I performed in Poland with my band in 2007 and we recorded the show for a DVD and CD release which was called 'Coming to Town'. It featured music from 3 of my solo records and came out in late 2008.

I enjoyed playing in Poland with my band immensely, we all had great fun - in fact you can read a story about the trip to Poland on my website under the 'Stories' tab.

I would love to go back, in fact I was lucky enough to perform in Katowice with Yes during the 2009 European tour. It was really nice being able to walk around the city again as the live DVD was such a great experience.

The Polish fans are great and really appreciate the music which is so rewarding as a performer. Hopefully in 2012 I'll be back to perform again. Oliver.

17th September

Oliver's Questions Blog - September...

Many of you may have seen on the Facebook site that I asked if anyone had any questions they would like to ask me. I had quite a few and so have decided to answer them all in a blog format for the website so non-Facebook visitors can see what people have been asking!

Joe Internaut - Speaking of new albums, how is Cultural Vandals coming along?

Cultural Vandals is coming along really well. We are currently discussing the options for releasing it which will hopefully be towards the end of the year or early 2012. I have been working on another project for the last few months and I hadn't listened to it for a while.

I mentioned in my last blog that I always like to let albums sit for a while and then revisit them to make sure that I am happy with them.

I sat and listened to it in full yesterday to see what other work was required and it felt really good to me. I can't wait to start recording - my son keeps singing it in the car when he goes to school so I need to get a finished version soon so he can sing along to that version rather than the demo versions he's heard!

Oliver

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Charles Stack

Oliver, what are your touring plans, if any? I'm in Chicago, which is very Wakeman-friendly turf! Hope to see you here, Charles

It's really nice to hear of places being described as Wakeman friendly, especially as I have now played in Chigaco on quite a few occasions!

I would love to tour the US with my own band. The current plans are to get the Cultural Vandals album out and then tour Europe and if there is sufficient interest for a US release of the album we'll come over and tour.

Fingers crossed this all happens as I'd love to perform in the US with my own material.

Oliver

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Merry Celeste

Hi Oliver! I am sorry to say I have not yet seen you perform. I am an "oldschool" Yes fan, since 1972. Have you ever worked musically with the other "Yes kids" like Damien or Deborah, who I know have done some singing or Dylan who, I believe, plays drums? I am not sure if any of Bill's or Chris's young are musicians.

Just curious -- I always hoped to hear Yes: the Next Generation!

 

I have not played with any of them. I do know Dylan who is a great drummer. There are no plans for a sons\daughters of Yes type band. You never know though, although it would be a big strange having been in the main band already!

Oliver

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Kase Yoshiko

Oliver, is there any possibility to hear you play LIVE in Japan? Solo, OWB, or whatever, we'd like to welcome you!!!

As I mentioned above with touring the US, the same would apply to performing in Japan. I have never been but hopefully at some point I will get to perform in your country.

Oliver

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Randall Wall

What is your favorite Keyboard of all time?

This is a very tricky question to answer as certain keyboards become favourites for certain albums but I would have to say currently I really have a soft spot for my Moog Little Phatty.

It has gone through some really rough times over the last few years.

It's been dragged across a lot of the world on trucks, boats, vans and aeroplanes. Its been sat in boiling hot heat at desert shows with YES. Been subjected to very cold temperatures in Canada in the depths of Winter when on tour with the Strawbs.

It was soaked in a stage collapse in 2010 during the Yes/Frampton tour and had to be dried out over a month long period with hairdryers.

It has had circuit boards changed, had keyboard techs put stickers all over it and been subjected to me playing it quite quickly!

It hasn't always been perfect but for that reason I love it. It is getting quite a workout on the new albums too!

Oliver

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Elena Aliboni

What are you reading at the moment? What books would you recommend? Should you come to Venice, can I buy you a coffee?:)

I am currently reading a Ben Bova book called 'The Return'. I have read a lot of his books, he is like a modern day Arthur C Clarke and I think I have most of his books and I always enjoy them.

I am also a great fan of Dean Koontz and Raymond Fiest who I have been reading since my teenage years and again I have nearly all their books which get read again and again.

Never been to Venice, I understand it is beautiful. Maybe at some point I'll get to do a show there!

Oliver

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Audun Engebretsen

Are you sad about the whole Yes thing, being asked to leave?

Yes, it was a very upsetting experience for me and my family.

Chris has gone on the record on many occasions saying that I had done nothing wrong and that it was a business decision due to Trevor Horn but not touring with them during the summer was a bit difficult.

However, I am a big believer in positive thought and that things happen for a reason. We all have a life journey to make and things have to happen in order to put us on the right path. I hope and believe that the Yes situation happened to allow something else to happen in my life.

I have been working extremely hard since I stopped working with YES and I have been writing, I believe, some of the best music I have ever written in this period which has been immensely gratifying.

I can't wait for people to hear it!

Oliver

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Joel Pirard

 

I was quite annoyed, although I like the album, to have seen you get cut from the band ( YES ) as I thought you brought that traditional yet unique sound to them.

It was good to see CHRIS at least say publicly that it was not as if you had done anything 'wrong'. At least it tells others that you are a good team player and as we already know, an excellent musician.

I hope to get your concert DVD soon. Have you ever done an album with your father. like your brother has?

I must say that a lot of the comments I received (and still receive) from people disagreeing with the decision and the way it happened was a great help. It certainly helped lift my spirits during some rather dark times for which I am very grateful.I must say that a lot of the comments I received (and still receive) from people disagreeing with the decision and the way it happened was a great help. It certainly helped lift my spirits during some rather dark times for which I am very grateful.

With regards to the DVD, I hope you enjoy it, it was great fun to do and I can't wait to start rehearsing the band again. They're such a great bunch of musicians, friendly and great fun to be around. I think this comes across in the DVD too.

I have never done an album with Dad is the same way that Adam has. (Although he did do the narration on my second album Jabberwocky) This may seem strange following on from my recent work with Strawbs and Yes, but I had always deliberately tried to avoid working with Dad as I wanted to get known for my own ability.

Both Yes and Strawbs had shown interest in me many years before I joined and as flattered as I was I was quite pleased that it didn't come to anything at the time as I didn't feel I had achieved enough on my own to warrant those jobs.

By the time I was asked to do both Yes and Strawbs I had released 9 albums, a live DVD and won a keyboard player of the year award on three occasions and so I felt I had earned the right to be given the opportunity on merit rather than just because of my name.

I also knew that not a lot of people would ever know that but it was important to me to know that I had worked to get the chance of those positions.

I have performed with Dad on a few occasions though, the first time was at the launch show for my Mother's Ruin album when he joined me on stage for a track I'd written called 'The Wakeman Boogie'.

I have also performed with him at a couple of the Christmas shows he's done where the family musicians (Adam, Jemma and myself) all have keyboards on stage and each play a solo piece and then a lot of Christmas Carols all together!

Oliver

6th June

Oliver guest appearance

Olivers appears as a guest soloist on the forthcoming album 'Strange Ang3ls' by his OWB guitarist David Mark Pearce. The album also features, amongst others, Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) and John Payne (Asia) on vocals as well as Dave handling all the guitar duties!

This is Dave's debut album and is due for release in late June '11 and will be available from all major re-sellers.

For more information on the album please visit Dave's website

5th June

Oliver Wakeman Band due on radio later this week

A track from the live album 'Coming to Town' is due to be aired on the PAPERLATE 692 radio show on the following stations over this coming week.

Zuid-West FM (formerly BRTO-Radio) www.zuidwestfm.nl Sunday June 5, 2011 20.00 / 22..00 pm (live broadcast)

Omroep Tholen www.omroeptholen.nl repeat on Tuesday, June 7 , 2011 21.00 / 23.00 pm

SLOS FM www.slos.nl repeat on Friday, June 10, 2011 22.00 / 24.00 pm

23rd May

Cultural Vandals Update

It has been a little while since I last wrote about the new album and so it now feels like the right time to start letting you know how the 'Cultural Vandals' album is shaping up!

The idea for this album came about during the last rehearsals I had with my band in late 2007 when we were preparing to head out to Poland to record our DVD 'Coming to Town'. I had started writing some songs after the release of the 'Mother's Ruin' CD in 2006 and I had recently finished writing a song called Cultural Vandals which seemed like a really strong title for an album.

I asked the band to have a listen and learn it in order for us to have a play through it in a rushed quick rehearsal. It sounded pretty good, which was really encouraging and made me decide to put together a whole rock album.

We went off and recorded the DVD and then in the beginning of 2008 I got the Yes call and so my band had to take a back seat, especially when the Strawbs called as well!

During the intervening years on the road I continued to write lots of material and I found myself in a position in January to go through the music I'd written and work out which songs would be best for a new solo album. I had about 15 to choose from and after a bit of time I decided on 9 for the album.

After listening to these tracks in great detail, I decided that I liked the songs but I really wanted to re-write and re-arrange a lot of the music. I must say that this has been great fun and I have really enjoyed polishing these songs from their original demo form to the pre-studio state they are in now.

I have been working pretty much solidly on this album since January (just taking 5 weeks out for the Yes Rite of Spring tour) and I have spent many happy days recording guide vocals with Paul Manzi (singer from the OWB DVD) and receiving guitar parts from Dave Pearce via email. Paul has finished all his guide vocals now and I am just waiting for a few more files from Dave and I will be able to finish the rough mix.

All this work is being done so I can listen to the album in great detail and make sure that it is as good as it can be. I will then go to the studio to re-record the vocals and any extra guitar parts, that might need re-doing. I will also record the bass and of course the drums parts.

The bass and drum performances will be carried out by Paul Brown and Dave Wagstaffe respectively. Both also appeared on the OWB DVD. For more details on the band members

you can go to the OWB link above where you can learn more about these great musicians.

The album itself will be a mixture of different styles and lengths of songs but I don't really like to give away song titles or descriptions before an album is released because that way no-one will have any pre-conceived ideas on how it will sound! The initial reaction from the few people who have heard the songs is extremely positive with a number of companies being interested in the project. We are hoping that in the very near future we will be able to give more details of recording schedules and tentative release information.

Take care and thanks for the continued support!

Oliver
May 2011

 

22nd May

Who are King Friday?

We have received a number of emails asking about Oliver's involvement with a new band called King Friday.So here is the latest information about this new band...

Back in 2010 Oliver was approached to be a member of a band which was being put together by singer Phil Naro and bass player Joe Macre. Even though Oliver was busy working with Yes and the Strawbs as well as writing for his own band, the songs the guys sent were great and so Oliver agreed to be a part of the line-up - albeit not a full time member - but he would appear on a number of tracks on the album.

The songs have been worked on for the last year and the album is now taking shape and a release is expected for later this year.

We will let you know more information when we have it.

 

21st May

Oliver and Yes in Mexico

Oliver will be performing his last two shows with Yes in Mexico this weekend.

'It was technically part of the Rite of Spring tour as I understood it and I was asked to do the two Mexican shows after the US leg which I agreed to. They will be my last two shows with the band and I must be honest I'm having such a great time working on my new albums in the UK that I can't wait to get back to carry on with them!'

 

9th April

Oliver Wakeman and Yes

An official statement has now been released via YesWorld announcing Geoff Downes as the new Yes Keyboardist.

Oliver would firstly like to thank all the people who have taken the trouble to write to him with their concerns over the YES rumours and press releases that have been circulating around the web.

Because of the number of emails and questions being asked and the difficulty in replying to each one individually it was felt the best way to help quell some of the rumours was to put some facts forward.

The new album

The decision to leave YES did not originate with Oliver and, as of this moment in time, we do not know which of Oliver's many contributions to the recording will exist on the new YES record.

Oliver did write and perform on a number of the new YES recordings. As to whether his parts, or the songs, will remain is unknown at the moment. However, we imagine that with this lineup change, fans should expect to hear Geoff on the album, not Oliver.

The tours

Oliver is not scheduled to appear with the band on the US Summer tour or in Europe on the Autumn tour.

We apologise for not answering these queries and questions sooner but the delay in replying was because Oliver wanted to stay focused on the music for the 'Rite of Spring' tour and felt his primary role was to put on the best possible show for the fans who came to see the band.

The Future

Oliver's next project will be finishing the writing and recording of his new band album provisionally titled 'Cultural Vandals' - more details to follow.

Thanks!

Thanks again for all the support that has been made for Oliver either through direct emails to the website, via the new Facebook page, MySpace, forums or the web in general.

Oliver has been very touched by the support shown for him throughout his 2 - 3 years with YES and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the fans for all their support, friendship and kindness.

18th February

A new video of 'Progress of the Soul' is now showing on the BlueDotMusic YouTube channel.

This piece is now available on iTunes and a link can be found on the BlueDot channel website or by using the Oliver on YouTube page under the 'Information' tab above.

11th February

In 2008 and 2009 Oliver was interviewed by the author Will Romano for inclusion in his new book, 'Mountains Come Out of the Sky - The Illustrated History of Prog Rock'. It is now available from the Hal Leonard Corporation website.

We haven't seen a copy yet and so are unsure if Oliver's section made it to the final print!

 

3rd February

Oliver's music from the Poetry album is the featured item on the new BlueDotMusic YouTube channel until Vaentines day.

Oliver's music is performed to the poems 'Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day' read by Sam West and 'How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways' read by Sian Phillips.

2nd February

Oliver is featured on the new Ayreon 3 CD and DVD retrospective 'Timeline'.

Oliver originally appeared on the track 'Day17: Accident?' from the 'Human Equation' album. This track has been remastered and appears on the third disc of this box set.

22nd January

Oliver appeared on the front cover of the Italian progressive magazine 'Wonderous Stories' and has a multipage feature and interview inside. The link to their website is www.wonderoustories.it.

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2010 News

 

21st December

Oliver was very proud to appear on the Strawbs live album but was always slightly sad that the song Sheep wasn't going to be included. It has always been one of Oliver's favourite Strawbs songs to listen to and to perform.

We are therefore really pleased to be able to let you know that the track listing was amended and that Sheep is now on the album!

It sounds great too - if anything it's even faster than the original!

20th December

The recording 'Anahata' composed and performed by Oliver Wakeman is now available to view on the Blue Dot Music YouTube channel

The whole album, Chakras, is now available to download at iTunes

 

17th December

Dave Cousins interview about the Strawbs and Oliver.

We have found this link to an interview in which Dave Cousins talks about the Strawbs line up that created the 'Dancing to the Devil's Beat' album.

It can be read in full at the '69 Faces of Rock' website!

 

13th December

Autumn/Winter news.

Firstly, apologies for the lack of information that has been forthcoming over the last few months on this website. Oliver has been extremely busy recording the new Yes album, putting together the demos of the new solo album, 'Cultural Vandals', and touring South America with Yes.

There will be a full tour story coming soon which should be quite entertaining so keep checking back!

 

12th December

Yes album Press release.

 

YES Signs New Worldwide Recording Deal with Frontiers Records.

 

New Studio CD, First In Nearly A Decade, Slated For 2011

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 29, 2010) - Grammy Award winners YES, one of the most influential and ground-breaking progressive rock 'n' roll bands, today announced the signing of a new worldwide recording deal with the Italian-based record label, Frontiers Records. Songs such as 'Roundabout', 'I've Seen All Good People', 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart', and countless others, have served to place the group upon the pantheon of rock 'n' roll history. But history is still yet to be written, because Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White, along with Oliver Wakeman (Rick Wakeman's son) and new lead singer Benoit David, will enter the studio to record the group's first new CD in a decade. It is anticipated for release before Summer 2011.

Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino said: 'I am truly honored and excited to have these Rock and Roll pioneers on the label. YES have written some fabulous pages in the history of this music and I look forward to keep on writing new exciting chapters with them!'

'Having the two new guys in the line-up has inspired the impetus behind the need for YES to return to the studio,' explains Chris Squire, while Steve Howe adds, 'The new lineup has shown that we can operate well as a touring band, so now to expand that to recording would broaden our repertoire and the inclusion of Oliver and Benoit on new recordings will show a new leaf in YES music's continuing development.'

One of the most popular concert attractions of all-time YES's remarkable career has served to re-define the boundaries of rock. Proving to be a dominant force for more than four decades, YES has sold over 33 million albums worldwide. Their symphonic use of sound and innovative musical style has made each of the group's players are virtuosos in their own right.

25th August

Oliver is unable to perform with the Strawbs in Canada or the UK this year.

Unfortunately due to prior commitments with Yes in October and November, Oliver is unable to join the Strawbs for their Canadian and UK tours at the end of the year.

Performing with the Strawbs on keyboards for these tours will be John Young and Tony Fernandez will be performing Drums as Rod Coombes is also going to be unavailable.

It was fortunate that last year the timings of the YES tours and the Strawbs tours worked around each other but this year the schedules have not been so accommodating.

It was with much regret that Oliver had to let the Strawbs know that he wasn't going to be available.

If you need any more information with regards to the Strawbs upcoming tours please visit the Strawbs website.

28th July

Strawbs 40th Anniversary live CD to be released on the 5th October.

The first recordings from the 40th Anniversary concert (which took place in September 2009) will be available on 5th October 2010.

Vol. 1 is a 2CD set of highlights from the whole weekend, with a 16 page booklet with photographs and line-up details. The track listing is below.

Strawberry Fayre track listing

CD1

1. Heartbreak Hill - Strawbs (Heartbreak Hill line-up)
2. Starting Over - Strawbs (Heartbreak Hill line-up)
3. Landslide - Cry No More
4. Don't Leave Me Here - Cry No More
5. Skip To My Lou - Dave Cousins & Blue Angel Orchestra
6. Hellfire Blues - Dave Cousins & Blue Angel Orchestra
7. On My Way - Acoustic Strawbs With Sonja Kristina
8. All I Need Is You - Acoustic Strawbs With Sonja Kristina
9. Autumn - Strawbs (current line-up which includes Oliver Wakeman)
10. Lay Down - Strawbs (current line-up which includes Oliver Wakeman)
11. Angie - Zeus
12. True Love - Zeus
13. October To May - Rick Wakeman & Dave Cousins
14. Can You Believe - Rick Wakeman & Dave Cousins

CD2

1. Blue Angel - Strawbs (Blue Angel line-up)
2. Cry No More - Strawbs (Blue Angel line-up)
3. Alice's Song - Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
4. That Ol' Guitar - Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
5. Copenhagen - Acoustic Strawbs
6. Josephine - Acoustic Strawbs
7. Together Apart - John Ford
8. Floating In The Wind - John Ford
9. Song Of A Sad Little Girl - Dave Cousins & Ian Cutler
10. Grace Darling - Dave Cousins & Ian Cutler
11. Flies Like A Bird - Fire
12. Father's Name Is Dad - Fire
13. Evergreen - Acoustic Strawbs & The Royal Artillery Orchestra (conducted by Robert Kirby)
14. Where Silent Shadows Fall - Strawbs (current line-up which includes Oliver Wakeman) & RA Orchestra (conducted by Robert Kirby)

For info on musicians and, in due course, previews/reviews, please visit the main Strawberry Fayre page.

3rd May

It seems to have been a while since I last sent out an update with regards to my music work but life seems to have become more and more hectic over the last year and a bit what with 4 Yes tours, 3 Strawbs tours, 100+ live shows, live album releases, a new studio album with the Strawbs and other new releases being worked on in the gaps!

As years go it has been a very enjoyable and exciting one and it looks like 2010 is going to be another exciting year with lots planned. I must apologise for the lateness in this Happy New Year message but as always seems to happen with me, when the website is suffering from inactivity it is usually because of so much activity in the background.

I have recently returned from Mexico and the US which was great fun except for the week long delay in trying to get back to the UK after the volcano in Iceland erupted and brought Europe to a halt. I am now just a few weeks away from heading out to the US for a summer tour alongside Peter Frampton which should be great fun and something I am really looking forward to.

Other news: I have been in touch with the guys from my band and I am fully intending to get a new band album recorded this year. The guys all have the demos and are hopefully learning the songs as we speak!

As you may notice, the website has been updated with a story about the European Yes tour as well as a few new photographs from the last year on the road. I will do my best to keep the information a bit more up to date over the coming year...I promise!

2nd May

Oliver is a guest soloist on the new Mystery album 'One Among the Living'. The album is due for release on June 1st 2010. The album also feature one Benoit David (Yes) on vocals!

18th January

The encore, "Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth?", from the Strawbs live set at Hugh's Room in Toronto, March 10, 2009 has been uploaded to YouTube

We thought some of the visitors to the site might like to take a look!

17th January

The recording 'Even In The Breeze' composed and performed by Oliver Wakeman is now available to view on YouTube

The whole album, Enlightenment & Inspiration, is now available to download at iTunes

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2009 News

 

16th August

Yes - on tour - European tour starts in October

Following on from Yes's successful summer tour with Asia, the band will be bring their show to Europe this Autumn (or 'Fall' depending on which country you are reading this in!).

We look forward to seeing many of you there! For the tour dates please visit the Yesworld website.

 

14th August

Strawbs 40th Anniversary concert announced

Details of the 40th anniversary concerts which will include Oliver performing with the Electric Strawbs can be found by visiting the '40 Years On....' page on the Strawbs website.

 

18th April

Yes Summer Tour with Asia

Steve, Chris and Alan will once again be joined by Benoit David and Oliver Wakeman - and Steve will be doing double duty performing with Asia, special guests on the tour.

The itinerary can be found on the concerts page now. Click here to read the Press Release.

 

20th March

Strawbs - new album recording with Oliver on Keyboards announced

News just in - the current Strawbs line-up - with Oliver Wakeman - will be recording a new album for release to coincide with the 40th anniversary celebrations. The title is expected to be Dancing To The Devil's Beat.

 

News courtesy of the Strawbs website

 

19th March

Strawbs reviews

There have been a multitude of very complimentary reviews about the Canadian tour with Oliver on keyboards.

Please visit the Strawbs reviews page to read them. Also available from the Strawbs website tour page are various tour photographs.

We have also added a few to this websites photo album and can been seen by clicking on the Photo Album No.3 link from the drop down menu above.

There has also been this article from the All about Jazz website.

 

19th February

In the Present tour - Update

In the Present Tour Cancelled

The 'In The Present Tour', featuring Yes' Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White, is cancelling the remaining scheduled shows.

Chris underwent surgery on his leg on February 11, 2009. The operation was successful and Chris is on his way to a full recovery. However, Chris has been advised by his physician that he needs a one month rest period, hence the reason for the cancellation of the rest of the tour dates.

As previously stated, Chris and the rest of the band wishes to apologize for any inconvenience that this might have caused to their fans and hopes to see them again soon.

12th February

In the Present tour - Update

Due to unforeseen medical reasons, the 'In The Present Tour,' featuring Yes' Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White is cancelling shows through February 24 (San Diego).

The band wishes to apologize for any inconvenience that this might have caused to their fans and hopes to see them again soon.

9th February

In the Present tour - Houston Date Postponed

Tonight's performance has been postponed due to a medical emergency. A rescheduled date will be announced soon. More details forthcoming.

27th January

Oliver Wakeman news update - In the Present Tour, Strawbs and The Oliver Wakeman Band

Well I am about a week away from flying out for the next leg of the 'In the Present' tour with Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and Benoit David. The 1st leg of the tour ended really well for us last year and I must say that I really enjoyed the whole tour. It is a real honour to perform these great songs with such wonderful musicians. It was also great to meet so many people who were so positive about what we were doing.

I will always remember the last night of the tour, my friend Al Lewis from Starcastle had come to visit me and we had a great time hanging out and catching up. The show went really well with loads of energy on stage. We all came off stage very happy and Alan, his wife and I stayed up late into the evening chatting about anything. I then went to bed at 3, finally got to sleep at 6 (a very loud night in the hotel for some reason) and woken at 9 by a phone call!

I left with Steve and David (the tour production manager) at 1 the following afternoon and headed to Miami airport for our flight back to the UK. It is quite a shock leaving Miami in 30 degree heat in the middle of the afternoon and arriving back in the UK with -2 degree temperatures first thing in the morning!

I then headed home and arrived at my front door at 8.30am to a very happy wife and excited son (who was asking for his presents)! Jet lag finally overcame me in mid afternoon but it was definitely a good day.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming dates which start on the 5th March in Mexico City and finish in Friant on the 3rd March. It will be very exciting to visit more countries and states over the month.

Following the last show on the 3rd March I then fly on the 4th March to Canada to join the Strawbs for an short tour of Canada. This is something I was approached by Dave Cousins (singer/guitarist of the strawbs) to do last year and I always maintained that I would love to do the Strawbs shows providing it didn't conflict with the plans of Steve, Alan and Chris.

The guys have all been very encouraging about me performing with the Strawbs and I am looking forward to playing with them again in the UK in May and Italy in early June. Hopefully this will be followed by more dates with Steve, Alan and Chris, more news on this when things have been finalised. All the current tour dates can be seen on the oliverwakeman.co.uk website under the concerts section.

My own band have been rather quiet during this period of activity but rest assured there is a new studio album being planned. It has all been written, I'm just trying to organise the recording schedule and company to release it.

In the meantime February (UK & Europe) and March (US) sees the release of a live CD album 'Coming to Town - Live in Katowice' by 'The Oliver Wakeman Band'. This audio album was only previously available as part of the dual pack DVD release of last year. It was recorded in Poland in October 2007 and was a very enjoyable evening.

May I just take this opportunity to wish everyone all the best for 2009 and I look forward to seeing some of you at the upcoming shows.

Oliver Wakeman
January 2009

13th January

We are delighted to announce that Oliver was awarded the 'Keyboard Player of the Year 2008' award at the Annual Classic Rock Societies award night on Saturday.

Oliver was extremely pleased to have received this award and it's the third time Oliver has won. The previous years being 2006 and 2007. The award now has pride of place on the Piano in the lounge!

Oliver would like to thank all those who voted for him and he really enjoyed chatting and meeting so many people during the evening.

Whilst at the awards night, Oliver also recorded an interview for the radio station ARFM. Hopefully we'll be able to let you know when this interview is due to be broadcast.

To see photos from the awards night please see the photo albums pages

The tour dates will be available soon.

12th January

The Strawbs are delighted to announce that Oliver Wakeman, currently the keyboard player with Yes, will be taking over keyboard duties for the Strawbs for their upcoming Canadian tour as well as the dates in the UK and Italy in the summer.

With eight albums released, his band has recently released a live DVD, 'Coming to Town' and Oliver himself has just finished the first leg of the 'In the Present' tour with Yes and will rejoin them in February. He was voted Best Keyboard Player by the Classic Rock Society for the last two years.

On Monday next Chas and Dave Cousins will meet with Oliver to run through the songs for the tour. Further rehearsals will take place in the next couple of weeks...

The latest tour dates have been announced - please visit the Concerts page to see the tour dates for the next leg.

9th January

'In the Present Tour' : Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Oliver Wakeman and Benoit David continue the 'In The Present' tour starting on the 5th February in Mexico City. Click here to read the entire OFFICIAL press release.

The latest tour dates have been announced - please visit the Concerts page to see the tour dates for the next leg.

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©2019 by Oliver Wakeman Music.

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