JOHN HELLIWELL in the EXCALIBUR Tour 2016

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Berlin, December 13

John Helliwell and Jesse Siebenberg In the EXCALIBUR LIVE

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Text and photos: Miguel Angel Candela

 

THE DARK AGE OF THE DRAGON

Sir Alan Simon has it again!
After more than two decades delighting in his great dream / project called Excalibur, which has several editions, we are surprised again with this new updated edition, named THE DARK AGE OF THE DRAGON.
The first mega-show Excalibur back in the year 99 in great stages of France and center Europe, had the collaboration of Roger Hodgson among other artists. The die hard fans for sure have the CD.
Then came other editions, with new artists and ideas, Alan always innovating.

This year we are surprised with a new show, 20 new songs composed by Alan, the presence among others of John Helliwell and Jesse Siebenberg of Supertramp. A fantastic orchestra, an electronic band, dancers, knights. Irish dance ("River Dance" style), stunts, swordsmen, and a huge cinema screen that immerses you
In the world of medieval fantasy with its pictures, Disney-style amusement park. Also with some humor. That is, a style closer to "Night of the Proms" for those who know it.

Alan always has great artists for this event. This year he also had Moya Brennan (Clannad), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Erick Fish, Maggie Reilly (the singer of "Moonlight Shadow") among others. Very good voices, which give you goosebumps.
And aside from Roger Hodgson, John Helliwell and Jesse Siebenberg, other important artists over the years: Jon Anderson (YES), Alan Parsons, John Wetton (Asia), Moya Brennan (Clannad), Eric Fish, Johny Logan, members of Fleetwood Mac, etc., ..


Between song and song some of "acting", with the magician "Merlin" as Master of Ceremonies, and the actors walking among the audience, the typical scenes of trying to take the sword of the rock, from the different artists in the roles Of Sir Lancelot, Sir Percival, etc., ... making it very pleasant.

A very good show, great music, I didn't find any song boring or weak, all songs great. Lot of rock and fantasy, less Celtic influence than in past editions, and I really enjoyed it in a big way.
And I'm looking forward to the CD that will be published in March 2017, I won't miss it !! Alan has already announced that the first single will be one of the songs sung by Jesse.

I was lucky enoughto share a long time with all of them, and I noticed the good atmosphere, the good mood and feelings between all of them, as evidence of the good management and the quality of the crew and the show.
We hope the tour can go in 2017 too around some other country, it is worth.

I'm attaching below a brief review from the official website, along with a summary of the project's history from its inception.

MAC

 

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Jesse Siebenberg

 

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John Helliwell

 

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Alan Simon introducing all artists at the End

 

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Moya Brennan

 

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Jesse and the Magic Sword 

 

Sir Alan Simon lo ha vuelto a hacer!

Tras más de dos decadas deleitándonos con su gran sueño/proyecto llamado Excalibur, del que lleva varias ediciones, nos vuelve a sorprender con ésta nueva edición actualizada, bautizadaTHE DARK AGE OF THE DRAGON (La oscura era del dragón).
El primer mega espectaculo Excalibur allá por el año 99 en grandes escenarios de Francia y centro Europa, contaba con la participación de Roger Hodgson entre otros artistas. Los muy fans seguro tenéis el CD.
Después vinieron otras ediciones, con nuevos artistas e ideas, Alan siempre inovando.

Este año nos sorprende con un nuevo show, 20 nuevas canciones, la presencia entre otros de John Helliwell y Jesse Siebenberg de Supertramp. Una fantástica orquesta, una banda electronica, bailarines, danza irlandesa (tipo "River Dance"), acrobacias, espadachines, y una enorme pantalla de cine que te sumerge 
en el mundo de la fantasía medieval con sus imágenes, al estilo parque de atracciones Disney. También con toques de humor. Es decir un estilo más cercano al "Night of the Proms" para los que lo conozcáis.

Alan siempre cuenta con grandes artistas para éste evento. Este año contaba además de los citados con Moya Brennan de Clannad, Martin Barre de Jethro Tull, Erick Fish, Maggie Reilly (la cantante de "Moonlight Shadow") entre otros. Buenísimas voces, que te ponen la piel de gallina.
Y aparte de Roger Hodgson, John Helliwell y Jesse Siebenberg, a lo largo de los años han ido pasando artistas de la tallas de Jon Anderson (YES), Alan Parsons, John Wetton (Asia), Moya Brennan (Clannad), Eric Fish, Johny Logan, miembros de Fleetwood Mac, etc,..


Entre canción y canción algo de "teatro", con el mago "Merlin" de anfitrion, y actores que se pasean entre el publico, las tipicas escenas de probar a sacar la espada de la roca, que iban intentando los diferentes artistas en los papeles de Sir Lancelot, Sir Percibal, etc,... haciéndolo muy ameno.

Un muy buen show, con una musica buenísima, no he encontrado ninguna cancion aburrida o floja, todas muy logradas, mucho rock y fantasía, menos celta que en ediciones pasadas, y la verdad lo he disfrutado a lo grande.
Y espero impaciente el CD que se publicará en Marzo 2017, no me lo pierdo !! Alan ya ha anunciado que el primer single será uno de los temas cantados por Jesse.
Tuve la suerte de poder compartir largo rato con todos ellos, y se notaba el buen ambiente, el buen "rollito" entre todos ellos, lo que habla muy bien de la gestión y la calidad del show.
Estaremos pendientes de si se prolonga la gira en 2017 por algún otro país, vale la pena.

Os adjunto debajo una breve reseña de la propia web oficial, junto con un resúmen de la historia del proyecto desde sus inicios.

MAC

 

 

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John Helliwell and Maggie Reilly

 

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 John helliwell and the band

 

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With John Helliwell

 

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With Jesse Siebenberg

 

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 With Moya Brennan

 

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With Martin Barre, and Maggie Reilly

 


  

From the Official website / De la web oficial:

 

http://www.excalibur-live.de

 

THE DARK AGE OF THE DRAGON


In the past 15 years, the Celtic rock opera Excalibur has enchanted a wide range of fans, reaching from Folk music to Rock and Medieval music. Now Alan Simon, the famous Folk-Rock-bard and composer from French Britany, presents a new show around the wizard Merlin, King Arthur, the knights and their roundtable and of course the iconic sword. With world renowned rock musicians, an epic symphonic orchestra and a meticulously choreographed dancers, aerial acrobatics and sword-fighting performance, the new Excalibur makes sure to take you back into the marvelous world of Celtic mythology.

 

Durante los últimos 15 años, la ópera rock celta Excalibur ha encantado a una gran variedad de fans, que van desde la música Folck hasta la música rock y medieval. Ahora Alan Simon, el famoso Folk-Rock-Bardo y compositor de la Bretaña francesa, presenta un nuevo espectáculo alrededor del mago Merlín, el rey Arturo, los caballeros y su mesa redonda y, por supuesto, la espada icónica. Con músicos de rock de renombre mundial, una orquesta sinfónica épica y bailarines meticulosamente coreografiados, acrobacias aéreas y actuaciones de lucha con espadas, el nuevo Excalibur se encarga de llevarte de vuelta al maravilloso mundo de la mitología celta.

 


EXCALIBUR - benchmarks:

1992: Alan Simon sketch a rock opera called: "Excalibur The legend of the Celts".

1999: Seven years later the album was finally released on January 5 at Sony/Tristar. It was certified Platinum two months later. The album will remain nearly 100 days in the top 10 of the best sales in France, Switzerland, Belgium (with Roger Hodgson / Supertramp, Fairport Convention, Denez Prigent, Tri Yann, Dan Ar Braz, Angelo Branduardi...).

2000: Excalibur is performed at Paris Bercy (after a concert at the Liberté of Rennes, sold out, and the nearly 6,000 spectators at the festival of Cornwall)

2005: Alan Simon returned to the studio for a new album called: "Excalibur the Celtic ring" with Alan Parsons, Jon Anderson / Yes, Michael Sadler / SAGA, Fairport Convention, BJH...

2007: Worldwide release of Excalibur II for EMI, the album received two Awards in the USA (best director and best title for "Circle of life" performed by Jon Anderson, the voice of Yes, awarded by the Prog Rock Hall of Fame in Memphis).

2008: "Excalibur Le Concert mythique" (live recording of the first concert) appears for the first time on DVD and is certified DVD gold.

2009: Excalibur makes an unexpected return on stage in front of 20,000 paying spectators at Kaltenberg Castle. (Germany)

2010: Following this success more than 130,000 spectators have seen the show in 14 cities across Germany.
In August, Excalibur is in concert at the festival Cropredy (UK) with 20,000 spectators.

2011: New German tour. (Total of nearly 200,000 spectators for both rounds.)

2012: release of the album "Excalibur The Origins" (with Mike Fleetwood & Jeremy Spencer / Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy O'Neil / The Silencers, Fairport Convention, BJH, Roberto Tiranti of Labyrinth fame...) Alan Simon & his knights give a final concert of this first trilogy for 8000 spectators in Brocéliande. The Brocéliande live was released in CD/DVD for Pathé in November 2012

2015: June. QEDG, management of the bands Yes and Asia, suggested a new tour across Germany. Alan Simon accepts with the condition to present a new content to the German public. The agreement was signed in Munich on October 15, 2015.

2016: Alan Simon returned to the studio for a new opus called: "Excalibur the Dark Age of the Dragon", including 20 original tracks.

 

 

 

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