Lifesigns Welcomes New Drummer

As many of you already know it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Frosty after these many years in the drum chair at Lifesigns.

In Frosty’s words:

After 9 years of close involvement and collaboration with the band Lifesigns, I feel that I can no longer give the band the level of dedication and commitment that it deserves for it to be able to move forward successfully. 

I have therefore decided to leave and allow someone else the opportunity to shine in this band of great musicians.

I wish all of the band every success for the future and would like to thank all the fans for liking all the music produced so far and thank them for their continued support in the years to come. Thank you to everyone. 

Best Frosty. X

From my own point of view yes it is a very sad day saying goodbye to Frosty. He was indeed the engine room of the band and is a truly wonderful talent and a lovely man. I thank him for his hard work, patience, understanding, and humor through all our travels in both the JYB and Lifesigns and I wish him the very best for his endeavors in the years to come. He will be much missed…Thank You, Frosty. 
best JY

Now we have had a little time to prepare and are very happy to welcome drummer Zoltan Csörsz to the Lifesigns family.

Zoltan has played with numerous legends including The Flower Kings and Karmakanic from the prog world through to Quincy Jones, Stu Hamm & Randy Brecker in the jazz world.

We feel Zoltan’s fluid style will suit the band as there has always been an element of jazz in Lifesigns. We’re very excited to hear what he will bring to Altitude.

Subscriber Zone

Just a reminder to those who haven’t yet checked out the Subscriber Zone. For just £1 per month (or more, if you like), you gain access to behind the scenes footage of band members at work on Altitude, and can purchase some exclusive limited edition goodies. This month we have promotional copies of the CD single Impossible and the chance to bid on a fully signed set list.

To join, log in to the website here (you will need to request a password if you haven’t logged in since we transferred over to the new website in December), then go to one of the Subscriber Zone pages and select your price. Remember, everyone gets access to all content, it’s up to you how much you choose to pay.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Strikes a Chord with Musicians (Part 1)

We are living in unprecedented times and crossing over uncharted waters, it’s a new world; one we may have to get accustomed to for the foreseeable future.

As of March 20th, there are a reported 255,729 Coronavirus Cases since the outbreak began in December of 2019. 10,495 have died due to the virus and 89,918 people have so far recovered from the virus, of course, these are only the documented cases and the numbers could be much worse; there is no end in sight the short term.

(Covid-19) is attacking the social and economic fabric globally and does not discriminate against race, creed, sexual orientation, political affiliation or anything else for that matter. It has ravaged and even closed down most trades and no industry has been spared, from restaurants to schools, airlines, supply chains, and the entertainment industry.

While this is devastating to all industries, I believe one of the hardest hit are musicians, some of which do not have a second job, they rely solely on tours, music and merch sales to pay the bills. Many musicians have more than one job outside of music to sustain a living however due to the layoff and closers of businesses these musicians are dealing with the same issues as full-time musicians, loss of most all income. Most musicians lack one of the most basic and fundamental needs: insurance!

So we reached out on social and asked musicians some basic questions on how they are dealing with this Pandemic?

Ember Swift ~ China

How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
I’m not sure a person reacts to a pandemic as much as a person has to react to the response the society has to a pandemic. The pandemic will occur whether we have a reaction or not. It will just calmly sneak through all our societies and infect some, take some, spare others, etc. The reaction from each country from the government down to community levels is what we all have to adapt to, not so much the virus itself. For me, I have gone through many different phases over the past 2 months, emotionally and psychologically. The isolation, the panic, the fear, the frustration, the eventual calm, and inward thinking, the reshuffling of personal goals, etc. This is something I just wrote about on my blog, but I’ve been chronicling the experience throughout this whole time: http://emberswift.com/lockdown-imposition-or-opportunity/

What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
The opportunity to re-assess the future, really figure out what I want to accomplish when life returns to normal, analyzing my life in a more complete and detached way and then coming to some conclusions about how I want to move forward. There’s nothing like being forced into a “stall” or “pause” that can help you determine which paths to take when you’re finally able to put your foot back on the gas, so-to-speak. On a practical level, I have been studying Chinese again (hope to do my HSK Level 6, a Chinese language proficiency exam, in June), practicing guitar every day, cleaning and sorting my life, doing physical exercise and strength training in the home, and really focusing on my kids and their education–not just scholastically but as people.

Are you working on a new release?
My new album was completed late last year but still needed some finishing touches. This got seriously delayed and the originally planned-for release date was March 2020. That didn’t happen, of course, so now I’m slowly tying up loose ends but aiming for a September release. No matter what, I’m still really proud that there are some great songs in the pipe even if it takes a bit longer to release them to the world.

Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?
I thought of doing this in February, but during that time the rest of the world was going about life as usual and there wasn’t much of a call to do it. Now that everyone is on lockdown, I may consider it! I’ve never done a live-stream concert, but it sounds like a good challenge.

How has this affected you on a personal level?
I
sort of spoke about this above in how it has forced some self-reflection and re-assessment of goals/direction etc. It’s also challenged my patience and positivity, but I think I’ve become stronger for it. I would also note that pushing myself to do things on a daily basis that are good for me and trying to stick to it in a disciplined way (not that I’m always perfect because, yes, I do miss days!) has been the healthier approach to this. It’s really easy to get lost in TV series or constant media consumption when you’re stuck indoors, but I find this mind-numbing and hollowing. In the end, what’s best for me isn’t best for everyone, but this experience will show each of us, individually, what kind of life we want to life vs. the kind of life we have been living. This is invaluable information for our futures.

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
Nothing will ever change the fact that I’m a musician and songwriter and creator. I have gone through worse ordeals in life and, in the end, the music still anchors me and serves as my greatest outlet for inspiration and expression. I often say that music is my essential nutrient and, without it, I’d be depleted. Therefore, there’s not a single droplet of doubt that I will continue to create and perform music indefinitely… most likely until my time on this earth comes to its natural end.

Ember Swift Is a Canadian Folk Pop musician based out of Beijing, China, Ember is planning on releasing her 13th album in September 2020

For More Information About Ember Swift
http://emberswift.com/

Jeff Scott Soto ~ USA

photo by Ferenc Gyuricza

How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Like everyone really, the worse part of it for me is the ignorance of others who could harvest and pass it to others who might not be able to survive. The other is the hoarding of everyday items we all use and need, selfish assholes in the world instead of realizing there is more than just themselves.

What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
Clearly the biggest one is not being able to tour, live shows and appearances are my life’s blood now. The business used to go hand in hand in terms of albums and sessions to royalties to touring. These days without being able to tour and play live, I just watch the past earnings dwindle at a rapid rate. It’s not so bad but upcoming shows and months of cancellations will turn into desperate times. Are you working on a new release? On several actually, I just finished my next solo album with Frontiers Records, “Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)”, I got my keyboardist/guitarist of SOTO a deal on the same label which I am co-writing and co-producing the album with my producer of the new JSS album, Alessandro Del Vecchio and we have started writing/recording the next WET album. I was stressed I had to do all of this while touring with Sons Of Apollo and my acoustic dates in May with Jason Bieler but the positive of this self-quarantine means I can do it all stress-free now.

Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?
At the moment no, I don’t want to pressure or stress anyone out now financially that might be tightening their belts at this time. We’re all gonna suffer from this and I personally don’t feel it’s right to ask anyone to invest in me further until we see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t feel I have anything to offer in terms of pay-per-view or streaming so I would rather ride it out and hope the end is sooner than later.

Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music?
I am pushing things here and there, again not asking them to invest money in now, more to remind them I will be returning soon, hopefully! I am trying to do my part in sharing my thoughts on staying the course, follow the advice so we can go back to normal life sooner than later. How has this affected you on a personal level? So far, not much, I am pretty much a homebody anyway, I gather with a small group of friends here and there but am actually quite content I could enjoy being at home during this time. It’s not difficult for me to hole up at home especially as I said, I am leisurely getting things I had to do without stress.

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
Yes, I already answered this and any postponed shows have already been rebooked for upcoming months with hopes those don’t get moved as well. That will be the worst part, everyone clamoring to rebook all of these canceled tours and shows at the same time. People will need time to get their lives back in order before they will be ready to spend as they were before this all went down. I am hoping for everything to come back orderly so we can all pick up where we left off.

Jeff Scott Soto is a Los Angeles, CA-based rock singer best known for his work with Sons of Appolo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Solo artist Soto is also part of many other projects.

For More Information About Jeff Scott Soto
http://www.jeffscottsoto.com

Michel St-Pere ~ Canada

How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
I have been following the progression for about 3 weeks now, In Canada, they closed everything mostly and we have to stay home. Hopefully, the quick response here will keep the casualties low. In the Studio, we are always locked up anyway.

What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
The biggest challenge was to decide if we canceled the European gigs for Mystery and Huis ( end of March 2020) it was a hard decision to make, did not please everyone, but now we know we took the decision and we are glad we took it before, it was forced on everyone.

The opportunities are that we will have more time for a while to create new music, but at the same time, I think all our 2020 gigs will be canceled now.

Are you working on a new release?
Yes, both Mystery and Huis are working on new albums, both were already planned before the pandemic.

Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?
The band has thought about it, we were supposed to try one this weekend but we had to cancel because everything is closed in Montreal. We are looking at what we will do with that, probably offering more Live videos in the coming week.

Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music?
Our fans have always been really good to MYSTERY, and now I think it is important that they support their families,

How has this affected you on a personal level?
Sincerely, very scared and not optimistic for once. I hope everything will be fine but…

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
Of course, I am afraid traveling to other countries will become more difficult, We will see how this will change the world,

Michel St-Pere is a multi-instrumentalist Canadian founder of AOR Prog Band Mystery, a full-time member of Huis and Owner of Unicorn Digital an independent record label.


For More Information About MYSTERY
https://www.therealmystery.com/

Hasse Fröberg ~ Sweden

What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you? 
Well we just had to cancel playing on Cruise to the Edge and two Canadian dates with The Flower Kings because of the Corona virus. As it is now I have festivals booked this summer with both HFMC and The Flower Kings. At the moment they’re happening but you never know?

Are you working on a new release?
I had decided to record with HFMC Corona or not. However, we really had to change plans with The Flower Kings, with the result we’re about to start the recording as soon as possible.

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
Corona will not make me stop. When this is blown over I most likely have two albums ready for release.

Hasse Fröberg is a Swedish Guitarist, composer, and vocalist for HFMC – Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion and The Flower Kings


For More Information About HFMC – Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion and The Flower Kings
https://www.hfmcband.com/
https://www.roinestolt.com/the-flower-kings

John Young ~ UK

Photo by Martin Reijman

How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic? 
Musicians are adaptable, we are used to having to deal with the obscure … it’s harder for others I think, well again it’s about adapting, you cut your cloth according to your needs …

Are you working on a new release?
We are working on a new release hopefully for later in the year 🙂

Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform? 
Possibly, we will look at live streaming and other options.

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
It obviously depends on us all getting through it …but we are always optimistic (our middle name 🙂 ) I hope everyone stays safe.

John Young is the founder, keyboardist, and songwriter for British Prog Band Lifesigns as well as a touring member and or session musician for the likes of Bonnie Tyler, the Scorpions, and Fish among others.

For More Information About John Young
https://lifesignsmusic.co.uk

Mark Trueack ~ Australia

By Ed Unitsky

How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Well after the recent surgeries I thought this was the beginning of a fresh new start however this terrible virus has taken us all by surprise, being diabetic I have heart disease I am very vulnerable. I have not had the flue for over 7 years so I do have a strong immune system. I will not take any chances and will remain in lockdown until this thing is under control. I have plenty to do ie writing new music and rehearsing them.

What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
As above

Are you working on a new release?
Yes, working on songs for the second part Planetary Overload “HOPE” and my Solo album,
“The First and Last” and one other project which will be revealed later in the year

Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?
Sean and I might do something for the upcoming vinyl release of Artificial TBC

Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music?
I haven’t thought about it, but I think you will see two new videos released very shortly that will hopefully push the album a little

How has this affected you on a personal level?
I am just worried about my family, my Dad is 92 on 28th and my step mum is still alive at home and is completely isolated so that’s a good thing but I still worry about them. My brother has diabetes and Heart disease too so Like me we have to be very careful.

Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
We are planning to back to the USA in the new year and we are working on a European tour. UPF and UNITOPIA

Mark Trueack is an Australian Vocalist, Songwriter & Producer for both UPF (United Progressive Fraternity) – Unitopia

For More Information about Unitopia & UPF (United Progressive Fraternity)
UPF (United Progressive Fraternity)
Unitopia

John Battema ~ USA

I set my new solo album to free on Bandcamp and asked that anyone who wants to buy it, take it and give the money to another artist who might need it more than I do right now.

John Battema is a US-based Progressive Rock keyboardist for Ephemeral Sun as well as a solo artist

For More Information about Ephemeral Sun and John Battema
http://www.ephemeralsun.com
https://battema.bandcamp.com

Hamlet ~ Belgium

Well, I’m more bothered about the others at this point. This virus is a test for selfishness. And yep, Transport Aerian Reunion Belgium and Netherlands tour has gone to hell. But hey.

Hamlet is the founder and multi-instrumentalist of Transport Aerian, a Belgian Avant-garde prog band who’s recent release is a charity single called Big Heart



For More Information About Transport Aerian
https://transport-aerian.com

Gabriel Iwasaki ~ Peru

Going through my recently acquired orchestration books. Just finished a symphonic pieces based on Peruvian folk music!  Hopefully, I can premiere it sometime soon!

Gabriel Iwasaki is a Peruvian Prog Metal keyboardist and Composer, he has released two solo albums he’s also has recorded and toured with of Flor de Loto

For More Information About Gabriel Iwasaki
https://www.facebook.com/gabriel.iwasaki.official/

Dave Bainbridge Announces Lifesigns & Solo Tour Dates + Iona Box Set

Lifesigns UK tour, which starts in Swindon on Friday! All going well, the band is sounding great and we’re introducing a few new tunes to the set. Hope some of you can make it along – full gig list below. Last weekend I recorded the guitar parts for a new 15 minute epic piece for the forthcoming Lifesigns album. The track is called ‘Altitude‘ and is sounding amazing. It won’t be included in the set as we’re still working on completing it and it will need a lot of rehearsal, but I hope it will be ready to be included in subsequent tours later in the year!

On tour with Lifesigns, Fernando Perdomo, Sally Minnear & Strawbs!

LIFESIGNS SPRING UK TOUR
MARCH 6th Fri 20:30  Level III, Swindon
MARCH 7th Sat 19:00 Acapela Studios, Cardiff (Pentyrch)
MARCH 8th Sun 19:00, The 1865, Southampton
MARCH 11th Wed 19:30, The Half Moon Putney, London
MARCH 13th Fri 19:00, The Queen Victoria Hall, Oundle
MARCH 14th Sat 19:00, The Brickmakers, Norwich
MARCH 15th Sun 19:30, Chinnerys, Southend-on-Sea
MARCH 22nd Sun 12:00, Fusion Music Festival 2020
MARCH/APRIL 27th March – April 1st, Cruise to the Edge 2020
(Ticket links and further info here!!)

FERNANDO PERDOMO’S OUT TO SEA BAND
MARCH/APRIL 27th March – April 1st, Cruise to the Edge 2020

DAVE BAINBRIDGE & SALLY MINNEAR SUMMER 2020 UK TOUR
24th May Cliff Festival – Derbyshire (one hour set at 4pm)
6th June – Folkestone (private concert)
11th June Hartlepool St George’s, Park Road, Hartlepool  TS26 9HP 
13th June Leigh Christchurch, Pennington, Leigh, Lancashire, WN7 4HT
14th June Halifax Engine Room, Dean Clough Mill
18th June Leicester – The Musician, Doors 8pm
25th June Burnley – Mechanics (Front Room)
26th June Leeds (Acoustic Nights @ The Barn), Sugar Well Road, Meanwood, Leeds LS7 2QG
More Info: text 07946754599
27th June Sheffield – Lantern Theatre, 7.30pm tickets £16 from
28th June Stretham House Concerts (near Ely)
3rd July Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Sussex
4th July New Forest Folk Festival, (near Romsey, Hampshire)  
5th July The Old Rectory – Sutton Benger, (near Swindon/Bath) 
15th August Canterbury – St Gregory’s Centre for Music, Canterbury Christ Church University
*Tickets coming soon*

DAVE BAINBRIDGE (SOLO)
15th June The Royal Oak, Hampton, London
(Dave playing 1/2 hour set at the Jam Night – free entry!)

STRAWBS ELECTRIC BAND UK TOUR
(Further info here)
17th June Cheese & Grain, Frome
19th June Clarence Hall, Abergavenny, Wales
20th June Trading Boundaries, East Sussex
21st June Cambridge Rock Festival, Peterborough
22nd June Robin 2, Bilston
23rd June The Stables, Wavendon

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, another very exciting project I’ve been working on with Rob Ayling from Gonzo Multimedia is a new Iona 30th Anniversary box set!! Actually this will be the first of several Iona box set releases and will be titled ‘The Book of Iona’ In the past few weeks I’ve been going through my extensive archive of Iona recordings, looking for things to include on the companion disk which will accompany each of the studio albums and I’ve discovered some amazing stuff! Previously unreleased songs, original demo tapes, alternate mixes, live recordings I’d completely forgotten about etc!! A real treasure trove for all Iona fans. I played some of these to Rob the other day and he was blown away by what I’d found – some real gems, including a recording from August 1989 of the very first time Joanne and I got together to record demos of some of her just written songs for the first album! It’s taking me a while to go through everything and choose what to include, but the recordings give an incredible insight into the background behind the band’s albums and working methods. Above is an illustration of how the box set will look. I saw a prototype of the box a few days ago and it looks really great – very substantial and classy – a real coffee table item! More on this soon and on the new Open Sky Records online store, which will be launching very soon!!

“Fusion Festival” Bringing Prog back to the Midlands………. Update & Weekend Tickets

By now, some of you may know that ESP has backed out of this year’s festival. Needless to say, I am extremely saddened by this, but totally respect their wishes. All I’m saying is, it’s a very wise decision on their behalf and I thank them for letting me know so much in advance to give me time to sort a replacement. Now, I did toy with the idea of just absorbing their set, but NO – we sorted it last year when Leafblade had to drop out !! Therefore, I put wheels in motion, sent out scouts, spent some time on the interweb and thus I can now announce their replacement as I had final confirmation this morning – please welcome onboard (drum roll please) – The Blackheart Orchestra !!!! They will be taking the same slot as ESP, 1.25 – 2.10 pm on Saturday 21st………. WooHoo.

FRIDAY 20th March (Doors Open 6.45pm) – £20.00

Melltronanism – 7.20 – 8.00 pm
The Wood Demons – 8.25 – 9.25 pm
Lazuli – 10.00 – 11.30 pm

SATURDAY 21st March (Doors Open 11.45am) – £35.00

The Emerald Dawn – 12.15- 1.15 pm
The Blackheart Orchestra – 1.40 – 2.40 pm
Kyros – 3.00 – 4.00 pm
Maschine – 4.30 – 5.30 pm
BREAK (Solo performance from Marley Davidson – 6.00 – 6.45 pm)
Quill – 7.45 – 9.15 pm
Frank Carducci- 10.00 – 11.30 pm

SUNDAY 22nd March (Doors Open 11.45am) – £35.00

The Paradox Twin – 12.30 – 1.30 pm
Sky Architect – 1.55 – 2.55 pm
Leafblade – 3.20 – 4.20 pm
BREAK (That Joe Payne 5 -5:45 pm)
Magenta – 5.50 – 7.20 pm
Lifesigns – 8.00 – 9.30 pm

Weekend Ticket – £80.00

We look forward to welcoming you back to Stourport Civic for yet another 3 days of mind-blowing Prog !!
Steve Gould (aka Progmeister UK)

Camping For all Campers, Caravaners, etc

Lickhill Manor Caravan Park (book online)
https://www.hillandale.co.uk/our-parks/lickhill-manor-caravan-park
Phone: 01299 871041 – 300 pitches !!
E-mail: excellent@lickhillmanor.co.uk

Caravan/Motor Home/Tent
Hard standing pitch (with water and electric) – £26 per night, Grass Pitch – £22, Small Tent – (max capacity 2 persons) – £17. Non-Electric pitch – deduct £4.00 per night
Literally, a 15-20 min walk to the venue, along the river !!!

Blackstone Meadow
https://www.blackstonemeadow.co.uk/
Call: 07985 240002 – 20 pitches (Paul or Tracey)
https://www.pitchup.com/campsites/England/Central/Worcestershire/Bewdley/blackstone_meadow_holiday_park/
E-Mail: shirley.blackstonemeadow.co.uk

Tent/Caravan/ Motor Home – £20 per night with water and electric
A 5-minute drive to the venue or a 30 – 40-minute walk, along the river !!

Online Info
www.facebook.com/fusionmusicfestivals
www.fusionprogfestivals.com

Lifesigns UK Cardington Tour Autumn 2019

30th September     Trading Boundaries, Uckfield (few standing tickets)        TICKETS

1st September       Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes                                            TICKETS

4th September       ELEVEN, Stoke-on-Trent                                                      TICKETS

5th September       Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh                                               TICKETS

6th September       Ivory Blacks, Glasgow                                                         TICKETS

8th September       Backstage at the Green, Kinross                                        TICKETS

1st – 6th September support from The Blackheart Orchestra