Sphere³ + IQ, (Peter Beaman) Palace Theatre, Newark

A marvellous venue for a progrock feast, definitely worth the journey from Leicester. Having not seen IQ for several years, I was curious to find out how the band had progressed? Also Sphere³ had come to my attention several years ago with some impressive material. How would they sound live?

The support was Sphere³, now a foursome with no vocalist. Their style of music is more demanding than the straight forward approach of say Grey Lady Down, and perhaps therefore not as accessible. What followed was 40 minutes of inspired instrumental prog/jazz/experimental rock. I feel Sphere³ lean slightly towards how IQ sounded on their very early tape release from the 1981/2 period, but there the comparison stops. One monster epic track entitled Paralysis is an innovated heavy weight progrock track that does the band full justice. Again, slightly more complex than other UK progrock bands, but worthwhile getting to know them better. They finish with a track off their second cassette tape - Signatures - entitled "Lights Going Down". Even with a few (admitted) technical problems Sphere³ sounded awesome. A CD is promised at a later date - I cannot stand the anticipation.

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