We, Noel Chidwick and Mark Toner, formed Arbelos in 2007 after 25 years of thinking about it. We first played together in Edinburgh when we were astronomy post-grads way back in 1982
The band’s first album was described as progressive folk-rock with a touch of the psychedelic about it: we liked that description.
Now, after 25 sporadic years of playing and composing (interrupted by jobs, familes, children – life, really), we have finally gathered our songs together. Hence Arbelos, and our first album, Portraits in Stone. The name, Arbelos, by the way, is derived from a shape beloved by mathematicians, especially Archimedes, for its elegant properties. The shape is named after an ancient Greek shoemaker’s knife.
αρβηλος – pronounced “ahr-bey-loss”
Arbelos as a band name is neat as it comes with its own logo.
We have released a second album, The Songs of Apollo’s Children, issued this year in the 40th year anniversary of Neil Armstrong and his pals walking on the moon. We are Apollo’s Children, growing up to watch Man land on the Moon, and both wondering what happened to our planned holidays on Mars? We were joined on this project by Ken Grubb, who contributed some fine guitar work and a couple of the songs.
We have since been joined by Jenny Johnson on piano, keyboards, voice and oboe; and by Alex Cook on a range of ethnic percussion instruments. Jenny and Alex give the band a much richer palette of colours to the live sound, and they debuted as our 2009 tour came to a finale in Dumfries in December.
There is a third album in the works, called Stone Owl on the Shore, and we are keen to crack on with recording a whole new bunch of songs that we have ready and waiting to grow (and to explain the title of the album).
We thought it would be fun to record our album, Portraits in Stone, and it was. We now realise that is as much fun to play live. We have played a few gigs now, and enjoyed every last minute, and we are keen to do more. Please book us – we’re great live!
Influences or Favorite Bands
Who are our inspirations? Both of us grew up (Mark in East Kilbride, me in Birmingham) with the likes of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Tangerine Dream – progressive rock from the 70s. We also have a deep love of traditional and folk music too, Mark with his roots sunk deep into Scottish music, and Noel playing bass and guitar in ceilidh bands around the central belt of Scotland, where he’s lived since 1982.
Jenny Johnson, Noel Chidwick, Mark Toner, Alex Cook
Mark Toner/Noel Chidwick
Arbelos -- Edinburgh/Dumfries, Scotland UK -- folk /folk-rock/Prog folk
Book the band for your festival, folk club, conference or event -- contact Mark or Noel. Arbelos is also available for House Concerts -- (what is a house concert? Find out at The House Concert European Hub)
Arbelos is a four-piece band who play original songs and music. Arbelos are not easy to pigeon-hole: are they folk, folk-rock, prog rock? Who knows. Their live sound features voices and harmonies, acoustic guitar, lead and rhythm guitar, bass, piano and keyboards and assorted percussion.
Their songs are often story-based, taking the listener on a voyage of exploration. Take a listen to “Sunjammer,” based on a story by Arthur C Clarke. Pause and reflect on “Farewell to Tranquility,” about leaving the Moon at the end of the Apollo space missions. Their second album, “Songs of Apollo’s Children” was released to mark 40 years since the first Apollo landings. Currently, the band are working on new songs with a touch of the celtic woven in.
They have been likened to and influenced by bands such as Belle and Sebastian, the Incredible String Band, the Strawbs, for example. The band are not afraid to plunder the wealth of ideas from their prog-rock influences as well as the traditional music of England and Scotland.
Their live sound, now with added piano and percussion, is an organic and relaxed blend, and is evolving all the time.
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Hi guys and thanks a lot for the comment. Finally I think I can see the light in the tunnel. There's not many mixes left to do now. I hope you're all fine. Have a marvelouss rest of the week and take care. Hasse
Welcome to power of prog. Nice to see you making yourself at home, feel free to browse the site as there is much to do, see and listen to here and many new friends and fans to make. Love the music here on your page.
Now that's prog!