progVisions Concert review
Caravan - Barcelona - May - 2003


Finally, and after thirty years, people from Barcelona could listen to the Canterbury Tales. And we could do it in a great venue, the beautiful Luz de Gas, one of the few venues where audience can enjoy a progressive show comfortably.

The man in charge of heating the ambient from a little stage was Guillermo Cides. Armed with his stick, the great Argentinean musician shocked the audience with a high technique and skill showing that heęs a real orchestra-man. After two original tracks and an amazing cover of a Bachęs melody, he introduced three of his pupils who delighted us with two complex song. The show was great and weęre waiting for his next show in the same venue on friday June 27th along with two stick virtuosos: Jim Lampi and Ron Baggerman.

After some impatiently minutes, the curtain fell and showed the kings of the night: Caravan. They demonstrated all the experience achieved since their beginnings, late sixties.

Currently the band is formed by the leader and original member Pye Hastings (vocals and guitars), Jim Leverton (bass and vocals), Geoffrey Richardson (violin and flute), Doug Boyle (guitar), Jan Schelhaas (keyboards) and the phlegmatic Richard Coughlan (drums) also an original member. I missed the Sinclair brothers (really important in the first three Caravanęs albums) but I must admit that both Schelhaas and Leverton were great with their instruments.

Of course, time is cruel sometimes and we could notice that in Hastingsę voice that isnęt the same. Anyway that handicap was supplied with the power of a great guitarist like Boyle who amazed the audience with his work. In the same way itęs a pleasure to see Richardson playing violin. He even used his instrument as if it was a guitar.

The setlist was a little bit short even more if we have in mind their long career. Some of the songs from their golden age were missed, all of them much better than the new material (they played tracks taken from the forthcoming album “Unauthorised Breakfast Item”). The most acclaimed moments were “Nine Feet Underground” (“In the Land of the Grey and Pink”) and “For Richard” (“If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You”), the last song of the show.

The negative point was that there wasnęt any encore, perhaps due to problems with the venue and the city council. The band wasnęt guilty about it, but people left the venue a little bit disappointed.

Letęs hope we wonęt have to wait thirty more years!.

Ramón Sellarés, June 2003
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