Tag Archives: Howard Sinclair

HAS-Returned News

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Some news from Howard Sinclair, who’s not only been playing keys for Also Eden but, like many of the best prog musos, has also been working on another project.

HAS-Retuned, the new electro-acoustic band fronted by singer-songwriter Howard Sinclair, are excited to introduce their final complete line-up: with Patrick “Patch” Sanders taking up lead guitar, alongside Becky Baldwin on bass and Jenn Haneef on drums.

Patch has been playing guitar for 15 years and studied Professional Musicianship at Bristol Institute of Modern Music (BIMM). He is currently active in several projects, including female-fronted Melodic Rock band “Control the Storm” and Heavy Metal tribute band “Metalhead”. Playing electric lead guitar, Patch will incorporate his interest in Blues and Soft Rock as part of the approach that Retuned are taking with their new album.

Patch says: “I was keen to join HAS-Retuned to expand my range beyond Metal and into a more acoustic driven genre. Since I already know Becky from other projects we have worked on, we knew we would work well, and we seem to have come together quickly as a whole band. I’m looking forward to getting into the studio now and laying down the tracks we’ve been working on these past few weeks”.

Now that everyone is in place, the band is due to start work on their new album “The Light Broke In” throughout March, and the studio has been booked ready to begin recording in Bristol this coming weekend.

“Having Patch on board, it really does feel like we now have the right people in the right places” Howard says; “I was already extremely pleased to have had Becky and Jenn come in and immediately make their mark on the evolving music, and now Patch is adding his stamp and it’s simply sounding ‘right’ – so we’re ready to jump in feet first and get recording some of the magic that we’ve been finding in the studio together”.

HAS-Retuned is a band that offers fresh, original material with wide ranging influences including Marillion, Nick Drake, Counting Crows and Panic Room, and the group intends to complement their upcoming album with a selection of Live gigs across the UK, featuring material from Howard’s previous solo album “The Delicious Company of Freaks” alongside the new songs.

More information on Howard Sinclair’s website at www.howardalansinclair.co.uk/

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HAS Returned


Not content with playing keys for Also Eden, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Howard Sinclair has formed a new band.

Howard Sinclair is very pleased to announce his progression from Singer-songwriter to lead singer of new band “HAS-Retuned” with the introduction of their first two new members, Becky Baldwin on bass guitar and drummer Jenn Haneef.

The band will eventually be a four-piece with a lead guitarist to complete the lineup. And I think it’s the first time I’ve heard anyone cite Panic Room as an influence.

Read the full press release here.

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Howard Sinclair joins Also Eden

Howard Sinclair at The Railway in Winchester

Also Eden annouce announce their new keyboard player, replacing Ian Hodson who left the band in April.

Finding a replacement for Ian was never going to be easy but that, in itself, gave rise to some radical thoughts about the future shape of the band, involving pedals, guitar synths and more. This forward-looking approach has resulted in the arrival on board of Howard “H” Sinclair.

Howard is well known as a solo artist, having supported Panic Room and others and being particularly prolific on the Bristol scene. He’s opened up for Also Eden before now, also appearing on the same bill as vocalist Rich Harding and guitarist Si Rogers, in their acoustic guise of Neo Deals, including at the Assorted Acoustic Afternoon in December 2010, when Rich was still in a wheelchair following his horrific motorcycle accident. Concidentally, a year earlier Howard had been playing keyboards in another band for whom Rich auditioned before joining Also Eden.

The new line-up’s first two gigs will be with F2 labelmates Manning, at The Robin 2, Bilston on Sunday, June 9th and The Met, Bury on Saturday, July 6th. Neo Deals are opening up for Red Jasper and Crimson Sky at The Fleece, Bristol on June 27th.

I didn’t see that one coming. It will be very interesting to see what Howard brings to Also Eden in the coming months and years.

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2012 Albums of the Year – Part One

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when everyone who fancies themselves as a music critic lists the records that have defined their year.

The usual disclaimers apply, of course. They’re selected from the albums of 2012 that I’ve actually had the chance to hear over the course of the year. It’s also a personal list of albums that have made an impression on me rather than any attempt to declare them the “best” of the year, whatever that might mean. Which is why there are very obscure independent releases alongside heavily-promoted major-label albums.

My self-imposed rules exclude both live albums and studio restatements of past material, although Steve Hackett’s “Genesis Revisited II” and Heather Findlay’s “Songs From The Old Kitchen” deserve mention.

It was going to be a top 20, but once I’d got my list finalised someone went and released a record in the middle of December that really deserved to be on the list. So now it’s a top 21. I’ve given up trying to rank all 21 album in any kind of order, and have gone for grouping them under Good, Great, Superb and Legendary, the last being my album of the year.

So here are the ten Good albums, which form numbers 21 to 12 in the list, ordered alphabetically.

Joe BonamassaDriving Towards The Daylight

Excellent album of guitar-shredding blues-rock from one of the most exciting guitar players of his generation, with electrifying takes on blues standards from the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon alongside a handful of original numbers. Yes, the ever-prolific Bonamassa can probably turn out albums like this in his sleep, but that’s just a measure of his talent.

DelainWe Are The Others

A seamless blend of in-your-face metal riffs and chart-friendly pop choruses, featuring the remarkable vocals of Charlotte Wessels, all of which makes it more of a mystery why a major label sat on this record for months before releasing it. If only daytime radio wasn’t afraid of big-sounding guitars.

EnslavedRiitiir

Symphonically-dense wall-of-sound metal which mixes moments of brutal heaviness with a surprising amount of melody. There’s plenty of death-metal growling, but there are also passages that prove how well metal riffs and Gregorian chants go together.

It BitesMap Of The Past

The 80s pop-prog veterans reformed a few years back, with the talented John Mitchell at the helm.  Although the latest album doesn’t quite top 2008′s “The Tall Ships”, it’s still an impressive work that combines emotionally-rich songwriting with all the widdly soloing you could possibly want.

Mermaid KissAnother Country

A move away from the symphonic prog-rock of their previous album “Etarlis”, with a beautiful semi-acoustic record with touches of Americana and gospel. Not many bands have Cor Anglais as a principle lead instrument.

Sankara Guided By Degrees CD ArtworkSankaraGuided By Degrees

An impressive melodic hard rock début from former members of The Bluehorses and The Reasoning. It’s a rich, multilayered record in which Gareth Jones’s excellent vocal performance proves he’s more than capable fronting his own band.

Shadow Of The Sun – Monument

Former Reasoning guitarist Dylan Thompson returns with some prog-tinged hard rock/metal with guitars that go up to Eleven. A record that’s only been out a few days and I’ve only given a handful of listens. But that’s enough convince me it belongs on this list.

Howard SinclairThe Delicious Company of Freaks

Lyric-driven semi-acoustic balladry from the Bristol-based singer-songwriter who supported Panic Room on their November tour. Some memorable songs, with one high point being the spellbinding “These Dark Hills” sung as a duet with Panic Room’s Anne-Marie Helder.

SquackettA Life Within A Day

Two of the most distinctive instrumentalists in the prog-rock world combine their talents for a polished and song-focussed album. At times this collaboration sounds like Steve Hackett with a different bassist, at times it’s Yes with different guitars and vocals. “The Tall Ships” with it’s bass groove and soaring vocal harmonies is a particular highlight.

"I fireball the gazebo"Winter in EdenEchoes of Betrayal

With a great vocalist in Vicky Johnson, the Durham-based band prove if the songwriting is good enough it’s possible to do female-fronted symphonic metal without needing the choirs, orchestras and kitchen sinks of the more extravagant European bands.

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