Monday 31 August 2009

Asia set list poll

Asia have just played their last show of the year, but there are plans for new studio and live work in 2010. Since their reunion, touring has focused on their debut album, understandable given its their best-selling and most favourably received. The band have made a few changes to the set list along the way, notably introducing a few tracks from new album Phoenix, but it's still largely the same show. Come 2010, will that still work or do they need to vary the set list?

That was the question that motivated the latest WATN poll, what would you most like Asia to play live on their next tour? 80 of you voted. First off, 11 of you admitted to no interest in Asia (I presume others uninterested in the band didn't vote at all!).

So, out of the remaining 69... overwhelmingly (51%), you want new material to be played live, with 21 wanting more from Phoenix and 14 wanting the band to play material from their next album. The decision to play "legacy" material, songs from their previous bands, has gone down well and 15 (22%) of you want more.

Asia have something like 11.5 studio albums to their name, but the original line-up are only together on three of those, Asia, Alpha and Phoenix, and they've made clear they're not huge fans of Alpha. Even settling for just three of them together only adds Astra, half of Then & Now and bits of Aqua. This line-up has more band members in common with Drama or Wetton/Downes' iCon than it does with the many years John Payne was in the band. So, how should this Asia handle their back catalogue?

17% of you want later Wetton-era material played. That's 5 saying more from Alpha and 7, more from after Howe left the band (Astra, Then & Now). Just 3 (4%) wanted Payne-era material (and no-one selected the option saying they had no interest in this line-up and preferred the continuing Asia Featuring John Payne).

That leaves another 3 wanting the band to stick to the focus on Asia. And there was 1 vote for iCon material.

So, Asia, if you're listening, the people who read the Where Are They Now? site, who may be a bit more hardcore than much of the paying audience, but anyway... they'd like lots more new material live in 2010, but chuck in a few songs from Alpha, Astra and Then & Now too. (Me, I'd love "Rock and Roll Dream" and "Days Like These".)

The next poll is rather different. I report on the news page about all these guest appearances the Yes guys make, but does anyone care? Me, I'm liable to pick up all sorts of random stuff because Bill Bruford played on a track, or Trevor Horn produced it, but what about you?

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