The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

 

Tonight the last Friday of April the packed St David’s Hall was treated to a programme of two halves. A musical programme of two movements. The first Prog Rock modern, progressive and pertinent as Steve Hackett unveiled live numbers from his stunning album The Night Siren and dipping onto four of his many solo albums.  The second helping on this musical palette of delights was a revisiting of Genesis, the majority drawn from Wind and Wuthering celebrating forty years since its release.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffFor two hours, reality suspended as St David’s Hall was bathed in the multi-instrumental tones and textures created by Steve Hackett and the musicians that surround him. With an array of wind instruments including flute, penny whistle and soprano sax, keys, and a mixture of electronic wizardry, Rob Townsend; behind him surround by keys Roger King; the rhythm section of Gary O’Toole behind a sparkling shield of cymbals and bassist Nick Beggs with fretless and twin-necked instruments; and joining the stage for the second half vocalist Nad Sylvan.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffWith a discography full of depth and interest the night started with a dip into his third solo album Spectral Mornings and Every Day with the soprano sax adding brightness and colour we knew this wasn’t going to be an everyday performance we were in for something special. Gently easing us in with the familiar we were soon hearing the new album, the dramatic instrumental El Niňo so early on a number that was going to be one of the many highlights of the evening.  The music from the instruments was woven in to a sonic technicolour coat of shape and form, prog rock that enthralled, informs and takes you deep within yourself. Three other tracks from the Night Siren were incorporated into the first set, as he stepped back into the past The Steppes fitted seamlessly into the collection with its Eastern feel.

 

The light show throughout added a sense of drama as the swirling patterns fell across the stage then up through the tiers that form the many faceted auditorium of St David’s Hall. As we stepped into The Skeleton Gallery the music live reinforcing the power of Steve Hackett’s latest recording and then to the album’s opening track Behind The Smoke. With a political comment about Brexit, an audience divided Steve reminded us that his lineage included Polish refugees. He sang the lyrics that explore the despair of the displaced and how borders contain. Whilst the music crossed all boundaries finding a common coming together through the power of the musical note tonight in Cardiff.  This emotional masterpiece should be the earworm that dictates our walk through life and how we meet and greet strangers from a different place. Last visit to the album is Serpentine, dedicated to his father and gentler times. Inspired by his father selling paintings in Hyde Park, London.  Closing out the set with Rise Again and Shadow Of The Hierophant; with Nick Beggs sitting on the floor using his bass pedals creating a spellbinding atmosphere. We had been on a voyage as acolytes and the feet of superb musicians who deliver prog rock that is mesmerizing, entertaining and often beautiful music, that cascades and falls away leaving a thoughtful phrase or question.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffThe Second set, was much anticipated with the Cardiff crowd looking forward to old favourites and hearing Wind & Wuthering tracks live once again.  Opening with Eleventh Earl of Mar we were once again introduced to the vocals of Nad Sylvan. They are a beguiling mix of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins yet never pale imitations Nad brings his own sonic quality and vocal interpretations to every number. The cheer for One For the Vine, when announced was loud and very happy. Cardiff prog rockers were delighted. Then the atmosphere changed as we were treated to an Acoustic Noodle, Steve on stage with acoustic guitar joined by the band at the end a quiet interlude, with classical guitar playing, hints of flamenco and a moment of reflection. The quiet was broken with Blood on the Rooftops, and with Inside Out written by Phil Collins, an early lyric that was left off the final cut of Wind And Wuthering; a Cinderella song quipped Hackett, included tonight as it fits in with the rest. Closing out the set that highlighted the power of Genesis was Musical Box, a wonderful atmospheric number, Nad, using the tambourine to great effect as he added drama to the lyrics. Tonight was a great nostalgic set of Genesis classics.

 

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff​St David’s Hall was resplendent in the glow of Prog Rock from Steve Hackett and his band of musicians, we had been bathed in lights of every hue and taken on a journey through the power of lyrics and the complexities of multi-instruments exploring the notes of the octaves. The sound was superb, the audience attentive and as one rose as The Musical Box faded. The encore the perfect Genesis titled number Los Endos. This must not be the end, Steve Hackett and his Progressive Rock is welcome back in town anytime. For me I enjoyed the reminiscent quality of the Genesis numbers, they are familiar and safe, BUT the new solo numbers have an edge and intimacy they are modernity looking forward not back.

The tour continues check out dates and venues HERE A musical journey to be enjoyed and definitely not missed!

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

2017 Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett Tour

2017 Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett Tour

2017 Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett Tour

UK Tour – April/May 2017

 Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Classic

GENESIS Album ‘Wind and Wuthering’

 

 

The continuing popularity of former Genesis guitarist and prog legend Steve Hackett is in no doubt as 4 dates on his latest 15-date UK tour have already sold out.  They are in Cambridge, Reading, London & Manchester.   Tickets for the remaining eleven gigs in April & May are going fast.

Steve will also be introducing fans to music from his new studio album The Night Siren..   

Truly a show not to be missed!

SOLUTION GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!! From My Tickets or Box Offices

2017  UK TOUR DATES

April

Wed 26th  Dublin, Vicar Street
Fri 28th  Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
Sun 30th   Reading, Hexagon – SOLD OUT

May

Mon 1st Birmingham, Symphony Hall
Wed 3rd    Sheffield, City Hall
Thurs 4th  Bristol, Colston Hall
Fri 5th   Manchester, Bridgewater Hall – SOLD OUT
Sun 7th   Liverpool, Philharmonic
Mon 8th  Portsmouth, Guildhall
Wed 10th   Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
Thurs 11th  Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
Sat 13th   Oxford, New Theatre
Sun 14th  Cambridge, Corn Exchange – SOLD OUT
Tues16th  Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
Wed17th Sage, Gateshead
Fri 19th  London, Palladium – SOLD OUT

2017 Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett TourIt’s 40 years since Hackett recorded his last studio album with prog giants Genesis before leaving the band to embark on his highly successful solo career.  That album was Wind and Wuthering. Now Steve and his incredible band celebrate this classic work’s 40th anniversary by treating audiences to thrilling renditions of tracks from the album.

The show features more Genesis gems, including fan favourites such as ‘The Musical Box’, as well as Genesis tracks ‘Inside & Out’ (released on an EP shortly after Wind & Wuthering) and ‘One for the Vine’ which have never been performed by Steve and his band until now.

Steve’s brilliance, of course, is not limited to his years with Genesis and the show will include plenty of ‘Classic Hackett’ from his remarkable solo catalogue, including popular hits such as  ‘The Steppes’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Every Day’ and the first ever live performance of ‘Rise Again’ from his 1999 album Darktown.

 

I’m thrilled to bring my latest show of Genesis and Hackett numbers to the UK, adding additional numbers such as One for the Vine and celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wind and Wuthering, one of my favourite Genesis albums and popular with Genesis fans the world over…Steve Hackett

 But Steve isn’t the only one excited by this latest live offering… the American leg of the “Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett” tour has received consistently excellent reviews from media across the USA:

All in all, an evening of flawlessly performed music played to a very appreciative audience of prog fans who rarely get to see this genre of music played live in this day and age as well as it was this evening. Elmore Magazine

Steve Hackett was masterful in revisiting Genesis, unfurling solo gems in Grand Rapids. Local Spins Magazine

Hackett’s soaring guitar work still sounded as vibrant that evening as it did nearly 50 years ago when he first joined Genesis.  With a calm and almost stoic demeanour that contrasted him from the more flamboyant axe masters, Hackett showed a dexterity and versatility in his performances, from strumming Latin-style acoustic to tapping on the electric numbers. Ultimate Classic Rock

 

2017 Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett Tour

YES inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017


YES inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017

 

YES inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017

 

Yes they can! YES will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the Class of 2017. The induction, following two previous nominations, will occur one year shy of the legendary progressive rock band’s 50th anniversary.

“What an honour this is for us and all involved with the history of this band,” shares guitarist Steve Howe. “We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”

“We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honour of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition,” adds drummer Alan White. “We thank everyone who voted for Yes. We’ll see you soon, Cleveland!”

The members of YES who will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall are the “Union” tour line-up: current members White and Howe, the band’s late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).

In addition to Steve Howe and Alan White, YES’ current line-up includes Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015).

YES continues to thrill audiences playing to sold-out venues. albums that simply iconic and the band they listen to again and again. Founded in 1968 the music has evolved, influencing and inspiring tracks including Roundabout, I’ve Seen All Good People and Owner of a Lonely Heart the list goes on we all have our personal favourites.

More You Tube HERE

Multi-platinum, double-platinum Yes Albums are special including Fragile, Tales from Topographic Oceans and 90125.  Listen on Soundcloud HERE.

 

 

Magnum bringing Rock to a Progressive Tramshed Cardiff

Magnum bringing Rock to a Progressive Tramshed Cardiff

Magnum bringing Rock to a Progressive Tramshed Cardiff

The “Divine” Lies Tour rolls into Cardiff tonight as Magnum is in the City. Before the main act tonight at the Tramshed the rapidly filling venue, full of excited delight at the delicious prospect of a Magnum gig, were treated to Vega. This rock quintet, including twins Tom and James Martin on Bass and Keyboards got the night off to a fine start. Dan Chantrey powered up the rock with drumming that pounded across the venue, Marcus Thurston’s guitar work adding layers of chords and upfront charismatic Nick Workman pulling the Vega sound together. The band were warming up the Tramshed with rock that flowed with a sound that kept to the structure and shape that worked.  The set list was from current and previous albums.  With their latest album Who We Are released on the 13th it was good to hear the new music live. Opening with a hefty number from the new album Explode, yes Vega are exploding with energy lifting the venue with live music.  Every track pleased and closing with Saving Grace the band was so much more and they know how to entertain.  This is warm up band that knows how to excite and get the venue hot so the audience is ready to hear more rock on a Thursday in Cardiff.

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Magnum bringing Rock to a Progressive Tramshed CardiffWith a short break the main event Magnum – Prog rock with a hard rock attitude – has landed in the building. The lights are dim the band arrives on stage and then with a flash of light the white denim suited Bob Catley takes to the stage. The cheers are momentous with a raising of Bob’s arms the cheering reaches a crescendo before a note has been played. With the opening over and all present and correct on stage it was time to get down to Magnum business.

 

Magnum bringing Rock to a Progressive Tramshed Cardiff

The 2016 tour “Divine Lies” celebrating their 19th studio album and interspersed between much-loved numbers were four tracks. The addition of new material freshens the set whilst keeping the favourites firmly in place.  The concert started with a wow with Soldier Of The Line followed by the classic On a Storyteller’s Night. The night was warming up with the sound of live music, clapping and the audience joyfully joining in on the words they love. The narratives are strong on every number and the harmonizing, and playful interaction between the musicians made the show full of fun and energy and the immense power of music.  The new tracks including the album title Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies slotted into the set it was still classic Magnum. The chorus of Crazy Old Mother will very soon be sung back to Bob Catlin. The guitar breaks lacked meanness and the keys were just a little bit too confirming for a Prog Rock concert. Magnum though delighted the fans with hard rock with a progressive edge. Magnum Hard Rock or Progressive rock who cares it is brilliant rock every time. Once again Tramshed was the scene of another memorable gig in Cardiff.

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Yes Back on Tour with Vinyl Re-released

yes1501

 

YES RELEASE VINYL of
FRAGILE AND DRAMA in original packaging
TO COINCIDE WITH UK TOUR

 

Seminal prog pioneers YES hit the road for an extensive UK and European tour at the end of this month…. April 2016. The band will be performing 1971’s ‘Fragile’ and 1980’s ‘Drama’ in their entirety, the latter for the very first time, plus other seminal tracks including ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ and ‘Starship Trooper’.

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Warners will release Drama on 22nd April and Fragile on 6th May on 180gm Vinyl with replicas of the original gatefold sleeves. Fragile will also include a smaller inner booklet. This product has been expertly recreated to match the original in every way from content to physical material and product specification.

Warners has recently released all of their catalogue YES albums Mastered For iTunes. These include The Yes Album, Fragile, Going For The One, Time and a Word, Yes, 90125, Tales From Topographic Oceans and Drama. FOR SALE HERE

‘Most of the songs haven’t been performed in some 30 years’ – said Steve Howe. ‘Fragile and Drama mark two essential chapters of our career and we’re looking forward to share the whole journeys with our fans throughout Europe’. ‘Reliving those years will be very emotional’ – adds drummer Alan White – ‘I know Chris would have loved to be here with us for this’.

YES has recently lost bassist and co-founder Chris Squire, a tragedy that left the prog world in mourning. His replacement Billy Sherwood found a big pair of shoes to fill, as YES set out to honour his memory by keeping the band’s legacy alive. The band recently toured the US with fellow prog legends Toto to an enthusiastic reception.

YES was founded by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson in 1968. Characterized by a unique, prog symphonic style of rock music, lengthy compositions and the use of mystical and cosmic lyrics, the band found success in 1971 with two of the band’s most celebrated records, ‘The YES Album’ and ‘Fragile’. The band went on to record 21 albums and win several prestigious awards including Grammys. Yes is recognized as one of the most influential icons in prog rock.

Still as relevant today as they were in the 70s, YES has maintained a loyal following while constantly attracting new crowds of music fans throughout 47 years of outstanding career. With ‘Fragile’ and ‘Drama’ representing two essential moments of the band’s history, it will be an opportunity for all to rediscover some undisputed gems of the genre.

Yes Back on Tour with Vinyl Re-released – Drama and Fragile

TOUR DATES
U.K.

April
Wed 27th Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 0141 353 80000141 353 8000
Fri 29th Newcastle City Hall 0191 277 80300191 277 8030
Sat 30th Manchester Apollo 08444 777 67708444 777 677

May
Mon 2nd Liverpool Philharmonic 0151 709 37890151 709 3789
Tue 3rd Sheffield City Hall 0114 2789 7890114 2789 789
Wed 4th Bristol Colston Hall 0844 887 15000844 887 1500
Fri 6th Birmingham Symphony Hall 0121 345 06020121 345 0602
Sat 7th Brighton Brighton Centre 0844 847 15150844 847 1515
Mon 9th Oxford * New Theatre 0844 871 30200844 871 3020
Tue 10th London** Royal Albert Hall 0207 589 82120207 589 8212

UK Tickets are £39 for all venues except – Oxford* £39 + £1.25 venue restoration levy.
London** £55 (boxes), £48.50, £45, £38
Tickets are available from 24hour Ticket Hotline: 0844 338 00000844 338 0000 and Online from Bookings Direct. Showtime is 7.30pm. Tickets and VIP up-grades are also available from HERE

Dates for rest of EUROPE

13th Paris FRANCE Olympia
14th Brussels BELGIUM Ancienne Belgique
15th Utrecht NETHERLANDS Tivolivredenburg
17th Hamburg GERMANY Mehr Theater
19th Frankfurt GERMANY Alte Oper
20th Leipzig GERMANY Haus Avensee
21st Berlin GERMANY Admiralspalast
23rd Bonn GERMANY Beethovenhalle
24th Stuttgart GERMANY Hegelsaal
25th Munich GERMANY Cirkus Krone
27th Zurich SWITZERLAND Volkshaus
28th Milan ITALY Teatro Nazionale
29th Padova ITALY Gran Teatro Geox
31st Florence ITALY Obihall
June
1st Rome ITALY Teatro Olimpico

Karnataka blow The Globe Away Progressive, Mystical, Magical…

Karnataka blow The Globe Away Progressive, Mystical, Magical…

Karnataka blow The Globe Away Progressive, Mystical, Magical…

 

Karnataka WM-8068A wet evening in Cardiff, The Globe made brighter by a spectacular show for Karnataka’s special blending Progressive Rock. The crowd could have been larger but the atmosphere was electric with anticipation. Among the regulars at The Globe were fans who travel miles to see the band they find simply beguiling. For the band it was the second night of the Secret of Angels European Tour as it was for some of the audience determined to follow them around the country. The band spans twenty years and have experienced all the ups and downs of a career in the music industry.  Karnataka as well as a band name is also an Indian State, full of lavish temples, reflecting the style of music home to medieval Vijayanagara empire capital. The name might be steeped in ancient and modern history, but Karnataka are firmly footed in the modern world. A sophisticated stage set-up, included bass pedals plus the distinctive lack of speaker stacks and monitors, giving the stage an uncluttered free-form. This space gave Hayley Griffiths formerly Riverdance/Lord of The Dance plenty of room even on a smallish stage to move, dance and visit the other band members as they took over from her vocal duties. During the evening she stood behind the drummer and conducted the immaculately timed beats of FrenchmanJimmy Pallagrosi, who entertained with stellar cymbal work and catching your breath with every beat when he was sitting down or standing and dominating the drums.  Hayley flirted with Ian Jones on bass and cajoled some dazzling fretwork from Italian guitarist Enrico Pinna. Her presence ensured that Turkish keyboard player Cagri Tozuoglu added that special ingredient to the sound. Hayley did not hide at the back for long before taking centre stage once again luring us under the Karnataka spell with her lyrical vocals that soared and then took us to the darker underbelly of the lyrics.

Karnataka WM-8103They kicked-off with four tracks from their award-winning latest album Secret Of Angels. The beginning of tonight’s Karnataka journey being Road To Cairo. The vocals from Hayley were magnificent, as she did throughout, creating a great vibe and the depicting a story with all the drama provided by the rhythm section and keys. Poison Ivy had all the intricacies of ivy growing up the wall but this was creeping into the darkest crevice as Hayley sang “tormenting shadows soothe the needs revealing secrets whisper the dreams your Poison Ivy!” Fairytale Lies of the last of this set from the album was full of intricate twists and turns with the keyboard opening and then the voice ethereal from a world that Prog rock tonight was successfully taking us tonight and then to close the set, a dip into The Gathering with Forsaken and closing with a new number Twist of Fates. This was a powerful close showing Karnataka continue to develop their sound and approach to rock. A short break and costume change and we were back for a very welcome second helping of progressive Karnataka. The second set included another track from The Gathering, Serpent and the Sea with its secrets untold a rockier number that has an energy that rebuilds the energy after the short break.  The other album dipped into was their second The Storm with Dreamer, rocky and full of driving energy and like all the music tonight the tempo ebbed and flowed changing directions this was a dream full of colour and mystery. Mixed in were two more tracks from Secret of Angels, Borderline and then closing the set with the title track. What a performance what a number full of Celtic magic and then opening a mind engaging ethereal loop of uilleann pipes and whistles recreating the album sound courtesy of Nightwish’s Troy Donockley. Jimmy standing pounded out a primeval beat that coursed through the veins of this number. Twenty minutes of charmed progressive rock for Karnataka and Welshman Ian Jones deep rumbling bass lines ensured the structure was never lost when each instrument took control. It was Hayley’s vocals that shone whether singing the lyrics or using her sweet vocal range as the fifth musical instrument. There is no doubt that Secret of Angels was a deserved winner of Classic Rock Society Awards 2016 for ‘Best Album’ and ‘Best Song’. Then the tracks sadly drew to an end, the band left the stage.  We were back from the land Karnataka had taken us. We wanted more and they obliged with the only track from the album not played tonight.

A collective of superb musicians who weave the tones they never interrupt or overpower each other. The use of slide, plectrum, finger-picking and the manipulation of the fretboard keeps the guitar interesting. The rhythm section does more that keep the beat they drive and shape the feel of the music adding deep drama and the gentlest of a deeper tone and the tinkling of cymbals.  The keys sear through the tracks and the guitar adds tonal texture and layers of majestic chords, then the vocals stunning, controlled and emotional. Karnataka played a live set full of musical delights tonight in Cardiff.

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AndersonPonty Band ~ Better Late Than Never

AndersonPontyBand

AndersonPonty Band
Better Late Than Never
earMusic

Released on September 25th 2015 as CD+DVD (Deluxe Edition) and CD (jewel)

 

This is a collaboration between two giants in the world of modern music, Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty. The melding, exploring of the musical talents of Jon Anderson vocals prowess that have improved with age and Jean Luc Ponty’s manipulation of the violin that always delights with the magic of deft bow work on vibrating strings works a treat. Better Late than Never is an album packed with undulation keys, searing vocals, and pitch perfect exciting violin creating a soundscape full of interesting tonal textures. A blending of sounds that assert themselves demanding you to sit back and listen.

The album comprises a mix of Yes favourites, Jean Luc’s compositions and recreating and shaping others into new pieces of work. This is definitely not Yes re-visited each piece has been re-worked and given a new lease of life by the recording style used which is unique, the risks were taken and the rewards are obvious. Throughout the album you have a feeling that this is live recording amalgamated with studio work. AndersonPonty Band, Better Late Than Never has a sound that has a freshness it is as if they played the music they love and identify with; no track has been set in vintage aging aspic. They have been given the breath of new life, energy and shape.

Opening with a short instrumental Intro your musical ear is intrigued it feels like an opening for a symphony as the sounds are deep and full of energy, this Prog Rock with a modern twist and you just want to dive deep into what the album undoubtedly will unfold. The tempo of the intro is kept for One In The Rhythm Of Hope, and you hear the vocal cadences of Jon Anderson with the superb jazz inspired violin from Jean Luc Ponty and I was hooked.

Reggae tones and beat with sharp violins in the re-arrangement of Yes’, Time and A Word, you listen with new interest and the constant once again is the power of the lyrics delivered by Jon Anderson’s vocals. A timeless number that us right for any moment as a piece of music that stands alone or in a collection of Better Late Than Never. The selected songs Wonderous Stories, And You And I, Owner of a Lonely Heart, and Roundabout Andersons vocal’s and Yes were intertwined with our youthful dramas.

Following on from Prog Rock meets reggae is the re-working of Jean Luc Ponty’s composition; Mirage re-named Infinite Mirage Anderson’s vocals change the dimension of the original with an inspirational vocal layer.

The concept of Better Late Than Never works well for this collaboration between the two of them goes back to the 1980’s when Jon Anderson originally approached Jean Luc Ponty. Now 30 years later the dream has finally come to fruition!

The whole album is full of gems, not in a Prog Rock sense but in a musical context… do I have a favourite? yes I do – A for Aria. Why? It is the instrumentation Jean Luc’s Ponty violin work is impressive and cajoles with the guitar and Jon Andersons’ vocals are full of colour and emotion, it is a track that I could never get bored with.

Finishing with New New World, an upbeat number with again the winning combination of violin and vocals. It is a title that reflects that this an album about music moving forward not being trapped in preconceptions of style and defined by types. Better Late Than Never experiments and transcends genres of music to create music you want to listen to.
The album has a fluid composition that excites and intrigues Better Later Than Never is an album of classical proportions in the true sense it is modern classical music that excites, entertains and has the power to move you. Simply this is an album to own, listen love and cherish Better Late Than Never as part of your collection.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Intro
2. One In Rhythm Of Hope
3. A For Aria
4. Owner Of A Lonely Heart
5. Listening With Me
6. Time And A Word
7. Infinite Mirage
8. Soul Eternal
9. Wonderous Stories
10. And You and I
11. Renaissance Of The Sun
12. Roundabout
13. I See You Messenger
14. New New World

The AndersonPonty Band also includes

Jon Anderson: Vocals, Guitar
Jean Luc Ponty: Violins
Jamie Glaser: Guitars
Wally Minko: Keyboards
Baron Browne: Bass
Rayford Griffin:Drums and percussion,

DBA ~ Suburban Ghosts – Album Review

DBA vinyl.inddDBA
Suburban Ghosts
Cherry Red Records

Released Date: 6th November

Downes Braide Association – DBA in short are back three years new project, new album Suburban Ghosts, after their critically acclaimed debut album Pictures of You, creative powerhouse duo Chris Braide and Geoff Downes have drafted the second chapter of their joint venture. The album, entitled Suburban Ghosts, is modern prog rock, with a concept that flows through the lyrics and words. The title track opens with a bright and breezy melody and insistent almost mechanized drum beats. The lyrics hook you into the story – “I came across a photograph… A wake up call.. From the distant past…” you want to know what why and how this is impacting now on the opening track Machinery of Fate.
As Chris Braide explained “Geoff and I both play all the keyboards 50/50 and we decided not to use a real drummer as we love the aesthetic of the electronic duo which is how we approached the first album. I.e., Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Capital Cities etc. We love the image of two guys with machines playing prog pop. A real drummer would have made it more of a traditional rock sound and it’s more electro pop than that. Bits of guitars by me more as texture and David Gregory from XTC plays guitar solo on Dreaming Of England”.

Downes is a legend in the world of Prog having played his stylish keyboards in Yes, Asia and The Buggles, he co-wrote the hits Heat of the Moment and Video Killed The Radio Star. Then in London during 2010 he crossed paths with Braide and the story of collaboration began. Despite hectic and demanding schedules and stealing time creative juices thrived and Suburban Ghosts was born.
Chris Braide explains: “’Suburban Ghosts’ is an album about isolation and loneliness in small town suburbia.” The story goes back to his and Geoff’s childhood in the small county of Cheshire in the North West of England: its beautiful varied countryside landscapes in contrast with grey industrial wastelands, the feeling of claustrophobia that led them both away looking for a new adventure and those sentiments of nostalgia as they come back to a town populated with the ghosts of their past. “A blank town under a sky full of stars, the same blank town you left behind,……It’s time to let them go, those suburban ghosts.”

It is an album where you are submersed in a soundscape that laps around you with crafted beauty at times melancholy others with a festive feel but always quietly reflective. Twelve minutes of the album is dedicated to the title track and theme of the album and the keys and vocals harmonise adding power to the lyrical story that is being told that anyone who has experience of suburbia can instantly connect to. The three parts of the tracks Suburban Ghosts are a musical movement that is complete and tucked within the rest of the album that works around and develops the themes being explored.

With twelve tracks that ebb and flow and develop the concept of a town being trapped and isolated Number One is how to escape the prisoner need to be you own person and the drums have a hypnotic feel and work around the vocals and keys. About escaping with your dreams before the routines of work and respectability captures you this is a powerful message about self-belief and purpose. Half-way through there is a short Interlude of keys and vocals “life is not lost”… is sung and then into the next section of this Prog Rock opus. The music picks up tempo and the strings add a mystical feel as North Sea now provides the backdrop to a new chapter and Geoff Downes vocals again sear through the music unfolding another dimension to life. With a faster tempo Times Goes Fast you feel life is moving on yet nothing changes it is about stop dreaming and live your life as you saw it time is relentless and that is picked up in the lyrical tone poem that is the format of this track. The last two tracks Dreaming of England and Finale bring the exploration of life, suburbia and living in England to a close. The whole album has structure, movements driven by a melody that lightens and darkens the lyrics that pull you deep into the album that needs to be explored so the nuances of the words are not lost in this opus a modern tonal poem that is progressive music.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Machinery of Fate
2. Suburban Ghost part 1 2
3. Suburban Ghost part 3
4. Vanity
5. Number One
6. Interlude
7. North Sea
8. One Of The Few
9. Time Goes Fast
10. Live Twice
11. Dreaming of England
12. Finale

Steve Hackett ~ Live at Colston Hall October 2015

Steve Hackett - Colston Hall - Oct 2015_0239lSteve Hackett
Acolyte to Wolflight with Genesis Revisited Tour
Colston Hall, Bristol
28th October 2015

Steve Hackett - Colston Hall - Oct 2015_0012lTonight it is Bristol on the final leg of Steve Hackett’s latest tour, who are treated to an evening of Prog Rock in two halves, the first set a celebration of the solo career of Steve Hackett from his first solo album Voyage of The Acolyte to his latest release Wolflight and then after a short break over an hour of celebration of Genesis with the delight of hearing live tracks previously unheard.

Steve Hackett - Colston Hall - Oct 2015_0042bwlTaking us back to the early days of post Genesis, the title track from his third solo album Spectral Mornings, gets the show on the road as Colston Hall was surrounded by layers of sound that would continue throughout the show. Tonight’s touring band with Steve fitted the music being explored creating textured layers of music from instruments whose chords and notes intermingled in to a musical tapestry tonight with bassist, Roine Stolt , Gary O’Toole the bowler hatted drummer, on keys Roger King, and then multi-instrumentalist Rob Townsend adding flute, saxophone and additional vocals on some of the songs provided by Nad Sylvan with his golden voice.

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By the third track we were up to the present day with Woflight the title track of Steve Hackett’s latest offering, the guitar was sublime, elegant and at times hard-hitting. The whole band had a feel of a very contemporary orchestra this is electric music with a classical feel progressive and organic. Filling the hall with colourful shapes and layers of sound creating a complex tonal shape that was stylish and flowed with the musical story. Steve’s piercing guitar combined with haunting wind instruments and drums that form the beats that resonate across the hall. This is progressive music where you sit back and immersed deep in the zone of sound being created as the lyrics unfold taking you deep into exploration of the world while the music paints the emotional picture.
A change of tempo as Steve discarded electric for a twelve string acoustic taken to a special moment he experienced whilst on holiday in Mexico, Loving Sea captures those rare perfect moments preserving in the music the magic of memory. This was no folksy, rootsy acoustic it was progressive with percussion and penny whistle all painting a tonal backdrop for the lyrics as the tale unfolded. The next number, this time with a six string, from Defector album is Jaccuzzi with his brother John joining him on haunting and distinctive flute as we are once again exploring a musical wonderland.
What a wonderful hour and half of music with harmonies that floated, at then pinned down the lyrics as with the vocals from Nad on Icarus Ascending and Star of Sirius based on tarot and creating a wall of sound that was full of mysticism.

Steve Hackett - Colston Hall - Oct 2015_0125lA short break and then Genesis re-visited with fans ecstatic with joy as the set rolled through tracks that for many were personal favourites, reminding us of what a ground breaking prog rock band they were in the early days of the 1970’s. Every track was distinctive with a light show that augmented the complexity of sound and the journey the music and lyrics were exploring not always in a continuum but through a musical maze of exciting chord changes. Nad’s vocals soared above the clever instrumentation and arrangements capturing and distilling the essence of Genesis. Opening with Get ‘Em Out By Friday the trio of voices took on characters in a rendition that created a stage driven Prog Opera as Nad, Gary and Steve all played a vocal part. The poignancy of the set was augmented with a mention of the creepiness of Colston Hall downstairs with its history of holding slaves below harking back to the darker side of Bristol’s history. The inclusion of The Cinema Show was also fitting as the hall was a cinema in its checkered history, with stylish bass and guitar from Ronnie Stolt with his double-headed custom-built monster. The biggest cheer of the night was Steve Hackett on acoustic as he moved from some classic Spanish guitar sound into the opening bar of last track from Foxtrot album, Can-Utility and the Coastliners what a sound from the stage and around the hall.
The encore was sublime we all wanted more Prog Rock courtesy of Steve Hackett and his band of musicians but as the clocks ticked we knew time was running out in Bristol tonight.

Tonight was pure Prog rock in the moment and full of nostalgia that delighted both Genesis fans and those who like me are firmly in the camp of Steve Hackett’s post Genesis career that has that very special prog rock musical magic.

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Set List
Part 1: Acolyte to Wolflight

Spectral Mornings
Out Of The Body
Wolflight
Every Day
Love Song To A Vampire
The Wheel’s Turning
Loving Sea
Jaccuzzi
Icarus Ascending
Star Of Sirius
Ace Of Wands
Tower Struck
Hierophant

Part 2: Genesis Revisited
Get ‘Em Out By Friday
Can-Utility
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle Of Plenty
The Lamb
The Musical Box
Encore:
Clocks/ Firth Of Fifth

CD Review: Neal Morse Testimony and One Live

Scan0003Neal Morse
Testimony and One Live
Morsefest 2014
Radiant Records

Released on 2 Blu-Ray or Special Edition 2 DVD/4CD Set

 

This is a musical equivalent of a T.V. series Box set; the advantage is you can dip in and out across the four albums and the music still has a form and a narrative or you can sit back, feet up a glass of your favourite tipple and let the two nights of concerts flow from your speakers for just over five hours.

 

The long-time rhythm collaborators drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Randy George plus the anchors of the musical pictures being painted are the Neal Morse Band, the keyboard delights from Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette’s guitar magic joining Neal Morse.  In then the addition of layers of sounds that fill out the textures and add a velvety lushness of sound from 4 piece horn section, 6 member female background vocal, strings and full orchestral percussion the sound is progressive and full of enchanting moments some loud whilst others take on a more subtle hue.

 

Across the four CDs is a Prog-Rock show for everyone to enjoy with the added bonus of DVDs to see the full stage show spectacular. This is music that is full of melodies and hooks of choruses that catch the ear and then the complexity of different instruments meeting through clever arrangements so that the show is a celebration of everything that is Prog-Rock as the tempos ebb and flow, the level rises and falls and the cadences of the guitars squeal as the six-strings take centre stage.

 

Neal Morse’s career whether in bands including Transatlantic and Spock’s Beard or as a solo artist this is an undertaking that takes the confidence of being a respected musician and the faith that bringing a project of this size to stage will deliver the music that has a purpose and entertains – this has been achieved whether you listen to the whole or parts of the collection the music paints for you pictures in the music mind.

 

Yes, in this length of music there are moments of self-indulgence but that can be overlooked as the sum of the whole is progressive rock that pours from keys, strings and the percussive nerve will hold the structure together it is a roller-coaster ride of delight. The vocals when used are another musical instrument as the harmonies flow around the words and then the guitar picks up the lead from the voice. This is a journey of Neal Morse’s life and challenges having left the band Spock’s Beard and finding Christianity. This is a true Prog-Rock concept journey that finds you taken on a road trip that allows you to explore the emotions, changes and challenges we all meet on the road.

 

This is for the collection of all lovers of Prog Rock and his ever growing fan base who must be delighted and at times it is like playing Name That Tune as there are snippets of tunes we all recall. The energy of live music is live and well on Morsefest 2014.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….