Music Blog

All the music-related posts gathered together in one place.

Morpheus Rising to support Graham Bonnet in December

Morpheus Rising at Bilston Robin 2, July 2013

Just announced by Morpheus Rising.

We are very excited to announce that Morpheus Rising will be tour support for Graham Bonnet on his December UK tour! Having supported Graham Bonnet at York Fibbers in earlier this year, we’re really looking forward to this! It’s going to be a great tour and one not to be missed – get it in your diaries!

This tour will see a slightly different line up, with Craig Hill depping for the injured Nigel Durham, who is currently off games and nursing a shoulder injury, and the irrepressible Yatim Halimi (Panic Room, Steve Rothery Band) filling in for Andy Smith on bass whose Mostly Autumn commitments mean he is unavailable for the tour.

The dates are London O2 Academy Islington December 1st, Sheffield O2 Academy 2 December 2nd, Liverpool O2 Academy 2 December 3rd, Glasgow O2 ABC 2 December 4th and Birmingham O2 Academy 2 December 5th. We’ve been dying to announce this for a while but now everything is signed and sealed so we can finally spill the beans.

Great to have the chance to get out on the road again, and even better to have a chance to support Graham Bonnet again! So dig out your MR shirts, come down to the shows and show us your support! See you down the front.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kickstarter for Howard Sinclair’s new album

Howard Sinclair - The Light Broke InSinger-songwriter Howard Sinclair is running a Kickstarter campaign for his second album “The Light Broke In”, a followup to his début “The Delicious Company of Freaks”.

Howard Sinclair ought to be familiar to fans of Panic Room having supported the band many times. More recently he’s played keyboards for Also Eden and appears on their album “[REDACTED]“.

The new album will be full band project, now including former Morpheus Rising drummer Paul “Gibbo” Gibbons on drums alongside Patrick “Patch” Sanders on lead guitar and Becky Baldwin on bass. It features cover art by Mark Wilkinson, known for his iconic artwork for Marillion and more recently for Fish.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Black Axe – Night From The Blue

A forgotten NWOBHM classic, from a session for Radion One’s Friday Rock Show.

This is a recording from the radio, with the voice of the late, great Tommy Vance at the end. As far as I know, Black Axe never released this song on record, so their Radio 1 session was the only recorded version.

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

So Beady Eye have split after failing to set the world on fire. If they had hoped to be Whitesnake to Oasis’ Deep Purple, they ended up being Paice, Ashton & Lord.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Leave a comment

Trojan Horse – World Turned Upside Down

Trojan Horse World Turned Upside DownTrojan Horse are one of those bands who defy easy categorisation. One week they’re playing progressive rock festivals sharing bills with the likes of Mostly Autumn and The Enid, the next week they’re supporting post-punk legends The Fall.

To quote their own bio, the Salford-based quartet aim to drag 70s progressive rock kicking and screaming through all the subsequent decades, and their second full-length album “World Turned Upside Down” sees them do precisely that.

Instrumental opener “Jurapsyche Park” jump-cuts between manic surf guitar and the intricacies of Discipline-era King Crimson to end in a frenetic climax of duelling Hammond organ and abrasive guitar that recalls the live jam at end of Deep Purple’s “Space Trucking”. It manages to pack an awful lot into just over four and a half minutes.

From then on the album explodes in all directions at once. “Sesame” comes over as a strange mash-up between Yes and The Talking Heads. There are brief numbers called “Interlude”, “Centrelude” and “Outerlude”. The equally short “See Me At The Crow Bridge” is one minute twelve seconds of delicate beauty.

The title track starts with a Peter Hammill-style vocal and ends with squalling violin. The largely instrumental Behemoth with it’s warm rippling guitars even recalls mid-70s Rush at one point. Towards the end of the album, the lengthy “Hypocrite’s Hymn” with an extended instrumental workout goes from prog-jazz to avant-noise, and the semi-acoustic folk-prog of “Death And The Mad Queen” would not have sounded out of place on a Decemberists record. The album ends with the hilarious punky “Fire! Fire!” complete with fire engine noises.

Trojan horse put prog-rock, post-punk and free jazz into a blender, and what comes out is as just as bonkers as their live performances. They can be as visceral and pummeling as their stage act when they want to, but on record there’s a lot of variety and musical sophistication too. Unlike lesser bands who attempt derivative pastiches of the sounds of 70s progressive rock or 80s post-punk, Trojan Horse capture the spirit of the things, which is what makes their music sound fresh and exciting.

Posted in Record Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

If Q Magazine can name Kasabian as the best band in the world and the best live act, we have reached Peak Q. Anyone who still takes that magazine seriously needs to get out more.

Posted on by Tim Hall | 6 Comments

Unlike one nototious band forum I don’t delete comments unless they’re offensive, threatening or libellous. But do be aware that bands do sometimes read this blog.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Leave a comment

Despite not having his collar felt by Operation Yewtree, 70s Radio One DJ Mike Read seems determined to make a criminal record. You can split hairs over whether or not his awful cod-Jamaican accent is racist (I think it is), but the record itself is unspeakably horrible. It carefully combines the worst lyrical aspects of Pendragon’s “Green and Pleasant Land” with the musical grace of Joe Dolce’s “Shaddup You Face”. Ugh.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Leave a comment

Transatlantic – KaLIVEoscope

KaLIVEoscope Transatlantic, the Prog-with-a-capital-P supergroup made up from past and present members of Spocks Beard, Dream Theater, Marillion and The Flower Kings, don’t do things by halves. Not that it’s the fashion nowadays, but you won’t catch them releasing a live album as a single disk of edited highlights. Nothing less than a triple CD containing the full three and a half hour show will do.

Despite the unashamed self-indulgence of the music, it’s difficult to attend a Transatlantic gig and not get caught up in the enthusiasm and exuberance of the band’s performance. The band clearly enjoy every minute of their always lengthy sets. Recorded at a sold-out show in Tilburg in The Netherlands, this recording manages to capture some of that energy and excitement.

This is not a record for the faint of heart. Even frontman Neal Morse even makes references to testing the audience’s stamina and bladder capacity after the opening 27-minute song. Despite the lengthy tracks, with several songs of well over 20 minutes and two passing the 30 minute mark, there isn’t much in the way of jams with extended soloing. It’s uncompromising symphonic prog, all swirling cinematic soundscapes, soaring melodies and stately instrumental passages. “Into The Blue” and “Kaleidoscope”, the two epics from their most recent album are both present, though their even longer opus “The Whirlwind” has to be cut back to a 30 minute medley of highlights. Even in three hours it’s not quite possible to include everything.

But it’s not all bladder-busting epics, and some of the standouts are actually the shorter songs. The raw stripped-back ballad “Beyond the Sun” is a gem, and “Black As The Sky” sees them rock out with a great propulsive bass riff from Pete Trewavas. There’s also an acoustic instrumental improvisation from Roine Stolt and Neal Morse featuring a brief burst of Hendrix.

The encores include several covers; an excellent take on The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin”, and playful runs through Focus’ classic hits “Sylvia” and “Hocus Pocus” complete with yodelling and a guest appearance from Thijs Van Leer, performed with more enthusiasm and energy that you often get from Focus nowadays.

As every live album ought to do, this album captures what it must have been like to have been there that night in Tilburg, and they’ve left in all the stage banter between the songs, which adds to the experience. The sound quality is excellent, and if the performance is occasionally a little rough around the edges, it more than makes up for it in intensity.

For all the fabled self-indulgence of their sprawling studio albums, this recording gives a taste of just why Transatlantic are held in such high regard as a live act.

Posted in Record Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Crimson Sky call it a day

Crimson Sky at Reading South Street Arts CentreSad news that Crimson Sky have decided to call it a day, with brief announcements on Facebook and Twitter this afternoon. They will be making one final live appearance on Sunday 16th Nov at The Louisiana in Bristol, supporting Also Eden.

We are very sad to announce that, after the gig supporting Also Eden on 16th November, we have decided to disband Crimson Sky. Martin, Clive, Moray, Adrian and Jane all thank you for your support. It has been lots of fun, and we’ll all remain good friends.

At the moment the band have no plans to record any of the new material that featured in recent live sets.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | 3 Comments