On February 28th, COLOSSEUM, one of the greatest ensembles in the jazz-blues-prog-rock domain, played their last ever concert. It’s been a great run since their reunion concert, one that couldn’t be predicted in the early ’70s, when the band quit the scene for the first time, one done against the odds – given Dick Heckstall-Smith‘s passing in 2004 and Barbara Thompson’s health issues. Yet Jon Hiseman felt the need to continue, and Chris Farlowe, Clem Clempson, Dave Greenslade and Mark Clarke wanted it, too. But now the final decision has been made, so the group are no more. Still…
Clarke already said he’d be carrying on, solo or not. Greenslade’s readying an archival release. Farlowe and Clempson keep on performing. As for Hiseman, he’s putting a finishing touches to “The Last Fandango,” a new album by Thompson’s PARAPHERNALIA, and is keen on preserving live recordings from the old days to be streamed on the Web. In his Facebook letter, Jon thanked all the fans for their support. He wrote:
“I’m not sorry that we’re calling it a day now, when, by general consensus, we are still at the top of our game. Yes, to an extent our departure has been forced upon us, but actually, regardless of that pressure, I feel in my bones that it’s the right thing to do… and the right time to do it. It goes without saying that my sincere thanks go to Chris, Dave, Clem, Mark and Barbara for their unflagging faith over the years; and the fact that, together, we have just made an album that was the easiest of all to make.”
Sad, really, but it’s always best to quit while you’re ahead.