At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., March 20, 2019

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF (Live at The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., March 20, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s a rare event when the opening act possesses a musical pedigree that most bands can only dream of. With Pat Mastelotto, drummer for the last 25 years with King Crimson and founding member of Broken Wings hitmakers Mr. Mister and Colin Edwin, bassist with Porcupine Tree, it was no surprise that avantgarde Progressive Rockers, Ork, pulled in a sizable crowd to see their early set.

With Kneel To Nothing and the intricate Black Blooms, that featured a dynamic dual vocal between Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari and guitarist Carmelo Pipitone, Ork, created a unique sonic soundscape that kept the crowd transfixed to the final note.

Not to be outdone however, The Pineapple Thief’s recent addition of drummer Gavin Harrison to their ranks has taken the band to another level. Also a current member of King Crimson and Porcupine Tree, Harrison must be one of the most venerated drummers around.

The Pineapple Thief, have for over 20 years, released a steady stream of high quality modern Progressive Rock albums but have tended to tour only sporadically so this was a rare chance to catch the band and one not to be missed.

Their latest album, Dissolution, has been hailed as their best yet and the critics are certainly right this time as no fewer than six songs were aired over the course of the evening including Far Below, White Mist and the exquisite, Threatening War

Led by guitarist/vocalist Bruce Soord, The Pineapple Thief delivered a set of beautifully constructed, atmospheric music built on sublime melodies and Soord’s aching, heartfelt vocals which were particularly effective when weaved together with those of bassist Jon Sykes on the likes of That Shore to create shiver inducing harmonies.

Harrison was a revelation. His intricate fills and complex patterns were a show in itself and it was clear why he’s endorsed by the likes of Neil Peart from Rush. It was not all overly serious however. When first night of the tour gremlins struck in the encores, Harrison stepped from behind his kit a did a magic trick much to the joy of the crowd.

Snow Drops featured a sparse vocal harmony between Soord and Sykes with only an acoustic guitar as accompaniment, it was stark, vulnerable and utterly beautiful. Conversely, show closer The Final Thing On My Mind, with its slow building hypnotic rhythm was sinister in mood and epic in scope.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.