Tag Archives: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas – Searchlight

The song “Searchlight” from Cloud Atlas’ “Beyond the Vale” illustrated with photos from their launch gig in York last month.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cloud Atlas Album Launch

Cloud Atlas album launch at Tokyos in York

A few photos from Cloud Atlas’ album launch in Tokyo’s in York, moved at short notice from the original scheduled venue, Fibbers.

Cloud Atlas album launch at Tokyos in York

The songs from the album “Beyond the Vale” come over well live, which given the raw, live feel of the album shouldn’t really have been a suprise. Heidi Widdop has a voice that goes from Alison Goldfrapp to Janis Joplin, and lead guitarist Martin Ledger made a strong impression with his melodic and powerfully atmospheric style.

Cloud Atlas album launch at Tokyos in York

Cloud Atlas have quite a few more gigs in the pipeline, including an appearance at the Cambridge Rock Festival at the beginning of August. They are going to be a band to watch.

Posted in Live Reviews | Tagged | 1 Comment

Cloud Atlas album launch – New Venue

Cloud Atlas have moved their launch gig on Saturday 28th June to a different venue. The gig is now at Tokyos on Toft Green, York.

The original venue, Fibbers, is temporarily closed because of a dispute between the venue and the landlord.  As it says on the Fibbers Facebook page:

Due to a longstanding dispute with the landlord, Fibbers is TEMPORARILY closed but we expect this to be resolved AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Since “as soon as possible” may well not include “by Saturday night“, moving the gig does sound like the only possible option.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Cloud Atlas – Beyond the Vale

Cloud Atlas - Beyond The ValeHome to Mostly Autumn, Halo Blind and Heather Findlay’s various projects, York has been a centre of progressive and contemporary classic rock for quite a few years now, and Cloud Atlas are the latest in a string of excellent bands to emerge from the city.

Cloud Atlas is the band formed by former Stolen Earth, Breathing Space and Mostly Autumn vocalist Heidi Widdop. The band features Martin Ledger on guitar, one-time musical partner with Heidi in the duo The Secrets, a rhythm section of Neil Scott and Mostly Autumn alumni Stu Carver, and Dave Randall on keys. As is becoming increasingly common nowadays, the band crowdfunded the album with a pre-order campaign.

The album begins with two and half minutes of eastern-sounding atmospherics, with electronic drones, wordless wailing vocals and controlled guitar feedback. Then Martin Ledger’s guitar riff hits you right between the eyes and “Searchlight” explodes into a powerful rocker with a great bluesy soulful vocal. It ends with Martin Ledger cutting loose with a glorious extended solo. The effect is Janis Joplin fronting The Cult circa “Sonic Temple” with Steve Rothery on lead guitar. And that’s just the opening song.

The acoustic guitar and breathy vocals at the beginning of “Siren Song” recall the fragile beauty of Goldfrapp’s last album before building into another atmospheric rocker flavoured with Martin Ledger’s e-bowed guitar. The over-ambitious “Let The Blood Flow” is the one song on the record that doesn’t quite work; the hard-rocking opening part is great but it loses it’s way with its awkward middle section, and the whole thing comes out sounding disjointed.

But we’re back on track with with two following numbers, the length, brooding “Falling” and the piano-led “The Grieving”. Instrumental passages in both recall recent Marillion, especially the minor-key piano chords leading into Martin Ledger’s overdriven solo at the beginning of the latter.

The final part of the album includes two real highlights, the big epic “Stars” with its memorable hook, and atmospheric ballad “Journey’s End” with some beautiful cello playing from Sarah Pickwell, after which the acoustic “I’ll Take Care of You” forms a coda for the album.

Heidi’s distinctive vocals set them apart from many of their obvious peers, but this album’s sound is as much about Martin Ledger’s soaring melodic lead guitar. There are still a few echoes of Heidi’s previous band Stolen Earth, and anyone still missing that band should find a lot to like about Cloud Atlas.

It’s big widescreen rock with an epic scope, with just one song under seven minutes and some stretching to nine or ten. It may be that some songs might have benefited from slightly tighter arrangements, but the music still feels as though it’s likely to come across very powerfully live. It amounts to an impressive début from the latest addition to their home city’s already strong roster of bands.

The band will be launching the album at Fibbers in York on June 28th, and the album can be ordered from http://www.cloudatlas.org.uk/webstore.htm

Posted in Record Reviews | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cloud Atlas announce venue for Album Launch

Cloud Atlas BandCloud Atlas’ launch gig for their much-awaited début album “Beyond the Vale” will be at Fibbers in York on Saturday 28th June.

Everyone who’s pre-ordered the album already has an invite for this gig. For those who haven’t pre-ordered, ticket are now on sale.

From the venue’s announcement:

Misused that phrase, ‘progressive rock’, isn’t it? To the uninformed or out-of-touch it conjures images of Rick Wakeman in a cape or Peter Gabriel with a flower round his head.

But it’s so much more than that, has moved with the times and is in good hands with the likes of Heidi Widdop and her new band CLOUD ATLAS.

From early days with Mostly Autumn and progression with ill-fated projects Breathing Space and Stolen Earth, our heroine has shown a steely determination to settle for nothing but the best. Not just the musicians surrounding her but also songwriting, arrangement and putting on a great show!

Inspired by a photograph of the sky one morning, the name Cloud Atlas seemed to be perfect, summing up the mystery and unpredictable nature of Heidi’s musical journey.

Sweeping soundscapes, sometimes dark but always intriguing and full to bursting with melody and atmosphere, this is ‘prog rock’ at its finest, it’s most up-to-date and, quite frankly, bloody fantastic.

Support will be the talented Plumhall, who supported Stolen Earth on a number of oocasions.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cloud Atlas announce date of launch gig

Heidi Widdop

Cloud Atlas have announced the date of their album launch gig in York, to which everyone who has pre-ordered the album is invited. The show will be on Saturday 28th June.

The venue will be announced shortly.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cloud Atlas confirmed for 2014 Cambridge Rock Festival

The recently-formed York-based progressive rock band have announced on Twitter than they are confirmed for the 2014 Cambridge Rock Festival, joining blues-rock guitarist Larry Miller in the acts announced to date.

The 2012 festival marked the debut of Stolen Earth, Heidi Widdop’s previous band, and the year before was her first gig fronting Breathing Space, the final lineup of which morphed into Stolen Earth a few months later.

Cloud Atlas are currently in the studio working on their debut album, for which they are still taking pre-orders.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cloud Atlas album preorder

York’s newest progressive rock band Cloud Atlas are now taking pre-ordered for their debut albul Beyond The Vale.

Pre-order, and you get your name in the album’s inlay booklet, a signed copy of the album, delivered in advance of the release date, a signed photo and an invitation to the album’s launch gig, once the date and venue have been confirmed.

If the samples in their promo video are anything to go by, this is sounding like an album to look forward to, picking up where Stolen Earth left off. Read my inteview with Heidi Widdop for Trebuchet Magazine for a bit more about the band.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cloud Atlas Promo

Cloud Atlas, the band formed by former Stolen Earth singer Heidi Widdop have put together a promo compiling demos from their forthcoming album. The band will be taking pre-orders from 20th October 2013.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interview with Heidi Widdop

Heidi Widdop

I’ve interviewed former Stolen Earth and Breathing Space frontwoman Heidi Widdop for Trebuchet Magazine. While the focus is naturally on her new project Cloud Atlas, we also talked about Stolen Earth and touched on the very early days of Mostly Autumn when Heidi was in the band.

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