Gig review: Greg Lake, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Greg Lake
Greg Lake
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AN UNMISTAKABLE air of Spinal Tapism pervaded this show by former King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Greg Lake.

Greg Lake

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Star rating: * * *

Held in the SECC’s all-seated and relatively tiny Lomond Suite, Lake – a portly, gentle 65-year-old in suit and T-shirt – nevertheless tried for a bit of low-budget stadium production with blasts of dry ice, multi-coloured strobe lights and classical mood music separating both halves of the show.

It all seemed a bit much for one guy flitting between keyboard, electric and acoustic guitar amidst a minimal set, but then even when he was playing along to a backing track, Lake’s traditional fans seemed to expect a bit of mock grandeur.

A fine musician, although perhaps only an average singer, his set touched all expected bases – King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man and The Court of the Crimson King, ELP’s Still… You Turn Me On and Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression Part 2, and the inevitable I Believe in Father Christmas – as well as paying tribute to musical influences like Elvis, The Beatles and Curtis Mayfield.

It was an extended question and answer session midway through the second half, however, which threw this show into relief as being aimed at nobody but the already converted.

Amidst much heartfelt praise of Lake and his music, he was invited to share his opinion on gigs past (Madison Square Garden was, he says, the only venue comparable to Glasgow’s Green’s Apollo) and the music scene of four decades ago, with kudos due to the lady who asked why there weren’t more women in the audience to a couple of audible sneers.

“I don’t know,” said Lake accurately, polite but stumped, 
“I guess it’s just a man thing.”