Anneke van Giersbergen announces ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ – Brand new solo album: out February 26, 2020

Lyrically, and musically, the award-winning Dutch artist lays her soul bare with the most evocative record of her career – captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars, strings, horns, percussion, and Anneke’s hypnotic vocal harmonies

The new album’s title, ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions. But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album – and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it – was not something Anneke van Giersbergen ever anticipated writing.

In 2018, Anneke began working on new material for her metal band, VUUR. Although their debut album, ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound. Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band. However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times.

Anneke shares, ”My belief in VUUR saw me spend all my savings on recording VUUR’s debut album and taking the band on the road. After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that more VUUR would mean yet more, huge financial risks.”

To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching.
Anneke adds, “I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life. This creative endeavour would be far too personal for a VUUR album. And it would also require solitude.”

With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear, Anneke retreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven. She let go of the pressures of what VUUR’s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album. In 2019, work continued on the new songs. In 2020, Anneke asked her friend and producer, Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album.

Throughout the completion of the album, Anneke’s fragile, acoustic song-stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion. The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy of Anneke serenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.

The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspired Anneke to use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol. Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – adds value and uniqueness to it. And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond. They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable. 

Their journey through this personal storm, and the album that Anneke created in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest. 

The album will be available as CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as digital album.

01. Agape
02. Hurricane
03. My Promise
04. I Saw A Car
05. The Soul Knows
06. The End
07. Keep It Simple
08. Lo And Behold
09. Losing You
10. Survive
11. Love You Like I Love You

‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ is Anneke’s 23rd career album. It proves, once again, that the award-winning Dutch artist defies being pigeonholed by any genre. 

After thirteen years as the front woman for melancholic metallers, The Gathering, she struck out on her own in 2007. Since then, her creativity has known no bounds. Anneke quickly solidified a successful solo career (initially under the moniker Agua de Annique), and has recorded and performed with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend multiple times. She has also lent her serene yet powerful voice to the likes of: Anathema, Icelandic folk group Árstíðir, Within Temptation, Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen, Amorphis, and prog legend John Wetton.

2012’s ‘Everything is Changing’ was something of a milestone in Anneke’s solo career. The album, which was the first to be released under her own name, received two Edison Award nominations – Holland’s most prestigious music prize – in the categories ‘Best Female Artist’ and ‘Best Album’.

In 2015, Anneke van Giersbergen and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) released their collaborative album ‘The Diary’ under the name The Gentle Storm.

In October 2017, Anneke’s progressive metal outfit VUUR released their much-anticipated debut album. ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’ entered the Dutch Album Top 100 at number 2, Anneke’s highest-ever chart position.

Forever the unpredictable artist, in late 2018, Anneke released ‘Symphonized’, an 11-track live orchestral album. It was recorded at two career-spanning concerts alongside Residentie Orkest The Hague, and features rearrangements of songs from her entire back catalogue.

2019 saw Dutch music copyright organisation Buma Cultuur honor Anneke with the Buma ROCKS! Export Award. This is their award for the Most Successful Dutch Artist Abroad in Heavy Music.

In 2021, the release of her new solo album ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ will see Anneke surprise her fans all over again.

TRANSATLANTIC – invite you to enter ‘The Absolute Universe’ on fifth studio album

TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce their fifth studio album ‘The Absolute Universe’, set for release on the 5th February 2021. Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.

As Mike Portnoy explains: “We’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.” Pete Trewavas adds: “We did write some new music for the single CD,” adds Trewavas. “What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”

Each album will be available on CD, LP & Digitally. But there will also be what has been called ‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals & a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard. The full list of formats is below, and pre-orders start on the 20th November:

‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’

Special Edition CD Digipak

Gatefold 2LP+CD

Digital Album

‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’

Special Edition 2CD Digipak

3LP+2CD Boxset

Digital Album

‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’

Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster

Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: “Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs. Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That’s the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD.”

“What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding,” recalls Stolt. “Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one…But we were already recording, and it didn’t seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn’t want to lose. That’s when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward.” 

This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. “Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won’t shock anyone, right?” laughs Portnoy. “What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.” “We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” admits Stolt. “The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”

So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic’s previous four albums?

“I always try not to compare albums as much as possible,” insists Morse. “It’s very difficult when you’re trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with ‘The Whirlwind’ album  (the band’s third, from 2009) than others that we’ve created.” For Trewavas, ‘The Absolute Universe’ is a momentous project.

“I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we’ve done. As the others have said, it compares very well to ‘The Whirlwind’, which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it.”

Transatlantic were originally formed in 1999, releasing their debut album ‘SMTPe’ the following year as well as its follow-up ‘Bridge Across Forever’ in 2001. Following a 7-year hiatus, the band reconvened to record and release the much-acclaimed epic 77-minute, single-track album ‘The Whirlwind’ followed by a world tour in 2010 which included an appearance at High Voltage Festival in London where they were joined by legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. The band’s fourth album ‘Kaleidoscope’ arrived in 2014, going on to win ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Progressive Music Awards. 

THE ANCHORESS CONFIRMS FOLLOW UP TO HER AWARD-WINNING, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DEBUT ALBUM

Photo credit: Isabella Charlesworth

ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE ‘SHOW YOUR FACE’

New London Show: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London – July 10th 2021

‘The Art of Losing’, the second album from Welsh multi-instrumentalist The Anchoress (aka Catherine Anne Davies), will be released on March 5th 2021 (via Kscope). The first single ‘Show Your Face’ is available from today, following its radio premiere by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music; a Depeche Mode flavoured retort to toxic masculinity that features guitar from Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield (who also sings a duet on the album) and drums from Sterling Campbell (David Bowie, Duran Duran). 

The new single weaves its dark synth magic following up on her sonically audacious debut, ‘Confessions of A Romance Novelist’, which was named amongst the Guardian critics’ Albums of the Year, nominated for the Welsh Music Prize, named HMV’s Welsh Album of the Year, and won Best Newcomer at the PROG awards. 

Written and produced by Davies, ‘The Art of Losing’ navigates the detritus of death. It’s a record made in the process of trying to climb out of grief about how we make something from the losses in our lives. Written in the aftermath of several years of huge personal loss, the album follows Dylan Thomas’ instruction to “rage against the dying of the light” – and there is nothing “gentle” about its enquiry. Despite the traumatic backdrop to its composition, it is a far from dour affair. Rather, all fourteen tracks create a technicolour eruption of emotions, firmly concerned with how to find purpose in the midst of grief: “Was there some purpose to losing my mind?”, she asks on the album’s title track: “What did you learn when life was unkind..?” 

The new album was written and recorded during an unfeasibly busy few years as Davies found solace and purpose in a range of projects whilst navigating her griefs. Most recently this came via the release of her collaborative album ‘In Memory of My Feelings’ with Bernard Butler (on Pete Paphides’ label Needle Mythology), duetting and touring with the Manic Street Preachers on their thirteenth album ‘Resistance Is Futile’ (which reached #2 in the UK charts), and being personally invited by The Cure’s Robert Smith to perform at his Meltdown Festival. She also brought a new generation of ears to legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds, where she spent much of the last five years touring the world on keyboards, guitar and additional vocals. She joined the line-up in 2014, appearing on the Big Music (2015) and Walk Between Worlds (2018) albums before departing in 2019 after playing over 400 shows with the band.

Porcupine Tree – The Delerium Years- Limited Edition 13 Disc Box Set Coming November 20th on Transmission

Having recently announced that Snapper Music will be representing Porcupine Tree’s Transmission label worldwide, we are excited to release details of the first release under the new deal – Porcupine Tree – The Delerium Years  – a deluxe 13 CD box set chronicling the evolution of Porcupine Tree, bringing together all of the band’s recordings issued by the Delerium label between 1992-97

This period in the band’s illustrious career will be documented visually though a 140-page book with rare photographs and other archive material, plus biographical liner notes by Stephen Humphries (adapted from his sleeve notes for the Delerium Years vinyl box sets), and replicas of the full width original artwork for Signify and an October 1995 tour poster. 

The 13 CDs – packaged in digi-sleeves – are presented in a heavyweight lift-off lid box designed by long-term collaborator Carl Glover. This includes the 5 full length albums officially released on Delerium in their most recently remastered form:

• On the Sunday of Life…

• Up the Downstair

• The Sky Moves Sideways (2CD – also includes Stars Die EP)

• Signify

• Coma Divine – live (2CD) 

Plus:

• Voyage 34: The Complete Trip – with the original full-length version of Phase IV

• Staircase Infinities – mini album (newly remastered)

• Metanoia – studio improvisations recorded 1995-96 (newly remastered)

Plus 2 releases originally created for subscribers to the PT information service Transmission, both newly remastered for this set:

• Transmission IV – all 40 minutes of an unedited Moonloop

• Insignificance – a selection of Signify demos, including tracks not recorded for the final album

Finally a newly compiled and mastered 9 track disc called The Sound of No One Listening rounds up stray single and compilation tracks, including 2 demo versions of the song “Disappear” which were previously only available on a bonus 7 inch with the first vinyl edition of Coma Divine.

This beautiful deluxe box set is a “must have” for Porcupine Tree fans.

Porcupine Tree – The Delerium Years is released on 20th November and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE (https://burningshed.com/store/porcupinetree )

District 97 Present ‘Ghost Girl’, A Short Animated Film

Just in time for Halloween, Chicago prog rockers District 97 present their first animated short film, the epic tale of “Ghost Girl.” Taken from their most recent release Screens, “Ghost Girl” is the musical journey of a little girl who longs to fit in. The only problem? She’s terrorized by malevolent spirits, and nobody believes her—except for her loving but overbearing mother. 

Jonathan Schang, District 97’s drummer/primary composer and Ghost Girl Executive Producer states: “For well over a year, I’ve had a vision in my head of an animated short film for Leslie’s and my song “Ghost Girl” from the Screens album. I imagined something that conjured a similar mood to Steven Wilson’s and Owl House Studios’ stop motion videos. Through happenstance I was put in touch with director Christopher Kezelos (Zero, The Maker), who enthusiastically took on the project. Since January, we closely collaborated to bring Ghost Girl and her world to life.

“I never could’ve guessed how much all of our lives would change during the making of this film, but I feel that makes its story of isolation, alienation, and redemption all the more relevant. I hope it captivates music and film fans everywhere this Halloween season and beyond.” Christopher Kezelos, Director says: “When I first heard the song Ghost Girl by District 97, I was instantly drawn into the disturbing tale of a young medium terrorized by evil spirits and the epic highs and lows of this sweeping rock ballad.

“Every line of the song conjured haunting and beautiful images in my mind that I wanted to bring to the screen.

“The song, sung from the protagonist’s point of view, felt very personal. I wanted to portray her story through a diary as she journals her life and shares her intimate secrets with the viewer. Sketches that ebb from dark and gritty to light and calm as she pours her heart and soul onto the page.“I wanted every scene to feel like a beautiful cinemagraph. A memory captured in time, with a hint of motion that draws you into Ghost Girl’s world.

“My hope is that her tale of transformation resonates with audiences struggling with their own demons.”

Avandra Reveals Album Art, Track List and Title of Forthcoming New Album

This autumn is about to become more and more exciting, as Avandra has now announced the title, tracklist and coverart for their upcoming album! The album shall be called Skylighting and features 7 brand new songs. The four core bandmembers, were joined this time around by keyboardist extraordinaire Vikram Shankar (Redemption, Silent Skies, Lux Terminus) who provided additional layers to the songs.

Production duties were shared by Christian Ayala and Daniel Schwartz (Astronoid) and mastering was in the hands of Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me, Scale The Summit, The Contortionist and more). The symbolic, spacey artwork was made by Mark Facey.

The band’s singer and guitarist Christian Ayala had the following to say about this album:

“This new album is the response to our current situation in the world due to everything that has happened to us. It became a voyage of loss and return through cosmic cycles in which I both searched inward and outward, combining my love for philosophy and current events into songs. We are really excited to share this record with all of you guys!”

The album will feature the following tracklist:

1: Celestial Wreaths (5:08)
2: Noetic Probes (5:12)
3: Life is not a circle, but a sphere (5:15)
4: Eternal Return (9:36)
5: ProcGen (5:44)
6: Afferent Realms (6:49)
7: New Origins (4:07)

This album will be released worldwide on the 20th of November 2020 through Layered Reality Productions on both CD and digital formats.

New Studio Album From Jon Gomm – The Faintest Idea – Due To Be Released Through Kscope on 16th October

UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR 2020 / 2021 CONFIRMED
1st Single – Cocoon released – video here

Jon Gomm, the UK based acoustic guitar virtuoso, has announced the details of his new album The Faintest Idea, due for release on Kscope on 16th October 2020, with this new album he has found new emotional depths in immense melodic pop landscapes.

When most people look at an acoustic guitar, they see exactly that – a wooden box with strings. As one of the pioneers of the modern fingerstyle sound, however, Jon Gomm has a rare gift for turning one instrument into what feels like an entire orchestra…

The Blackpool-born singer-songwriter’s 2003 home-recorded debut, Hypertension, was nothing short of a musical revelation: drumming beats, tapping chords and striking harmonics on his acoustic underneath that warm, soulful voice. Things changed for Jon with landmark single Passionflower racking up 17 million plus views on YouTube and other media platforms in 2012 – with British legend Stephen Fry describing him on mainstream television as someone “playing the guitar in a way I’d never seen it played before” and “an all-round genius”. Follow up album Secrets Nobody Keeps arrived in 2013, further cementing his stature as one of the driving forces behind an acoustic revolution – but now, having signed a label deal for the very first time in his career, he’s managed to truly refine the pop sensibilities and emotive expression within that unmistakable wall of sound. Latest full-length The Faintest Idea is set for release this October.

I didn’t realise that my songs were worth anything beyond the crazy guitar playing,” shrugs the songwriter reborn, who originally started out on ukulele at the age of two. “When people started getting my lyrics tattooed on them, I had to accept that they’re not doing that because they’re fans of percussive guitar”

Perhaps one of the greatest surprises with The Faintest Idea is how it contrasts the incredible human warmth of Gomm’s acoustic articulation with more icy affairs, thanks to the synth parts and production work from Australian musician Andy Sorenson. Instead of a war between man and machine, the collaboration delicately cross-pollinates simple honesty with more forward-thinking atmospheres. It is a contemporary masterpiece – rich in its sense of paths travelled and roads taken, while also daring to gaze into the unexpected future.

Andy has taken my raw, intimate solo acoustic performances, and placed them in an artificially expanded landscape of his own creation. I feel like I’m playing a gig, but the venue is a synthetic reality dreamworld. I strum a chord, and it bounces off a cyan cloud releasing a shower of notes, I hit another, and it echoes through a crystal chamber” Gomm muses.

The album earned its title through the notion that all of us, to some extent, are just The Faintest Idea. The singer/guitarist notes how that everything is made out of vibrating strings of probability, and it’s this scientific and spiritual meaning – as well as the more literal translation of total guesswork – that felt like the perfect summation of album number four… “It’s an enigmatic title,” smiles Gomm. “There’s a fine line between a metaphor and a pun, so I guess it dances on that.”

The album is complemented by the delicate hand drawn pen and ink cover art created by Lee Zimmerman.

Often cited as one of the most naturally gifted acoustic artists of the modern age, a one-man band with seemingly no limit to expression, it’s little surprise that the new music drew from the musician’s own experiences over the last five or so years. And while there have been moments of joyous celebration, by his own admission there has also been plenty of personal upheaval “This album has been a long time coming,” he reflects. “I tend to write in a really painstaking way. The last few years of my life have involved a lot of personal trauma – from me and my wife losing a pregnancy, through to losing other people in my life.”

There’s a sense of reinvention that arrives in The Faintest Idea’s 11 tracks – documenting a musician coming to terms with the talents that got him recognised and choosing to evolve into the unexpected. Despite having already gone viral and established himself as one of the modern-day masters of acoustic, this could very well be the release that sees the virtuoso transition to a mainstream audience far removed from the guitar community he’s long been revered by… “People knew I could play, I didn’t need to write an album to make that point anymore,” summarises Gomm. “And being aware of that brought out my music in a better way. The technique side can feed into the ego after a while. This is still acoustic guitar music, but the sound, approach and experiences behind it are totally different. I didn’t need to force myself to follow any musical philosophy when I could just make a beautiful-sounding album that was totally immersive and more emotional.”

Indeed, it’s as immersive and emotional as music gets. And while these are the most expansive recordings of JonGomm’s career so far, it still really just boils down to the magic of one man with his guitar and voice. And what a powerful magic it is.

The Faintest Idea is due to be released on 16th October on the following formats:
*CD
*Double gatefold LP with D-side artwork etching
* Digitally
*As a stunning limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition which will feature:
CD1 – The Faintest Idea album
CD 2 – The Naked Artist Mix – a stripped back version of the album
a DVD containing6 exclusive performances filmed in a medieval church
Guitar technique presentations
A 35 minute Jon Gomm interview
Song description videos
The Faintest Idea in high resolution stereo audio.
The beautiful book will feature Lee Zimmerman illustrations, song descriptions, handwritten lyrics and full guitar tablature for the song “Check You’re Still Breathing”

The Faintest Idea – UK & Eire headline tour – tickets on sale now
December 2020                              
Sat 5 – Huddersfield – Parish Pub
Sun 6 – York – The Crescent
Thu 10 – Trowbridge – Emmanuels Yard
Fri 11 – Cheltenham – Frog And Fiddle
Sat 12 – Swansea – Sin City

Jan 2021                                           
Mon 4 – Southampton – Joiners
Tue 5 – Brighton – Komedia
Wed 6 – Bury St Edmunds – Apex
Fri 15 – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Sat 16 – Bristol – Thekla
Sun 17 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Fri 22 – Manchester – The Bread Shed
Sat 23 – Liverpool – Leaf
Fri 29 – Leeds – Brudenell

Feb 2021                                           
Wed 3 – Runcorn – Brindley Theatre
Fri 5 – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
Sat 6 – Haverhill – Haverhill Arts Centre
Sun 7 – Reading – Sub 89
Thu 11  – Cardiff – The Globe
Fri 12 – Blackpool – Bootleg Social
Thu 18 – Preston – The Ferret
Fri 19 – Newcastle – Cluny
Sat 20 – Glasgow – Oran Mor
Sat 27 – Dublin – Academy 2

March 2021                                      
Fri 5 – London – Bush Hall
Sat 6 – Guildford – Boileroom

Artist image by Elizabeth Gomm.

GAZPACHO, RELEASE NEW SINGLE “CLOCKWORK” TAKEN FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM FIREWORKER,DUE FOR RELEASE ON KSCOPE ON 18TH SEPTEMBER

Clockwork is the second single taken from Fireworker, the new album by Gazpacho.

The new single doesn’t feature on Fireworker in this form; it is part of the album’s opening track “Space Cowboy”.

Thomas Anderson from the band explains the song is about ” a trip into the mind to uncover the animal that, the main character believes, lives there and how much of him it really controls. As the main character of the song ventures deeper and starts sensing that the animal is near, his consciousness tries to warn him that there are some things better left alone and communicates this through a dream”

Gazpacho have reigned as the kings of atmospheric and affective art rock, no small feat, as the subgenre is full of wonderfully moody, ornate, and emotional artists; yet, none of them manage to achieve the same level of exquisite baroque resonance and hypnotically introspective weight as this Norwegian sextet. Gazpacho never fail to provide awe-inspiring examinations of the human condition, and their latest observation, Fireworker, the follow up to 2018’s album “Soyuz”, is no exception. It is undoubtedly among their greatest achievements, as well as one of the most profound pieces of music you’ll hear in 2020.

Conceptually, the album follows the band’s tradition of blending grand philosophical quandaries, stimulating literary leanings, and haunting personal turmoil. In a way, it acts as the culmination of the themes and techniques that has decorated earlier collections. Fireworker comes across like the overarching umbrella under which all of its predecessors occur.

Fireworker is truly life-changing experience, so you would be wise to turn off all of the lights, clear your mind as best you can, and prepare to meet the Fireworker.

Fireworker will be released on Kscope on 18th September, on CD, a gatefold 2LP on 180g black vinyl  (3 sides audio, 1 side art etching) and digitally (digital pre-orders receive the title track “Fireworker” as an instant download) and is available to pre-order HERE 

GAZPACHO LIVE

Sadly, due to the current covid-19 situation the band’s European and UK dates scheduled for October 2020 have been postponed to October 2021.
Gazpacho are:Thomas Andersen – keyboards, programmingJan-Henrik Ohme – vocalsJon-Arne Vibo – guitarsMikael Krømer – violin, additional guitarsKristian “Fido” Torp – bassRobert R Johansen – drums

Marillion Couch Convention – 4th, 5th, 6th September 2020

Marillion join virtually with their fans, for a weekend of music and togetherness.

This coming weekend, UK Rock legends Marillion will come together with thousands of fans globally, for their first, and in the own words ‘hopefully only’, Marillion Couch Convention.

“We have a rare and beautiful relationship with our fans,” says Steve Hogarth, the band’s singer. “We wanted to do something to let them know that we are with them; find a way to show our appreciation for the support they give to us and more importantly in strange times like these, each other.”

The band will broadcast their three most popular gig films on YouTube across the three nights, with support acts, introductions from the band and even a live Q&A hosted by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing. The band will also be hosting virtual Q&A’s with fans, music masterclasses, a quiz, fan club meetups with band members, and even a run-along with keyboard player Mark Kelly and a cocktail class with guitarist Steve Rothery. There are opportunities to win a virtual photo with the band, virtual coffee with a band member and all sorts of other competitions, including an online dog show and prizes for the best photos from the weekend.

Lucy Jordache, the band’s manager for the last 20 years, says, “When I realised that our 2021 conventions would not be going ahead, I wanted to give our fans something that might help them experience the amazing feeling our conventions famously have. As the COVID 19 crisis deepened, it became more and more important to bring our fans together in a virtual space, where they can feel the love and support from one another and the band.”

All events over the weekend are free. The band have pre-sold merchandise (t-shirts, cushions, wine and beer glasses, banners and even confetti) to help fans get into the spirit of the event, and a rarities auction will take place over the weekend. With tough times being experienced across the globe, Marillion were keen for this to be a free event. However, an online tip jar will be live all weekend, for fans who might want to help out Marillion’s crew who have been hit hardest by the lack of live events.Hogarth adds, “We’ve been completely amazed by the response of our fans to the idea of the Couch Convention and the merchandise we created for it. We sincerely thank them for their continuing love and support and hope to see them out on the road soon.”

Marillion are a British rock band with a successful 40-year history. Their last studio Album F E A R, debuted at number 4 in the UK Album Charts, claiming a top 20 slot in many European countries and charting across the world including the United States.

The band are known for their uniquely close relationship with their fans, and are widely attributed with reinventing the way bands work commercially, including the revolutionary crowdfunding of their 2000 album Anoraknophobia.

Marillion held their first global convention in April 2002. And now play Marillion Weekends all over the world including their bi-annual hiring of Center Parcs in Holland where they play to over 3000 fans from over 50 countries.

Marillion Couch Convention 2020, 4th, 5th & 6th September 2020More information at: https://www.marillionweekend.com/athome/main/whatson.html

THE FLOWER KINGS – announce October 30th as release date for new double album “Islands”

On October 30th, 2020 progressive rockers THE FLOWER KINGS will release their new double album “Islands” on InsideOutMusic, just a year after the group’s much celebrated “Waiting For Miracles”.

Due to the Covid-19-pandemic, the album comes out quite a bit sooner than originally planned as the band’s creative mastermind Roine Stolt explains:

“All shows and festivals were cancelled and the future didn’t really ‘unfold’ itself like we had hoped. To sit out the pandemic with no activities was not an option for us! We can’t be stopped by an evil virus! So, with members living in the USA, Italy, Austria and Sweden, the only way to realize this album, was to use the magic of the ‘net’, sending files around the globe and start building what now has become a mammoth-sized double album of 21 songs.”

The 92 minutes long “Islands” features artwork by legend Roger Dean (Yes, Asia, Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Uriah Heep) and all trademark sounds and melodies, the band is renowned for. From vintage keys to epic guitar solos, from odd drum patterns to symphonic elements, THE FLOWER KINGS present a dynamic and complex record that is bold, bombastic and beautiful.

Stolt reveals the following about the concept of the record:

“The theme of the album is isolation – so the title ‘Islands’ felt like a most relevant title – as much of it circulates around isolation, loss, and the fear of being disconnected. Having to face this unexpected pandemic will leave marks on each one of us for a very long time and to lose loved ones forces us to soldier on, learning and growing a stronger version of ourselves in this fragile cycle of life.

Musically; the aim has been to  create a bigger grand epic piece out of 21 songs – so they are all connected with themes that weave in and out – like the way ‘Sgt Peppers’ or ‘The Lamb’ were built on shorter songs,  but yet linked. So view it as one mega song or as 21 separate pieces, it is all  tailored to be listened to as one piece – like a cinematic 90min long ride.”

Disc One (49:40)

1 – Racing With Blinders On 4:24

2 – From The Ground 4.02

3 – Black Swan 5:53

4 – Morning News 4:01

5 – Broken 6:38

6 – Goodbye Outrage 2:19

7 – Journeyman 1:43

8 – Tangerine 3:51

9 – Solaris 9:10

10 – Heart Of The Valley 4:18

11- Man In A Two Peace Suit 3:21 

Disc Two (43:01)

1 – All I Need Is Love 5:48

2 – A New Species 5:45

3 – Northern Lights 5:43

4 – Hidden Angles 0:50

5 – Serpentine 3:52

6 – Looking For Answers 4:30

7 –Telescope 4:41

8 – Fool’s Gold 3:11

9 – Between Hope & Fear 4:29

10 – Islands 4:12

“Islands” will be available as massive Limited 3LP & 2CD box set with slipcase and 180 gram vinyl housed in two gatefolds, one single sleeve; as Limited Edition 2CD Digipak and Digital Album. Presales will start September 11th, 2020.

Line-Up:

Roine Stolt – Vocal, Ukulele, Guitars, Additional Keyboards

Hasse Fröberg – Vocal & Acoustic Guitar

Jonas Reingold – Bass, Acoustic Guitar

Zach Kamins – Pianos, Organ, Synthesizers, Mellotron, Orchestrations

Mirko DeMaio – Drums, Percussion

Guest: Rob Townsend – Soprano Saxophone

Band picture by Lilian Forsberg.