Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo Tour – UK Shows – October 2024

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett brings his: Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo Tour to the UK for 16 dates in October.   The UK tour culminates with a visit to London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 23rd October. To mark the 50th anniversary of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Hackett is including a selection of highlights from this iconic Genesis album.  Tickets are onsale now:

Steve Hackett Genesis Greats – Lamb Highlights, and Solo Tour 2024, Official Concert Tickets from MyTicket.co.uk

Steve Hackett’s timeless guitar-work was woven throughout Genesis’ classic 70’s catalogue of albums. In recent years he and his outstanding touring line-up of Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Jonas Reingold (bass, backing vocals), Rob Townsend (saxophone, flutes, additional keyboards) and Craig Blundell (drums) have brought many of these albums back to the concert hall to great acclaim. Special guest, Amanda Lehmann will be joining the whole of the UK tour on guitar and vocals.  Many fans have also been asking for more tracks from The Lamb to be included. What better way to celebrate half-a-century of this remarkable album than to include a selection of Lamb Highlights alongside some of Hackett’s finest solo work and unmissable Genesis Greats.

“I’m thrilled with the response to my latest tour, “Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo” which has already received fantastic reactions in Europe! I’m hugely looking forward to bringing this tour to the UK, culminating with the special Royal Albert Hall show…” Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo tour dates 2024:

Wed 2nd October                  Aylesbury      Friars Waterside      SOLD OUT        

Thurs 3rd October                 Portsmouth   Guildhall 

Sat 5th October                     Bristol             Beacon 

Sun 6th October                    Cambridge    Corn Exchange 

Mon 7th October                   Birmingham   Symphony Hall

Wed 9th October                   Liverpool        Philharmonic

Friday 11th October            Cardiff             Utilita Arena

Sat 12th October                   Guildford        G Live                       SOLD OUT

Sun 13th October                  Stoke              Victoria Hall

Tue 15th October                  York                Barbican 

Wed 16th October               Nottingham   Royal Concert Hall 

Fri 18th October                    Glasgow        Royal Concert Hall 

Sat 19th October                  Gateshead    Glasshouse

Sun 20th October                  Manchester   Bridgewater Hall

Tue 22nd October                 Reading         Hexagon

Wed 23rd October               London          Royal Albert Hall 

Tickets available:

Steve Hackett Genesis Greats – Lamb Highlights, and Solo Tour 2024, Official Concert Tickets from MyTicket.co.uk

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 iconic 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 And 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 studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has also explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis including 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 in 2021: the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the hit rock album Surrender of Silence.

Hackett and his band enjoyed a return to touring with Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More! (2021) and Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty (2022). Subsequently, the live album Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More!, released in 2022, became Hackett’s most successful-ever live album reaching number 28 in the UK Album Chart and achieving highest-ever chart positions in several European countries.  He recently released the live album from the 2022 tour – Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights – Live in Brighton.    In January 2024 Steve released his current studio album, the first since 2021 – The Circus and The Nightwhale, which received critical acclaim and great reviews.   The fans in Europe are loving the new material some of which Hackett performs in the first half of the show.

Live image by David Clay

Review – PALLAS: EYES IN THE NIGHT – THE RECORDINGS 1981 – 1986 – by John Wenlock-Smith

I am definitely of an age where technology is not especially my friend. I recently bought a new phone that, a month on, I am still barely scratching surface of what it can do and with music, whilst I appreciate the ease and speed of downloading, I can’t help but miss actually getting a physical copy of the music on CD and reading the credits, booklet lyrics et al. For me, at least, the CD is definitely still very much alive.

Which brings me to this set of the early EMI recordings by Scottish proggers Pallas who, at one stage, held the prog flame alive, along with Marillion, Twelfth Night, IQ and Pendgragon, all of whom initially had major label input and support. Pallas were probably the unluckiest of the bunch though as they underwent major changes and trauma’s during their tenure with EMI.

Their journey starts in this collection with ‘Arrive Alive’, a recording that was originally released independently on cassette and which, for a low key cassette release, was actually very good. It did later get a vinyl release but here it gets both an updated sound and is also accompanied with the original 7 inch single version of Arrive Alive and it’s B-side Stranger on the Edge of Time. This is vintage Pallas where you can hear their intent and their promise. Stage favourites like Arrive Alive, Heart Attack and Crown Of Thorns (my favourite Pallas track) are all here in good solid live versions and, as an opening disc, this is very strong and satisfying indeed, neo-prog seldom sounding so good. Disc 2 is a collection of tracks recorded at various BBC shows, including the Friday Rock Show recordings, it also includes Paris Is Burning and the infamous The Hammer Falls. Make you own mind up about this track but my verdict is underwhelming at best, good live tracks from the Reading Festival and the live BBC session do both impress though.

Disc 3 is their EMI debut ‘The Sentinel’, which was issued in 1984 and contained merely six tracks, bolstered here by both Eyes In The Night and Shock Treatment and other tracks which make up the bulk of the later issued InsideOut version of the album, which has all ten tracks as we get here. The album was decidedly different from what was originally envisaged which was a suite about Atlantis. The final album only had a few of those intended tracks on it, the others were lost as a result of EMI’s reluctance to issue a whole Atlantis concept piece, although segments have appeared on various other releases. Disc 4 gives us the US remix version of the original album. Again, you can make your own mind up about this, personally I think it’s okay but adds very little to what we already know.

Disc 5 gives up ‘The Wedge’ and ‘The Knightmoves’ EP, from 1986 and 1985 respectively, both of which are very good and, even though Pallas were trying for a new more commercial sound, the material is still very progressive and strong. These recordings featured their new vocalist Alan Reed who replaced Euon Lawson after the disappointing experience of ‘The Sentinel’ album and all the issues the band faced as a result. The quality of their material is seldom in question here nor are the performances. What we have with Pallas is another case of record company interference and misunderstanding of exactly what they have signed to their label. It’s happened many times over the years along with the hit single dilemma that has faced many bands over the years, with Pallas being no exception. What was worse for the band though was that EMI pulled tour support midway through ‘The Wedge’ tour, leaving the band stranded and on the verge of imploding. The fact that they survived the ordeal and decided to walk away from a major label in order to embrace being independence once more again is testament to their spirit and integrity and these valuable recordings offer ample proof of that.

Whilst this set is not cheap, it does offers a fair package to all listeners along with a Blu-Ray of a London show from ‘The Wedge’ tour, there is also a live show from Aberdeen in October 1985. In all, it’s a big yes from me and a very interesting and informative booklet completes this set to the usual Esoteric high standards.

Released 28th June, 2024.

Order from Cherry Red here:

Pallas: Eyes in the Night – The Recordings 1981 – 1986, 6CD/Blu-ray Remastered Box Set (cherryred.co.uk)

STEVE HOWE Announces the Release of Guitarscape on 27th September 2024

Guitarist Steve Howe releases his new solo album Guitarscape on 27th September on his own HoweSound label. The album will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally as Dolby Atmos.  Pre-order the album here: https://lnk.to/hkKdov

Guitarscape marks a new chapter for the YES and ASIA legend as he presents, what amounts to, a guitar masterclass. “What I’m doing,” said Steve, “is focusing on what I do well and what I love to do.” Guitarscape features 14 new instrumental tracks in a host of musical styles, from rock through to acoustic and classical, each bearing that unmistakable Steve Howe sound. Steve plays acoustic, electric, steel and bass guitars along with keyboards and is joined by his son Dylan on drums. Steve has written all of the tracks and produced the album.

“This album has given me the opportunity to do something different,” says Steve. “I bought a Novatron Summit keyboard and found that it had a wealth of inspiring sounds. It gave me a golden opportunity to create my own keyboard structures – chordal movements and structures that I thought were a bit different.  I think differently on a keyboard, I don’t see the chords looking the same but then I had fun playing around with the guitar to see where that goes.

I’ve utilised most of the colours, as I like to I think of my styles, and I’m always pleased when I hear them running through and it moves from a steel, maybe, to a Spanish guitar. Because it’s a different sort of album, I’m not using terribly conventional chord sequences but things that give me a fresh feeling and opportunities to improvise and stretch out as well as be melodic and make this a nice tuneful experience.

“I began feeding the tracks to Dylan. We get on great and he seems to know what to play around my guitar, it’s almost instinctive. Dylan and I fit together really beautifully. We’ve had the chance to do this together, so it’s wonderful.

“The bass parts and the keyboards are pretty interesting, everything had to be interesting but also work together. I like doing things that are super fresh and this album says what I am today.”

Steve Howe – Guitarscape is released by HoweSound on 27th September 2024.

Guitarscape – Track Listing

1. Hail Storm (2.22)

2. Spring Board (2.45)

3. Distillations (1.48)

4. Up Stream (3.17)

5. Secret Mission (3.26)

6. Passing Thoughts (2.36)

7. Touch The Surface (3.21)

8. Spring Rhyme (2.02)

9. Equinox (3.04)

10. Seesaw (2.12)

11. Gone West (3.03)

12. Suma (1.34)

13. Spring Tide (2.41)

14. Steel Breeze (2.57)

All tracks written by Steve Howe

Produced by Steve Howe

Assembled and mixed by Curtis Schwartz

Big Big Train announce ‘A Flare On The Lens’ live release

In August and September 2023, multi-national progressive rockers Big Big Train undertook their longest ever tour to date, performing 17 shows over 21 days across nine countries in the UK and Europe, and concluding with two triumphant concerts at London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall. Those two concerts are now immortalised as ‘A Flare On The Lens’, released on 13th September 2024 via InsideOutMusic. 

This new concert film package includes every song performed by the band over those two evenings and is available as a Limited 3CD+Blu-ray media book, with the concert film audio mixed in 5.1 surround sound and stereo. A gatefold 180g 2LP vinyl version is also available, which features a carefully selected range of material from the Cadogan Hall shows.

To mark the announcement, you can now watch a video of the band performing ‘A Boy In Darkness’ here:

Lead vocalist Alberto Bravin comments: ’’A Boy In Darkness is one of the most emotional and difficult Big Big Train songs to sing and interpret. It’s amazing how the mood of the song changes completely from a very dark place to a crowd-pleasing clapping section that leads to a tragic and powerful finale.”

Bassist Gregory Spawton says: “A Boy In Darkness takes the listener – and the band – on a historical and musical journey. We had never played it live until last year and it was a bit overlooked within our back catalogue. I always thought that it was one of David Longdon’s most accomplished songs and deserved greater prominence. The audience reaction every time we performed it reinforced that view.”

Violinist Clare Lindley comments: “There is a weight to A Boy in Darkness, a held tension, which is there right from the start and builds throughout the song to the magnificent final chorus. It’s a tremendous song to play live, full of interesting lines and melodies and, for me, an exciting instrumental section where I play all the violin and flute solos. I think the music carries the subject matter perfectly.”

Pre-order ‘A Flare On The Lens’ and stream ‘A Boy in Darkness’ here:

Big Big Train – A Boy in Darkness (Live in London 2023) (lnk.to)

‘A Flare On The Lens’ features the band’s full show at Cadogan Hall from the second of their two nights there last year and also includes seven songs which were played only on the first night. 

As such, the Blu-ray film runs to around 3 hours and contains no fewer than 17 songs, including both back catalogue favourites such as ‘East Coast Racer’, ‘Hedgerow’, ‘Folklore’, ‘Judas Unrepentant’, ‘Curator Of Butterflies’ and ‘Victorian Brickwork’, live instrumental tour de force ‘Apollo’ and future classics ‘Love Is The Light’ and ‘Oblivion’, plus a 3 song acoustic medley. ‘Love Is The Light’ and ‘Oblivion’ have subsequently been available on the band’s acclaimed studio album, ‘The Likes Of Us’, released in March this year. 

The full tracklisting is:

1.    Folklore*

2.     The Connection Plan*

3.     Curator of Butterflies*

4.     Summoned by Bells*

5.     Drums & Brass 2023*

6.     Love Is The Light*

7.    A Boy In Darkness*

8.     Apollo*

9.     Acoustic Medley

10.  East Coast Racer*

11. Victorian Brickwork*

12.  Oblivion

13. Swan Hunter

14.  Keeper of Abbeys

15.  Brooklands

16.  Hedgerow

17.  Telling the Bees

18.  Judas Unrepentant

*included on 2LP vinyl release

‘A Flare On The Lens’ is the sight and sound of Big Big Train back on an upwards curve and re-establishing itself as one of the rock music scene’s most compelling live bands. 

Big Big Train headline the final Night Of The Prog festival in Germany on 21st July before making their debut at the renowned Cropredy Festival in the UK on 9th August. The band then undertake their own headline tour in September and October, before returning to co-headline Cruise To The Edge in April next year.

21st July – Night of the Prog, Loreley, Germany

9th August – Cropredy Festival, Oxfordshire, UK

17th September – Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, UK

18th September – The Riverfront, Newport, UK

19th September – Playhouse Theatre, Whitley Bay, UK

21st September – Queens Hall, Edinburgh, UK

22nd September – Palace Theatre, Newark, UK

24th September – Stables Theatre, Milton Keynes, UK – SOLD OUT

25th September – The Stoller Hall, Manchester, UK – SOLD OUT

27th September – Stadthalle, Weinheim, Germany

28th September – Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands

29th September – Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands

1st October – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway

2nd October – Viften, Copenhagen, Denmark

5th October – Cadogan Hall, London, UK

Ticket links for all shows are at www.bigbigtrain.com/live

Sometime In February launch new single”The Bad Fight” feat. Paul Waggoner of Between The Buried & Me

InsideOutMusic recently announced the signing of US-based rising instrumental progressive metallers Sometime In February to a worldwide deal. Yesterday the band announced their new single, ‘The Bad Fight’, is out to stream everywhere now, and for this one they received the help of a few friends. As the band explains:

“The song came together quickly, and as soon as it was written we knew we had to pull out all the stops for it. We asked our friend Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me to feature on it with a guest solo that is pitch perfect. Eric Guenther of The Contortionist contributed keys, synths, and sound design to take it to the next level. Dan Briggs, also of BTBAM, sprinkled additional sound design on top. And of course, we love to feature saxophone when we can, so our friend Rich Castillo of The Callous Daoboys added his touch to create a tasteful layer.”

Stream the single here:

Sometime In February – The Bad Fight (feat. Paul Waggoner) – Single (lnk.to)

The video for the track was shot by Luke Gura inside a courthouse near the bands hometown. Watch it here:

The band have also announced US live dates for July 2024, and you can catch them at the shows below:
 
July 13th – DRKMTTR, Nashville, TN
July 14th – Mag Bar, Louisville, KY
July 16th – Amityville Music Hall, Long Island, NY
July 17th – Imperial Lounge, Richmond, VA
July 28th – The Milestone, Charlotte, NC

The band recently announced a brand new track called ‘Hiding Place’ which you can listen to here:

Hiding Place – Single (lnk.to)

YouTube: 

Originally founded as an instrumental solo project for guitarist Tristan Auman in 2020, Sometime in February became a fully rounded prog rock trio with the addition of drummer Scott Barber and bassist Morgan Johnson after making the jump from studio to stage following the release of their EP ‘Here Goes’ in 2021.
 
The Carolina-based group has kept their foot on the gas ever since, touring throughout the Southeast US and releasing their follow-up, the debut LP ‘There Goes’, in 2023. Their first full-length record gained attention from prog fans and peers alike, with Tristan receiving an invitation to join Between the Buried and Me in a live capacity throughout the Parallax II: Future Sequence Tour.
 
The band comments: “We are thrilled to be signing to the world’s premier label for progressive music, InsideOutMusic. Sometime in February wouldn’t exist without many of the artists on their roster, and it’s an honor to stand beside them. Thomas Waber has been supportive and encouraging to us for some time now, and we’re excited that we found the right moment to work together and make InsideOutMusic the home for the next era of Sometime in February.”
 
InsideOutMusic label-head Thomas Waber adds: “We are extremely excited to be working alongside this talented young US band. After talking to them for a while, it felt like now was the right time to welcome them to the fold, and on the evidence of the new track ‘Hiding Place’, bright things are ahead!”

EchoVerse announce debut album ‘Whisper Between Worlds’ with video for new single “Not Like The Other”

EchoVerse is a Progressive Rock band that seamlessly blends Christian spirituality with elements of Prog, Hard Rock, and even Classical music. Set to release their debut album Whispers Between Worlds on August 20th, 2024, the band navigates complex themes of faith and the human experience through a series of powerful tracks.

The band are pleased to share the new video for “Not Like The Others,” directed by Christian Rios, here:

The band had this to say about the new single:
“‘Not Like The Others’ confronts the hypocrisy within modern churches, highlighting the emptiness of outward displays of faith without genuine love, and challenges us all to embrace true compassion and humility in our journies with God. The track is also a straight-ahead rocker with some 7/4 riffs to help maintain our Prog cred. :)”

EchoVerse has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the album’s release, featuring an 8-panel Digipak CD, two limited Vinyl options, a Kickstarter-exclusive T-Shirt, and much more.

Kickstarter details here:

Support EchoVerse: Help Launch Our Debut Prog Rock Album! 🪐 by EchoVerse — Kickstarter

Drawing inspiration from bands like Spock’s Beard, Rush, Marillion, and Dream Theater, EchoVerse builds on the foundation of their former group, Ascher, with a new lineup and a fresh creative vision.

Whispers Between Worlds opens with “Not Like the Other,” which addresses outward hypocrisy in modern churches, and quickly moves into “Sins of the Father,” exploring the enduring impact of generational sin on today’s society. “Feelings of Grey” then offers a contemplative look at mental health, emphasizing the comforting role of faith during dark times. The narrative of hope and resurrection unfolds in “Empty,” which narrates the story of The Passion from the Empty Room to the Empty Tomb. Reaching a narrative crescendo, “The War Within” presents a 31-minute epic, divided into nine sections, that explores the battles between man and evil, both internally and externally. The album concludes with “Walk Alone,” which poses profound questions about the choices we make and the paths we choose to follow.

Track Listing

1. Not Like the Other (5:44)

2. Sins of the Father  (6:45)

3. Feelings of Grey  (6:42)

4. Empty (5:23)

5. The War Within (Total Time 30:54)

I. I Walk Away   (5:17)

II. Something Sinister This Way Comes  (1:51)

III. The Devil in My Ear (2:35)

IV. Push Back (3:20)

V. Now (3:57)

VI. Final Conflict (6:05)

VII. Back Where I Belong (3:51)
VIII. I Know It’s You (2:52)

IX. The War Within (1:06)

6. Walk Alone (6:17)

EchoVerse:
Kyle Graves: Lead Vocals
Doug Bowers: Vocals, Keys, Bass, Guitar
Rob Perez: Lead Guitar
Kyle Fagala: Drums, Vocals

Review – Long Earth – An Ordinary Life

Progressive rock is all about progress, right? To a certain extent that is correct but not when we have progress for the sake of it and some times small changes and progressions make more of a difference than huge ones.

With their third album, ‘An Ordinary Life’, Long Earth have moved the game on from their sophomore effort ‘Once Around The Sun’, an album I greatly enjoyed, not in a big way but subtlety and this has produced a beautiful, heartwarming collection of songs that add up to one of the brightest releases of 2024 so far.

Before we delver further into the record, let’s have a bit of history;

Long Earth is a prog rock band from Scotland, four decades in the making. All seasoned campaigners of the Scottish music scene, they came together through a shared love of progressive music.

In 2017 Long Earth released their debut album ‘The Source’, popular with prog fans, DJs and rock writers alike, and began building a local audience at their gigs around Glasgow. ‘The Source’ was a serious statement of intent, showcasing the instrumental and songwriting prowess of the band. However, their identity was not fully formed until the arrival of Martin as the band’s new vocalist in 2018 during the writing sessions for the second album, the album that was to become the critically acclaimed ‘Once Around The Sun’.

In March 2020, Once Around the Sun was released on CD and download to critical acclaim. Widely regarded as a significant step up from its predecessor, it has received regular worldwide airplay throughout the year, and features heavily in many DJs and listeners’ “album of the year” lists.

The band line up is:

Mike Baxter – Keyboards, Martin Haggarty – Vocals, Renaldo McKim – Guitar, David McLachlan – Bass and Alex Smith – Drums.

The album opens with Fight The Hand That Bleeds You and a keyboard refrain that could be from a 1980’s Neo-Prog album, a feeling enhanced by the energetic rhythm section, Renaldo McKim’s stylish guitar playing (check out the fiery solo) and Martin Haggerty’s direct vocal delivery. It’s done with aplomb and class and has an up to date, polished edge. A high energy start to the album that makes you take notice, especially the catchy chorus. I have to be honest, while I’m as big a fan of excellent Neo-Prog done well as the next man, I was hoping for a bit more from these talented Scots (although the wonderfully nostalgic sounds from the keys of Mike Baxter are a revelation to hear). I needn’t have worried as the rest of the album is wonderfully crafted and really doesn’t sit in any one genre, although, if I had to pick one, it is definitely progressive rock oriented in flavour. The next two tracks, Morpheus and Life show us that Long Earth have not stood still since releasing ‘Once Around The Sun’. They are both deep and meaningful with gorgeously wistful vocals from Martin and a nostalgic sound that reminds me of the great songs that have graced the charts for years. Renaldo’s guitar on Morpheus just echoes in the background gracefully and the drums from Alex Smith and David McLachlan’s bass both have a cultured, jazzy feel to them. It is music for the mind and soul and, for me, that is some of the best music you can get. Thoughtful, contemplative and with a wishful yearning, Life just bleeds emotion from it’s elegant, piano led, introduction and the melancholy vocal, Martin is seriously on top form on this bewitching piece of music. An elegant musical journey that takes you through the full gamut of emotions and delivered by a group of musicians working at the height of their powers. Sand delivers a much harder, defining edge to the band’s sound with a crunching guitar intro and more forthright vocal delivery. It’s a fluid, punchy track more focused on hard rock but still with the polished feel you’d expect from Long Earth. Renaldo gets to do his best guitar hero impression with some fine riffing and a rather tasty solo and the bass and drums feel hewn from pure granite. It’s a focused and direct song that really leaves its mark and one I really enjoyed.

The longest song on the album, Shadows sees the band in storytelling mode in the best progressive fashion. There’s elements of folk rock at play here, Renaldo’s delicate guitar playing and Mike’s vocal, almost balladeering in style, give a touch of medieval to the sound. This refined piece of music draws you into its embrace with its introspective feel and, at times, pensive and sombre tone. I can believe that this track could become a staple of the band’s live set, it has that involving atmosphere that the audience could feel enveloped and included in. One of my favourites on an album full of superb tracks, The Arc sees Long Earth on their progressive, reflective path and has a feel of Talk Talk to my ears, the deliberation that goes into every word and note and Martin’s vocal has big similarities to Mark Hollis. A big claim I know but one I feel is justified on this fantastic five minutes of music and one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. Moscow is big in sound and in scope, creating a widescreen, dramatic musical experience that touches on the band’s progressive roots. Another immersive musical journey that you gladly participate in, swathes of elegant keyboards and the dynamic rhythm section lay the foundations for Martin and Renaldo to lay out the story in fine style. Symphonic prog maybe but it is just great music delivered by an exceptional band. The album closes with Empty Shore, Renaldo’s echoing guitar and Mike’s subdued keys followed by the soulful vocal of Martin Haggerty on this charismatic and impassioned track. A real slow burner of a song with a pent up, brooding tension that feels ready to erupt at any moment and one that brings proceedings to a close in a very satisfying fashion.

All great albums are the product of an intensive creative process and, in ‘An Ordinary Life’, Long Earth have given us the highly impressive fruits of their artistic labours. A wonderfully immersive musical journey that will have you coming back for more, it is a highlight of what is becoming an extraordinarily outstanding year for new music.

Released 5th July, 2024.

Order direct from the band here:

Long Earth – Music & Merchandise (longearthmusic.com)

Order from bandcamp here:

An Ordinary Life | Long Earth (bandcamp.com)

NICK MAGNUS: ‘A Strange Inheritance’ (Magick Nuns Records) – Released 16th September

“It was a strange inheritance, unexpected, an oak chest bound with iron straps come into my possession, from a relative of whom I knew nothing…

Nick’s seventh progressive rock album takes us on a cinematic voyage; a swashbuckling tale of love, loss and revenge. An unexpected bequest reveals the story of a young woman whose misplaced love condemns her to the grim streets of 18th century London. She is deported, travelling across the high seas to the New World where imperialism and injustice rule, and an island paradise that is not what it seems.

Watch the video for Bloody Money, featuring John Greenwood and Tony Patterson:

Pre-order now:

Nick Magnus, Keyboards, Composer, Producer (magnus-music.com)

Composer, keyboard player and producer Nick Magnus is best known for his work with ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett from 1978 to 1989, providing his keyboard talents to at least twelve of Hackett’s albums to date, as well as extensively touring Europe, the UK and the US.

Nick started his musical career in early 1976 with the cult symphonic rock ensemble, The Enid. At the end of that year, he left The Enid to spend two years with the progressive rock band, Autumn. In 1999 Autumn released a CD of their material originally recorded in 1977 entitled ‘Oceanworld’, subsequently re-issued in 2019 on vinyl. He has released six solo albums of his own compositions: ‘On Till Morning’ (1994), ‘Inhaling Green’ (1999), Hexameron’ (2004), ‘Children Of Another God’ (2010), ‘N’monix’ (2014) and ‘Catharsis’ (2019). A live album with John Hackett was released in March 2011.

The latter half of the 1980’s included session work with many diverse artistes such as China Crisis, Renaissance, George Martin, Mungo Jerry, Carl Wayne (The Move), Johhny Mars, Cilla Black, Jose Carreras, Brian May (Queen), Richie Havens, Bonnie Tyler, Mike Batt, Classix Nouveaux, David Essex, Pete Bardens (Camel), Duncan Browne, Chris Rea, and Colin Blunstone.

Nick’s skills as keyboardist, producer and writer are frequently in demand, with recent contributions for artists such as United Progressive Fraternity, Amanda Lehmann, John Hackett, Dik Cadbury, Damanek, The Rocking Horse ClubTony Patterson & Brendan Eyre and the ‘Harmony For Elephants’ project. Nick is also a regular contributor to music technology magazine, Sound On Sound.

A Strange Inheritance is packaged in a 6-panel gatefold digi sleeve, with a 24-page full-colour booklet of photographs and lyrics.

All music composed and arranged by Nick Magnus, all lyrics by Dick Foster.

Nick Magnus – keyboards, synthesisers, percussion, tongue drum, production.

Album Tracks:

An Almost Silent Witness 10.07 

Blood Money 4.45

Philadelphia 5.16

At Sea at Night 5.54

Four Winds 8.14

Welcome To The Island 5.19

Black and Scarlet 5.22

To Whom it May Concern 5.36 

Total Running Time: 50.45

Guest Artists (bios on website) 

Tony Patterson, Andy Neve, John Greenwood, Louise Young, Ginger Bennett and Steve Hackett

Album teaser video: