Jon Anderson to perform first-ever solo shows in Australia
JUST like a fine wine, Jon Anderson reckons his solo show is getting better with age.
The former Yes front man will be in the country in March for his first-ever solo shows, including his first Bluesfest appearance in a decade.
The author and creative force behind Yes epics Close to the Edge, Awaken and The Gates of Delirium, Anderson has long been a respected vocalist and songwriter.
Between his work with Yes, Greek musician Vangelis and his solo projects, Anderson has a huge back catalogue to draw from for his new solo show An Intimate Evening with Jon Anderson.
"I play the songs that I wrote for Yes and with Vangelis virtually as I wrote them," he said.
"I keep it very simple so people can hear the lyrics.
"I also tell stories about songs and what happened to me in my life.
"Thankfully everyone (in Australia) will speak English. It was very hard (at my show) in Brazil."
A reggae version of the Beatles' A Day In The Life helps Anderson tell the story of the first time he saw the legendary band.
"Me and my brother in 1963 went to see the Beatles," he said.
"They weren't famous then. They'd just released Love Me Do.
"It was just an amazing experience to see that band. They were one great band. All I wanted to be from that moment was a Beatle.
"We got the suits and the haircuts and sang all the Beatles songs."
Just five years later Anderson would be playing his first shows with Yes.
"I was very fortunate to get success at a certain age," Anderson said.
"Forty years later to look back and say next year, gosh, it will be 44 years since Yes started is kind of amazing."
Anderson decided to try out his own solo shows after parting ways with Yes in 2004, following their 35th anniversary tour.
"I thought 'I'll just go out and sing and do a couple of shows and see what it feels like'," he said.
"It was like a door opened. I was always scared of going on stage by myself, but then I actually did it a few years ago and since then I've developed what it's like to be on stage by yourself and entertain people, talk to them and feel connected to them. It inspired me."
Anderson says he feels "very confident" in the show he's honed over the past few years, which sees him play guitar, a Dulcimer, a ukulele and piano as well as sing and be storyteller.
"Like anything, it gets better with age," he said.
"I generally just have a good time and entertain myself.
"I have a good time singing the songs I love."
Jon Anderson plays the Brisbane Powerhouse on March 28 and the Byron Bluesfest on March 31.
He also plays shows in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
For more information go to www.jonanderson.com.