New video for the first single “The Pale Moon” out now.
Norwegian progressive rock group AVKRVST are pleased to reveal details on their debut album titled ‘The Approbation’, set to be released on the 16th June, 2023. The album cover and tracklisting can be seen below.
The band are also pleased to share the new video for the album’s first single “The Pale Moon” which you can see here:
“The Pale Moon” is also available on all digital platforms here:
The band had this to say about the video: “The video for «The Pale Moon» is portraying a lonesome soul and his daily chores on a cabin far away from civilization – on his journey towards the end of life. All faith and hope is gone and the character is starting to lose his mind. Is he alone? Is there someone else present? Or is it just his mind playing games?”
The video was directed by AVKRVST and co-directed, shot and edited by Simen Skari.
The cover artwork for ‘The Approbation’ was created by Berlin-based artist and illustrator Eliran Kantor, who is well-known for his intriguing cover creations for metal bands.
2.The Pale Moon 6:15
4.The Great White River 6:30
5.Arcane Clouds 6:05
7.The Approbation 13:37
Earlier this year the band shared a teaser video of them working in the studio which you can see here:
At the young age of 7 years old, Martin Utby and Simon Bergseth made a pact that they would form a band when they got older. Now, 22 years later they’ve done just that. An album is ready – 55 minutes of music inspired by everything they grew up listening to – everything from Mew, Anekdoten and Porcupine Tree to Opeth, Neal Morse and King Crimson.
All the music has been written at a small cabin, deep into the Norwegian forests (Alvdal, Norway). Simon (composer, guitars, bass and vocals) and Martin (composer, drummer and synths) have later been joined by Øystein Aadland on bass/keys, Edvard Seim on guitars and Auver Gaaren on keys.
Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett is pleased to announce that two of his 90’s solo records will be released on vinyl for the first time ever in 2023, marking the beginning of a series of vinyl reissues of his solo catalogue. On the 2nd June 2023, the 1993 album ‘Guitar Noir’ & the 1999 album ‘Darktown’ will be made available as Gatefold 180g 2LP’s, each newly remastered especially for the vinyl format. Pre-order now here:
Steve comments: “I’m thrilled that my two albums Guitar Noir and Darktown are being release on vinyl for the first time! My music took on a darker edge for both those albums, and I explored additional sounds and genres I hadn’t touched before.”
‘Guitar Noir’ (1993) saw Steve taking a darker approach to his guitar sound, and he was joined by Julian Colbeck (keys), Dave Ball (bass), Hugo Degenhardt (drums), Aron Friedman (keys), Nick Magnus (keys) & more for this record.
‘Darktown’ (1999) also saw Steve joined by Julian Colbeck (keys) & Hugo Degenhardt (drums), as well as Roger King (Keys, Bass, Drums), Jim Diamond (Vocals), John Hackett (Flute, Pan Pipes), Ian McDonald (Sax) & John Wetton (Bass Samples). This edition of the album also includes the 3 bonus tracks included on the 2013 CD reissue.
Following the Wuppertal show with full orchestra, Steve Hackett and band will continue their Foxtrot at Fifty plus Hackett Highlights tour in Europe in April and North America in the autumn.
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 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, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and Surrender of Silence.
In 2021 multi-instrumentalist Rik Loveridge‘s Parkinson’s diagnosis led to him leaving The Kentish Spires. The only proper responses were a little cry and a new album. The album is drenched in the spirit of progressive rock but also explores other genres whilst remaining musically inventive (says Rik)!
He envisaged some stunning guitar and sax elements so enlisted the help of friends Nick Fletcher (John Hackett Band) and Chris Egan (The Kentish Spires and Nuadha). He also saw the need to work with talented audio engineers… cue PaulCobbold (ex Rockfield) and David Pickering Pick (FFG studio) on mixing and mastering duties. Oh, and granddaughter Willow aged 1!
Something good shall arise from this dark time!
And something good has indeed been delivered with this immersive musical masterpiece. The opening three-part Trilogy suite is languid, relaxed, low key and beautiful and has hints of latter day David Gilmour solo work. Egan’s sax is quite beguiling throughout and Nick Fletcher shows his consummate skill and class with a quite lyrical display of guitar. It’s a testimony to Rik’s songwriting ability that it all blends seamlessly and his vocals add that requisite touch of calm sensibility. Instrumental Dark Matter is a wistful, dreamy piece that adds thoughtful reflection to the album. The wonderful organ that opens Nature’s Eyes imbues a sense of tranquility and harmony to this elegant ballad, a charming touch of nostalgia and this is carried through with spiralling keyboards to the understated grace of SilentSpring.
Death of Major Tom is a more serious feeling track with a melancholy underbelly and one that reinforces a feel of The Tangent to my ears, a theme that runs through the album due to its intelligent writing and sumptuous delivery. You can’t help but smile at the electronica tinged brilliance of West Coast Journeyman that goes perfectly with Nick Fletcher’s virtuoso guitar to deliver a superb instrumental, a highlight of what is proving to be a fantastic album. The inspiration just keeps flowing, With a Glance adds a funky, jazz infused feel to Rik’s Roger Waters edged vocals, Song For Jude with its Tears For Fears intro is an ode to Rik’s beloved wife and is uplifting and engaging and Tully Remembered is as jazzy as they come, Egan’s sax just oozing class and sophistication.
Queen’s Gambit brings us to the closing part of the album and is an outstanding piece of songwriting. An involving and compelling musical journey that entrances and mesmerises the listener throughout and probably my favourite song on the album. Perhaps the two-part Entropy could be called music for the intellectual, it certainly has a feel of 60’s prog from the days of black and white, it’s certainly quirky and idosyncratic but that just gives these two pieces a charm all of their own and one that definitely drew me in. The album closes out with the hypnotising ambient electronica of Teed’s Lullaby, three minutes of trance-inducing calmative music that resets your perceptions.
Sometimes great music just seems to seek me out and I was obviously sent this promo for a reason as the stars have aligned and delivered a wonderful collection of tracks that leave a warm feeling of nostalgia and hope washing over me. With his Single Helix project and this Prog Gnosis album, Rik Loveridge is baring his soul, both musically and personally and, not only is it a superb release, it is very brave of him to do so. I can highly recommend this completely uplifting album, you won’t regret it.
I love discovering new music, especially when it comes out of the blue. I had a review request in with regard to new US progressive rock group Ascher and I respected the opinion of the PR guy who had sent me the album so, as a favour, I listened to their debut release ‘Beginnings’ and the rest, as they say, is history…
The band features Doug Bowers (guitars, bass, keys, vocals), Blake Dickeson (rhythm guitars), Rob Perez (lead guitar) and Kyle Graves (lead vocals). Doug and Rob have been collaborating on one another’s projects for years. Toward the end of 2022, Bowers began collaborating with guitarist, Blake, fleshing out some musical ideas that he had developed over the years, Rob was brought in to add tasty lead guitar to the effort. Rob suggested a singer that he had recently encountered, Kyle was writing lyrics for an upcoming album for Rob and Rob felt he would be a perfect fit for Ascher. Rob was right and the band was complete.
The album contains five instrumental pieces and four songs, clocks in at fifty-seven minutes and will keep fans of melodic progressive rock with hook laden grooves extremely happy. Opening instrumental, catchily titled Beginnings, has a proper Rush feel from the restrained opening to the elegantly powerful guitar lines and thunderous rhythm section. Rob’s guitar guides a perfect path through this funky piece and you are immediately drawn in to Ascher’s intriguing musical world. There’s an almost 80’s pop-prog (think ‘90125’ era Yes or Peter Gabriel material of that time) quality to the opening of In The Clear Distance, an urgent, staccato guitar riff and dynamic vocals keep this energetic track at a high-tempo pace, of particular note are the harmonised chorus, the groovy keys and, once again, the fleeting guitar licks that always bring a smile to my face, this album has definitely grabbed my attention now! Next comes one of the best songs on the album, the brilliant The Great Divide. From it’s slow burning opening with its emotive vocals and stirring piano, this track grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, musically it has a feel of Marillion at their best and I’m a big fan of that band! A powerful ballad with a passionate chorus that just bleeds emotion, it’s a track I have returned to many times and will continue to do so. Hard rock, bluesy grooves abound on the lively, funk laden Ransom For The Righteous with its super stylish vintage keys and sunny, west-coast, outlook. One of the best rock instrumentals you will here in a long time, blending 80’s hard rock with the laid back sound of the 70’s just about perfectly, another stand out track on what is turning out to be the most surprising releases of the year so far. De Profundis (‘out of the depths’ to you and me) takes a dark and solemn turn with its mysterious opening and enigmatic vocals. You find yourself almost holding your breath in expectation as this cryptic track takes you on a journey into the unknown. All seems to be revealed as a flowering guitar opens up the dark into the light and drags you along with it and you truly do come ‘out of the depths’. It’s very clever songwriting as the twilight refuses to be subdued and tries to return, this ying and yang of darkness and light is really clever and makes for an very engrossing piece of music.
I love the instrumental, Nail Soup. A chance for these musicians to let their hair down and just enjoy themselves, it flows perfectly and is just a highly enjoyable five and a half minutes where you just forget your troubles, sit down with a beer, tap your toes and smile. The polished songwriting continues with the captivating brilliance of What The World Can’t Give, another hard rock infused prog masterpiece that really powers along, fuelled by the chugging riff pairing of guitar and keyboards. This track will surely be a monster live, its high energy intensity is addictive and compelling and the guitar playing is just stellar! Wheels Turning Now is wistful, nostalgic and melancholic in equal measure and dances along with a lightness of touch that you just marvel at. You have to say that Ascher are bloody good at writing excellent instrumentals and this is another one that has me humming along and nodding my head in time to the music. The album I have closes with the bonus track The Instrumental Divide (everyone needs the version with this wonderful piece of music on) and closes on an extreme high. Rob is channelling is inner guitar hero (be it Satriani, Schon or Vai or any of the other guitar legends out there) and he is on fire, literally! This glorious instrumental bleeds emotion, passion and many other things to leave you open mouthed in admiration and just begging for more, what a way to sign off this incredible release!
When it comes to music, an unexpected surprise is a rare thing nowadays so when one arrives in your inbox it really must be cherished. With ‘Begginings’, Ascher have really set the bar high for debut releases and set themselves on the path to what should be a successful career, it has certainly got my attention and I have to say that, for me, it is a definite highlight of 2023 so far and I’m sure will still be up there when the year ends.
I learn about new music in a lot of different ways and one is word of mouth. When a fellow reviewer who I respect recommends an album then I will definitely seek it out. Jason Spencer of well renowned review website The Prog Mind had been waxing lyrical about ‘One Man’s Grief’, the debut album from Hungarian duo Deposed King, for quite a while so I decided it must be worth a listen and, as usual, Jason wasn’t wrong…
Hailing from Budapest, Daniel Kriffel and Dominique Király cite the usual suspects when it comes to their influences with Steven Wilson, Mariusz Duda and ÓlafurArnalds included in the list. You can hear faint hints of these musicians in Deposed King’s sound but it is definitely a sound they have forged themselves. Their polished, low key music reminds me of a lot of the progressive rock and post-rock acts that have come out of eastern Europe recently and especially Poland (Amarok definitely come to mind!).
With intelligent and thought provoking music and a calming aura deep at its core, the album is nine tracks long and brief opener First Light sets the scene of things to come, thoughtful and wistful in tone and delivery, this delicate instrumental focuses your mind immediately. There’s a segue into the chiming guitars of Caves, a piece of music that, while thoughtful in nature, has a more urgent and intense feel than the previous track. Another instrumental and one that shows the prowess of these excellent musicians. The ambient soundscape of Endless Hours also sees the first introduction of vocals to the album and what gorgeous vocals they are, haunting and emotive in equal measure. With elegant guitars and lush electronics, this song is as polished as they come. There’s a definite feel of Mariusz Duda’s recent work on his Lunatic Soul project to the intelligent Path of Forlorn, the staccato drumming and almost eastern sounding guitar note adding a stylish sheen to this captivating track, a definite highlight of what is proving to be an utterly compelling collection of songs.
Half-Light takes electronic beats and shimmering soundscapes and blends them seamlessly with a progressive undercurrent to deliver a wide-screen masterpiece. Deep and meaningful , Fading Shadows is a proper nod to the epic progressive rock/metal of bands like Riverside but with a soft centre. The melancholic vocal and contemplative music have a trance like effect and are really addictive and the searing guitar solo is just magical. Sirens of the Sun is a charming piece of electronica that gets under your skin and you can’t help but like and then we arrive at Ceasing to Exist, the album’s epic centrepiece. The longest, and heaviest, track on the album, it’s a perfect mixture of textures and emotions and darkness and light and has a truly primeval weight to it. The use of harsh vocals works perfectly (not something I say very often) and the contrasts between the occasional moments of light and the often monumental riffs is flawless. The cinematic innocence of Last Light with its ethereal piano is a perfect and hypnotic close to the album, just let it wash over you, cleansing your mind and enriching your soul.
When music touches you on a personal level, it must be something quite special and ‘One Man’s Grief’ does exactly that and more. Deposed King write songs and music that has meaning and purpose and it is music that will stay with me for a very long time.
Prog Rock music takes commitment and concentration to create and sometimes even to listen to. If requested to express spontaneous keywords that describe this style of music, the spectrum encompasses intellectual, unusual, off-beat, story-telling, conceptual, left-field, left-bank, innovative, challenging, technical, proficient, and soundscapes – before a rapid argument then ensues… People begin to reminisce about rhythmic & percussive innovations, weird chord and key changes, poetic & lyrical worlds of wonder wrapped in interesting cover art and spice dusted with the artistic influences of sci-fi, fantasy, and on occasion all veering off into the realms of serious WTF, before settling down to a good, hard bitch about what is or is not true Prog! All good fun and, why not?
Ebb have redefined themselves as ‘Art Rock’…. Writing and playing in their own style; telling their own stories and wrestling with their own concepts seemed the way forward for the five women and one guy.
And about that: they are nearly all women…. Was there a problem with the ‘old guard’ fans of the genre? Well, despite dire warnings from musical friends… No. Not at all. Prog people of all walks, ages, and genders have been warm, inclusive, and receptive to the band. So there! It’s the power of music, people!
This one nearly passed me by, I received an email inviting me to listen to the promo from Scotland-based art/prog/rock band Ebb’s new release, “a concept album about the love and friendship that grew between an old dying ex-army musician and his housekeeper cum part-time sex worker…”. Yes, really, unfortunately I was snowed under at the time and I didn’t follow it up. Which could have been my loss because ‘Mad & Killing Time’ is definitely one of the more intriguing and compelling releases I’ve heard this year so far.
What you get with Ebb is brilliantly constructed songs, incredible musicianship and an odd, quirky attitude that is entirely unique. Imagine King Crimson and Hawkwind rocking up with Magenta in tow and a persistent urge to record something that sounds like bastardised 70’s Canterbury scene progressive rock with a modern harder edge and you won’t be far wrong. There is true musical theatre here but musical theatre from a parallel universe of steampunk infused science fantasy, progressive rock written by Michael Moorcock and Raymond Feist perhaps?
Saxes, trumpets, flutes, clarinets, superb guitars, fluid keyboards and an elegant Hammond organ combine with a dynamic rhythm section to deliver a vibrant, occasionally chaotic soundscape that is utterly addictive at times. All of this vibrant musical wonder is held together perfectly by the sublimely seductive vocals of Erin Bennett, I’ve not heard anything that sounds like Ebb before!
The highlights on this incredible release come fast and thick with the atmospheric, slow burning The Animal Said: ‘I’ and the faster paced, funky Tension leading the charge. Deliciously dark, mysterious and intense, Hecate stands tall and proud and the wistful elegance and melancholy of What Under What is sublime. The thunderous energy of Violet Is Tits gives this enjoyable baroque instrumental a life of its own and Krystal at the Red Light is another brooding and compelling listen with touches of King Crimson giving it a complexity all of its own. Confess adds more of the same and then we are treated to the utterly brilliant MaryJane, an imposingly majestic piece of music where the glorious vocals hit you hard and this exceptional song closes the album out on a complete high.
When you listen to as much new music as I do, it takes something truly special to stand out and ‘Mad & Killing Time’ is just that, Ebb delivering a musical highlight of the year and one that is totally unique to this incredibly talented bunch of artists. Go seek it out, you will not de disappointed in any way at all.
Great Wide Nothing are a progressive punk rock band who hail from Atlanta, Georgia, USA and while you can hear punk in their anger, the music they offer is classic Neo Prog. They cite Coheed and Cambria, Thrice, Muse, Marillion, DepecheMode, Deep Purple and The Cure among their very varied influences. Some interesting choices, really diverse and yet all these groups appear in their sound to some degree, acceptably some more than others. Although, once again, the band are entirely new to me, so I come to this album without any expectations and I find myself pleasantly surprised and satisfied by what I discover here.
This album has just five tracks but they are all strong ones, starting with Blind Eye ToA Burning House, a song that nods it’s head firmly to Rush and one that laments the world’s indifference and inability to grasp and resolve climate change in any meaningful and sincere way. The music the trio make is strong and agreeable with lots of power but also with a subtle lightness of touch where required. There are also great performances from all members and the writing is strong and purposeful, really making an impact. The production is also very good with clear vocals and strong instrumentation. The song has an urgency that is mirrored in it lyrics as it belts along at a fair clip and I can hear elements of Saga in the vocals. This opening track shows how effective the band are, highly talented and musically adept with a really strong sound and distinctive vocals. It is an excellent piece that certainly grabs the attention with a good synth solo and a very memorable chorus, overall an excellent opening statement from the band.
We then move onto a shorter song, The Portal And The Precipice, hinged on an overdriven organ part which is very Deep Purple-like in tone. The track is about a failing relationship and the writer’s hope for a better outcome to it. Viper is about the abuse and trauma the writer suffered as a youth and how he has learned from it, applying resilience into the situation he experienced. Not allowing himself to be overcome by hatred and focusing on his refusal to let his abuser have any hold over him. It’s a very emotional, and ultimately, hopeful and positive response to a dreadful situation and his stance is bold and ultimately life affirming. While he understandably has anger for what has happened, he chooses that that it will not define him. He actually condemns his abuser, being free to move forward, a very dignified way of handling and resolving the conflict.
Inheritor is a song about the pandemic that we’ve all endured and survived recently. This one is an 80’s sounding track which sounds like Depeche Mode and it is a joyous celebration of life with a running guitar line throughout giving it a really upbeat feel. Highly memorable indeed, it is based on pandemic experiences and is a response to those. The final, and longest track, is To Find The Light Part Two, which lasts for just under twenty minutes. A song about the impermanence and trials of life, it is a deep, questioning existential muse on the paths life can take, yet, even in this, you will discover some rather astonishing musical passages and inspired performances. This is from what is primarily a three piece band, with excellent musical skills and compositions from Daniel Graham (bass guitars and vocals), Dylan Porper (keyboards, guitar and supporting vocals) and Jeff Matthews on drums. Together these three musicians make expansive, compelling and impressive music, above all, this is a very satisfying album offering music of substance and value.
The album is very well balanced and presented with great intelligence and is an excellent album in all. I really enjoyed it finding much to enjoy, especially the very bold and personal Viper which is emotionally raw, bare and extremely powerful music indeed. Well worth hearing for this track alone, as its such a significant and important one that deserves wider acclaim and will probably be of interest to people who have a similar tale or experience, it is really quite cathartic.
Klone are a French alt-metal collective and this album, their seventh, was recorded in February 2022 and is the follow up to their 2019 release, ‘Le Grande Voyage’. In the intervening period between the two albums the group have been busy wowing festival audiences at Hellfest and Prog Power USA, among others. This has certainly helped toughen their sound up and yet has not diluted their emotive and conceptual sound and style.
‘Meanwhile’ blends a very heavy, Leprous type, sound with an expansive soundscape where crunch has extremely melodic undertones woven throughout it’s thread. I have to say that whilst the music is more muscular and intense than I normally enjoy, there is definitely much that commands interest here.
The album fuses prog touches with post rock elements to craft a great sounding release, one that has epic sounds and textures and a big crunch element yet, within it all, there is excellent melodies and a commanding vocal performance from singer Yann Ligner, whose measured voice both commands and impresses in equal quantities. The man could sing the French phone book and still sound good!
The impressive use of other instruments also make this an intriguing listening experience. The band have worked hard with engineer Chris Eldritch to make an epic and expansive soundscape, this is particularly welcome as it elevates and enhances the melodic touches that reside in their music.
Within Reach is a good example of this approach as, despite its very hard riffing, this song has a lot of melodies within that are uncovered as the song proceeds, it is an excellent opening statement. Blink Of An Eye has a recurring saxophone melody that flows in and out of the song, lightening the tone away from extreme metal into something a lot more accessible and easier to accept, appreciate and then digest and enjoy. Bystander hinges on a graceful bass line that is at the forefront of the track, bassist Enzo Alfano provides really strong and flexible support to the growling guitars of Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino and when you add the keyboards textures of Matthieu Metzger and the powerful driving drums of MorganBerthet you have a real power and force to be reckoned with. The band rise to the challenge extremely well handling the songs with conviction and delicacy when required, and with power at other times.
Elusive is another strong track with more expressive saxophone effects that soften the brutality of the guitars enough to really captivate. Apnea has yet more impressive bass lines, that compliment Yann’s expressive vocals. I especially like how the band contain their more metallic tendencies to allow plenty of space in their sound, it is most satisfying to hear this subset given free reign. The Unknown is far less restrained and allows their edge to be exhibited yet, even within this, Ligner’s classy vocals still sound glorious. His voice reminds me of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback at times, which is not a bad thing in my opinion, his voice is majestic, captivating and ever capable and he is certainly a massive asset to Klone’s sound and ethos.
For me, the best song of the entire album is Meanwhile, which is a moody and slow burning, epic track with lots of arpeggio chiming guitars and a beefy crunch that takes the track forward. There are also some tinkling, rippling piano lines in the background making this a very an atmospheric track. This approach really works and allows the track to build steadily, the restraint really enhances the song and impress me greatly. Less is definitely more in this instance, a very impressive and strong track.
All in all a most impressive release, one that is out of my comfort zone for sure but one whose stunning melodies cannot help but impress me. On the basis and strength of this album, the future for Klone looks very bright indeed. If they continue this progressive journey and stance they will have much to offer, those unaware of their music, and those who like a more prog-metal approach to music, will find very much here to enjoy.
To celebrate and promote the forthcoming ‘The Journey Continues’ Tour this August & September, Big Big Train will be sharing videos of a couple of songs filmed on tour last year. The first of these is “The Florentine” which was recorded in September 2022 at The Boerderij in The Netherlands. You can see the video here:
Alberto Bravin says: “I was very pleased when we agreed last year that “The Florentine” should be on the set list for our shows last September. After all, what could be better for an Italian than singing about Leonardo da Vinci?! “The Florentine” is a wonderful song to sing and a perfect example of David Longdon’s songwriting genius. We’re very fortunate to have the song as part of the Big Big Train catalogue.
“Duetting at the start and end of “The Florentine,” with Nick D’Virgilio coming out from behind the drum kit, was fun. It has some great opportunities for ensemble playing as well as some showcasing some terrific solos – I really enjoyed being on stage watching Oskar Holldorff playing that keyboard solo and Rikard rocking out on the guitar solo every night. For the gig at the Boerderij we thought it would be interesting to have a camera on Rikard’s guitar too. I hope we will be playing “The Florentine” live many more times in the future.”
Nick D’Virgilio adds: “I loved singing with Alberto. Seeing the live film of us playing “The Florentine” at the legendary Boerderij venue in the Netherlands is so cool. It still amazes me that this was only our third show playing together with Alberto, Oskar, Clare Lindley and Dave Foster. Our performance may not be 100% perfect but we really rocked and it was very memorable – particularly for a Monday night!”
“Our Boerderij show was also the first time that we had played a standing venue since our Night Of The Prog gig back in 2018. The night had a different vibe to the shows we’ve done in seated theatres on previous tours and I’m really looking forward to us playing a mix of venues when we’re back out on the road in August and September this year.”
Saturday 26th August – Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands Sunday 27th August – Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany Monday 28th August – Stora Teatern, Gothenburg, Sweden Tuesday 29th August – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway Wednesday 30th August – Fryshuset Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden Thursday 31st August – Viften, Copenhagen, Denmark
Saturday 2nd September – 2 Days + 1 Festival, Revislate, Italy Sunday 3rd September – Z7, Pratteln (Basel), Switzerland Tuesday 5th September – Neuberinhaus, Reichenbach, Germany Wednesday 6th September – Carlswerk Victoria, Cologne, Germany Thursday 7th September – Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany Friday 8th September – Mozart-Saal, Stuttgart, Germany
Sunday 10th September – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, UK Monday 11th September – Town Hall, Birmingham, UK Tuesday 12th September – Cadogan Hall, London, UK Wednesday 13th September – Cadogan Hall, London, UK
Support at all shows except Wednesday 13th September comes from rising Norwegian stars Dim Gray, who feature BBT’s Oskar Holldorff. There will be no support at the Wednesday 13th September show
Big Big Train will release the album titled ‘Ingenious Devices’ on 30th June 2023 on CD, double vinyl (black and sky blue vinyl) and hi-resolution (24/96) Bandcamp download. ‘Ingenious Devices’ will be available on all major streaming platforms from 28th July 2023.
‘Ingenious Devices’ features 59 minutes of music, including new versions of “East Coast Racer”, “Brooklands” and “Voyager,” which prominently feature an elite 17 piece string section recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and have been re-mixed for this release.
Additionally, ‘Ingenious Devices’ includes a previously unreleased orchestral piece called “The Book of Ingenious Devices”, which links “East Coast Racer” and “Brooklands”, as well as a live version of “Atlantic Cable”, which was recorded on the band’s tour in September 2022.
EINAR SOLBERG – frontman of Norwegian rock mavericks Leprous – is pleased to announce the release of his debut solo album ‘16’ on the 2nd June 2023. Wildly diverse, but spiritually rooted in Einar’s well-established musical world, ‘16’ is an album that brims with surprises and spinning curveballs and features a collection of intimate but extravagant collaborations.
Today sees the launch of the second single taken from the album, and you can watch the video for ‘A Beautiful Life’, directed by Elena Sihida, here:
Einar comments: “‘16’ is a very diverse album, and “A Beautiful Life” is probably the most accessible song of the entire record! On most songs I’ve collaborated with other composers, but this is one out of four solo songs.”
‘A Beautiful Life’ features Einar joined by Keli Guðjónsson (drums), Tor Egil Kreken (bass), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello), Chris Baum (violin), Ben Levin (guitar) & Magnus Børmark (guitar).
Watch the video for the previously released track ‘Grotto’ (feat. Magnus Børmark) here, also directed by Elena Sihida: https://youtu.be/r_Ol_LSma6k
Einar Solberg is as renowned for the tender honesty of his lyrics as he is for the eccentric majesty of Leprous’ music. But even by his usual standards, ‘16’ is an extremely emotional and dynamic piece of work. Einar describes the record as “the closest I’ve ever come to writing a concept album” and explains that the new songs are about a very specific and transformational period in the musician’s life. This is the sound of a restless spirit in his absolute element.
“It’s called 16 because that’s when the first really, really bad things started happening to me in life. From 16 to 19, there were a lot of very life-defining moments that happened to me, and that changed me,” he says. “That’s when I kind of lost my innocence and I started realising that life is serious and bad shit can happen. A lot of pretty drastic things happened within those three years. But this album is not only about the bad things. It’s also about some of the career-defining moments, like the moment I started playing with the band and began to find a community to belong to. Emotionally, I’m a bit of everything, so it covers the entire emotional spectrum!”
’16’ finds Einar collaborating with everyone from modern prog contemporaries like Bent Knee’s Ben Levin and Agent Fresco’s Toti Gudnason, to experimental cellist (and regular Leprous live musician) Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Magnus Børmark, best known as a member of Norwegian alt-folk troupe Gåte. He also once again collaborates with Ihsahn and Star Of Ash amongst many others. The record was mixed by mixed by Adam Noble (Placebo, Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves) and mastered by Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Placebo, The Gaslight Anthem, etc.). The cover artwork was designed by Elena Sihida.
The full track-listing is as follows:
1. 16 (feat. Raphael Weinroth-Browne)
2. Remember Me
3. A Beautiful Life
4. Where All The Twigs Broke (feat. Star Of Ash)
6. Home (feat. Ben Levin)
7. Blue Light (feat. Asger Mygind)
8. Grotto (feat. Magnus Børmark)
9. Splitting The Soul (feat. Ihsahn)
10. Over The Top
11. The Glass Is Empty (feat. Tóti Guðnason)
Einar will debut his solo material live with two exclusive shows at the Eindhoven & London editions of Prognosis Festival (15th & 22nd April respectively). You can find more details here: https://www.prognosis-festival.nl/