One the most influential and respected Italian rock bands in the world, Premiata Forneria Marconi (aka PFM) are back with a new studio album titled ‘I Dreamed of Electric Sheep’/’Ho Sognato Pecore Elettriche’. The album will be out on Oct. 22, 2021 on InsideOutMusic in both English and Italian versions.
The band is now proudly releasing the album’s first single “If I Had Wings”, which you can find here:
“The whole process of creating a new piece of work is the result of a constant sharing of ideas and creativity. On this new album, Patrick and I act as the rhythm section, which works well because we really get along perfectly. One common thread between us is our great passion for Sci-Fi movies. In the past, we watched many of them together, one being the classic Blade Runner. One question in that movie really hit us: “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” It’s something that really made us think.
“The world has been changing around us; computers are taking over every aspect of our lives. Covid did a lot to accelerate this process. With people staying and working from home and kids taking virtual classes, not being able to go to school, it seems like everyone is rapidly becoming an android. Each one of us was kind of locked in himself and could not interact with others. The leading principle was avoiding social contact. This reminded us of one of Blade Runner’s main scenes when an android was asked about his mother. Obviously, being a machine, it could not have such a memory or personal experience on who its family was and where it came from.
“From this we developed the concept for this new album.
“We believe in the power of people to use their imaginations. This is what really makes the difference between human beings and androids. Being able to dream affects your life, your creativity, your thoughts”.
‘I Dreamed of Electric Sheep’/’Ho Sognato Pecore Elettriche’ will be available as:
PFM is a very eclectic and exuberant musical group with a distinctive style that impressively combines rock, progressive, and classical music into one mesmerizing sonic entity. Formed in 1971, the band quickly gained a prominent place on the international scene by making it to the Billboard charts (for 1973’s ‘Photos Of Ghosts’), and winning a Gold record in Japan while constantly ruling the charts in their home country until today. PFM were honored as #50 in the “UK Classic Rock Hall of Fame” of the 100 most important artists in the world. In 2017, PFM released the album ‘Emotional Tattoos’, their first with InsideOutMusic.
Glass Hammer returns to the world of the Dreaming City with the follow-up album, “SKALLAGRIM — INTO THE BREACH.” The album continues the tale of the thief with the screaming sword, a “desperate man” who lost his lover and his memory.
“It’s over the top and meant to be,” comments Glass Hammer’s Steve Babb. “But it’s relevant as well,” he continues. “There’s always a deeper story hidden within every concept album we’ve ever done. This one is no different.”
“There is plenty of the ‘classic’ Glass Hammer sound on the album, but also some electronic pieces as we’ve done in the past. Our new vocalist fronts most of the songs, which is a little different for us, but I think fans will approve. They’ll hear a lot of metal-influenced prog, something we really love of late. Fans never know what to expect from us, what new direction we’ll be going in. But I’ll tell you upfront, there is far more hammer than glass on our 2021 release!”
The video not only shows off the new album cover but a new lead vocalist as well. Singer, Hannah Pryor, joins Steve Babb, Fred Schendel, Aaron Raulston, and GH session guitarists Reese Boyd and Brian Brewer for the band’s twenty-first studio album.
My own first opinions are of music that broods with an ancient, primeval power, Glass Hammer raising the (heavy) bar to even greater heights on an album that is sure to be a monster success from this evergreen band.
Composer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Jonathan Stolber has had a diverse, yet successful, career in music to date. Creating a propulsive electronic sound, Stolber would go on to perform with the likes of Her Name Is Calla, Guillemots and 65 Days Of Static, before going on to front cinematic art-rock outfit, To Bury A Ghost.
Now, having collected numerous individual awards including a twice nominated BBC Introducing artist as well as being selected by the BBC to represent Northamptonshire music at their Abbey Road Masterclass Session, Stolber has re-emerged under the guise of The Holy Road. Fresh off the back of his Nils Frahm curated Piano Day release in aid of tinychanges.com (to help raise mental health awareness), Stolber has spent “the most ridiculous year of our lives so far” locked in his studio putting the final touches to his first EP, An Unshakeable Demon.
Mixed by legendary engineer Steven Durose (Oceansize) & mastered at Abbey Road by the iconic Frank Arkwright (Mogwai), An Unshakeable Demon is a bristling, industrial collection of synth-heavy songwriting; theatrical, brooding and ominous. Tackling themes of mental health heightened by the pandemic, and exacerbated by social media, Stolber confronts issues we all face in reemerging into a post-COVID world. From the shoegaze synth-heavy opener ‘Title Sequence’, and forthcoming single Coming Up For Air abrasively unfurling with malignant intent, to the progressive instrumentals of the Explosions In The Sky inspired closer Against / Social / Media, An Unshakeable Demon effortlessly undulates from genre to genre throughout the eclectic six track EP.
Having spent the lockdown remotely collaborating with a cavalcade of his favourite musicians including Chris Duffin (Drahla, Virginia Wing), James Saddington (Eaststrikewest, Bridesmaid) and Ben Weedon (Maybeshewill), The Holy Road is now eager to share the evocative, diverse sound of An Unshakeable Demon with the world.
An Unshakeable Demon is is out on 24th September 2021.
Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new studio rock album Surrender of Silence on 10th September 2021, via Inside Out Music. The album features 11 new songs as Steve has been working hard through Lockdown and, for the first time, has completed two studio albums for release within the same year! Today sees the release of the third single taken from the album, ‘Natalia’. Watch the animated video here:
Steve comments: “The weight of the Russian nation – my music at its most Slavic, inspired by all those stunning Russian classical composers and telling the story of that emergent nation with its struggles for power. Natalia is a Russian Everywoman, constantly thwarted by a series of oppressive regimes.”
Surrender of Silence is released on 10th September 2021 as a Limited Edition CD+Blu-ray Mediabook in hardcover slipcase, Standard CD Jewel case, Gatefold 2LP+CD & LP-Booklet and Digital Album via Inside Out Music. Pre-order now here:https://stevehackett.lnk.to/SurrenderOfSilence
Hot on the heels of his classical-acoustic travelogue Under A Mediterranean Sky, which was released in January and hit Number 2 in the UK Classical Album Chart, Surrender of Silence is a further exploration of Hackett’s love of world music, discovering different sounds, moods and textures to deliver a rock album of extraordinary variety, power and beauty.
As with Under A Mediterranean Sky, Surrender of Silence was also recorded during Lockdown and, again, Hackett has called upon some of his musical friends from across the world to contribute. Hackett’s regular touring band of Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax, clarinet), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals) and Craig Blundell (drums) are supplemented by Phil Ehart and Nick D’Virgilio (drums), the vocal talents of Amanda Lehmann, Durga and Lorelei McBroom, Christine Townsend (violin, viola), Malik Mansurov (tar) and Sodirkhon Ubaidulloev (dutar).
This new album is full-on electric…
“Lockdown cobwebs are blown away in one fell-swoop here!” says Steve Hackett. “With the monster rhythm section of Jonas, Craig, Nick and Phil along with Rob’s soaring sax and bass clarinet, Nad, Amanda and myself on vocals, Roger’s darkly powerful organ and my guitar, we plunge full-pelt into that wild release of energy.”
Our journey takes us from the classical orchestrations of Russia (Natalia) to the plains of Africa (Wingbeats) to mysterious Eastern shores (Shanghai To Samarkand), all via the ocean’s depths (Relaxation Music for Sharks (featuring feeding frenzy)). The Devil’s Cathedral pools the talents of Hackett’s entire touring band and features King’s atmospheric Gothic organ and a powerhouse rhythm display from Blundell and Reingold.
Hackett’s vocals have never been bettered and his duet with Amanda Lehmann adds emotion to Scorched Earth a lament for the environmental horrors facing our planet. Throughout Hackett’s guitars add a rich tapestry of colour with soaring solos and intricate weaving melodies.
“It’s a ‘no holds barred’ album,” adds Hackett, “riding that wave, unleashing those demons, dreams and nightmares, all crashing together over the shore.
“I enjoyed the power of this album allowing my guitar to scream in joy and rage… and once again flying across those oceans to distant lands. It’s terrific to connect creatively with musicians from far flung places, particularly when we’ve all been unable to meet. We all have a voice in our cacophony of sound and we cry out together in the Surrender of Silence!”
Steve Hackett “Surrender of Silence” track listing: 1. The Obliterati (02:17) 2. Natalia (06:17) 3. Relaxation Music For Sharks (Featuring Feeding Frenzy) (04:36) 4. Wingbeats (05:20) 5. The Devil’s Cathedral (06:31) 6. Held In The Shadows (06:20) 7. Shanghai To Samarkand (08:27) 8. Fox’s Tango (04:21) 9. Day Of The Dead (06:25) 10. Scorched Earth (06:03) 11. Esperanza (01:04)
Steve Hackett shares writing credits with both Jo Hackett and Roger King on several tracks. All tracks were recorded by Roger King and produced by Steve Hackett with Roger King at Siren.Surrender of Silence is released on 10th September 2021 as a Limited Edition CD+Blu-ray Mediabook in hardcover slipcase, Standard CD Jewel case, Gatefold 2LP+CD & LP-Booklet and Digital Album via Inside Out Music.
All tickets remain valid for the re-scheduled shows.
For full details and to book tickets for all shows for the Seconds Out + More Tour go too https://myticket.co.uk/ and venue box offices.
About Steve Hackett Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.
After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.
Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesisincluding a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra.
The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the forthcoming Surrender of Silence.
Marillion will bring their The Light At The End Of The Tunnel tour to the stages of Britain with a 10-date tour in November culminating in 2 nights at the London Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.
Steve Hogarth says: “No, it isn’t a train coming the other way, it is in fact, The Light at the End of the Tunnel. We spent our time IN the tunnel writing our twentieth studio album.
We will tour in the UK in November and debut one or two new tracks, along with what we feel is the best of our (let’s face it) huge catalogue.Our fans are legendary creatures of faith and enthusiasm – some say obsession – so we can’t wait for that feeling of reunification as we return from the wilderness, to the stage. The light is gonna feel good.”
Marillion are running a competition on their website (www.marillion.com) from Tuesday 31st August until Friday 3rd September for someone to win tickets to the whole ‘Light At The End of The Tunnel’ UK Tour. The band will be first revealing the initials of the new album and asking fans to guess the title before revealing it on Friday 3rd September.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel tour dates for November 2021
Sunday 14th Nov Hull City Hall
Monday 15th Nov Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wednesday 17th Nov Cardiff St David’s Hall
Thursday 18th Nov Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Saturday 20th Nov Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sunday 21st Nov Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tuesday 23rd Nov Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Wednesday 24th Nov Bath Forum
Friday 26th Nov London** Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (seated)
Saturday 27th Nov London** Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (standing)
**Please note the Apollo Hammersmith shows will be – one night seated and one night standing.
MARILLION are: Steve Hogarth – lead vocals, lyrics, keyboards, percussion, Steve Rothery – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, Pete Trewavas – Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals, , Mark Kelly – keyboards, and Ian Mosley – drums, percussion.
Great North Star is a project put together by Dean Thom and his buddy Phil Considine who’ve been in various bands together for over 30 years. The name comes from the duo’s shared interest in astronomy and all things space.
The initial reason for the project coming together, was Dean being approached by an audience member who worked in the film industry, who after watching a live performance at a festival, where his previous instrumental ambient project, A Knife That Fell From The Sky, were playing, asked him to produce some music with a view to providing music for film and TV. The duo started with that in mind but it’s since grown into a stand alone project.
‘Great North Star brings to mind the patience and quiescence required for ornithology; music for bird watching! As bracing as the chill winds blasting across the desolated hills of the Derbyshire Moorlands, Great North Star draws down influences from a deep pool of post rock, krautrock, electronica, progressive, folk and ambient vibes.’
Eleven chilled out, sparse but graceful musical pieces creating an expansive and enigmatic soundscape to a quieter, laid back life where contemplative solitude in wide open spaces (real or imagined) leads to an ethereal cinematic nirvana.
Once you start listening to this refined and contemplative artistic gem, you are gradually drawn into a mystical world of calm where you become a traveller into the deepest reaches of your psyche. Dean Thom’s rangy, pared back electric guitar stretches out wistfully over Phil Considine’s soft electronic flutter, creating a panorama where less is most definitely more.
I’ve not heard anything quite like this meditative and introspective masterpiece, ambient, chill out music doesn’t get much better than this. Step out of this confusing and hectic world that we live in, if only for the thirty nine minutes running time, and allow your mind and your soul to recharge. A wonderful and insightful masterpiece that will stay with you for a very long time.
I’ve said enough, only by listening to this sombre, thoughtful musical paragon yourself will you really understand the attraction…
It is always a pleasure to spend time talking with Steve Hackett, he is such a gracious interviewee and always has interesting things to say and learn from. This interview is about his new album ‘Surrender Of Silence’ and his forthcoming tour celebrating the album ‘Seconds Out’ recorded whilst Steve was still a member of Genesis. This tour will see the album played in its entirety along with selected tracks from both his new album and from his extensive back catalogue of releases.
John Wenlock-Smith: So how are you sir?
Steve Hackett: Oh I’m alright, fine, how are you doing?
JWS: Yes, we’re ok generally, keeping alright with all this lockdown and stuff.
SH: Well it’s been an unusual time, an extraordinary time really. We’re just about to go out on the road with a tour, having not played a show (well, not properly) for about 18 months. Apart from the odd virtual thing over the airwaves, I’ve done a bit of that and I’m doing one tomorrow with the Hungarians, I haven’t done a live gig in front of an audience for a very long time.
JWS: I’ll bet you’re looking forward to that then?
SH: Well I am, yes. Once we get through rehearsals and everyone knows it, those rehearsals start on Monday.
JWS: You have a new album out soon too?
SH: Yes, ‘Surrender of Silence’ is the new album, the second one this year after ‘Under A Mediterranean Sky’, and it’s completely different to any other one, I really enjoyed making it.
JWS: I’ve heard the album and I like it, it’s very different.
SH: Yes, it’s different in places to what I’ve done before, I don’t think I’ve ever done an African themed song before, after our visit to Ethiopia. I’ve never done a Russian themed song either, They are journeys that became songs, having visited these places and, of course, a good deal of the influence comes to bear on some of the album.
One of the tracks, Shanghai to Samarkand, had the idea of trying to cover the whole of the east in a song with the odd instrument like the Vietnamese Dan Tranh (Zither), related to the Japanese Kyoto, and getting players to play in an oriental style. We got Christine Townsend to play her viola solo with those long bending, sighing notes at the end of phrases, I very much enjoyed that.
I enjoy the virtual travel that’s possible with music, although I am missing the real-world travel too, but that’s all about to change as we get out there again, visiting the British isles in the coming months.
JWS: Is it true that you are getting all over the place, you’re even playing in Stoke-On-Trent?
SH: Yes, I’ve got all the dates here, that’s on the 12th of September, I’m looking forward to that one. It’ll be good to play some places we’ve not been to in a while, it will be good to go anywhere and see anybody!
It’s strange, lots of people have got tickets and we hope they all make the effort to come, but we can’t force people to come, so folks may decide to stay at home and wear a mask and only talk through the letterbox etc.
Obviously, we’ll be very careful, we’re not doing much interaction with the crowds, we are isolating and in a bubble much of the time. There will be no meet and greets this time around, the venues set the rules that we have to follow, but we’ll do what we have to to be able to play the shows and have a party.
JWS: I did notice that you have Phil Ehart of Kansas playing the drums on the track Shanghai to Samarkand.
SH: Yes, that’s right, I haven’t worked with him since ‘Please Don’t Touch’ back in 1977/1978. He’s one of the drummers on the album, we’ve also got Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train) and we also have Craig Blundell (Frost* and Steven Wilson). There are several people involved on the album from right across the globe, we have a guy from Azerbaijan, Malik Mansurov, on the Tar and a guy from Tajikistan on Dutar called Ubaidullev Sordirkhon Saydullevich, so right across the world really.
JWS: You like your international collaborations don’t you?
SH: Yes I do, I like doing that. I like my local band but even that is spread across 4 countries now, Nad Sylvan is in Sweden, Jonas Reingold lives in Austria, Rob Townsend lives in Denmark now and we’ll all convene for ten days of rehearsals before being unleashed on the great British public.
JWS: So where did the album title come from?
SH: I prefer not to explain an album title, however, I would say all music flies in the face of silence. The surrender of silence is somewhat applicable when you make music for a living. Other than that, there are some aspects of social comments made in the lyrics where previously I haven’t been quite so vocal. I’m thinking of Fox’s Tango referring to Fox News.
There’s also social comment on the environment in Scorched Earth. Other things, Natalia is more of a story but there is social comment involved with that and then there are the instrumentals and the fun things, so it’s not all soapbox. As you scout around for subjects, I write all the time and my wife Jo writes certain things for lyrics too, we bat the ball back and forth between us and out of it all comes ‘The Surrender Of Silence.’
JWS: There’s an interesting first track in The ‘Obliterati’?
SH: Yes ,well that’s tapping with a kind of tongue in cheek title for all those familiar with certain books and certain writer. I thought it was a way to lead into Natalia but they are really the same tune in a way. I’ve separated them out so that you have a sort of mini overture or kind of underture at the front of the album and exposed tapping.
The last time I used that in isolation was ‘Voyage of the Acolyte’ back in the early 1970’s when I was exploring that the guitar functioning on its own but I decided to add some orchestral backing to it to bring it in line with what was to come with Natalia, which was more of a nod to Russian composers and orchestrators. The song is about an ordinary Russian woman, it’s almost like South Park in that she dies in every scene, in every verse but it’s a different woman and a different time.
The difficulty is that there is lots of orchestration and not a note of guitar playing until we are well into the track and I thought I’d better claim identity so The Obliterati came up as something to kick off the album.
JWS: It’s a commanding start to the album, I was listening to it this morning and wondering if it was a homage to Eddie Van Halen, who I know was greatly influenced by your tapping in his early days?
SH: Well, it’s a funny thing, I’m sad about his passing and that we never got to meet, it’s great when you hear of a fellow professional you’ve been an influence on or they just listen to you.
Earlier this year I was talking to an American journalist who told me that Pat Metheny had been listening to the ‘Under a Mediterranean Sky’ album and I also think of Pat Metheny as an atmospheric jazz player. Then you realize that in the world of jazz you’ll have people like Bill Evans being interpreted by folk like John Mclaughlin, another guitarist of note of course, he also liked the music of Eric Satie, I did an album of interpretations of Satie with my brother John Hackett in the early 2000’s.
He is brave enough not to fall back on technique, jazz is largely technique based and I greatly admire his ability to seek a bigger picture or canvas for his music to be drawn against. So it was interesting to hear that about Pat Metheny, I must reach out to him and talk with him. Perhaps similarities between musicians are greater than we give credit to.
JWE: I had a conversation with your brother John a few weeks ago about the album he recorded solo during lockdown, ‘The Piper Plays His Tune’, he was a lovely chap.
SH: Yes, John is a very gentle man and doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. We’ve been working together on somethings beyond this album too. John has been playing some scat flute like Roland Kirk, most people think of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, but scatt flute goes back further than that to the Mid 1960’s and the Beatnik area in the USA. I’m all for revisiting those eras, wandering in and out of different genres, it’s all possible under the progressive banner. John also has an excellent guitar player in Nick Fletcher.
JWS: Yes, I interviewed him too, he is a fascinating guy as well.
SH: I was greatly impressed by him and his album, I wrote a comment on the album which appears on the rear sleeve. I think Nick is one of the great hopes for British guitar, if there’s a chair to fill with the departure of another musician, then there’s a chair for Nick to fill.
People ask me who I listen to and, whilst there’s AndrésSegovia and Jimi Hendrix who get a lot of publicity, there is also Nick Fletcher, a phenomenal guitarist. Something of Bach and Handel and at the same time they’ll be listening to Miles Davis.
JWS: Nothing wrong with a bit of Miles Davis.
SH: Yes, he’s very interesting and very out there but recorded albums that are very different and was not afraid to do those. At the top of his tree, as a band leader, the people he worked with or chose him, there is this central pivot that is Miles Davis. Logic isn’t always the best seam to wander when writing lyrics.
JWS: I’m part of a writing group and we were doing abstract poetry using lines out of other books to create different words and lines with.
SH: Well poetry is very challenging, you must have music in the words. Stand-alone poetry, if you can draw some music from it, that can be very inspiring. Someone said to me some years ago that it’s no good reading Shakespeare unless you have a good grounding in all the myths and a good knowledge of language. Rather that you should read it for its music first and or its sound.
Years ago, when I was doing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ that’s how I went at it, I know diddly squat about Pyramus and Thisbe but I loved the music of it, you’re allowed to do that in poetry, you can do what you want. Peter Gabriel was very gifted at making up new words, as was John Lennon, some of us take longer to come up with new words.
JWS: Well Steve, my time has gone so I’ll say goodbye for now. Thanks for talking as always, good luck with the album and tour
SH: Thank you and good luck with the poetry too.
‘Surrender Of Silence’ is released on 10th September, 2021.
Big Hogg hail from Glasgow, which is over 550 miles from their spiritual, musical home of Canterbury in Kent. Or so it would appear to be, based upon hearing this album, ‘Pageant of Beasts‘, that was released this July on Bad Elephant Music.
This album bears significant reminders of the thriving musical scene that Canterbury gave to the world through bands like Caravan, Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers and many others. It also has a heady mix of jazz leanings and and avant-garde feel, which makes the music different as well as memorable, taking in psychedelia and jazz influences along the way.
The first piece, Golden Beasts, is a solo trumpet fanfare which opens and closes the album and upon hearing it I was strongly reminded of 80’s jazz luminaries Working Week as they ploughed a similar cross-genre furrow back in the late 1980’s, rather successfully too. Next track Here Come The Moles is a little left of centre and hinged on a hypnotic bass motif from Martin Beer which, alongside Justin Lumsden’s guitar and vocals from him and Sophie Sexon, makes a rather impressive impact. Man Overboard brings a distinct west coast USA vibe to the party. Imagine the Beach Boys with trumpets and you’ll get the idea! It is another very interesting track, the brass section sounds fabulous here, adding much colour and impact to a fine track along with sweet flute from Sophie.
Smoking Again starts out like a Faces outtake with a raspy vocal from Justin and some fine fuzz and wah-wah guitar lines. There is a lot going on in this track but it manages to avoid sounding shambolic, in fact, along with Here Come The Moles, it is one of my favorite tracks on the album . This is followed by Willow’s Song which is a lot more atmospheric and ethereal sounding. It comes from The Wicker Man and this version is fabulous. Red Rum has a nod to folk group Pentangle, especially in the bass department.
All Alone Stone really wears its Canterbury credentials on its sleeve proudly and puts me in mind of Greenslade with its keyboard stylings. This track is very impressive sounding indeed and is the longest track on the album. It is a gentle, yet exciting, musical progression, making it a great listen. I am really impressed by this album and I’ve enjoyed discovering its treasures slowly as they unfold over multiple listens. Magistellus is next and this offers a great interplay between flute and guitar in the middle section and is another very fine track.
The Wyverns is Big Hogg at their most proggy, almost space rock sounding at points and follows the pattern of the latter half of the album where the band really up their progressive side and offer some highly unusual pieces and some excellent musicianship, Bouffant Tail being a case in point, wildly unhinged and all very strange indeed. This is a short track that is rapidly followed by Cat Fool, which sounds like a long-lost track from the early days of King Crimson, albeit with added brass, very interesting and different and it also has a lovely guitar break from Justin. The album ends with the return of the trumpet fanfare, entitled Too Much Belly Not Enough Paw, which brings the album full circle to end as it began.
This is a remarkable musical journey taking in jazz, psychedelia and other influences along the way and is a testament to crafting different, yet still vibrant, music for today’s age. This album will take a while to seep through and sink into your brain, however this is so very worth it. Big Hogg are certainly mining a very interesting seam on this album and they will hopefully be able to create more marvellous music in this style soon. I certainly hope that they continue in this manner as this band have a lot to offer and will appeal to lovers of modern progressive music.
New album ‘For King and Country’ due out on Sept 24th
Keyboardist and composer Rob Reed, known for his work with Magenta, Kompendium and Sanctuary solo albums, is pleased to announce a brand-new album from Cyan – For King and Country, due out on the 24th of September 2021.
Prior to Magenta, almost 30 years ago, Reed release three albums with his then band Cyan. Out of the ashes of that band, Magenta was borne. Now, on this new Cyan album, Reed has rewritten, rerecorded and reimagined material from the early days of Cyan, and this time with a brilliant new lineup. The group features vocalist Pete Jones (Camel, Tiger Moth Tales), guitarist Luke Machin (Maschine, The Tangent), and bassist Dan Nelson (Godsticks, Magenta). The band will be playing their first show at Summers End Festival, Sunday, Oct. 3rd.
Watch the video for the 15-minute opening track and first single “The Sorceror” here:
Rob Reed on the new album: “Little did I know in 1983, sitting at the school piano writing these songs, that almost 40 years later those same songs would sound like they do on this album. I remember the original Cyan, made up of school mates, pooling our money, £35 to record them at a local 4 track studio with basic equipment. It’s been amazing to finally hear the songs at their full potential, with modern recording techniques and an amazing line up of players.
“I’d held off releasing this album because I couldn’t find a vocalist to do it justice. Meeting Pete ticked that box, as soon as I heard him sing the first track. His voice just blends so good against Angharad Brinn, who I’d worked with on the Sanctuary solo albums. Having Luke play the guitar parts was just the icing on the cake. He is such a great player, with technique and feel. What a line up!”
Pete Jones had this to say about the project: “I had known about the reworking of For King And Country for a while, so it was a great thrill to be asked by Rob to work with him on the project, alongside the other amazing musicians such as Luke and Angharad. The songs are fantastic. They have a youthful and yet vintage quality to them, as well they might, given that they were first done in the early 90s. But with the benefit of Rob’s experience, they have been reworked into an album which I feel is right up there with the classics.”
1.The Sorceror 2.Call Me 3.I Defy The Sun 4.Don’t Turn Away 5.Snowbound 6.Man Amongst Men 7.Night Flight 8.For King and Country
Prog legends Caravan announce the release of their new album It’s None Of Your Business to be released on CD format on 8thOctober 2021 and as a vinyl LP, on 8th November, on Madfish Music.
It’s None Of Your Business is Caravan’s first album since Paradise Filter (2013) and features nine new songs plus one instrumental track influenced, to a degree, by the events and restrictions placed on society over the past 18 months.
Caravan are Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals). Geoffrey Richardson (viola, mandolin, guitar), Jan Schelhaas (keyboards) and Mark Walker (drums). Lee Pomeroy (ELO, Rick Wakeman and Take That) has guested as bass player, following the departure of Jim Leverton, while Jimmy Hastings has also guested on flute.
The album was recorded, as restrictions allowed, ‘in the old-fashioned way’ between 24th June and 4th July 2021 at Rimshot Studio, Bredgar near Sittingbourne. “Sitting round in a circle having eye to eye contact, a large sound room was required,” Pye Hastings explained. “I much prefer this method because you can bounce ideas off each other as they occur, and voice encouragement when the whole thing begins to click.
“And it is much more rewarding to be able to throw insults at each other in person rather than down a telephone line or via email. This is something we are all very experienced at, believe me!”
This togetherness characterises It’s None Of Your Business with Caravan’s trademark warmth and humour and, also, a sensitivity reflecting the times in which we are living. Sitting among Caravan’s typically whimsical tales Down From London and If I Was To Fly sit the heartfelt and poignant Spare A Thought and Every Precious Little Thing which looks forward to a return to normality.
“’Spare a Thought’ is a song that I hope will jog people to remember those unfortunate people caught up in the pandemic,” Hastings explains. “‘All those people who denied’ refers to the idiots who don’t follow the scientific advice. I get angry about that and the line ‘Sure are interesting times’ refers to an old Chinese saying: ‘may you live in interesting times’”
“Lyrics can sometimes be my Achilles Heel, trying to find anything meaningful to write about. But sitting in front of a blank screen with a pandemic raging all around, it was hard not to be influenced by the dreadful events going on. The lockdown certainly focused the mind when it came to writing the lyrics.”
It’s None Of Your Business Track Listing: 01. Down From London (4.03) 02. Wishing You Were Here (3.55) 03. It’s None Of Your Business (9.40) 04. Ready Or Not (4.45) 05. Spare A Thought (4.06) 06. Every Precious Little Thing (4.25) 07. If I Was To Fly (3.23) 08. I’ll Reach Out For You (8.07) 09. There Is You (4.26) 10. Luna’s Tuna (3.14)
Produced, engineered and mastered by Julian Hastings with assistant engineer Mike Thorne.
It’s None Of Your Business is released on 8th October 2021 on CD & digitally with the LP on black vinyl released on 8th November through Madfish Music. PRE ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW HERE
Caravan will also be on tour, supporting the release of their new album, in the UK in October:
Wednesday 6th October Basingstoke The Haymarket
Thursday 7th October Islington The Union Chapel
Friday 8th October Brighton/Hove The Old Market
Thursday 14th October Chester The Live Rooms
Friday 15th October Leeds The Bridenwell
Saturday 16th October Bury The Met
Sunday 17th October Wolverhampton The Robin 2 (Bilston)
Thursday 21st October Bury St Edmunds The Apex
Friday 22nd October Newcastle The Cluny
Saturday 23rd October Glasgow Òran Mór
Wednesday 27th October Bristol The Fleece
Thursday 28th October Exeter The Phoenix
Friday 29th October Dover The Booking Hall
About Caravan Caravan are one of the doyens of the progressive rock and the ‘Canterbury scene’, formed in 1968 and blending rock, jazz, folk and classical influences into a warm and distinctive sound.
Founder member Pye Hastings (guitar/vocals) remains as Caravan’s guiding light and primary songwriter. Geoffrey Richardson (viola, mandolin, guitar) first played with Caravan between 1972 and 1981 and returned to the fold in 1995. Their previous 14 studio albums and numerous live recordings have seen them attract a large and faithful following and Caravan toured regularly until the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have a UK tour scheduled for October 2021 and have interest, from abroad, for overseas tours to Japan, Canada and South America.
The legends of the Canterbury scene band are being celebrated in a lavish 37-disc box set, entitled Who Do You Think We Are, released on Madfish on 20thAugust. Caravan – It’s None of Your Business Released on 8th OctoberPre-order the album here: (https://CaravanBand.lnk.to/ItsNoneOfYourBusiness)