EppyFest – the eclectic music festival run by Ian Fairholm of the Epileptic Gibbon Podcast and Progzilla Radio – will join together with the Summer’s End Festival organisation for its 2018 edition.
The Gloucestershire-based festival has run every year since 2012, and past performers have included The William D. Drake band, Judy Dyble, The Korgis vs. Stackridge, Firefly Burning, Henry Fool, The Fierce and the Dead, Sanguine Hum, Schnauser and Trojan Horse.
Stephen Lambe – co-promoter of the Summer’s End and Winter’s End Progressive Rock Festivals with Huw Lloyd-Jones, explains why they felt so compelled to add Eppyfest to their roster of events:
Eppyfest is unique. No other festival in the UK combines rock, folk, jazz and contemporary classical music in such a fantastic way. As fans of the festival -and I’ve been to all but one – our intention is to give Eppyfest the budget and the organisational back up to secure its future and help it reach a wider audience, while freeing up Ian to concentrate on what he loves most – pulling the line up together.
Ian Fairholm comments:
Putting EppyFest together over the past six years has been immense fun but also immensely challenging. I’ve had a strong desire to keep the festival going and allow it to grow, and with the help of Stephen and Huw, who have made the Summer’s End Festival such a success, I now see that as a definite reality. EppyFest will maintain its own distinctive character but this new partnership will help it to flourish in 2018.
Eppyfest 2018 is already in the planning stage, and will take place as usual in late July, expanding to a Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. It will move from its previous home in Stroud to a new venue in the Cheltenham area.
Advance “Superstar” tickets, for anyone wanting to provide extra financial support with this new expanded EppyFest experience, will be available soon, as will full details of the new venue and date.
Edition 101 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.
Live at 11: Circus Maximus
The Weight (live)
Architect of Fortune (live)
Album of the Week: Fates Warning – Parallels
The Eleventh Hour
Eye to Eye
Leave the Past Behind
Zaedyus – Over the Cliff
The Bierkeller, Bristol
Sunday, 17th September 2017
If I may, I’d like to propose a toast to the Gods of Serendipity.
Now I don’t often pay homage to deities of indeterminate origin – or any others for that matter – but in this case I’ll make an exception as the recent goings on within The Pineapple Thief camp must be the result of intervention by some higher being.
And it would be easy to suggest that this ‘higher being’ is called Gavin Harrison, but that would be unfair to the legacy from which Bruce Soord and his band are now reaping richly deserved rewards.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, first up Godsticks. For the second time in a row I missed the start of their support set, the last time being a couple of years ago at this very venue with The Aristocrats. This tardiness – brought on by the vagaries of travel rather than any disrespect to support bands – is a great shame as I have followed Godsticks closely since the release of their first EP waaaaay back in 2008 (where does the time go?!).
During this near decade long journey the band have developed and changed their sound considerably, from a quirky jazziness to the harder edge of 2015’s Emergence and onward into the hugely mature Faced With Rage, due out next month on Kscope. During this time Darran Charles and his men have not only experimented with the music but also how to deliver it in a live setting, from the early shows where the band – and Darran in particular – came across as very nervous, through trying to integrate live keyboards and on to the current hard-edged two guitar line-up. Today the band have bags of confidence and a menacing intensity to their sound, well-drilled by this tour, the result being a storming performance of dexterity and power, all hung on Darran’s canny ear for a melodic hook. The band are on top form, the rhythm section of Tom Price and Dan Nelson have developed into a very impressive unit with Dan cultivating his stage persona, a million miles away from the 17 year old youth who originally joined the band. Gavin Bushell is the perfect companion for Darran and their techniques mesh well whilst adding variety to the performance. To cap it all Darran’s singing was majestic tonight, and overall the package appears complete. The sound levels were set a little on the loud side but the detail was still present so not a major quibble, and with the set split equally between Emergence and the unreleased songs from the new album to underline the band as they are now, it was a great performance and well received by a receptive audience.
Hard to face
Exit stage right
We are leaving
Lack of Scrutiny
Darran Charles – Guitars, Vocals
Dan Nelson – Bass
Gavin Bushell – Guitar
Tom Price – Drums
A quick turnaround and The Pineapple Thief emerge, expectations high based on the praise forthcoming for the previous tour with Gavin Harrison and Darran Charles, including the London show in February which is set for release as the Where We Stood Blu-ray package at the end of the month.
The Pineapple Thief have never fully clicked with me; I’ve heard a number of the albums and saw them once, in a sports hall in Chippenham back in 2004, but I was never really engaged.
This has now changed.
Last year’s Your Wilderness was a great release and Where We Stood underlines what this band have now become, but catching the majesty of a full live performance is where it all falls into place. Quite rightly, the whole of Your Wilderness is played, Gavin and Darran fully integrated into these songs, and they are fabulous. Bruce has always written songs of real quality, but now he has the vehicle to properly deliver them, and you get the feeling that the rest of the band have stepped up in the process, growing in confidence with every turn.
Darran Charles puts in a fine second shift of the evening with some exquisite soloing, his virtuosity augmenting Bruce’s playing to expand the sound and give it additional depth. Darran has proved his versatility over the years and is a player of real note. Here he is a vital component, both in the performance and as a comedy foil for Bruce, his pithy comments adding to the good humour of the evening (I particularly liked the wicked goading of Bruce to actually remember the name of the forthcoming Godsticks album after Soord told the audience how good it was!).
The laugh out loud banter adds to the show, but it’s the man at the back who sprinkles the magic dust over the music. Gavin Harrison is rightly lauded as one of the finest drummers of his generation and you can’t help but marvel at his skills. As the perfect choice to lead the three drummer front line of the current incarnation of King Crimson, his profile has been raised to a higher level and to a far wider audience, but here he is playing to a pleasingly rather full Bierkeller. I had to pinch myself that the last time I saw him was in the regal surroundings of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall with King Crimson, pounding seven bells out of his kit in one of the most dexterous displays of precision I’ve ever witnessed.
And his playing tonight is nothing short of exquisite. For example, No Man’s Land is just fantastic; little fills, tinkling percussion at all the right moments, slide rule kick drums and power as and when required. Absolutely astonishing, and if the rest of the band just stopped playing it would still be a wonderfully melodic experience. He’s the master of the perfectly weighted augmentation, in no way showy whilst defining everything by his playing. Some of the fills were just so outrageous that I laughed out loud, and with the wonderful sound quality every tiny movement and addition could be heard. However, the finest quality in Gavin’s playing is the sensitivity and understanding of the source material; he did not take over but added exactly what was required to raise Bruce’s songs to the place they deserve to be.
The Pineapple Thief have never sounded as good and Bruce is clearly rightly proud of what they have achieved, a vindication of what he has been doing all these years as they play to more people with a fantastic line-up and the technical support to deliver a beautifully judged show. The quality of the songs speak for themselves, the setlist consistent with the previous tour with Shoot First, 3,000 Days and Where We Stood added, Reaching Out and Simple As That dropped with Fend for Yourself pushed forward in the running order.
The encores were a celebration with an audience completely on side, the result being a fantastic evening, completely enthralling from start to finish. Should this line-up get to tour again – and hopefully they will – then attendance is a complete no-brainer. Just get a ticket and marvel at it all.
Tear You Up
The One You Left to Die
No Man’s Land
Alone at Sea
Fend for Yourself
Take Your Shot
Show a Little Love
Where We Stood
The Final Thing on My Mind
Nothing at Best
Bruce Soord – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Steve Kitch – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jon Sykes – Bass, Backing Vocals
Gavin Harrison – Drums, Percussion
Darran Charles – Guitars, Backing Vocals
All photos by Mike Evans and used with his kind permission.
Steven Wilson has launched a video for the song “Nowhere Now” taken from his recently released, fifth studio album To the Bone. Watch it below.
The video, directed by long-time collaborator Lasse Hoile, was shot on location at the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. The song was described as a “gloriously soaring paean to the joys of everyday escapism.”
Along with the release of the new video, Wilson has also announced that he will play a third show at the Royal Albert Hall in London on March 29th next year. About this third concert, Steven commented:
“I know that some fans may consider attending all 3 nights, and to those people I say that while each night will have a fair amount of overlap in the repertoire, I will aim for there to be at least something special and unique on each night, though I’m not quite sure what that will be yet!”
Tickets for this show will go on sale on Friday (September 22) via Gigs And Tours.
The Progressive Tracks Show #228 (Escapism… Heading South), originally broadcast on Friday, September 15, 2017, is now available to download or listen to anytime you desire.
Last week’s show was reflective and probably quite dark for you. This week we’ll go the opposite way and escape. Direction: South. Change is good; inner change is even better!
- Mondo Drag “Zephyr” from Mondo Drag on Kozmik Artifactz
- Os Mutantes “Once Upon A Flight” from Fool Metal Jack on Krian Music Group
- Red Sun Cult “Sudden Blast” from Red Sun Cult on Red Sun Cult
- Red Sun Cult “Below My Grave” from Red Sun Cult on Red Sun Cult
- Los Acidos “Excentricidad” from Los Acidos on Los Acidos
- Chicos de Nazca “Keep It Strong” from Ether on 682110 Records DK
- Vago Sagrado “Hermanos” from Vago Sagrado on All Carajo
- Necro “Azul Profundo” from Adiante on Independent
- The Myrrors “Organ Mantra” from Hasta la Victoria on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records
- La Hell Gang “The Beginning Remains The End” from Thru Me Again on Kemado Records
- Los Dug Dugs “Hagamoslo Ahora (2a Parte)” from Smog on RCA
- Fuzzkrank “Black Monolith” from Fuzzkrank on Independent
If you have comments (always welcome), or suggestions for show topics/music, feel free to contact me anytime via email: ProgTracks@KPTZ.org
But first… enjoy the show!
Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack
“Central District” is the first single by Italian progressive legends PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM). The song has been released simultaneously in its English and Italian version (“Quartiere Generale”), and marks the first brand new track after 14 years. It comes from the new album “Emotional Tattoos”, which will be released worldwide via InsideOutMusic on October 27, 2017 as English and Italian version.
The different language versions offer completely different lyrics, making the track even more accessible for an international and Italian audience.
“Emotional Tattoos” is an album that looks towards the future as the artwork clearly shows. Created by Stefano and Mattia Bonora with art direction by ArtKademy and concept by Aereostella, it was revealed as an impressive mural painting in Milan, Italy. The band explains:
“On the album cover we can see a spaceship headed by Franz and Patrick, which leads the fans in unexplored territory: The new PFM’s world where music has not only one identity but embraces many different musical genres. “Emotional Tattoos” is an album which will print feelings on your skin.”
“Emotional Tattoos” is already available for pre-ordering in various formats. If you pre-order the digital album, you will instantly receive the first single “Central District” and its Italian counterpart “Quartiere Generale”.
“Emotional Tattoos” formats include:
– Black 2LP+2CD (English vinyl plus English & Italian album on 2CD)
– Limited transparent orange 2LP+CD (Italian vinyl plus Italian CD / only released in Italy, outside Italy you can order it here: http://bit.ly/PFM-IOMshop)
– Special Edition 2CD Digipak (English plus Italian album / International version)
– 2CD Jewelcase (English plus Italian album / US version)
– CD Jewelcase (Italian album only / only released in Italy)
– Digital album (includes English & Italian album)
Order it now! http://smarturl.it/PFM-EmotionalTattoos
Furthermore, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI have announced various new live shows:
September 29, 2017 Modena – Piazza Roma (Italy)
September 30, 2017 Montesarchio (BN) loc. Cirignano – Piazza San Sebastiano (Italy)
November 14, 2017 Torino – Teatro Colosseo (Italy)
November 15, 2017 Genova – Teatro Carlo Felice (Italy)
November 25, 2017 Zoetermeer – De Borderij (Netherlands)
December 01, 2017 Padova – Gran Teatro Geox (Italy)
December 02, 2017 Varese – Teatro Openjobmetis (Italy)
January 09, 2018 Tokyo – Billboard Live (Japan)
January 10, 2018 Tokyo – Billboard Live (Japan)
January 11, 2018 Osaka – Billboard Live (Japan)
January 31, 2018 Bologna – Teatro Duse (Italy)
March 02, 2018 Milano – Teatro Dal Verme (Italy)
March 10, 2018 Brescia – PalaBrescia (Italy)
March 11, 2018 Santa Maria degli Angeli – Teatro Lyrick (Italy)
March 12, 2018 Roma – Teatro Olimpico (Italy)
March 13, 2018 Napoli – Teatro Augusteo (Italy)
April 09-16 Brazilian Tour – Exact dates to be announced soon!!!
May 03, 2018 Ciudad de Mexico – BlackBerry Hall (Mexico)
May 06, 2018 Gettysburg – Majestic Theater (USA)
May 12, 2018 Legnano – Teatro Galleria (Italy)
Ticket links and more info can be found on www.pfmworld.com
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI is a very eclectic and exuberant band with a distinctive style that combines the powerful expression of rock, progressive and classical music into one fascinating entity. Formed in 1971 and celebrating its live debut in the same year opening for Yes in Milano, the band quickly gained a prominent place on the international scene by making it to the Billboard charts (for 1973’s ‘Photos Of Ghosts’), winning a Gold record in Japan while constantly ruling the charts in their home country up until today. Recently, PFM was honoured with position #50 in the “UK Classic Rock Hall of Fame” of the 100 most important artists in the world.
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI
Visit the new Insideout Shop:
SONG AVAILABLE ON ALL DIGITAL OUTLETS NOW
September 15, 2017 — SONS OF APOLLO–former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force)-have just released the video for “Coming Home” from their highly anticipated debut album, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY. Watch now here:
The song is now available on all digital outlets starting today. Set for release on October 20 via InsideOutMusic / Sony, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY, is now available to pre-order on 2CD Mediabook (featuring a second disc of instrumental mixes), Gatefold 2LP vinyl + CD, Standard Jewelcase CD & digital download. Pre-order now here: http://smarturl.it/SonsOfApolloPS
“‘Coming Home’ immediately felt like the SONS OF APOLLO ‘grand entrance’ as soon as we wrote the song,” says Portnoy. “Almost like a fighter entering the ring. I knew this had to be the first video and first time people see us playing together. The video was shot at Ocean Studios in Burbank, CA, where we wrote and recorded the album. So you’re essentially seeing the exact place and environment that SONS OF APOLLO was born.”
“I assume most people’s expectations of the band from its lineup is for SOA to be a self-indulgent ‘wank-fest’ (and granted, there are three 10-minute Prog epics on the album!), but ‘Coming Home’ is an example that we are just as much a rock band cut from the cloth of classic bands like Van Halen as well.”
The full track-listing of PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY is as follows:
1. God of The Sun
2. Coming Home
3. Signs of the Time
6. Lost In Oblivion
7. Figaro’s Whore
8. Divine Addiction
9. Opus Maximus
An album teaser can be seen on InsideOutMusic’s YouTube page here: https://youtu.be/kPN2DttzlZQwww.google.de
PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” which is the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.
SONS OF APOLLO got together very organically, as Portnoy explains: “Derek and I reunited shortly after I left Dream Theater in 2010 and we put together an all-instrumental touring band with he and I, Billy Sheehan, and Tony MacAlpine. That was my first time working with Derek since the ’90s when he was in Dream Theater and it was just great to be working with him again. Ever since that tour, which was really just a one-off live thing, he has been nudging me to start a real, original, full-time band. The timing just had never been right, because I had too many other things on my plate. Long story short, the time was finally right to take the bait and put together a band.”
“Mike and I work at a relentless pace in the studio,” continues Sherinian. “The music is modern, but we have an old school soul. What is unique about SONS OF APOLLO is that we have true rock n’ roll swagger along with the virtuosity– a lethal combination!”
But what to call the next great supergroup? “Derek was mainly the one behind the name,” says Portnoy. “I have a list that I keep on my phone of about a hundred different band names, which I constantly have to refer to every time I have a new band every year (laughs). So, I pulled up the list and Apollo was one of the names on the list. It was a word that both of us really liked. We started fiddling with different variations of the word. One of the original band names we were working with was Apollo Creed, the character from the ‘Rocky’ movies, but after lots of different discussions on different variations, Derek suggested SONS OF APOLLO and it seemed to stick. Apollo is the God of Music so with that in mind it seemed like a fitting name.”
Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian and Billy Sheehan previously toured together in 2012 and 2013 as PSMS (along with guitarist Tony MacAlpine), playing all instrumental versions from each of their previously recorded music. SONS OF APOLLO is the next logical progression by adding a vocalist and creating all-original material. The band incorporates the progressive style and individual technical prowess that Portnoy & Sherinian shared together in Dream Theater combined with the swagger and groove of Van Halen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
“I have known Mike and Derek for a long time, so when they came to me with Sons of Apollo, I jumped on this straight away,” says Thomas Waber, Label Manager/A&R International of InsideOutMusic. “However, the album they ended up recording exceeded my already high expectations by a long mile! We couldn’t be happier about it!”
SONS OF APOLLO will hit the road in 2018 for their first worldwide tour.
Visit the new Insideout Shop:
Northern Star 14th Sept 2017
Northern Star Pallas Theme
- Arena – Valley of the Kings
- Porcupine Tree – Dislocated days
- Blind Guardian – The Script for my requiem
- King Crimson – Dinosaur
- Jethro Tull – Valley
- Ozric Tentacles – Neurochasm
- Marillion – Out of This world
- Anekdoten – – This far from the sky
- Glass hammer – Lilusion
- Primus – Southbound Pachyderm
- Spiritualized – Medication
- The Tea party – Drawing Down the moon
- Meshuggah – Soul Burn
- Shadow Gallery – Ghostship Strom
- White Willow – Lord of Light
- Saga – Snake Oil
- Tony Banks – Walls of sound
- Galahad – Exorcising demons
- The Flower Kings – Theme for a hero
- Spocks Beard – On The edge
- Pink Floyd – The great gig In the sky
Repeat Shows Tuesdays 00.00am bst & 3.00pm bst
Podcasts of all the shows are available here
Subscribe to the show here
If you have an requests or ideas about shows
Or anything else for that matter?
Contact me on Emma@progzilla.com