Credo & Blind Ego

May 8, 2009 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

Almost two years ago, I saw the first live performance of Blind Ego in The Netherlands . The band formed by guitarist Kalle Wallner (RPWL), had just released their debut album Mirror, an album dominated by mainstream rock with occasional links to our beloved music genre. Numb is Blind Ego's second release. In The Netherlands, three gigs were organized to promote the album. After the events, it is easy to say that maybe one or two gigs would have been enough for a rather unknown act. In presale, only a couple of tickets were sold a week before Blind Ego would perform at the warm and comfortable concert hall in Uden. Eventually, almost 40 people turned up to see Blind Ego together with British prog rockers Credo.


I saw Credo once before. Their performance at last year's Progfarm Festival made a deep impression. Therefore, I would not miss their second live show on Dutch soil. Right after merchandiser Mr. Ploppy (Neil Matthards) introduced the band "We are Credo and this is what we do", they kicked some ass with The Game. Wow! This was certainly the start of a special concert. It is true that the wonderful guitar sound of Tim Birrell and the splendid keyboard playing of Mike Varty dominate the music of Credo. They both give the band their neo progressive rock sound related to Arena and early Marillion. I think, however, that Credo would be less interesting without lead singer Mark Colton. Every band needs a stage personality, an entertainer with a strong voice moving around on stage, telling jokes and explaining the lyrics of a song. Unfortunately, not many people in the audience were familiar with the music of this incredible band. Some of them gave them a show of hands, while the song was not even finished. Mark Colton did not mind at all. While wearing a T-shirt with the words 'If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth A Fuck' he introduced a song that dealt with masturbation called Skin-trade, followed by a new piece from their forthcoming album. However, for some people Round And Round sounded familiar, because the song was already on the set list on Progfarm last year. This song proved that we might look out for a promising third release later this year. Too Late...Too Say Goodbye deals with the First World War and the loss of so many people's lives during that war. On their way to The Netherlands, the band visited the war graves in Belgium. At the end of this beautiful piece of music, you could hear war sounds from tape. After the song, the band members stood still for a moment as a tribute to all war victims. The last song of the set was From The Cradle...To The Grave, a beautiful piece from Rhetoric, their second release. The Letter was the final song on the set list, but unfortunately, Credo left the stage without performing it. Bad luck, because I would have loved to hear that song from this fantastic neo-prog band.

Blind Ego

The most striking thing in the new line-up of Blind Ego was the lack of a keyboard player. This time both Yogi Lang (RPWL) and bass player John Jowitt (Arena) were not invited. Only Jowitt was replaced by Sebastian Harnack (Sylvan). Just too bad, because I do believe that keyboards give another dimension to the music. This time guitarist Kalle Wallner added some extra string synthesizer sounds by touching his foot on the pedals in front of him. The performance of Blind Ego was much more guitar orientated. That was probably the reason why Jochen Goricnik was on stage. He played most of the extra heavy rhythm guitar parts. Towards the end of the show, he got extra solo spots and fought some guitar battles with Kalle. Lead singer Paul Wrightson this time was the only foreigner in the band. He was the only who hailed from England. As always, Wrightson was dressed in black looking like a hobo trying to sing the songs in the best possible way. You could hardly see or hear that he had some serious throat problems. It was obvious that most of the material performed came from Numb, but to my surprise, the whole album got a live treatment. One of the strong pieces of this album is the instrumental Torn. On stage, it got a lot of energy and therefore sounded better as the album version. It was a good choice to have a fine acoustic ballad between all the heavy stuff. During Risk, only Kalle accompanied Paul on his acoustic guitar. The song deals with the feelings of losing a beloved friend. For a moment, the people at the bar were willing to keep their mouths shut and listened to this wonderful track from Numb. High lights during the set were the pieces related to the music made by RPWL. Songs as Break You, Numb, Moon And Sun and Leave. During those songs, Mr. Wallner used all his talents to let his guitar sounds very melodic. The band was willing to do some encores in spite of the fact that the audience hardly shouted for more. Kalle and his band mates returned after the regular set very quickly. They played Mirror, the title track from their first album followed by the only song taken from an RPWL-album: Someone Else. This song can be found on their limited edition release 9. A guitar oriented piece that was music wise in the vein of the bands last encore Breaking The Law and performed with a lot of power and energy. This song from Judas Priest again proved that Kalle Wallner has a soft spot for heavy metal music. During the previous concert two years ago Blind Ego played stuff from Deep Purple ( Perfect Strangers) and Queensryche ( Breaking The Silence). That is all right by me as long as they play the more progressive pieces. I hope that Blind Ego will bring a keyboard player for their third tour in The Netherlands. I surely missed one!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Credo DVD review
Credo CD review

Setlist Credo:

The Game
Round And Round
Too Late...
...To Say Good-Bye
From The Cradle...
...To The Grave

Pictures Credo by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Credo:

(left to right)
Tim Birrel:
lead guitars
Martin Meads:
Mark Colton:
lead vocals
Jim Murdoch:
bass guitar & backing vocals
Mike Varty:
keyboards and backing vocals

Setlist Blind Ego:

Break You
Moon And Sun

Someone Else
Breaking The Law

Pictures Blind Ego by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Blind Ego:

(left to right)
Michael Schwager:
Kalle Wallner:
guitars, backing vocals
Paul Wrightson:
lead vocals
Jochen Goricnik:
Sebastian Harnack:
bass guitar

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