Rick Wakeman to take Journey to the Centre of the Earth on 2014 UK tour

Posted: 26th June 2013
Full spectacular promised for 40th anniversary shows including Roger Dean design and full orchestra, tickets on sale [01/7/2013 9:00]
Rick Wakeman

As the days roll by, so do more and more anniversaries of one sort or another. Recently the perennial progressive rock band Yes proclaimed their intent to perform not one but three entire albums on their 2014 jaunt. Well, anything your old band-mates can do, one former member will try and do better....

Rick Wakeman is perhaps more familiar to the current generation for his earnest rants about life's injustices on BBC's The One Show and, previously, on the occasional TV series, Grumpy Old Men, in which Rick ranted about, er, life's injustices. Many years prior to the telly, Wakeman was one of Britain's foremost rock musicians, most notably as keyboardist for the aforementioned Yes, plus folk-rockers The Strawbs and as a solo artist.

In between repeated bouts of rejoining Yes, Rick Wakeman served up a welter of solo albums, including debut "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", which he recently performed at Hampton Court Palace back in 2009. Perhaps his most revered work is follow-up "Journey to the Centre of the Earth", based on the Jules Verne story of the same name. Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in 1974, the album topped the UK album chart upon release and became a million-selling long-player, as well as a must-have for any discerning rock fan.

In 2014, "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" turns 40 years old and will be celebrated in spectacular style. Rick Wakeman has confirmed an arena tour that will be more dramatic and eye-popping than ever before, complete with a full orchestra and sumptuously-designed sets by Yes-collaborator artist Roger Dean.

It'll be a family-friendly spectacle created with future generations of would-be aficionados in mind, as well as Wakeman die-hards. State-of-the-art technology will deliver a smorgasbord of audio and visual special effects, including fireworks and screen projections.

Confirmed for April 2014 are shows in Birmingham, London's Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow, Bournemouth and Cardiff. Tickets are on sale now, with demand expected to be high.

Paul Pledger