Despite the last-minute change to the setlist to include only instrumental pieces from the Enid's extensive back catalogue, we've had nothing but great feedback on the tour so far. Many thanks to the following people for sharing their experiences with us on social networks...
"The Enid has become two bands in one. The first was and is a rock band par excellence, with pounding bass riffs, sweeping guitars, harmonic keyboards and double percussion. The second is opera and pure theatre… Telling a story, singing songs and thrilling the audience with humour, pathos and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll.
As Joe takes a well-earned break and recovers, the band has gone back in time, rediscovering its ancestry. It is a credit to these fine musicians who have learned the pieces over a very short time and assembled a polished concert format in a ridiculously short time. The result is a raw, powerful, dynamic performance that is similar to the original sound but stamps its own identity. Having stood and cheered in the crowds at the Manchester gig of the 40th Anniversary tour of In The Region of the Summer Stars, I was privileged to see and hear The Enid at their finest... Gutsy, brave, and so talented.
Looking at the individuals, Dave Storey must have had a great sense if déjà vu… I wonder how he felt reliving the music of his youth. He brings the backbone of timing to each piece, and as always provides a steadying influence to the young guns…. And the encore piece… I won’t give the game away, but Dave plays like a man possessed!
A band is like a house, with rhythm at the foundation, and up front lead melodies defining the majesty of the finished building. But before I describe the guys on the roof, the bricks and mortar are provided by Dominic Tofield and Josh Judd. As Dom played a note-perfect mix of keyboards and percussion, I wondered how he could concentrate on playing the 11-note signature riff on xylophone over and over again throughout Chaldean Crossing….yet he was spot on for each of the several hundred repeats. It would have been far easier to repeat the riff electronically, but I can assure you the “analogue” version with the human touch drives the piece forward in sympathy with Dave’s drumming, making me feel like I was riding a ship of the desert across a vast expanse of sand, in the cool of night, illuminated by the Summer Stars.
Josh Judd has been around the band for a while and now brings his precision bass to add a constant bridge between the rhythm section and keyboard melodists. He does this by playing virtuoso notes but uses his instrumental technique as a percussive reinforcement. So his place next to Dave ensures that the musical foundations are rock solid, tight and rich. In my opinion, having an exclusive bass player adds enormously to the lineup. In previous years, the bass was squeezed in by the orchestral percussionist, making frantic moves where necessary…now Dom can concentrate on his own work, and Josh adds his own brilliance to the overall sound.
Like everyone else in The Enid, Zachary Bullock has a multi-roll function… Gentle keyboard harmonies, supporting Jason Ducker on lead guitar, and Max Read on second guitar and keyboards; to up-front lead playing the heart and soul of each piece. Having played several gigs (as well as rehearsed endlessly), Zach is beginning to shine in his own right and truly deserves to have taken over RJG’s seat. Yet although Zach brings freshness and vitality, the influence of “the old master” is never far away. As one of the younger players, Zach brings a clever, modern and gentle spirit to the keyboards, but has ample power to play the rough and raucous parts too.
The guitars…aah, the beloved guitars that soar like eagles…Jason stands, plays, works his fingers to the bone, calm, correct, studious and so creative. He is a man who understands all that is rock… dynamism, sustain, power chords, leaping lead riffs, humour, passion and vast experience. Unlike so many less-talented people, who rely on their strut on stage, Jason works with his Strat to give his fine stage performance.
Max Read… Now a senior and seasoned member of the band…its leader, co-composer, lyricist, keyboard, guitar, vocal, arrangement-wizard and all-round “good egg”, Max overarches the whole sound, joining percussion and melodies, harmonies and vocals, sewing together the sound that we love. Like a craftsman tailor, he selects the finest materials and creates something both fashionable and enduring.
One could ask “who is the star of the band?”. The answer is nobody and everyone. This is how The Enid functions. Dave works with Josh and Dom. Dom works with Zach and Max. Max works with Jason, Dom and Zach. Jason works with Josh, Max and Dom. And nobody works without the talented technical team in the background...the unsung heroes.
So, who is the star? The overall sound is the star." Andrew Ullman
"How many bands can lose their lead singer 2 weeks before a show and still pull off an amazing concert? ... and how many bands can put on two tours within 6 months with 2 entirely different sets? You guys rock!!" Bob Foale
"Terrific performance last night, welcome home, Dominic. Three weeks to learn keyboards!" Julian Kaye
"Amazing show. The guys were on fire. You all know half the set but the other half was fab too with some very nice surprises, and the encore - Wow! (No spoilers from me). Go and see this show :)" Lawrence Haynes
"Brilliant show - and actually a nice change from the usual presentation of the band these days (certainly nothing personal Joe!), great to see the focus totally on the music(ian's) for once." Steve Reynolds
"Great concert by the Enid! Fabulous sound." Nick Watkins
"Had a great time tonight :) The gig was excellent - I really liked both Mayday Galliard & Sheets of Blue in the first half, after which the rendition of Summer Stars as the second half was marvellous. Well done guys :)" David L Baynham
"What a great night at the Robin2. Was great to hear some of the earlier work live for the first time in such a while. Congratulations to the band for pulling it all together and best wishes and get well soon to Joe Payne. Roll on Northampton :)" Alan Bonnington