The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord checks in from the studio and reveals details of their new studio album Dissolution

UK & European Headline Tour Announced

Bruce Soord, The Pineapple Thief’s composer, lyricist and driving force, has checked in from the studio with an update on the progress of the band’s new album, the follow up to 2016’s acclaimed Your Wilderness.

After 5 intensive months of song writing and recording, the new The Pineapple Thief album is almost done!  We’ve once again been joined by Gavin Harrison, but this time from day one.  It’s been a real collaborative journey between the 4 of us writing and recording this record, with the songs taking on a life of their own.  When everyone pulls in the same direction, amazing things can happen.

Bruce also reveals more about Dissolution, the title of the forthcoming release ““The new album, will be out later this summer. Broadly speaking the title reflects the disintegration of relationships and the undoing of our social fabric.  We’re living in a time when supposedly we are more connected than ever before, but, I personally am at my happiest when I unplug that connection. 

Reflecting more on the creative process between the band members – Gavin Harrison, Jon Sykes & Steve Kitch, Soord explains “ I would come up with ideas, jamming them on a guitar with a rough vocal, but instead of locking myself away and finishing the demos like I usually do, I would send them to Gavin for him to play around with in his studio.  Gavin has one of the best sounding drum rooms I have heard, and he can produce incredible sounding drum mixes. He would then lay down some drum ideas, chop things around, add some drum sections here and there before sending it back to me to take forward. It’s as close to having a jam in studio as you can get whilst being 200 miles apart!  Jon would then lay down his bass from his studio and Steve would do his thing from his mastering studio in Devon. We are just settling down now to the do the final mixes. Gavin is mixing the drums, Steve and I are mixing the rest. I am definitely looking forward to having that celebratory beer when we send the masters away!”

Gavin Harrison adds “It’s been fantastic to collaborate with these guys again – especially as this time I’ve been involved from the ground up. It’s been a most inspiring effort and I think it will prove to be the best yet. The emotional investment that you place in an album is immense and we’re all excited about getting out there and playing these songs live. “

The Pineapple Thief have announced they will be taking  Dissolution on the road starting in September 2018 which will include their biggest show to date at London’s prestigious Shepherds Bush Empire – tickets are on sale now and selling fast: http://www.pineapplethief.com/tour/

Sep 15 – FR – Paris – La Maroquinerie

Sep 16 – BE, Brussels-  La Madeleine

Sep 17 – DE, Bremen – Schlachthof

Sep 18 – DE, Hanover – Musikzentrum

Sep 19 – DE, Berlin – Lido

Sep 21 – PL, Warsaw – Stodola

Sep 22 – CZ, Olomucany – S-Club

Sep 23 – CZ, Prgaue – Rock Cafè

Sep 25 – AU, Wien – Szene

Sep 26 – DE, Munich – Backstage Werk

Sep 27 – DE, Aschaffenburg-  Colos-Saal

Sep 28- DE, Cologne – Live Music Hall

Sep 29 – NL, Amsterdam – Melkweg

Oct 4 – UK, Edinburgh – Liquid Rooms

Oct 5 – UK, Sheffield – Leadmill

Oct 6 – UK, London – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

 

Live Review – The Pineapple Thief (featuring Gavin Harrison) and Godsticks at Bristol Bierkeller – by James R Turner

I once stole some coconut shampoo, I don’t know why, I didn’t have a coconut, however Bruce Soord has been getting away with Pineapple Thievery for over 18 years, and despite the gig being on a Sunday night, I was glad to finally see them on their latest musical jaunt, a worldwide tour de force promoting the latest long player ‘Your Wilderness’. In fact these dates were added later, as it seemed very odd when the tour was first announced that they bypassed the West Country entirely, and we can’t all afford to ship off over to that London for a gig

In fact this was the last gig of the tour, and practically a local one, as Bruce doesn’t live a million miles away, so it was almost a homecoming for him.

It’s always strange to go to a venue that is so intimate to see bands that you think should be playing such bigger venues, particularly when the venue is the Bierkeller, which is an odd little place. A cross between a traditional rock club and a German drinking haus, managing to not quite be one thing or t’other, and it’s also funny to go to the merch stand and see the latest release by the band being an audio/visual document of the show that you’re about to watch. (Where we Stood).

(Godsticks)

Support was by Welsh boys and K-Scope label mates Godsticks, whose set was made up of a majority of new material from their forthcoming album ‘Filled with Rage’, I had never heard of them before, and as I have probably said elsewhere one of my criteria for what makes a great gig is how good the support band are.

Godsticks are good, very good indeed, they have a wonderfully chunky sound, big riffs and big beats, and have that knack of turning up the amps but not losing the melody, whilst the set was bias towards the new record, ‘Faced with Rage’, which is out on October 13th, the older material from ‘Emergence’ fitted in superbly.

As a rock band go Godsticks are entertaining, musically adept and according to someone who was with me in the audience who had seem them before, they have come on leaps and bounds. All I know is they were a superb start to the show, and got the audience warmed up before the main event.

Last time I saw Bruce and the boys was on the ‘Magnolia‘ tour, back in The Fleece in Bristol in 2014, and then I thought they should be playing somewhere far bigger.

Now, with the addition of the busiest man of the night Godsticks guitarist and vocalist Darran Charles, who joined The Pineapple Thief live line-up, the amazing Gavin Harrison on drums, the Thief’s live sound is suddenly enhanced, and those simple tweaks helps take the burden of Bruce, so he can be the frontman he was always destined to be, and with Gavin on board this group of excellent musicians suddenly have raised their game even more.

There is a reason why the tickets say The Pineapple Thief with Gavin Harrison, and that is because Gavin is the contemporary musical equivalent to Bill Bruford, and is mesmerising to watch and hear as a drummer, astonishingly despite being a massive fan of his work, both solo and with bands like Porcupine Tree or King Crimson, this was the first time I have ever seen him live, and whilst I love The Pineapple Thief, and their latest album, seeing Gavin Harrison in action was something I couldn’t miss.

Being biased towards some of the later albums, and of course ‘Your Wilderness’, the entire album hits the stage at one point or another tonight, and songs like In Exile, Where We Stood and Tear you Up come across with power and intensity, the sound that a band confident in their ability can deliver with panache.

With Darran doing some of the heavy lifting, Bruce is like a man freed, playing to the audience and turning in some fine banter (‘forgetting’ to remember the album title of Godsticks new release being one of many exchanges), whilst material from ‘Magnolia’, including The One you left Behind (the strongest track from that album), absolutely rips the place apart with the power and skills of the band. With long term collaborators Steve Kitch on keys and Jon Sykes on bass, a lot of the focus is of course on the man in the corner of the stage. Every note is timed to perfection, every fill, every beat is on point, and nothing is superfluous, I feel a lot of prog drummers can get a lesson in how to do it from Gavin Harrison. Everything he does added so much to the songs that every so often I would get a great big grin on my face, as the whole sonic template meshed together to create an almighty sound.

I said before when I saw them at The Fleece a few years ago how I couldn’t understand why they aren’t playing bigger venues, and ironically the Bierkeller is slightly smaller than the Fleece, and I wish I could fathom why a band this powerful, with songs this melodic, this intelligent and this epic aren’t selling out and playing to the sort of crowds that bland wallpaper peddlers like Coldplay are doing. There is more musical intelligence in one of Bruce’s riffs or one of Gavin’s fills than there is in Coldplay’s recorded output for the last 5 years, and music this big and this powerful and emotional deserves a bigger platform. I guess that the benefit for us is that we get stadium-sized performances in smaller venues and to hear this music, this close is something we should all be thankful. If, and I say if, Gavin Harrison is still playing with The Pineapple Thief next time they tour then you owe it to yourself to go see them. If not, then we’ll always have ‘Where We Stood’, and the Bristol Bierkeller.

Live DVD Review – The Pineapple Thief – Where We Stood – by Emma Roebuck

Darran Charles, Steve Kitch, Jon Sykes, Gavin Harrison and, of course, Bruce Soord are the current touring version of The Pineapple Thief. On the 11th February 2017 they played the Islington Assembly Rooms, touring in support of their ‘Your Wilderness’ album. It was a packed audience and was a much anticipated tour and album.

The set list for the night was:

  • Tear You Up
  • The one you left to Die
  • No Man’s Land
  • Alone At Sea
  • That Shore
  • Reaching Out
  • In Exile
  • Take Your Shot
  • Show a little love
  • Fend For Yourself
  • Part Zero
  • Simple as that
  • Final Thing on my mind
  • Encores Snow drops / Nothing at best.

The show was recorded and will be released in various packages on the 6th October as ‘Where We Stood’.

First the limitations. I had no access to the package in itself with the multitude of mixes and vinyl stuff which Kscope have produced as a rather excellent showcase of a live band in full flow in front of a passionate audience. I will review what I have seen which is the concert DVD footage and the documentary footage. After all, this is the actual product they are selling in its many forms.

I am a music fan and believe the arena of the stage and live presentation is often the best judge of what a band is capable of in the purest form. A band can live or die on what it does on stage and putting out a DVD of a stage set is a brave thing to do for any band but it seems to be a common thing to do these days.

The set is mainly drawn from the recent album and shows the music in a new light with an additional dimension to the material. The band is completely together in this and are a very slick and tight outfit putting on a show worthy of a much larger stage and audience.

Visually it is a delight and it is also of a very high quality sound (which is available as a standalone live album). It comes as close to letting you be there during the actual performance as any DVD can. The band as individuals get fair shares of shots and it lingers on key musical moments like solos, licks or breaks.  High points for me are, obviously, Snow Drops and Take Your Shot but Exiles and the opening tracks Tear You Up and The One You left To Die also deserve special mention. The set flows like water and is a fine surrogate for those who missed the tour and also as a souvenir for those who have seen this line up recently.

Bravely the new album fills the set list but has a different tone and quality to the studio version. Gavin brings a new feel to the older songs and adds to the live versions. Bruce is a great front man and connects to the audience well. This brings me to a couple of frustrations which I hope can be resolved with the DVD menu manipulations. The show is interspersed with interviews with the guys which ruins the flow of the concert. They could as easily been dropped into the additional 15 minute documentary of the back stage, pre and post show scenes.   Instead I would have let the whole gig play and get the interactions of the band with the audience. I want to feel like I am at the gig and that gets broken up.  Having said that it is relatively minor gripe for what is a great visual presentation of a great band in full flow.

For fans it is an essential purchase but also if you have even a slight interest in good intelligent music then buy it and see what ‘good’ looks like as well as sounds like.

Released 6th October 2016.

Order all formats from the Kscope store at Burning Shed

(Featured image credit: DIANA SEIFERT)

 

 

NEW TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED FOR THE PINEAPPLE THIEF, FEATURING GAVIN HARRISON

The Pineapple Thief have announced the second leg of their European tour in support of the critically-acclaimed album Your Wilderness. The new dates will see the band venture into Poland and Switzerland along with shows in Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and UK. See a full list below.

The band will again be joined by virtuoso Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) on drums and Darran Charles (Godsticks) on guitar. As anyone who witnessed the shows earlier this year will attest, the new five-piece line-up has allowed Bruce, Steve and Jon to expand upon their signature sound, enabling the band to truly shine on stage.

For a glimpse of what to expect, fans can watch clips of the band’s sparkling performance at London’s Islington Assembly Hall here:

Tour dates

Wednesday, 6 September 2017 – Dresden, Alter Schlachtof

Thursday, 7 September 2017 – Warsaw, Progesja Music Zone

Friday, 8 September 2017 – Krakow, Kwadrat Music Club

Saturday, 9 September 2017 – Czech Republic Brno – Melodka

Sunday, 10 September 2017 – Munich, Backstage Halle

Monday, 11 September 2017 – Zurich, Dynamo

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 – Stuttgart, Universum

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 – Cologne, Luxor

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – Zoetermeer, De Boerderij

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – London, ULU

Sunday, 17 September 2017 – Bristol, Bierkeller

For more information and ticket details – http://pineapplethief.com/tour

Following a triumphant first leg, with several sold out shows, The Pineapple Thief has emerged as one of the most exciting live progressive rock acts on the circuit and a force to be reckoned with. Prog Magazine described the show as “a dynamic, dramatic experience” while Manchester Rocks commented that it’s “The Pineapple Thief, like you’ve never heard them before”.

“We can’t wait to get back on the road again!” explains band leader Bruce Soord. “Personally, I am really excited that people will have another opportunity to see and hear this fantastic line-up. Darran and Gavin have brought a whole new dimension to this band.”

The band will be performing Your Wilderness plus a string of re-imagined favourites from their back catalogue. These will be the last tour dates this year, and the final opportunity for fans to witness this line-up performing Your Wilderness in its entirety. Special guest support is from Kscope label mates Godsticks, who will be performing brand new material from their upcoming fourth album.

Your Wilderness is the 11th studio album from The Pineapple Thief. For the first time, the band brought in several special guest performers: Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) contributed drums throughout the album, John Helliwell (Supertramp) some beautiful clarinet parts, and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) provided a string quartet. They were also joined by a 4-piece choir and to cap it all off, Darran Charles (Godsticks) added some jaw dropping guitar playing.

One of the most exciting bands to come out of the UK progressive rock scene in recent times, The Pineapple Thief was formed in 1999 by founder and chief songwriter Bruce Soord. The band has steadily evolved and refined its sound with the bass playing of Jon Sykes and the production and keyboards of Steve Kitch vital ingredients of the unmistakable TPT sound.

The Pineapple Thief online:

Website: www.thepineapplethief.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepineapplethief

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pineapplethief

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thepineapplethief

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/4lrBMUSk8PiNnCEZfsmPAk

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6401DB011BD837E

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/the-pineapple-thief/id278648772

Review – Your Wilderness – The Pineapple Thief – By Kevin Thompson

Your_Wilderness_cover

About fifteen years ago I was rooting through a ‘bargain’ box of CD’s and came across one called ‘Jet Set Radio’, by Vulgar Unicorn, intrigued by the name and attracted by the price it found a place in my growing collection.

Then there was a time I collected my children for an all too rare visit from their Mum’s in Yeovil, a place full of history but devastated by modernity. As I wound up a hill toward their dingy council estate, I passed a theatre on the side of which a poster advertised a band, The Pineapple Thief (TPT). Again intrigued by the name I sought out what information I could and acquired ‘137’ and ‘Variations on a Dream’, and to this day they have remained my favourite two CDs of this band’s output; until this day…..

I still marvel how I came across this band and the fact I never realised the link between Vulgar Unicorn and TPT until a number of years later whilst browsing the sleeve notes to find the name Bruce Soord appeared on both. Now an established and sought after producer, dabbling in Wisdom of Crowds (with Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse) and with a solo album under his belt that appears to have rejuvenated his musical intent he returns with the 11th studio offering under the TPT monicker, ‘Your Wilderness’.

Fresh from watching their stunning performance at Be Prog My Friend festival in Spain, as headliners on the Friday evening, (report available here on Progradar), I had mixed emotions about reviewing this. I have always really liked this band and rate them alongside Porcupine Tree (PT), though I have never agreed with the comparisons in music style that some seem to find.

That said, whilst brilliantly produced and lovingly packaged, I had felt the last couple of albums, despite credible reviews, had an air of frustration and the feeling of treading water. I had feared that as have others, their ascendency and Bruce’s rising popularity in the industry may turn them into mediocrity and (the only comparison I will draw) that they may fade and disappear like PT. You stupid boy, Thompson!

Band 2

The cover picture could be interpreted as being in a wilderness and facing a difficult summit to climb, but I should have more faith……

A drum beat introduction leads in to Bruce’s distinct vocals as he berates being In Exile and the one line repeated chorus of “Don’t be afraid to miss me” ensures from the offset this album is not going to go amiss.  As the music swells and the guitar riffs in identifiable TPT style dig in to your mind the song ends with notes from stalwart Steve Kitch‘s keyboards ricocheting into a distant canyon at the beginning of this musical pilgrimage.

Beautiful acoustic strumming and the inimitable airy vocals from Bruce take up the journey into No Man’s Land,  and are joined by Steve’s piano for the ride. Slight pause for effect then the percussive rolls of guest drummer Gavin Harrison, (I know, Porcupine Tree, but still no comparisons) kick in redefining the sound, with Bruce’s cries floating over the top as further guest Darran Charles’ (Godsticks) guitars burst in with spine tingling energy and the bass playing of third man in the core trio, Jon Sykes, more than ably drives the engine of this vehicle through the canyon of music.

It has to be said that not having a permanent drummer at the moment does not detract. In fact, whilst bringing their own individual skills to the table, all the guest artists knit neatly into the TPT signature sound, adding a refreshing impetus.

Acoustic chords and a burst of electric guitar shoot out and Bruce advises he cannot Tear You Up, before the guitar flashes a short burst again and leaves way to the piano and vocals before crashing in with a heavy riff adding more energy to the drive and it definitely begins to feel like all these currents run to you, as it ends abruptly on those words.

The rhythms and riffs weave in and out returning at intervals on this album, linking tracks and  connecting to the whole pathway of the album.

Band 3 - Rob Monk

A gentler electronic sound with rhythm loops, like the breeze stirring desert sands along a dried up river, drifting across That Shore that once teemed with life. As the layered harmonizing echoes round a moonlit sky and you pull in for a rest, contemplating the aural massage of notes soothing your brow as you watch the sunrise.

As the orb rises in the sky, light guitar chords spread across the track and the bass heats up,  Bruce encourages it’s time to make your move. You had best get under-way and Take Your Shot at the listening journey ahead as you are carried on another racing track, kicking dust in the face of non believers as you hurtle down the gravel road in search of musical pastures ahead and your tail-lights disappear into the early morning haze.

A feeling of calm guides you on acoustic guitar, keys and dreamy soundscapes as you wind down the car window and a cool breeze of clarinet from John Helliwell (Supertramp) gently ruffles the balmy air. You are all alone no one around in this wide expanse and you must Fend For Yourself  if you wish to discover what lies ahead. Calmly you make your way fingers drumming on the wheel to the gentle rhythm of the engine and a feeling of contentment with Bruce’s vocals imparting the details of where you are heading, to the woodwind.

Looping guitar chords fuel the drums as you make your way and Bruce urges you not to forget The Final Thing on Your Mind as the heat of the the music swells carrying you on, with orchestral lines guiding you down the straight track. The keyboards plot the course on the penultimate longest track, regret in Bruce’s  restrained vocals at a broken relationship gone cold. Hurrying strings set the pace, the guitar solo points you toward your destination and the ticking of your engine sees this out.

As early evening approaches acoustic guitar shows you a coast coming into view, the familiar lights of a city flickering on as the sun drops away, almost there and Bruce reminds us of  Where We Stood at the start, a warm but fading memory. The echoing guitar and final piano refrain guides us smoothly home.

You can stand in the musical desert, you can blink at the sun and not want to go anywhere, or wish you were back where it all started. On this album, for me, the band seem to have regained focus and direction, overtaking their recent output and whilst I look back to the grand canyons they have journeyed before, I am more than happy to take a ride with them and see what lies ahead. Join us if you wish, there’s plenty of room and the ride is sweet.

All bands pics – credit Rob Monk.

Released 12th August 2016 (19th August in France).

Buy ‘Your Wilderness’ from Burning Shed