I O Earth – Extravaganza Weekend – St Pauls Church, Birmingham Saturday 28/05/2016 and The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham Sunday 29/05/2016


Damian goes to the Bank Holiday weekend with a difference

Brummie prog rockers share their weekend every year. This year, the ticket purchased allowed the recipient to attend two shows. The first, an acoustic show on Saturday evening, at St Pauls Church and the second, a full electric show on Sunday evening, at the Crescent Theatre.

We arrive at the Grade 1 listed building just before 8 pm and take a pew, literally. This wonderful church was built in 1777 on land given by Charles Colmore from his Newhall estate and World renowned manufacturers Matthew Bolton and James Watt both had their own pews here. The night kicks of with a brief question and answer session with the two guys Dave Cureton and Adam Gough, who formed the band whilst still at school. The boys then start the opening number, before the string section joins in for “As the Mountains Open” This track was on the guys first cd, which they asked, sadly missed Tempest Records to sell for them, initially ten copies. These sold out quickly and it was only later that Dave found out that his granddad had bought them and given them away to his friends.

The show was billed as an Acoustic show but I think things must have got lost in translation. Nevertheless, for the next ninety odd minutes we are given a master class in musicianship. The band share tracks from all three albums from Moments we get “Moments” and “Drifting”, from the debut album I O Earth “Come with Me” and “Take Me” but the bulk is taken from the recent release New World. “Morning” and“Dreams” with Dave, Adam and Linda with Dave leading the vocals. We also get a number that has never been played live before in “Kindred Spirit”. The show concludes with “Move as One” from New World and the audience filter out well sated after a wonderfully intimate event. The musicianship was second to none and I was overawed at times with the blend of music with flutes and saxophones floating over the top of the layered sounds. The band deliver music that is not easily pigeon holed. It is sometimes prog, rock, folk, classical, jazz, a marvellous blend of all genres and styles. This was my first live exposure to I O Earth and the wonderful thing is I had only have to wait 24 hours before I saw them again.


Sunday night and part two of the I O Earth Weekend extravaganza, tonight was billed as I O Earth and The Orchestra of Sound and Emotion. We enter the Crescent Theatre arena and a four piece horn section and three piece string section are in place to support tonight’s event. The show is split into two sets with an interval between. The first half of the show follows a similar pattern to the second in that the bulk of the set comprises of tracks from the latest release New World.

The performance commences with five pieces from New World in the shape of “Redemption”, “Body and Soul”, “Trance”, “Red Smoke” and “The Rising” before  the wonderful “Cinta Indah” from the Moments album. “Follow”, “Fade to Grey” not the Visage song, and “Brothers” follow before the first half is rounded off with “Finest Hour”

After the intermission, the band returns to offer up “New World Suite” and “Journey to Discovery” before three tracks from the 2012 self titled debut release are shared with “EEEE”, “The Creation” and “Harmonix” with “Collision” from New World squeezed in, in-between. Again the stunning musicianship of this band is highlighted as we are led on a journey through genres of the best rock, prog rock, jazz and classical music that is around today. A fantastic blend of musical colours and indeed the next song we get is “Colours” ironically enough. “Home” and “Moments” are aired before the set is closed out with the slightly unnerving “ Insomnia”. The encore consists of the title track of the latest release “New World”

A quick selfie with the audience and this three hour spectacle concludes. I don’t know about the band but I was shattered just watching this performance. No half measures here as the show finishes around midnight!!  I had never seen I O Earth before but have now seen them twice in a period of 24 hours. This was an awe inspiring event and I thoroughly enjoyed my first I O weekend.


Previous article
Next article

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day