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Blackfield at Islington Assembly Hall, London - live review

Live Review

Venue: Islington Assembly Hall, London

Steven Wilson makes a surprise appearance at Aviv Geffen's Blackfield show

Pre-tour publicity emphasised that this would be Aviv Geffen taking Blackfield’s music on the road without collaborator Steven Wilson. The Brit has been very involved with the latest album, _Blackfield V_, but given his own thriving career as the godfather of contemporary prog, plus his sideline remastering almost the entirety of classic prog, the word was that he wouldn’t have time to squeeze in yet another burst of activity. And so for the first hour we settle in to a confident if unspectacular set from the Israeli, who’s a huge star in his homeland and a champion of the political left. He’s also a coach on the Israeli version of The Voice, and there’s no doubt he can carry a tune. What is surprising is how little of the new record he plays. With the full studio involvement of both Wilson and Alan Parsons, the loose concept album about the ocean and the tides of life is a strong offering, but there’s scant attempt to showcase it here. Its standout moments, Family Man and How Was Your Ride?, are ignored, with just October, The Jackal and We’ll Never Be Apart receiving an airing.

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