News

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/hybridism-interview/

Belgian djent/progressive metal four-piece Hybridism released their self-titled, instrumental debut album in February filled to the brim with, in the band’s own words, “variety of melodies and samples to replace the vocals in some kind of way.” 

The group answered our questionnaire about the release.

Define the mission of Hybridism.

Well, we don’t really have that kind of a mission. This is our very first album, people can expect a very ambient album with a lot of ups and downs. We are an instrumental djent and prog band so there’s a mixture of heavy riffs all in the name of “DJENT” such as calm moments packed with beautiful melodies. The songs were actually written for people who like this particular style and heavy music, but also for those who are not so familiar with heavy music. This is why there are heavy and more soften moments on this record.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your self-titled debut album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played „DJENT“ before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. For the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Coming back home with a very satisfying result was an awesome experience for us all.

Although it is an instrumental release, would you say that there is a certain message with the album that you are trying to give?

Don’t trust singers! No, all jokes aside ;) The initial idea starting out with a singer was dropped before entering the studio. We tried a few but we just had no luck. So as an instrumental band we don’t have that kind of a storyteller. We try the spread messages via our melodies which worked out quite well so far. Concerning the melodies we got some good reviews and I think this is one of the major strengths of the band. Our main goal is to continue our songwriting that way, keeping the focus on strong melodies to touch the listener and the audience.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We are lucky enough to have access to Logic and some recording equipment. In addition, we are using Guitar Pro, which is an awesome tool to be able to quickly document every instrument and every single note you are playing. For our samples and atmosphere we are working with different VST’s (Virtual Studio Technology). These are indispensable tools for us, getting done what we are putting together.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I would say so, yes! Jeffrey, our guitarist is working a lot on the timings and musical dynamics on every song. Everything was written very carefully in that kind of way, as well to ensure that there is a certain balance between the heavy and the more soften parts, the change of tempos and the variation of every single song.

Describe the approach recording the album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played “DJENT” before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. The pre-production was done in Belgium at Jeffrey’s place and for the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Working with this guy was just inspiring and a tremendous experience for us.

How long “Hybridism” was in the making?

Getting the band together took quite some time. Jeffrey started a few years ago writing some songs exclusively for 8-string guitars. The first guy who joined the project was our drummer Lucas. More or less than a year they were looking for a bassist. They came to me and asked me if I would be interested joining them. After a few weeks I became convinced of the project. First, I was pretty sceptic and it took me quite a while because I was doubting my own abilities. I’m more that kind of a rock bassist you know, the djent genre is a whole new area for me. After a few weeks and rehearsals our second guitarist Alex joined the band and we were ready starting things off.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I would definitely say modern djent acts, like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Modern Day Babylon, Tesseract, Plini etc. Their whole approach of playing their instruments, the sound they made and the atmosphere they create on every album took this genre to a whole new level. The pursuit of these sounds and all kinds of its various melodies are the real challenge for us.

What is your view on technology in music?

Oh man! My technological knowledge is so limited. The other guys are more nerdier than I am :) Those guys are the real geeks. I’m more that old school kind of a guy you know. But I think the evolution of technology has an important effect on modern music. Especially in our genre the possibilities these days are countless. You have all these kind of VST’s (Virtual Sound Technology) you can use at home to do your own stuff independent of anyone else. You can create music toghether, even if you are thousands of miles away from each other. People are using modeling amps today with a huge number of sound banks and presets which gives you more flexibility in your sound without carrying big Pedalboards with you. Of course, there are pros and cons, it all depends on your individual kind of view, but as technology continues expanding, the musical advances have a huge impact on the type of music we create.

Hybridism

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I would not say our music, but definitely every music. Music is one of the most universal ways of expression. It’s has a crucial role in the fulfilment of our daily tasks. Being stressed and then listening to our favourite tunes makes us nearly forget everything. I mean, why are we listening to music, it certainly means a lot to us and gives us the satisfaction we need in certain moments of depression. We don’t see a certain purpose in our music, we just want to do the stuff we want to do.

What are your plans for the future?

First, we are trying to play concerts as much as we can to get that touring routine as a band, which is not always that easy beside our jobs. Three of us have permanent jobs, but we are all trying our best to manage everything. Another important thing is doing our promotional work to share our music in the best logical way. For the moment our main goal is to spread the name all over our greater region (Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany). This is a small step, but it should be achievable. We are pretty confident about that.

A few little tours with some bands already established in the scene are planned,  we already got some nice offers for a few festivals later next year and the songwriting mode is always ON! We are already looking forward to release another album in the next 2 years.

Hybridism is out now; get it from Bandcamp.

The post HYBRIDISM: Variety of Melodies appeared first on Prog Sphere.

The PROG MILL Remembrance Special “Lillies of the Dead” (edition 183 for Progzilla Radio and 403 in total), compiled by Leo Trimming of The Progressive Aspect for the Prog Mill and first broadcast 10 November, is now also available to stream on demand or download as a mp3 file. It is highly recommended that you make time to listen to the whole two hours in one go, and a warning, you may find some of it quite emotional. This week’s show features voices from World War 1 soldiers and their families mixed with a selection of progressive rock tracks associated with war and in particular WW1.

Here’s The Playlist but the music is only half of what the show is all about. Listen to the voices and how cleverly Leo has weaved it together.

1 Twelfth Night/Roger Waters/Radiohead – Sequences Intro/Ballad of Bill Hubbard/Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
2 RPWL – Masters of War
3 Fish – The High Wood III : The Gathering
4 Freedom to Glide – When The Whistle Blows
5 Big Big Train – Brave Captain
6 Steve Hackett – Clocks (Angel of Mons)
7 IQ – The Seventh House
8 Pink Floyd – Us and Them
9 Vienna Circle – Argonne Wood
10 Fish – The High Wood II Crucifix Corner
11 Twelfth Night – Sequences (Instrumental Excerpt)
12 Jump – The Sniper
13 Magenta – A War Bride’s Prayer
14 Twelfth Night – Sequences 2018
15 Roger Waters – Amused to Death
16 Peter – Peace

You can hear The Prog Mill on Progzilla Radio at these times every week (www.progzilla.com/listen – via the tune in radio app and on internet radios):

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2200UTC) – main broadcast
Tuesdays 0300-0500 UK (0300UTC) – For North America – Mon 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern
Tuesdays 2300-0100UK (2300 UTC) – 1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1800 UTC) – Family friendly Saturday evening repeat

Your melodic and symphonic progressive rock music suggestions for the show are very welcome. Just email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

NEXT WEEK: The Prog Mill returns to normal with 2 hours of melodic/symphonic progressive music. Your suggestions are welcome: email shaun@progzilla.com or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

A heartfelt thanks to Leo for his work in putting together this weeks special show.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/monolith-interview/

Monolith is a Berlin-based melodic death metal project by guitarist and songwriter Mario Welke, who is to release a debut album ‘Daddy Plague‘ later this month. We featured Monolith on our recent Progotronics compilation, and asked Mario to answer our questionnaire.

Define the mission of Monolith.

My mission is to push the boundaries of what metal can and should be while also not forgetting the roots.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Daddy Plague” and the themes it captures.

Usually when writing songs, I start just randomly playing on the guitar until I fiend a riff I enjoy and then I build from there. I quickly add basic drum and bass samples to figure out the general feeling of the song. Once that is done I`ll work on the lyrics unless I feel the song needs some different vocals, in that case I`ll hear around who could be fitting to provide the guest vocals.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Daddy Plague”? 

The message is how dark thoughts can have a strong negative impact on your life and you actively have to decide that you want to change something instead of just hoping that it gets better by itself.

Daddy Plague

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

The first thing I do when I find a riff, I enjoy is to write it down in guitar pro. Within guitar pro I will then add a basic bassline and drum part. When I work on the structure of the song I also keep adding them in guitar pro.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It depends a bit on the song, some songs I wrote within a couple of hours like “Vermin Among Us”. Others were growing with new ideas over months such as “Forever”. The later was the second song I started to write for Monolith. But I only had a chorus and I had to put it to the side before I could take a fresh look at it and complete it. The song also changed quite a bit once Marie recorded the first demo vocals for it. For the songs with the other guest vocalists that wasnt possible because the songs were already written for one of my former bands and there was no room to adjust anything there.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

From the very beginning I knew it was going to be an album but when recording all the instruments is done by one person you face certain issues. The obviously would be the money. Studio time is expensive and you want to make the most out of it so I decided pretty early on to split the recording into 3 sessions and release the first 2 as EPs.

This gave me multiple advantages. I could already test out the water to see how well it work to record alone and how many songs I can record in one session. For the first EP I recorded only 3 but I knew that with some focus it would be possible to record 4 so the next 2 sessions 4 songs were my goal.

How long “Daddy Plague” was in the making?

The motivation for doing a solo project came to me already in 2013. The first time my bass player cancelled rehearsal 15 minutes after it started via text message because he was wasted from the night before.

However, I only actively started working on “Daddy Plague” in mid 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Amon Amarth comes to mind first, but I always listen to Misery Index or Five Finger Death Punch so they have influenced me aswell.

What is your view on technology in music?

I love fiddling around with samples and I used some in the recording too. The possibilities we have nowadays are really impressive. But I do feel that it is important that you find a good balance between what is done with virtual instruments and actually playing them.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

There are some songs which have lyrics which I crafted much more carefully than others but at the end of day it is death metal, if you take that too serious you are doing it wrong.

What are your plans for the future?

Im currently in the writing phase for the next recording sessions and i also consider finding musicians to bring Monolith to the stage but that is just an idea so far.

Follow Monolith on Facebook.

The post MONOLITH: Pushing the Boundaries of Metal appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/monolith-interview/

Monolith is a Berlin-based melodic death metal project by guitarist and songwriter Mario Welke, who is to release a debut album ‘Daddy Plague‘ later this month. We featured Monolith on our recent Progotronics compilation, and asked Mario to answer our questionnaire.

Define the mission of Monolith.

My mission is to push the boundaries of what metal can and should be while also not forgetting the roots.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Daddy Plague” and the themes it captures.

Usually when writing songs, I start just randomly playing on the guitar until I fiend a riff I enjoy and then I build from there. I quickly add basic drum and bass samples to figure out the general feeling of the song. Once that is done I`ll work on the lyrics unless I feel the song needs some different vocals, in that case I`ll hear around who could be fitting to provide the guest vocals.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Daddy Plague”? 

The message is how dark thoughts can have a strong negative impact on your life and you actively have to decide that you want to change something instead of just hoping that it gets better by itself.

Daddy Plague

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

The first thing I do when I find a riff, I enjoy is to write it down in guitar pro. Within guitar pro I will then add a basic bassline and drum part. When I work on the structure of the song I also keep adding them in guitar pro.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It depends a bit on the song, some songs I wrote within a couple of hours like “Vermin Among Us”. Others were growing with new ideas over months such as “Forever”. The later was the second song I started to write for Monolith. But I only had a chorus and I had to put it to the side before I could take a fresh look at it and complete it. The song also changed quite a bit once Marie recorded the first demo vocals for it. For the songs with the other guest vocalists that wasnt possible because the songs were already written for one of my former bands and there was no room to adjust anything there.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

From the very beginning I knew it was going to be an album but when recording all the instruments is done by one person you face certain issues. The obviously would be the money. Studio time is expensive and you want to make the most out of it so I decided pretty early on to split the recording into 3 sessions and release the first 2 as EPs.

This gave me multiple advantages. I could already test out the water to see how well it work to record alone and how many songs I can record in one session. For the first EP I recorded only 3 but I knew that with some focus it would be possible to record 4 so the next 2 sessions 4 songs were my goal.

How long “Daddy Plague” was in the making?

The motivation for doing a solo project came to me already in 2013. The first time my bass player cancelled rehearsal 15 minutes after it started via text message because he was wasted from the night before.

However, I only actively started working on “Daddy Plague” in mid 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Amon Amarth comes to mind first, but I always listen to Misery Index or Five Finger Death Punch so they have influenced me aswell.

What is your view on technology in music?

I love fiddling around with samples and I used some in the recording too. The possibilities we have nowadays are really impressive. But I do feel that it is important that you find a good balance between what is done with virtual instruments and actually playing them.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

There are some songs which have lyrics which I crafted much more carefully than others but at the end of day it is death metal, if you take that too serious you are doing it wrong.

What are your plans for the future?

Im currently in the writing phase for the next recording sessions and i also consider finding musicians to bring Monolith to the stage but that is just an idea so far.

Follow Monolith on Facebook.

The post MONOLITH: Pushing the Boundaries of Metal appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProgNewsProgarchives/~3/HM6m_TE8NfY/forum_posts.asp

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  Quote relayer924Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New interview with The Wizards of Winter
    Posted: November 09 2019 at 13:20

I sat down with Wizards of Winter founding members Scott Kelly (Keyboards) and Sharon Kelly (Flute/Vocals). We did an in-depth chat about their new album, The Christmas Dream, and their 2019 tour.

Some of the topics we touched on:

– Their creative writing and recording process for the new album
– The back-story to many of the songs on the new album
– Working with bandmembers John O.Reilly, Greg Smith and Fred Gorhau in studio
– The positives and negatives of working independently in the music business
– The song they are most looking forward to playing on the upcoming tour.
and much more!

Edited by relayer924 – November 09 2019 at 13:34

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  Quote ManuelQuote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2019 at 18:31

Thanks. I’ll check it out.

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  Quote JDQuote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 minutes ago at 05:29

This is just a Trans Siberian Orchestra Clone right?

I mean they even take their name from them.

Or is this some sort of off shoot after loosing Paul O’Neill?

Thank you for supporting independently produced music

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/08/the-hayley-griffiths-band/

The Wharf, Tavistock
Saturday, 19th October 2019

The penultimate night of the tour, and an audience of around about 80. You might expect any band to be a little weary, but no, from the off we get 100%, with an instrumental introduction that highlights Hayley’s pathway to date, including Lord of The Dance. Yes, the Celtic, green dress, bouncy up and down thing. Her operatically trained voice operates across its full range giving depth and nuance to songs old and new.

Hayley Griffiths BandFortified with a burger and chips, with fresh salad, I find my perch for most of the evening. I would love it to be a capacity house, the lady deserves no less, but it does afford me a front row position; camera, sketchbook and no fighting with hirsute six-footers (the men can be as bad too). The band have played their intro and enter stage right our protagonist, in a shimmering dress, striped in multi-colour sequins and high boots. Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

I’ve seen Hayley now in several incarnations, Karnataka (two or three times), Zio, and in duet with Oliver Rὒsing of Karibow just over a month ago; with every performance she has grown, a confidence, and warmth with her audience, such that even in critique mode I am sold into slavery and mild adoration after one song. Okay, I love live music and very few can do wrong, well except for the C&W singer who strangled several songs one New Year’s Eve, making Phoebe’s Smelly Cat sound class… but I digress. Hayley Griffiths is superb, the lights and sound at The Wharf just right.

The set runs through a mixture of old and new material with dips into the Celtic influenced material that were Hayley’s bread and butter when starting out. Haunted and Aurora are great live, and Last Goodbye brings an unexpected lump to the throat. Whether rock or ballad, the voice gives us its best, making me feel a little strung out. It is a rare feat for a vocalist to deliver such a strong emotive performance (nah, I’m just a soppy git!).

Hayley Griffiths Band

The lighting reflects off the dress in mesmerising fashion; the lighting at Tavy is great, not backlit, no preponderance of reds and greens, and at times white, a photographer’s delight, allowing for the capture of many good images. The band are a well-oiled unit as well, probably surprising as Matthieu Spaeter only stepped up 48 hours before the tour started as the replacement guitarist, some amazing solos. Jordon Brown produces solid bass throughout, mixing his genres and laying down some funky bottom end. It seems in Hayley’s search for musical perfection no chord, note, or musical style remains unturned.

Hayley Griffiths Band

After the interval, a costume change, shiny dress number two and Hayley returns to the stage. Anecdotally she relays to us her musical story, it is rich and informative, from Celtic folk, to Lord of The Dance, Karnataka and finally here. One Celtic ballad moves me such that the swirling dust of the auditorium again enters my eye, not a tissue to hand, the hand wipes away yet another tear, not so much of sadness, even though the love song speaks of such, it is more the raw emotion and beauty in the performance. Even though it’s a cover, one I would love to hear on the album when it appears, a bonus track I think when released, there will be plenty of original songs to drink in.

Sadly, the evening is over all too soon, pleasantries exchanged, I slip out into the night. Just a couple more gigs on the books, The Netherlands and Germany. See her if you can, she’s only going to get better.

Hayley Griffiths Band

SETLIST
Intro Medley
Haunted
Because of You
Forbidden Dreams
Aurora
Last Goodbye
Speechless
Separated By Glass
Fairytale Lies
Mechanical Lives
Crying Machine
Only the Good Die Young
Black is the Colour
I Know My Love
Drum Solo
Vanished
Poison Ivy
Borderline
~ Encore:
Parting Glass
Feels Like Home

MUSICIANS
Hayley Griffiths – Vocals
Cagri Tozluoglu – Keyboards
Jimmy Pallagrosi – Drums
Jordan Brown – Bass
Matthieu Spaeter – Guitar

LINKS
Hayley Griffiths – Website | Facebook | Twitter

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/descent-into-malestrom-saturn-premiere/

After the launch of their second take on ‘Dodecaphonic Metal’ in the vein of Iconoclasm, Italian avantgardists Descent Into Maelstrom are releasing a lyric video for “Saturn.” Stream it below.

“‘Saturn’ is one of the most intense songs of ‘Iconoclasm’,” says guitarist and singer Andrea Bignardi, and adds: “It has a lot of emotional content, because it’s inspired by the painting of Francisco Goya “Saturn Devouring his Children” that has always caused me chills down my spine. We tried to give our personal interpretation of the feelings that we had watching this painting.

With IconoclasmDescent Into Maelstrom wanted to do something completely nonconformist, going beyond the rules and the “trends” of the modern metal and music industry in general. To do so, the band composed the tracks following rules of the Dodecaphonic music, finding some of their sonority in something else rather than other metal music or artists.

In Bignardi’s own words: “We also wanted to do something particularly avant-garde and artistic, choosing a painting for each song. Doing so we wanted to give to whom will listen to this album another dimension and, we hope, a different kind of listening experience.

Iconoclasm is only the first step deeper into Descent Into Maelstrom’s continuous search of new sonority, as the band’s vision is to explore the “dodecaphonic” concept more on their future releases.

Watch a lyric video for “Saturn” below. Iconoclasm is out now and is available from Bandcamp

DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM line-up:

  • Andrea Bignardi – rhythm, lead guitar and vocals
  • Mattia Panunzio – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Pietro Buzzi – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Michele Castelnuovo – drums
  • Michele Augello – bass

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

The post Exclusive: DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM Launch “Saturn” Lyric Video appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/descent-into-malestrom-saturn-premiere/

After the launch of their second take on ‘Dodecaphonic Metal’ in the vein of Iconoclasm, Italian avantgardists Descent Into Maelstrom are releasing a lyric video for “Saturn.” Stream it below.

“‘Saturn’ is one of the most intense songs of ‘Iconoclasm’,” says guitarist and singer Andrea Bignardi, and adds: “It has a lot of emotional content, because it’s inspired by the painting of Francisco Goya “Saturn Devouring his Children” that has always caused me chills down my spine. We tried to give our personal interpretation of the feelings that we had watching this painting.

With IconoclasmDescent Into Maelstrom wanted to do something completely nonconformist, going beyond the rules and the “trends” of the modern metal and music industry in general. To do so, the band composed the tracks following rules of the Dodecaphonic music, finding some of their sonority in something else rather than other metal music or artists.

In Bignardi’s own words: “We also wanted to do something particularly avant-garde and artistic, choosing a painting for each song. Doing so we wanted to give to whom will listen to this album another dimension and, we hope, a different kind of listening experience.

Iconoclasm is only the first step deeper into Descent Into Maelstrom’s continuous search of new sonority, as the band’s vision is to explore the “dodecaphonic” concept more on their future releases.

Watch a lyric video for “Saturn” below. Iconoclasm is out now and is available from Bandcamp

DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM line-up:

  • Andrea Bignardi – rhythm, lead guitar and vocals
  • Mattia Panunzio – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Pietro Buzzi – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Michele Castelnuovo – drums
  • Michele Augello – bass

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

The post Exclusive: DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM Launch “Saturn” Lyric Video appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/07/van-morrison/

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Monday, 28th October 2019

When Van Morrison takes to the stage, it’s all about the music. No fanfares, no fantastic light show, no conversation between songs (and sometimes not even a gap between songs!). Morrison lets his music do the talking, and it speaks volumes about his passion and dedication to his art.

The final date on this briefest of autumnal tours, just four dates, was the sold-out Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. Morrison took to the stage and opened with Three Chords And The Truth, the title track from his latest album. Three Chords is a superb collection that stands alongside his best works, phenomenal for an artist whose peers are often content to lie back and live off their age-old royalties.

The setlist covered Morrison’s entire career, from picking up his harmonica for a rocking Baby Please Don’t Go, his bluesy 1964 debut hit with Them, through to more tracks from his latest offering Nobody In Charge and Early Days, a tribute to the pioneers of rock and roll, his influences as a young musician. Across the evening we were treated to a delicious mix of rock, blues, folk and his soulful Celtic mysticism.

The early influences are still found in much of Van The Man’s music and surfaced in lively renditions of Bo Diddley’s Ride On Josephine and Lester Young’s Jumping With Symphony Sid. The latter was just one of several opportunities for The Man to step back and allow the spotlight to shine on each of the members of his 6-piece band, including the legendary guitarist Jay Berliner, who played on Morrison’s seminal debut album Astral Weeks, and bass-man David Hayes who joined Morrison shortly after.

The first of Morrison’s classic pieces came early with Saint Dominic’s Preview, a semi-autobiographical account of the musician’s own early days, and the opening bars were greeted with a warm ripple of applause. An up-tempo jazzy version of Have I Told You Lately, with a ska-beat, was one of several numbers during the evening to feature Morrison with a brief saxophone solo. The medley of In The Afternoon, Ancient Highway, Rain Check and Sitting Pretty was quite magnificent and this was followed by the jazz-laden The Party’s Over.

The classics came thick and fast: Days Like These, Blue Money, Little Village and Foreign Window as Morrison pretty much made up the setlist on the spot. On one occasion he even changed his mind at the last moment as the band were about to strike up with one tune, he suddenly signalled for them to switch to Magic Time.

The great man’s voice was in fine fettle throughout and belies his 74 years, but the highlight of the evening came at the end of his main set. With David Hayes laying down his bass guitar for a double bass, Morrison delivered a measured and tender version of the exquisite Ballerina from the Astral Weeks album. As Morrison turned and left the stage the audience rose as one, a standing ovation for a great performance.

Of course, Morrison returned for the obligatory encore, a rousing rendition of another early Them classic, GLORIA. Again, Morrison just turned sharply and, with no acknowledgement of his audience, left the stage still singing. The band played on for another 10 minutes, each taking their turn in the spotlight and leaving the stage until only drummer Bob Ruggiero remained. Following his super drum solo, the band returned for one final flourish and the evening was over.

Van returns for two nights at The Dome, Brighton, in December and a five-night residency at The London Palladium in March.

[Photo by Bradley Quinn, used with kind permission.]

SETLIST
Three Chords & The Truth
It Was Once My Life
Saint Dominic’s Preview
Baby Please Don’t Go
Ride On Josephine
Days Like These
Jumping With Symphony Sid
Nobody In Charge
Early Days
Blue Money
Little Village
Have I Told You Lately
Foreign Window
Ain’t Gonna Moan No More
In The Afternoon/Ancient Highway/Rain Check/Sitting Pretty
The Party’s Over
Magic Time
Whenever God Shines His Light
Ballerina
~ Encore:
GLORIA

MUSICIANS
Van Morrison – Vocals, Saxophon
Jay Berliner – Guitar
Bob Ruggiero – Drums
David Hayes – Bass
John Allair – Keyboards

LINKS
Van Morrison – Website | Facebook

This week on Prog-Watch it’s ALL NEW Variety and a great feature on Progressive Discoveries! We’ll hear music from Franck Carducci, Elaine Samuels and Kindred Spirit Band, The Barock Project, District 97, Organic Noises, and Clepsydra! On Progressive Discoveries with Dr. Rob Fisher: an in depth look at Seed, the fabulous new album by Freedom To Glide!

645: Variety + Freedom To Glide on Progressive Discoveries