Rick Wakeman wants to perform his new album on Mars.

The 71-year-old musician's latest LP, 'The Red Planet', is a concept record about the planet and though he's looking forward to performing it at Starmus, Brian May and scientist Garik Israelian's biannual festival of music and symposiums, he's also worried about social distancing measures still being in place, so has a unique promotional idea in mind.

He said: ''Garik has asked us to perform the whole of The Red Planet at Starmus next June. That'll be a lot of fun. And we've got a plan if the social-distancing situation gets worse -- we'll do the gig on Mars...

''It's a fascinating place -- it even has a rock'n'roll element to it. It rains, but it rains dry ice. And there's nothing more prog rock than dry ice, is there?''

The Yes rocker isn't impressed by the current possibilities available for live performance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He ranted: ''People in music thrive on bouncing off each other, it's what makes the whole thing tick. And the clock has stopped.

''And the online concert thing... I'm sorry, no. The essence of a live performance is when a performer and an audience become one. Everyone's vibing off everyone else.

''I mean, A for effort and all that. I know someone who went to one of those drive-in concerts and he said, 'I might as well have put the radio on.'

''And what about the theatres? Most of them have got tiny entrances. What are they going to do, have people queuing down Shaftesbury Avenue, entering one by one and going through a sheep dip or whatever?''

The keyboardist believes Mars could teach the people of today some valuable lessons about treating the Earth properly.

He added to The Sunday Times Culture magazine: ''It strikes me as pretty ironic that as we make sensational efforts to destroy the planet we live on, we're finding out that, billions of years ago, Mars had life -- water, rivers.

''Dodgy atmosphere, yes, and lacking in oxygen, but who knows, once these next rovers go trotting around there, they might find that the atmosphere two billion years ago was more like Earth's. With luck, we'll learn enough from that to ensure that this planet doesn't end up like Mars.''