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.

Blue Öyster Cult to tour the UK in the Summer

After the success of the sold-out show at The Forum last July, Blue Öyster Cult return to Britain with five dates this summer.

  • Tuesday June 25 at Manchester Academy
  • Wednesday June 26 Newcastle Northumbria University SU
  • Friday June 28, 2017 Nottingham Roc
  • Saturday June 29, 2017 at Glasgow ABC
  • Saturday July 17 at the Stone Free Festival, Indigo at the O2, London

At Stone Free they will be headlining the afternoon show at Indigo, and will be playing a full length set. The evening headliner in the main O2 Arena is Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

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Steve Hackett – In The Skeleton Gallery

A taster from the album “The Night Siren”, released in March.

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Alan Reed’s Honey On The Razor’s Edge Pre-Order

Alan Reed RazorhoneyAlan Reed’s second solo album “Honey on the Razor’s Edge” is now available for pre-order from The Merch Desk

Alan’s second solo album picks up where the celtic sweep of his debut left off.  But this time there’s a harder -edged incisiveness more reminiscent of his work with Pallas.  The acoustic under-pinning of the last album takes a back seat behind driving guitars and exuberant keyboards.

Lyrically it’s angry and direct, covering everything from the frustrations of struggling and moribund relationships to the rise of the post-truth narcissist.

As well as vocals Alan provides guitars, basses, drum programming and bass pedals, with Mike Stobbie and Scott Higham returning on keys and drums respectively.

There are also contributions from Jeff Green (lead guitar), Lazuli’s Claude Leonetti (Leode) and Steve Hackett (HarmonicA)  Additional vocals come courtesy of Magenta’s Christina Booth, Harvest’s Monique Van Der Kolk and Weendo’s Laetitia Chaudemanche.

The album is released on March 14th

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Farewell John Wetton

John Wetton

Another of the major figures of progressive rock has left us; John Wetton passed away yesterday after a long illness. My Twitter feed was flooded with tributes both from fans and from fellow musicians. I never met him myself, but a lot of people I know knew him personally, and he was much loved as a person as well as a musician.

John Wetton is of course best known for King Crimson in the 1970s and Asia in the 1980s. The three albums he recorded with King Crimson, “Larks Tongues in Aspic”, “Starless and Bible Black” and “Red” remain landmarks in the progressive rock canon, pushing the envelope for what a rock band could be with a level of improvisation previously only seen in jazz, then switching gears with gorgeous elegaic ballads. “Starless”, which closes “Red” remains on of the greatest pieces of rock music ever recorded.

The supergroup Asia were an altogether different beast, sometimes dismissed as too commercial by genre purists, their polished sound emphasising Wetton’s songwriting and soaring voice, and that self-titled début remains a classic. And then there were all the other bands over the years, Family, the short-lived UK, and stints with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep.

So farewell John, and thanks for all the music. His bandmate in Asia, Geoff Downes has asked us all to listen this song in his memory.

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Riverside return to playing live with Blue Horizon tour

Riverside 2017 TourPoland’s Riverside are to return to the live arena with an extensive European tour with an as-yet unnamed guest guitarist bringing them back up to full strength.

During “Towards the Blue Horizon Tour” we will play in a new live line-up with a guest guitarist who will make our music sound the way it should, not only because he’s a great musician but, most of all, because he’s got the kind of modesty and humility about him which has always been very important to us on stage. Additionally, we’re going to present a lot of compositions which we have not played live before. Our concerts will also be filled with emotions we haven’t felt before. Together with you, we want to dive into this and make each composition sound more mighty than ever.

We’re becoming a different band, more mature, more serious, more experienced. Piotr is gone, but he will always be with us and we are still a live band. Which we’re going to prove soon during our “Towards the Blue Horizon Tour”.

The band have announced 27 dates across April and May, including three in the UK, in Edinburgh (Liquid Rooms) on May 19th, Bristol (Beirkeller) on May 21st and London (Islington Assembly Hall) on May 22nd. A further tour will follow in the Autumn.

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The Day That The World Breaks Down

Ayreon premiere a 12-minute epic from their forthcoming science-fiction prog-opera “The Source”, which features all eleven guest singers and sees mainman Arjen Lucasson indulging in some deep guitar and keyboard nerdery.

Disappointingly only two of the eleven singers involved are women this time, but both of them are big names.

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A Formal Horse – Made In Chelsea (Apocalypse in 15​/​8)

When an apocalypse in 9/8 isn’t nearly enough.  A track from the new album by A Formal Horse released in March, and now available for pre-order in both digital and physical formats.

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Tilt and Voodoo Vegas added to Winter’s End

Winters End Full

TILT and twin-guitar hard-rockers Voodoo Vegas join Touchstone and Chantel McGregor alongside headliners The Answer, Toseland and Inglorious on the bill at Winter’s End in Poole on 24-26th February.

The emphasis is on hard rock with a bit of blues and metal, and it’s looking like an interesting bill.

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Iamthemorning play Ramblin Man and Summer’s End

Ramblin Man Fair posterRussian chamber-prog duo Iamthemorning have been added to the Prog Stage on Sunday 30th July at The Rambiin’ Man Fair. And though not yet confirmed on the website, Summer’s End have posted on Twitter that they’ll also be the Friday night headliners on October 6th

Disappointingly for many prog fans, especially those who bought full weekend tickers before the bill was announced, the Prog Stage at RMF is just on the Sunday this year, with a hard rock stage taking its place on the Saturday. Fortunately single day tickets are available.

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Emerald Mind – Astronaut In Her Space

As the press release says:

Emerald Mind plays a unique mixture of power and progressive metal with one of the most professional female vocalists on the Russian metal scene Svetlana Vysotskaya.

The band released a new video for the song “Astronaut In Her Space” from their second album “Civilization”. This song draws parallels between the depths of the universe and a human mind. One person explores the other one like a spaceship, drifting among the space. Anyway even if you are far from philosophy you can just enjoy powerful riffs, catchy melodies and exceptional vocal of beautiful Svetlana!

Give it a listen, and see what you think. Catsuits seem to be back in fashion again. I blame Space Elevator.

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