Live preview: U.K.
The British prog-rock supergroup returns for a belated, unlikely victory lap.
Mon Apr 4 2011
Photograph: Marek Hofman
Highline Ballroom; Mon 11
They were renegades in more than one sense, the founders of English prog-rock band U.K., which flourished brightly and briefly between 1977 and 1980. Singer-bassist John Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford had just weathered the chilly denouement of King Crimson; keyboardist Eddie Jobson had recently left Roxy Music. Alongside Allan Holdsworth, a florid guitarist with a jazzman's soul, U.K. bucked the prevailing trend toward punk simplicity and nihilism, crafting a self-titled debut LP that still stands as a pinnacle of dreamy, brawny mettle.
Bruford and Holdsworth, feeling straitjacketed by success, departed in 1978. U.K. dissolved not long after, Jobson diving into lucrative studio work while Wetton courted the spotlight with Asia. But now, having recently returned to the stage in brief tours heavy with U.K. canon, Jobson has lured Wetton back to the fold for an overdue victory lap with a pair of youngbloods: Alex Machacek, a guitarist of Holdsworthesque flow, and jaw-dropping drum marvel Marco Minnemann.