Rick Wakeman’s intimate evening at Buxton Opera House

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Raconteur and prog rock god Rick Wakeman is bringing his ‘Yet Another Evening With Rick Wakeman’ show to Buxton Opera House.

Rick says of the show: “It’s always put together from the thoughts and comments from the people who have come to the shows and written to the website with regards to what they hope to hear.”

But it isn’t just an evening of Rick playing songs from his illustrious career.

“No, I like to throw in some surprises and music from the people I have worked with like Yes, Cat Stevens and David Bowie.”

And as it is interesting for the listener, it’s also an education of Rick himself.

“It’s all piano-based, which is fabulous for me as that’s what everything I write has been written on,” he says.

“But it is interesting to see how that music has developed over the years.”

Rick started in the music business very early, while still studying at the Royal Academy of Music. “I started playing sessions around 1966, mainly for the BBC, and if you do a good job then the word was spread via word of mouth. It was very important back then and still is today.”

Rick performs in Buxton on January 25. Tickets £23, £26 and £29. Contact 01298 72190 or www.buxtonoperahouse .org.uk

It was Rick who came up with the piano parts on Cat Stevens’ ‘Morning Has Broken’, and the eerie sounding mellotron on Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.

And David Bowie is held in high regard by the legendary keyboard maestro.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, David is the musician who has had the most influence on me,” says Rick.

“He’s a true musician and artist and totally in love with his art. He’s brilliant on stage and professional in the studio.”

“He also cared about other musicians and it was an honour to work with him.”

Rick joined The Strawbs and then Yes, with whom he will be forever linked; and as well as recording some of Rock’s classic albums like ‘Close to the Edge’ and ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’, he also forged a more than successful solo career with albums like ‘The Six Wives of

Henry VIII’ and ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ which, when he toured it again last year, was voted the Best Live Event in the Progressive Music Awards.

In more recent years, Rick has become one of the ‘Grumpy Old Men’ and has featured regularly on ‘Watchdog’, but he still loves playing live, and his one man shows have always been a favourite with his fans.

“As well as all the music, I’ll be telling an innumerable amount of silly stories of which I have a plethora as it seems that nothing normal happens to me.”

For instance?

“Well, for the recording of one Yes album (‘Topographic Oceans’), we built a farmyard in a London studio as we wanted to feel we were in the country.”

“It worked pretty well, that is until I had to have some of my keyboards taken apart and the woodlice removed.”

At some of the shows, Rick will have a support act.

“Yes, it gives a 25-minute chance for some artistes that the audience may not know to show off their talents.”

He begins to reminisce.

“I remember how important it was when I started out to be able to open for somebody knowing that I would be reaching a new and bigger audience.”

Of all the different types of show he does, whether it be with a full orchestra and choir, or with a band, or as a duo – or even just solo – Rick likes ‘em all.

“I prefer whatever I’m doing at the time. I’m pretty good at focusing and the truth is that I enjoy all kinds of music I am a part of, whatever it may be.”

“And I always give it 110%.”

As for the future, Rick’s diary is always full, as he explains about his plans for 2015.

“I am planning some collaboration work with some great and talented friends, lots of television and… well, the best way to know what I’m up to is to visit the website – www.rwcc.com – because that’s what I do.”

Rick Wakeman will be having ‘A Very Intimate Evening’ at the Buxton Opera House on Sunday, January 25.

Tickets are available from the box office on 0845 127 2190 and all the usual agencies.