Concert Review Archive

 
Progeny 3

Mick Pointer’s Script, The Tangent, Pallas, Solstice, 25 Yard Screamer, The Future Kings Of England, Circulus, Here And Now, The Elves Of Silbury Hill, Twelfth Night

8th - 9th May 2010
The Assembly, Warwickshire, The UK

Article and Live Photos By John O'Boyle
and Live Photos By John O'Boyle and Andrew Lock

Saturday, 8th May 2010

The Future Kings Of England

The Future Kings Of England

Day one of the Progeny festival opened with The Future Kings of England who played their music with passion. The Future Kings of England played their spaced, psychedelic and ambient instrumentals which to be honest was impressive. As the opening act of Progeny 3 it was never going to be easy, with unfortunately only a few people in attendance, but as the band played they grew in confidence, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

10:66 was a great rocking track with its soundscapes and melodies weaving in and out of each other taking the audience on a journey and Sea Saw with its more basic initial approach, building into a haunting, strange, pastoral and grand musical piece. In general a very good set from a good band.

Setlist The Future Kings Of England
10:66
Humber Doucey
Sea Saw
Go
View
Time
 

Circulus

Circulus

Circulus for me were one of the bands of the day with their unique and quite entertaining approach and imagination, which quite frankly bemused quite a lot of the audience, as if this was an in joke. Putting all that to one side, this was a band that displayed their unique folk, space, medieval prog rock with great pizzazz and class. This was a band that was very clever in the way they won the audience over, Michael Tyack and co not taking themselves too seriously, but yet still delivering the goods. Their approach was really an acquired taste which did not suite everyone, but with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, they played their chosen weapons consisting of guitars, cittern, mandolin and lutes, sharing their mixture of medieval tinged music, recalling how in days of old, men rescued and married their fair maidens. The band played excellent renditions of Within you is the Sun and Dandelion Wine, but for my money the best track of the set by far was Michael’s Garden, with a very fitting and cleverly place Sumer Is Incumen in. This was a highly entertaining and proficient band that I would certainly recommend people to see.

Setlist Circulus
Gothic Me Gothic You
PIVA
Grimstock
Saw My Lady Weep
Within You Is The Sun
Fortunate Ones
Dandelion Wine
My Body Is Made Of Sunlight
Salterello
Keep Love On Your Side
Michael’s Garden
Sumer Is Incumen in
 

Here And Now

Here And Now

Here and Now took to the stage to offer their very compelling, energetic and powerful take on space rock. These guys had come to entertain the crowd with their music, a task they succeeded in doing. This was like being back in the late 70’s early 80’s with a modern soundstage.



Here was a band that has spent years perfecting their craft which showed as they worked their magic through a very intense set. Their modern take on the old classics was absolutely fantastic with the likes of What you See bouncing along with their whirling keyboard and synth passages, Fantasy Shift with its repeating hypnotic rhythms being played and enjoyed by both the band and more importantly the audience. Here and Now where certainly a real crowd pleaser having several people dancing around the floor, spacing out to the vibe that they were creating and a very much setting the tone for The Elves of Silbury Hill. Glad You’re Here displayed more of their spacey reggae approach with its high octane delivery, these were just classic long lost songs, that just reminded you how good this band are, driving guitar work and memorable melodies. Floating Anarchy was a fitting closing number that set the stage and standard for the rest of the day’s events with its pounding bass and guitar structures. Day 1 of the festival had much of its musical stage based in this field with the exception of Circulus and Twelfth Night. Here and Now were by far the best of the bunch by a long stretch.

Setlist Here And Now
Jam
What You See
Fantasy Shift
Dub
Backless
Rattle The Cage
Alibaba
Secrets
Opium
Glad You’re Here
Floating Anarchy
 

The Elves Of Silbury Hill

The Elves of Silbury Hill were a very interesting band, which was basically Hawkwind. The set played was a mixed bag consisting of Hawkwind and Tim Blake songs, with one new song which I believe was called Bone Ship. Tim’s songs were quieter in approach as opposed to the all out rockier songs of Hawkwind, with Tim loosing none of his vocal finesse. It was nice to see some of the more unusual Hawkwind songs getting an airing.

The Elves Of Silbury Hill

The opening number Christian which featured Tim, Richard Chadwick and Niall Hone was quieter in refrain before the band moved into a more well known and trodden universe. The dynamics of the band was outstanding and a big cheer was given when Dave Brock arrived on stage. The band worked their way through a way too short set taking no prisoners, having the audience eating out of their hands. Members of the band appeared on stage as and when required making sure that they delivered, putting egos to one side and leaving as and when required too.

The Elves performed outstanding versions of Green Finned Demon from the Chronicle of the Black Sword and Kings Of Speed. The inimitable Brainstorm with its pulsating guitar riffs and drum beats brought the house crashing down and got most people a moving and a grooving. As always this band no matter what guise they work under, they always deliver the goods.

Setlist The Elves Of Silbury Hill
Christian
Digital Nation
Kings Of Speed
Green Finned Demon
Right Stuff
Wasteland Of Sleep
Bone Ship
Brainstorm
 

Twelfth Night

From the outset Twelfth Night meant business as they took to the stage delivering their version of Neo Prog, which for me, is very much a thinking man’s prog. Twelfth Night have had a bit of a checkered past but tonight ladies and gentlemen there was only one thing that Andy Sears and the boys had on their mind, that was to entertain the crowd.

The show kicked off with The Ceiling with its majestic tones and passionate keyboard work. This was a band that was excited to be onstage and performing songs with Andy Sears acting out and feeling every word he gave forth to the crowd, something he displayed throughout the whole night. Kings and Queens was up next with it darker urgent musical passages featuring some interesting lyrics and menacing vocal delivery. Andy was lapping all of this up, jumping around the stage, which at one point he nearly fell off after jumping from the drum riser, which at best just put a bigger smile on his face and the crowds too. Clive Mitten fed Andy’s insatiable stage presence with stunning adeptness whether using a guitar or keyboards, allowing him to really bring the whole event to life. We are Sane was absolutely nailed by the band seeing Andy dressed in his inimitable bowler hat and umbrella looking very menacing. Andy and Clive really brought this classic song to life, with really tight guitar work by Roy Keyworth of Galahad. Blondon Fair another crowd pleaser was next up with its somewhat differing style of presentation and musical structure but no less powerful, seeing Clive on guitar supported by some really tight bass and drum interaction.

Twelfth Night

With Take a look Andy took to the keyboards to offer Twelfth Nights version of a ballad, what a stunning version of the song it was too, with the band offering full emotional musical support to what was one of the outstanding songs of the night. First New Day was another fantastic musical soiree that Twelfth Night created really working and pleasing the crowd no end. Crab and the Poet Sniffs flowers saw the current line performing two old and reliable instrumentals allowing the band to demonstrate what they could craft without the use of a vocalist which was absolutely stunning stuff.

The Collector moved into musical orgasm land as had most of the set really, this driving song was putting the icing in the cake for what had been displayed throughout the night. The set was closed with Love Song which had ex Pallas vocalist Alan Reed as guest vocalist working along side Andy and working in perfect unison and harmony being a perfectly fitting closing number to a fantastic band and a great first day. Time has moved on for us all and Twelfth Night has lost none of their class or style. If nothing else I think it has allowed them to mature and grow.

Setlist Twelfth Night
Ceiling
Kings And Queens
We Are Sane
Blondon Fair
The Craft
Take A Look
First New Day
Crab / Poet
Collector
Love Song
 

Sunday, 9th May 2010

25 Yard Screamer

25 Yard Screamer

Day two of the Progeny 3 festival opened with 25 Yard Screamer, who are an unknown in my book. Once the first page had been turned I was hooked. The power trio have been heavily influence by Rush and Steve Hogarth era Marillion, playing some very good and exacting prog metal with confidence and style. These guys were having a great time with big smiles on their faces.


Nick James has got quite a unique stage presence having some good banter with the crowd offering humour even in darker moments. Both Matt Clarke on bass and Donal Owen on drums added to the powerful sound of the band. Based on the balance of this live performance this is a band to look out for, they are not going to be an opening act for long if they carry on producing shows of this quality. As an opening act 25 Yard Screamer set the standard for the rest of the day.


I cannot recommend Cassandra highly enough, as listening to it from beginning to end adds a new perspective to it. Nick commented that they were short on time so could not play any of their longer songs, but we did get a preview of two new song called Whorus and me and Jeremiah, which again were both stunning tracks. This was a very strong start to the day’s events, 25 yard Screamer rose to the challenge and surpassed all expectations.

Setlist 25 Yard Screamer
Cassandra Intro Cassandra Middle Explosive
Whorus and Me
Recovery
Jeremiah
Cassandra End
Boy in the Window
 

Solstice

Solstice Solstice was the first of the neo-prog bands playing today and as ever they did not let the side down. From the opening passages of Morning Light through to the closing ones of Sacred Run, Andy Glass and co played a set of finely tuned and crafted songs. Four of the songs from the set came from their latest album Spirit, all of which were stunning both in style and presentation. Emma Browns vocal prowess is somewhat unique and is complement by Jenny Newman’s violin and viola playing. From the opening track Andy’s guitar work weaved its way through the set note perfect with each note being played with loving care and as if each one was fragile.

Pete Hemsley’s drumming and Robin Philips bass playing was second to none with Steve McDaniel’s keyboard work offering real character to the whole occasion. Such is the line up of the band, that all the parts just fit perfect, interacting together, taking lead as and when required. From the opening track Morning Light Solstice meant business and were here to entertain the audience with their unique blend of prog. Here and Now offered a harder sound with some eastern sounding passages and fantastic playing by Jenny. Ducks on the Pond with its basic reggae sound, supported more of Jenny Newman’s playing, offering the crowd an opportunity to dance, which a few people did.

The outstanding track for me was Cheyenne with its slow starting pace and heart felt chord structures building into a rhythmic tribal passage and Emma and Jenny’s vocals complimented each other, which is where all of Solstice’s creating, culminated to perfection. All in all this was a very good showing form the band who was promoting their new album Spirit.

Setlist Solstice
Morning Light
Sky Path West
Solomon’s Bridge
Here and Now
Ducks on the Pond
5456
Cheyenne
Flight
Sacred Run
 

Pallas

Pallas This was always going to be a hard one. An old well loved band with a new singer, a gentleman called Paul Mackie, who had to fill the boots of Alan Reed, who had been in the band for approx. twenty six years. The previous night Alan Reed provided guest vocals with Andy Sears on the closing song of the Twelfth Night set, which got a few tongues wagging. Musically you always know what you are going to get with Pallas, a high powered high energy set. The band played some new songs from the up and coming album XXV, which is part two of The Sentinel, interspersed with tracks from The Cross and the Crucible, The Dreams of Men and The Wedge.

Unfortunately due to the time slot, the band they could only play a shortened set which was a real pity. Paul seemed somewhat nervous throughout the set with being the new boy and also being the first time they had played south of the border, with this new lineup. The nervousness appeared to have been due to the rest of the band teasing him. Paul did an admirable job, coping well but often prompting the crowd that they would probably know the songs better than he did.

The new songs the band aired were very interesting and certainly of a high standard, leaving the crowd wanting to hear more. I cannot wait to hear the end product which apparently is being released later on this year. As ever mainstay Niall Mathewson played the rhythm and lead with dexterity and passion, being supported by Graeme Murray’s pounding Rickenbacker bass lines. Ronnie Brown’s keyboard work layering and bolstering their epic prog tones in perfect timing to Colin Fraser’s drum beats. The whole groove the band had going, laughing and joking with each other made the time go really fast, having played great versions of The Cross and the Crucible and Ghost Dancer. It will be interesting to see where Pallas goes from here?

Setlist Pallas
Cross and the Crucible
Executioner
Ghost Dancer
Young God
Violet Sky
Falling Down
Midas Touch
Sanctuary
Cut and Run
 

The Tangent

The Tangent


My money for the day and if truth be known for the weekend, was on this band. Andy Tillison has created a bit of monster and to be quite frank, I was more than surprised that a lot of people had chosen not watch this master craftsman of the keyboard ply his trade. Let me get this out of the way first and foremost, Andy commented about muso journo’s making comment about his lack of singing ability? Now let me have my say on where I stand on this. The pieces that Andy has built are more about the musical integrity and complexity, for me the vocals are incidental in a way, and anyone who hangs on the vocal dynamics of Andy is missing the whole point of what has been created. Yes I am jumping to the defense of the guy and rightly so as prog in my eyes is much more about the music than vocal dynamics.




The Tangent has lost its Swedish connection now, being a four piece British band comprising of Luke Machin a very young looking guitarist, Jonathon Barrett Andy’s old sparing partner from 90 degrees or parallel on bass, Michael Gilbourne on drums and last but not least Andy Tillison on keyboards. Andy seems to have a knack of writing excellent songs and piecing together fantastic lineup’s and this incarnation is no exception.

The band was certainly at ease with each other methodically working their way through some very complex pieces. Mr. Tillison has rock star front man written all over him, not really stopping or standing still for one minute as he filled the room with his sublime passages. Luke Machin a young looking guitarist played his heart out effortlessly, being a potential future name to be reckoned within the prog fraternity and this was apparently Michael’s first rock concert in many years.

The Tangent




Where are they now? powered through with the band just nailing every twist and turn creating fantastic soundscapes around Andy’s keyboard structures. I really loved this version of Perdue en Paris it just oozed soul and emotion.




During Andy’s usual funny stage banter he had commented about seeing a major prog band that started playing a well known and loved classic which got him all excited, then dropped into one of their more modern commercial pieces they had recorded, recounting the disappointment in the whole affair. The band then kicked in and played In Darkest Dreams in all its glory and I can assure you that this was no disappointment, true prog heaven. Unfortunately the band only played a short set and for me they could have carried on going.

Anyone that missed this show really missed witnessing something special. The Tangent just goes from strength to strength. I certainly would not like to have followed this act.


“Caught in lights in the underpass, a guy who needs no name, lights a cigarette and thinks back….”
You got that right Andy.

Setlist The Tangent
Where are they now?
GPS Culture
Perdu en Paris
Paroxetine
In Darkest Dreams
 

Mick Pointer’s Script

Mick Pointer’s Script Script was the band that a lot of people were rating highly, being the next best thing to having been there originally in the 80’s as Marillion recorded and released their Magnus opus. The band was made up of Mick Pointer (drums), Nick Barret (guitar), Ian Salmon (bass), Mike Varty (keyboard) and Brian Cummings (vocals).

This was a band that offered nothing new in the way of music, and if you closed your eyes you were almost there again with Brian Cumming vocal phrasing. The words, “So here I am once more,” rang throughout the building with the crowd excitedly participating, which left Recital in no doubt that they had their work cut out from the start. During the show Brian brought both amusement and laughter with his quick quips, which quickly helped him win the crowd over, not that it took much winning over. One of the funniest anecdotes that he made was the legendary story of how Fish had pulled a young scrawny teenager out of the crowd whilst playing Grendel, making light of how it would be funny if the guy presented himself today as a over weight prog fan now saying, “lift me out of the crowd now”.

The highlights of the set were many, one for me being Forgotten Sons which in hindsight is as relevant today as with was all those years ago, maybe even more so in today’s climate. Nicks guitar work and Brian’s stage presentation sent shivers down my spine. It was almost as if you could see a tear in Brian’s eye, with Brian commented about getting goose bumps. It was hard not to have been moved by this version of the song. The crowd was baying for more and the band delivered time and time again not letting the side down. There was a sad moment when it was commented that Mick mother had recently passed away, all hats were tipped to Mick before the band broke into Market Square Heroes which brought the house crashing down.

One of the most poignant comments Brian made, was about the politics within the musical camps, the old Fish, Hogarth and Pointer argument, how life is too short to have to make decisions and side like that. That they all offer unique perspectives and we should love them all, and you know what? He is right on the mark. Here is a man that is doing a job that he absolutely loves and offers 110% all the time.

I am not a great lover of tribute / cover bands but Mick and the boys are doing something special here, which I would highly recommend you see. I was fortunate to have been there the first time round with the original Marillion lineup; this version does not detract anything from that.

Setlist Mick Pointer’s Script
Script for a Jesters Tear
He Knows you Know
The Web
Garden Party
Chelsea Mondays
Forgotten Sons
Grendel
Market Square Heroes
Margaret

Links

The Future Kings Of England Official Website
The Future Kings Of England Myspace

Circulus Official Website
Circulus Myspace

Here And Now Official Website
Here And Now Myspace

The Elves Of Silbury Hill Myspace

Twelfth Night Official Website
Twelfth Night Myspace

Mick Pointer’s Script Myspace

The Tangent Official Website

Pallas Official Website
Pallas Myspace

Solstice Official Website
Solstice Myspace

25 Yard Screamer Myspace

The Assembly

 


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