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.

Anne-Marie Helder – January

A new solo song nu Anne-Marie Helder of Panic Room and Luna Rossa fame.

In her own words:

“January’ is a little ditty about this strange, bleak first month of the year ~ A time when all the Christmas decorations have been taken down,  The days are too short, the nights are too cold…  It’s grey outside, & we’ve got no money left.  We’re supposed to be getting healthy after all that overindulgence, but we can’t be bothered. All the parties are over, and there are no festivities left to save us from the interminable grey days of winter.

…Hurrah!

On the bright side, here’s a little song for you.  A reminder you that you’re not alone. It won’t last forever…  Soon it’ll be February!

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Touchstone added to Winter’s End bill

Winters End

Touchstone have been added to the bill of Planet Rock’s Winter’s End festival, held on 24-26 February at Sandford Holiday Park in Poole, Dorset. The emphasis is on hard rock and blues, and also features Chantel McGregor alongside headliners The Answer, Toseland and Inglorious.

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Prog 73 out tomorrow

prog-73-full Issue 73 of Prog Magazine, which went to press before Team Rock called in the administrators, is in the shops tomorrow.

What would have been the magazine’s final issue assuming it had made it into distribution is instead the first issue of a new era for the magazine,

It goes without saying that tributes to one of the greats of the genre who passed away last year have a lot of prominence,

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Marjana Semkina – Land míns föður

The worlds of progressive rock and classical choral music collide yet again with this Icelandic choral piece sung by Marjana Semkina of Iamthemorning.

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Tim Bowness – You Wanted To Be Seen

Tim Bowness has released a lyric video for “You Wanted To Be Seen” from the forthcoming album “Lost in the Ghost Light”.

In true prog fashion, it’s a concept album  revolving around the onstage and backstage reflections of a fictional classic rock musician in the twilight of his career, and addresses how the era of streaming and ageing audiences affects creativity, how a life devoted to music impacts on family life, and how idealistic beginnings can become compromised by complacency and the fear of being replaced by younger, more vital artists.

Tin Bowness has a lengthy blog post covering the making of the record and eleborating the ideas behind it.

The album is released on 17th February.

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Future Publishing buys Team Rock Titles

Amidst all the doom and gloom, one piece of good news. The Guardian is reporting that Future Publishing is buying Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazine from Team Rock’s administrators, securing their immediate future.

Thirty-year-old Metal Hammer magazine and stablemates Classic Rock and Prog have been given a new lease of life after being saved from closure by Future Publishing, owner of titles including Guitarist, Total Film and T3.

The titles, along with the Golden Gods Awards and the Classic Rock Awards, suspended publication and faced closure after owner TeamRock, which fashioned itself as the self-styled “home of rock and metal”, went into administration in December.

No word yet on how many former staff are likely to be rehired, but let’s hope for the best. These are good people who are passionate about music.

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Gleb Kolyadin announces crowdfunded solo album

glebPianist Gleb Kolyadin, the instrumental half of Iamthemorning, has announced a solo albun crowdfunded on Indiegogo.

As he says on the crowdfunding page:

An incredible luck and honour, it gave me hope that I might spark your interest with something different – an instrumental album. With several years in the making, this project became the essence of everything I enjoy as a musician. Classical piano, ethnic influences, electronic oddness, minimalism, art-rock and fusion – all blend together.

I put together a group of amazingly talented musicians to help bring this all to life, and I am sure the names will get you excited. To keep things interesting, I asked them all to unleash their creative freedom, so be prepared for unique and wild. Also, for all you audiophiles out there, I’m preparing a special high resolution treat.

The project is well on its way, and the piano recording is already scheduled at the same amazing Moscow studio that brought you piano of the Lighthouse.

And on Twitter Gleb is promising it will be epic,

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How Good It Is

After the Coro94 Chsistmas concert in December, I remarked that my next concert, Black Sabbath at the 02 Arena, was just about about the complete opposite.

But the world of music has other ideas.

Black Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi worked with his friend Catherine Ogle, the Dean of Birmingham, on this five-minute arrangement, which celebrates peace, harmony and the Cathedral’s role in the heart of the city. The Birmingham rock legend said he wanted to ‘give something back’ to his home city. The words are inspired by Psalm 133, and it’s sung by the boys and men of Birmingham Cathedral Choir.

It’s as if the musical universe is trying to mess with my mind.

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Cygański: Transition

cyganski-transitionComing Soon!

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RIP Rick Parfitt

rick-parfittBeen off-line over Christmas, so didn’t have the chance at the time to mark the passing of Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt, who died on Christmas Eve. And that in turn was overshadowed by the passing of a far bigger figure from the world of pop just a few days later.

People took the piss out of Status Quo; they only knew three chords, all their songs sounded the same; they endlessly riffed on “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors. But that missed the point. They were one of those bands who did one thing but did it very, very well, rock’n'roll stripped back to its primal essence in the same spirit as Motörhead or The Ramones. Almost everyone I’ve met who’s ever seen The Quo on stage affirms that they were an awesome live band.

Read Michael Hann’s excellent tribute in The Guardian, who puts it better than I ever could.

2016 has been a dreadful year for musicians, actors and writers dying at a seemingly ever-increasing frequency. Part of it just because the heroes of our generation are growing old. But another factor has to be the explosion of popular culture in the 1960s and onwards. There are far more high profile musicians and actors from the generation now reaching their 70s than their equivalents from previous generations. The passing of music hall stars from the 1930s in the 1970s never had quite the same impact.

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