Here we yet again have Clive taking a look at music which inspired him and performing it in a classical instrumental manner. Again he has taken the music and adapted it in a manner which is both true to the original and sympathetic to it but lifts the songs into new directions. It would be difficult to fault the choice of bands, with Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, ELP, VDGG, Led Zeppelin, Rush and Yes all here, but true progheads will be pleased to also note the inclusion not only of Marillion but also IQ and his version of “Widow’s Peak” is simply wonderful. I have always said the progressive bands who have been producing albums since the heyday of the genre should be recognised in the same breath as the classics, and here Clive ends the release by having Marillion close (with “Garden Party” segueing nicely into “Grendel”). 

It is difficult to pick a favourite, but a special mention must be made of “Thick As A Brick”. We may not get the full length, but there is more than 20 minutes here to enjoy as he adapts his way through the classic. I am not overly fond of “Stairway to Heaven”, but I am sure that is because we have now been spoiled by the Heart version which will always be regarded as the gold standard. “Fanfare For The Common Man” is one of the most successful from a classical adaptation viewpoint, with glorious woodwind opening, and violins behind the piano for the main theme. Yes, this is all being played on synths, but Clive has done a wonderful job in using the best sounds for each “voice”. All it needs now is for a live performance with the LSO (or similar) showing just what Clive has managed to achieve with these great arrangements.

In recent years Clive has been producing some wonderful releases, and this is yet another that all progheads will surely enjoy, I know I did. 9/10 Kev Rowland


After Geoff Mann left Twelfth Night he continued his musical adventures, releasing three solo albums. After the recording had been completed for the last of these, ‘Psalm Enchanted Evening’, and a release date planned for February 1986 he decided to form a band, which would later be known as The Bond. Geoff kept with him guitarist Dave Mortimer who had played on the solo albums, Steve Ridley (who had been involved with the play ‘The Dawn’ where Geoff had the lead role) provided keyboards and occasional woodwind, while Andy Mason (who had played on ‘I May Sing Grace’) was the drummer. By the time of the recording of this album in 1987 Mason had departed, with Geoff now providing not only vocals and wobbly/non-wobbly guitar but also programmed and real-time drum machines.

Twelfth Night have now released this album as a definitive edition, both digitally and as a limited-edition CD which contains all the lyrics plus photos, and they have more than doubled the length by including the single versions of two songs, a demo of each song from the original, plus live cuts. All the tracks have been carefully re-mastered by the original recording engineer (and co-producer) Clive Davenport from previously unheard and higher quality master tracks. This means it is absolutely essential for fans of Geoff, and ties in nicely with the excellent new biography, but what about those who have yet to come across his music? How does this album stand up more than 35 years after its release?

This is almost impossible for me to review objectively as I know the original songs very well indeed, while it is no lie to say the death of Geoff back in 1993 (when he was just 36) impacted me greatly, even though we never actually met. Both these factors mean objectivity has gone flying out the window, as the original album is one I know and love, and listening to the songs again in this definitive edition is wonderful. Lyrically it is highly Christian in nature, while the lack of bass and real drums are not noticed at all. Geoff’s music had a very picked nature, with an underlying theme providing the backing and a more aggressive chord structure over the top with keyboards switching between being almost unnoticeable to becoming the major aspect. Then of course there are Geoff’s emotional vocals, instantly recognisable and like no-one else. This album is in many ways a logical continuation of his solo albums, and does not seem out of place at all, but now there are a group of people working together to perform the songs live. Less off the wall and experimental than albums like ‘Second Chants’, this is a great introduction to those who wondered what Geoff did musically after leaving Twelfth Night.     8/10 Kev Rowland


Hiro Kawahara is a Japanese experimental musician who has been releasing material under his own name or using the band name Heretic for more than 30 years. There have been times when Heretic have been a proper band, or Hiro and guests, or others when he has been the only member but always with the same aim of taking influences from the likes of Heldon (in particular) and Tangerine Dream and imbibing them with Japanese hints and nuances to create something which is challenging and confronting all at the same time. This compilation has been put together in album sequence, but many of these have additional tracks so the complete set is 62 tracks with a total running time of more than 13 hours. Yes, you read that correctly, 13 hours 36 minutes to be precise and I played it through twice before I started to understand what was going on.

This is not music which is easy to listen to or comprehend, and it would be very easy indeed to discard it as the noodlings of someone sat in a studio with little else to do and no interest in the rest of the world. However, if one is prepared to spend the time really listening to what is going on then one will find a great deal in here to discover and enjoy. It is not meant to be something to settle back with and relax, but is designed to have the listener work hard – not all art is meant to be easy, and sometimes it is the extra effort which gives the greatest rewards. This is music which must be played on headphones and one needs to really listen and pay attention, as this is angular and sharp, never settling and there is a danger of missing what is going on. It is a lot to take in but I am sure I would never have got inside and appreciated this nearly as much if I had just played the odd track (which are often 30 minutes in length) or bits of albums. Cuneiform have somewhat hedged their bets on this one as while it is possible to purchase this as ‘Complete Works’ they have also made the individual albums available as well. However, given the complete set is only $75, if this style of music is of interest then I would just jump on and get this as not only is it the best value for money it is certainly the best way to understand Hiro.

Not for the fainthearted, this is yet another essential extended set from Cuneiform Records. 8/10 Kev Rowland


This 2021 release found Jeremy working with different musicians and recording in different countries. As normal, Jeremy provides the vocals and the majority of instruments, and here he is joined by Dave Dietrich (drums), Steffan Johansson (keyboards and drums), Oscar Granero (guitar), Carlos Vigara (bass) and Swordfish (synthesizer) appear on select numbers. Actually, Dave, Stefan, Oscar and Carlos all appear on opening tracks “Flowers In My Hair”, and only Dave appears on one other while Swordfish only plays on the second track, but what a track that is. Jeremy tends to concentrate on shorter songs but here the seven songs clock in at 75 minutes as two which are past 10 minutes and another two which are more than 19. The first of these is “Cosmic Journey”, one of two instrumentals contained on this album, which is also somewhat unusual.

The result is an album that may appear from the title to be one of his “Worship and Praise” series, and while lyrically that may be somewhat the case, musically this is very much one of Jeremy’s more progressive albums. This is one of the aspects which can make it difficult to really discover Jeremy’s music as he has released a great amount of material and one never knows before listening exactly what style of music is contained within as he is such a master of different styles. This time we have an album which asks to be played on headphones when the listener really has the opportunity to do just that as that is the way to get the most benefit out of it. Normally when I am reviewing Jeremy I mentioned influences such as The Byrds, but here we have Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and so much more. Mind you, get to the second instrumental “Crack The Sky” and you will find a rocker having fun and letting his guitar do the talking in an upbeat belter. The album closes with the title track, which at more than 22 minutes in length is one of Jeremy’s longest songs to date, yet somehow it never lags and one would never comprehend this is the work of just one many given how many layers and instruments are on it as it commences with folk and swirls around.

Yet another wonderful album from Jeremy Morris. I have no idea how he manages to keep up such a prodigious output, but long may it continue. 8/10 Kev Rowland

QUICKSILVER NIGHT – PTICHKA – featuring Dikajee – Independent

It has been a few years since I came across Warren Russell and his Quicksilver Night project, where he brings in other musicians to help him realise his dreams, but I must admit I never thought I would hear a collection of music as complete as this. This is a five-song EP, with each song credited as having a guest musician such as Marco Iacobini,  Farzad Golpayegani or Andrew N Project (who is on three), but aside from the music and the songs themselves the most important guest is Russian singer Dikajee. Warren and Dikajee announced their collaboration in December 2021, but the Russian invasion had a major impact on their plans, and it took until September this year for this to be released. Warren provided the music, they collaborated on the lyrics, and met in the middle where Dikajee’s wonderful vocals met the arrangements and combined to create something quite special indeed.

At times progressive, at others more symphonic, musically this is direct and in your face with plenty of layers and some wonderful shredding metallic guitar solos. Against this we have a singer who is obviously influenced by the likes of Björk and Kate Bush, who has been classically trained and enjoys showing off her talents in a similar fashion to Floor Jansen. There are times when the music moves in a Russian folk fashion, but the guitars are never far away. The bass is incredibly important and complex, often linked in with the keyboards in a quite Uriah Heep manner,  but one of the things which makes this such an interesting EP is that one never knows quite where it is going to go, so keyboards or acoustic guitars may, or may not, have important parts to play. Dikajee can be playful in her style, one can imagine her smiling when recording some of the lines, or even dancing in the studio, but at others she is incredibly dramatic and in your face. The mix of different cultures and styles come together well on this EP, and I hope we get a full album in the near future.

by Kev Rowland