Neo-Prog Three Decades On

Joe Banks writing in The Quietus has a grear piece in Neo-Prog Three Decades On, covering the likes of IQ, Pendragon and Pallas.

He’s spot on when it comes to Twelfth Night. His description of “Fact and Fiction” as the Unnown Pleasures of prog reminds me of how some aspects of their sound reminded me of Joy Division at the time. Perhaps what JD might have sounded with Dave Gilmour style guitar solos?  As for their eventual disolution when they “couldn’t make up their mind whether they wanted to be Pink Floyd or Duran Duran“, is Joe Banks certain he didn’t steal that line from me?

He’s good on Mairllion too, pointing out how they started out wearing the influence of Gabriel-era Genesis on their sleeves, but soon evolved towards evoking Pink Floyd at their most song-orientated. Not quite so sure about present-day Mairllion as “credible-if-a-bit-bland nu-prog, somewhere between Talk Talk and Muse“, though. At least he didn’t compare them to Coldplay….

It’s also good to see the late Tommy Vance mentioned. John Peel’s hagiographers tend to dismiss him for playing the music too uncool for The Peel Show, but the two were actually highly complementary. Certainly Tommy Vance was as much loved by his listeners as Peel was to his.

The whole piece is well worth a read.

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4 Responses to Neo-Prog Three Decades On

  1. PaulE says:

    I wonder what he got into next? The tone is quite confessional – even apologetic. Which suggests his taste led elsewhere. Or maybe the tone is necessary for a wider readership.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    A lot of people drop out of music fandom altogether when they get married and have kids.

    Some of them come back when the kids are older and they can start going to gigs again, which is why some of the 80s bands (such as IQ and Marillion) have seen a revival of their fortunes in recent years.

  3. PaulE says:

    Surely that is too conventional an answer for a Prog fan ? :-)

    Probably true, though …

  4. Tim Hall says:

    I don’t have kids, but it’s accurate for a lot of people I know. I know people who find themselves with 20 years’ worth of music they missed and have to catch up on.