Send Heep Greeting Cards ! Discography and Lyrics Heep Chat Heep Tablature Heep Gig History The History of Uriah Heep










URIAH HEEP in Poland during the “Into The Wild” World Tour, May 2011

MONDAY, May 23rd, 2011, Wroclaw, Eter club.


Photos and review  by Marcin Karski

At 8pm, Kruk – the support band - entered the stage. They opened their set with "In Reverie" - the track included on their just now released 2nd album "It Wil Not Come Back" and in which they have a guest appearance by Doogie White. The audience was a bit unsure of the happenings at the start, but when Visnia (Cherry - the nickname of Tomas – the vocalist - welcomed the Wroclaw crowd and the band blasted out with rousing rendition of Deep Purple's "Burn" - they really got the crowd going nuts for them. It was enough for them to gain a bit of confidence regardless the stage fright that they surely had because of fronting Heep. By the time of the last track "Before He'll Kill You" - they managed to pull out three tracks of each of their albums and have the audience eating from their hands. The spectators even managed to drag the band into an improvised classic rock guitar vs. audience call - response duel, which sounded great. Uriah Heep had their fans warmed up outstandingly!  

And right now it was the time for Heep... The intro tape for their 2011 show is - er, very strange. Surely not rocking, not even prog, it could be done a lot better. Once they blast out with "I'm Ready" thus - all is going down with a true rock 'n' roll bang. What hits you at the very start is how energetic Bernie as the frontman is. Completely impossible to take a good photo off, he doesn't take more than a few seconds in one place or one pose. And the front man he is - when he's on the stage - he's on the very edge - reaching out to the audience - bragging, and dragging everybody in. He's great in his craft and he still sings the tunes superbly. The rest of the band was also on fire for all of the night, I believe that the enthusiasm of the crowd translated well to the stage area. With all the beloved classics in the set there was no option to stay cool and sophisticated. You'd be insane standing still to the groove of "Return To Fantasy" or "Stealin' " - it always does what it should. My personal standouts were: "Rainbow Demon" with this relentless hook of a crawling beast, 9-minute "Look At Yourself", where Mick - instead of playing a solo spot - did a long improvisation prior to the end with the band boogieing down with a groove in backing him. It was also a chance for Trevor to shine - he's still playing the bass with this richness and utilizing it when he can for a use as a solo instrument. The John Entwistle's legacy lives on and Heep tradition is nicely kept up alive. Mr. Box's stage antics doesn't change much (and so doesn't his soloing), but it was VERY entertaining and rocking.And the other favorite: "Gypsy". This is timeless and will never ever cease to ROCK or loose it's power. Crawling, gritty, swaggering, mind bombing. Only too bad that the keyboards during the solo were a bit too low in the mix, but Phil did a fantastic job. I just love the way the Hammond player is all over his key paddles and Mr. Lanzon did just that - fantastic. I also must mention that, while I'm not a fan of "July Morning" very much - the Wroclaw version was great - with Trevor throwing his bass up over his head, soloing madly in the middle and Mick fooling around in his typical manner with show of hands (translating the words with the hands moves or  drawing the icons in the air) and also the guitar up over the head. A lot of great classic rocking.

There has to be, however, another thing mentioned and very strongly underlined. The band came down to promote the "Into The Wild" album, new record, 23rd studio album of their 42 years of career. The record is great in my opinion, from 12 recorded tracks 2/3 is really captivating - good melodies, great choruses and the dense, rocking, immediate hook of the guitar - keyboard - voices - drums wall of sound. Uriah Heep plays the new material and it is fascinating how good the new songs sit in the set list in-between the classic stuff. The opening track for the concert has to work very well to get the crowd going and if you choose a newbie for this role - it has to be a real steamer. Mentioned before, "I'm Ready" - is excellent to do just that. "Money Talk" – I didn’t like this too much on the record but live it proved to be a real juggernaut - slow, riffy and heavy as hell. Plus, it gave Mr. Gilbrook the chance to show that he is a hell of a powerhouse as a drummer. In a way he reassembles the type of drumming typical for late Cozy Powell, but he has a lot of his own hints and ideas combined with much personalized drum set construction as I was told - to utilize his abilities in maximum. He provides a fascinating backbone to band’s music. His solo spot was well balanced - entertaining, skillful and not too long - which is a key factor for successful drum solos. The title track, "Into The Wild" is one of the best rockers I've heard for years - great leading riff, infectiously groovy chorus with the fabulous melody and voices choir plus the tempo of the rumbling train (a 'la Purple's "Under The Gun"). Absolutely astounding in live circumstances, could be the new classic show stopper for Heep. And finally the standout from the album - the slow, beautiful "Kiss Of Freedom" ballad that really brings out the best Uriah Heep trademark qualities in music. You can only wish you'd be able to write this kind of tunes filled with melody, a chorus that doesn't want to disappear from your head once it's there, wonderful chord progressions and the space to play a long up-building solo part on the Hammond Organ that shows that you really feel for your instrument (another big moment for Phil - he was great). The only complaint here could be that the band managed to drop down two other great new tracks from the set since the tour started in April (especially missed is the definite standout off the new album - the epic progressive tale of "The Trail Of Diamonds"). Given all that - it must be said - Uriah Heep is fully justified in standing loud 'n' proud with their current condition - they wonderfully celebrate their past but at the same time they have a lot of chops to come out with new, brilliant stuff.

I could really do without "Lady In Black" as the last track of the set, just like I could do without "Smoke On The Water" elsewhere on the world stages. Still this is such a big crowd pleaser, and people love it and seem not to be able to live without it. So Mick and Company banged it down, causing a lot of excitation among the crowd with the usual singing of the chorus by every throat in the area.

While bidding a goodnight, five members of Heep, armed together in a bow as they always used to do it – all had big grins of smile on their faces. A lot of good energy poured down around over the hour plus main set.

Encores formula was enriched with inviting to the stage some audience members to do a ritual headbanging session during "Free 'N' Easy" which Mick Box described as a "written to be very first headbanging heavy metal song". We'll - I'd say it's more a punk boogie, still - doubtlessly - one of the best rockers in entire Heep catalogue. Just far too short, it seemed to end right after it started. The headbangers were greeted hugs and cheers from all the band and went back, meantime Mick thanked all audience for coming down to the show. I was surely the happiest lad a minute after, since "Bird Of Prey" was always one of my biggest favorites in band's vast songbook. I love to jump to it as a crazy kid, singing my lungs out to the high-voiced ‘ooohs’ chorus. Oh, shall I mention "Easy Livin' " ? Another 'signature tune' one just by demand, even although there are deuces of better songs to put in the set list of the show.

Smiles miles wide - bows and thanks, great vibrancy throughout. If Uriah Heep are the crafts of their art - with the pretty solid and well worked pace of their shows - they still maintain a great deal of energy and enthusiasm throughout their live show so the spectator is surely not to be left unsatisfied! A great show, all in all.


Hope you liked reading about it too! As Mick used to say: 'Appy days!' :-)


Martin Karski





Copyright © 1996-2011  All rights reserved.