Music News Blog

What’s happening in the world of prog and other related scenes. News about gigs, record releases, new videos and band changes.

John Mitchell releases The Nostalgia Factory

The Nostalgia FactoryJohn Michell of Lonely Robot, It Bites, Arena, Frost* and The Heather Findlay Band fame has somehow found the time to record a four track EP of covers, “The Nostalgia Factory”.

The title track is a very early Porcupine Tree song. The EP also includes Justin Hayward’s ‘It Won’t Be Easy’ and Phil Collins ‘Take Me Home’, the latter of which featured as the encore at the Lonely Robot showcase show at The Scala last December. The final song is ELP’s ‘C’Est La Vie’, which shares the same origins as Panic Room’s “Bitches Crystal”, recorded for the ill-fated Prog Magazine cover disk of ELP covers.

The EP< which also features Kim Seviour on backing vocals is released on 26th February, but can be pre-ordered now from White Star Records.

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Elkie Returns!

As reported by Prog magazine, former Touchstone singer Kim “Elkie” Seviour reveals album plans.

She plans to release a solo album to be produced by and co-written with John Mitchell of Lonely Robot, Frost*, Arena and It Bites fame, a man who’s in so many bands because he’s so prolific that nobody else can keep up.

There is to be a single “Fantasise To Realise” released next month, a standalone track that will not feature on the album.

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Panic Room video and 2016 tour dates

Panic Room have released a video of “Dust”, the dramatic closing number from the album “Incarnate”, and announced their 2016 tour dates.

There are a handful of dates at the end of March and the beginning of April taking in Milton Keynes, Norwich, Derby and Manchester, the already-announced two-day convention at Bilston in May, and a second leg of the tour across June including a showcase gig at Islington Assembly on June 18th, which will be filmed for a DVD. Full details for all the dates on the tour can be found on the the Panic Room tour page.

These will be the only Panic Room dates of 2016, as the band will be spending the second part of the year in the studio making their next album.

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Mostly Autumn and The Windmill for CRF 2016

CRF 2016 Poster (25th Jan)

Mostly Autumn, The Windmill and Pearl Handled Revolver are the latest bands to added to the bill for the 2016 Cambridge Rock Festival, all of whom played the last festival in 2014.

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RIP Jimmy Bain

We lost another one, with Metal Hammer reporting the death of Jimmy Bain. Best remembered as the bassist for Rainbow and later with Dio.  He played on what many consider to be Rainbow’s best album, “Rainbow Rising”, as well as the classic live album “On Stage”. He played on seven Dio album including the classic début “Holy Diver”. Between Dio and Rainbow he was also part of the short-lived Wild Horses with former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson.

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Cambridge Rock Festival announces first bands for 2016

The Cambridge Rock Festival, which takes place over the weekend of 4th to the 7th of August, have announced the first few bands for 2016.

Bands confirmed so far include Cregan & Co, The Mentulls, “who play the blues with a progressive twist, inspired by Camel and Focus”, Doris Brendell and Malaya Blue on Friday.  Saturday’s bill will include Carl Palmer, Hazel O’Connor, Hekz, the legendary Pink Faries, and local band Derecho. Sunday sees Focus, Curved Air, Purson and Anglo-Argentine band Yossarian.

There are quite a few more bands still to be announced, and hopefully we’ll see a few of the “regulars” added. It’s an interesting-looking bill so far, with what looks like a greater emphasis on both blues and progressive rock. There are a few regulars who have played CRF several times in the past, but there are also plenty of new names, including one or two who are long overdue.

Tickets are available now from the Cambridge Rock Festival website.

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Karnataka announce 2016 tour

Karnataka have announced an extensive tour across April, May and June covering much of the UK as well as dates in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy, promoting their highly-aclaimed album “Secrets of Angels”.

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RIP Lemmy

Lemmy has left us, just days after his 70th birthday.

He was an outlaw figure whose raw and dirty rock’n'roll occasionally irrupted into the safe world of top 40 pop and scared the life out of Top of the Pops presenters. But by the end he’d become a national treasure, revered even by those who hated his music during his prime.

There was nobody else quite like him.

Although ill-health meant he was a diminished figure on stage in his final years, he could still cut it in the studio right up to the end, as the barnstorming final Motörhead album “Bad Magic” was to prove.

Though he was best known for Motörhead, his stint with Hawkwind in the 1970s shouldn’t be forgotten. He sang lead on their big hit “Silver Machine”, of course, as well as writing “Motorhead”, “Lost Johnny” and “The Watcher”, which he would later re-record with Motörhead. But it was his distinctive and unique bass playing where he really made his mark. Listen to “Lord of Light” from the definitive live album “Space Ritual” for example; when Hawkwind toured five years ago it took two bass players to do that song justice live. Or the combination of his bass riff and Simon House’ Mellotron opening “Assault and Battery” on his last album with the band, “Warrior at the Edge of Time”.

Lemmy was the embodiment of the spirit of rock’n'roll. If he was an In Nomine character, he would have been word-bound, and there are no prizes for guessing the word. He didn’t just play rock’n'roll, he lived it.

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Heather Findlay Band to tour in 2016

John Mitchell and Heather FindlayHeather Findlay has announced a tour in April 2016, to support the album “The Illusion’s Reckoning.

Because Dave Ketzner and Dave Kilminster are both unavailable due to other commitments, the tour is billed as The Heather Findlay Band rather than Mantra Vega, though they’re promising that they’ll be playing the album in full along with a few selected older favourites.

For this tour it will be a six-piece band including Angela Gordon on keys and flute, and John Mitchell on lead guitar alongside Chris Johnson and the rhythm section of Alex Cromarty and Stuart Fletcher.

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Acts announced for Ramblin Man 2016

Following an earlier announcment that included Procul Harum and Uriah Heep on the Prog stage, the Ramblin Man Fair have announced several more bands, inckuding The Fierce and the Dead, Lifesigns and The Von Hertzen Brothers.

Though the latter two have a dedicated following in prog circles, I find both of them rather overrated myself. But it will be good to see The Fierce and The Dead on a big stage.

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