HRH Prog IX is all about legends – which don’t come any bigger than Yes keyboard wizard – songwriter – producer – TV and radio presenter and author Rick Wakeman! With over 90 solo albums to his name, Rick continues to lead the way in British prog, having released his latest creation “Piano Odyssey” in 2018.
We are humbly honoured to welcome such a genuine rock icon to HRH Prog IX and Rick is bringing his full band to the two venues next March – the O2 Academy in Sheffield and the prestigious Shepherds Bush Empire in London – so expect a set brim-full of music from a career spanning 6 decades plus perhaps progressive takes on a rock classic or two. We honestly can’t wait for this.
The second headliner is none other than Mr. Hawkwind himself – Dave Brock. This “Audience With” set delves into a vault of music and stories we can only describe as “Brockworld”. From the busking and banter from the dawn of Hawkwind to playing some gems from his 6 solo albums, which have never really seen a live audience to moving into unchartered Hawkwind territory, this is a must for all true Hawkwind & Prog fans alike.
As if two legends of rock aren’t enough – two more huge names in prog are heading to HRH Prog IX. We have John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest who are continuing to carry the torch for the band that released no less than 10 albums in the 1970s, featuring the trademark Mellotron keyboard sound beloved of many a progressive rock fan.
Focus fly in from Holland to join us next March. Best known of course for their 1971 hit “Hocus Pocus”, the guys are still very much active having released their latest album “Focus 11” earlier this year to critical acclaim.
All the way from Lithuania, and making a return to HRH Prog, are The Skys. Having released their latest – and brilliant – album “Automatic Minds” just a few weeks ago we can’t wait to see Jonas and the guys again.
Also announced for HRH Prog IX are German’s The Spacelords who bring their wonderful space rock set to London and Sheffield. Nth Ascension have caught the prog community’s attention with their latest album “Stranger Than Fiction” released this May and we can’t wait to welcome them to the HRH family. French-based Franck Carducci makes his HRH Prog debut – and lists Pink Floyd, Genesis and Supertramp amongst his influences – perfect for us! Bram Stoker are having a resurgence having been best known for their 1972 prog epic “Heavy Rock Spectacular”. The Room will feature their new line-up – currently making waves with their latest release “Caught by the Machine.” Cambridge based psych-space rockers Psychic Lemon round out the incredible line-up for HRH Prog IX.
HRH Prog 8 at Shepherds Bush Empire Sold out in 4 weeks and Sheffield in 4 months after it was added. The 9th voyage is live and unleashed – jump onboard quick if you want to take full advantage of the Early Bird rates, Hotel Packages which include Royalty & VIP passes and the ever-popular Royalty passes which disappear like gold dust very early.
I have loved Art-Rock and what many now call Prog or Progressive Rock since the late ’60s. I can still recall the day and place I discovered my first Art-rock band it was the summer of 69 I was listening to a pocket-sized AM radio while visiting relatives when I heard a song called White Bird by San Fransico based band “Its a Beautiful Day”.
Soon I would discover many other Art, Prog or Psychedelic bands such as Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Traffic, Procol Harum and Jethro Tull, by the ’70s it was Electric Light Orchestra, Barclay James Harvest, Supertramp, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and in the 80s I was into all styles of music from The Art of Noise,Alan Parsons Project, Tears For Fears, Kansas, Marillion, IQ, It Bites and the story continues today. Yes, I was a fan of the staple bands: Yes, Rush, Genesis, however, I seemed to have gravitated to and built a strong love for all things Melodic.
Which leads me to Pattern-Seeking Animals a fantastic new US melodic Art-rock band formed in 2018 by John Boegehold songwriter and guest musician on many Spock’s Beard albums. Starting with Feel Euphoria (2003) and including Octane (2005) Spock’s Beard (2006) and finally X (2010). Spock’s Beard not only is one of the most important US prog bands, but also one of my favorites. Pattern-Seeking Animals is rounded out by Ted Leonard, Jimmy Keegan & Dave Meros all of whom have been involved with Spock’s Beard or still are.
Boegehold comments: “My goal was to produce music that’s progressive and intricate while keeping things immediate and melodic. Whether a song is four minutes or ten minutes long, I didn’t want more than a few bars go by without some kind of instrumental or vocal hook.”
So what’s in a name? According to my wife and a google search “Humans are pattern-seeking animals and we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not” I have to say this seems to fit the debut very well indeed.
I will not give you a play by play of each track, but I can tell you there are no fillers on this album, the album is filled with brilliant fretwork and tasty hooks, stunning Vocals & Harmonies that remind me of the heyday of Styx, ELO as well as Flying Colors, and Spock’s Beard, the album is chalk full of memorable lyrics that you will want to sing along with: and if that’s not enough the album is rounded out by lush and majestic keyboards and a top-notch rhythm section.
As I said before, there are no fillers on this album but there a few tracks that really sealed the deal for me like; Orphans Of The Universe, These Are My Things, No One Ever Died And Made Me King, or We Write Ghost Stories
1 – No Burden Left to Carry (9:38) 2 – The Same Mistakes Again (5:10) 3 – Orphans of the Universe (10:28) 4 – No One Ever Died and Made Me King (3:54) 5 – Fall Away (4:47) 6 – These Are My Things (4:52) 7 – We Write the Ghost Stories (3:22) 8 – No Land’s Man (5:35) 9 – Stars Along the Way (10:20)
Line-up: John Boegehold (synths, keyboards) Ted Leonard (vocals & guitar) Dave Meros (bass) Jimmy Keegan (drums & vocals)
I listen to a lot of music nowadays so its sensory overload, that said… it’s refreshing when something comes across the desk that makes me go OMG what is this? P-SA is a must-have for any respectable music collection. ★★★★★ Un-qualified-Kritic
“When The City Sleeps” is the title of the new Kracked Earth single of an obscure B side by Barclay James Harvest for the single Breathless, which the band released under the pseudonym of Bombadil in 1972.
The song was performed by and credited to a certain Lester Forrest, who was, in fact, the band’s keyboard player, founding member, and vocalist Woolly Wolstenholme.
Largely overlooked compared to the band’s more popular catalog, the song evokes the feelings of someone for whom the darkness of the night provides an energy and freedom that his daytime city existence does not allow. (Well, that’s my take on it anyway!)
As a long time fan of the band and fellow Mellotron geek, it was suggested that the song was and is vastly under-rated and was deserving of an update and exposure to a wider audience.
Never one to resist a challenge, I got to work on the arrangement, which retains some of the features of the original, but I’ve given it my own spin, making the odd change here and there to the chord structure and instrumentation.
I wanted to keep the basics very simple, by using mainly piano, acoustic bass and of course Mellotron!
Above all else, I hope Woolly would be happy with my interpretation of his charming little ditty. Also, a big thank you to my Kracked Earth colleagues Don Schiff and Tim Lynk for their help bringing my ideas to reality.
I hope everyone enjoys it.
Thanks and best wishes.
Andy Kinch (Kracked Earth)
“When The City Sleeps” the promo video is now available on YouTube, the single is slated to be released in Mid November via Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify and where all good digital music is sold
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