England - Full Moon 162 - 12/02/09
The Incident album and a concert supporting it: Porcupine Tree, Sentrum Scene, Oslo, 23.10.09
The intro to my first ever listening to Porcupine Tree was actually the stage being vacuum cleaned minutes before the band arrived. This was a band that obviously left nothing to coincidence and chance - neither for their records nor their live performances. A band gimmick al'right, but a well functioning one!
It is really fun to attend one of those rare concerts when you instantly become a long-time fan. The opening riffs of "Occam's Razor" sharpened my senses and I realised that all the recommendations I had been given up front were indeed well founded.
The first half of the concert was dedicated their latest album The Incident - a 14 piece work of nicely tied together songs (with a 4 piece add-on disc 2 called Remember Me Lover). Though quite accessible songs at first listening, this album surely reveals a lot of good prog rock mystery once you get to know it. This record deserves to be listened to uninterrupted - though I have my personal favourites including: "The Blind House", "Drawing the Line", "I Drive the Hearse". And - of course I guess, "Time Flies" - a 9 minutes piece starting off with 'I was born in 67 - the year of sgt. Pepper and Are you experienced'. Steven Wilson could've just as well mentioned that he was 10 years old in 1977 - the year of Pink Floyd's Animals album, as certainly the song bears great resemblance with that record. Big shoes to fill, but in my book it's quite ok to let your musical influences shine through, particularly when done as well as here. Supposedly, the first record Steven Wilson ever bought was actually Animals.
Another band gimmick in the middle of the show; a 10 minute break with a countdown clock running on screen, on the split of a second letting the audience know when the band would return. Nothing left to coincidence, not even the play list. Steven Wilson told us that we could shout for as many songs we wanted, they were gonna play their list anyway!
Certainly an album that I will put on my stereo in years to come. Topped with a well delivered concert - I've have started to dig into the Porcupine Tree discography. Put on your favourite progressive rock space suit and drift away into their universe and enjoy - it's not at all the worst place to get lost for some hours!
(Check our archives for reviews of Coma Divine and Stupid Dream.)
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