I was recently reflecting on something that The Tangent’s Andy Tillison once said to me about being part of what he described as “third wave”. This of course referred to the band being of the late 90’s to the present day wave of Prog bands. This caused further reflection right back to the roots of Prog and how it flagged up better days. Mam, dad and my sister downstairs in our tiny terraced house whilst i retired to my box room to enjoy the very first incarnation of my hi-fi listening to Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel and most importantly to me then E.L.P.
Of course this was done with various coloured light bulbs in my angle poise lamp for different performances. A very sophisticated form of air keyboard playing which made me totally forget about the bullies at school, homework and to a point being a totally uncool little chap. Indeed i have so much to thank Prog for in so many ways. Following the disaster in my world that was punk the tide it did shift and i found this to be a personal irritation. Unlike many i simply didn;t get punk, the reasons behind it or it’s vague fashion. It simply offended my nerd nature and i chose to gaze out of the window until the punk storm passed. New wave and the new romantic movement did capture my interest and i did enjoy many of the bands throughout the eighties especially Ultravox, Talk Talk, Duran Duran and their likes.
Many of the bands which i think Andy Tillison may be eluding to as second wave Prog like Marillion, Pendragon and IQ simply didn’t fully capture my imagination until much later on. I took the safe route through the eighties sticking with Steve Hackett, post Gabriel Genesis, Camel and those whom i thought represented the proper blood line of traditional Prog. By the time i got to the nineties i found myself being drawn away from Prog by the sumptuous well recorded and slick sounds of West coast jazz fusion. I became smitten by Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Spyro Gyra et al. It wasn’t until things started to turn a little pear shaped for me personally that my troubled mind returned to the Prog fold and immersed myself in just about anything that IQ recorded and just like my troubled childhood Prog got me through. Along with Prog’s Bastian’s like Camel i felt like i merely survived into the early millennium.
It was in the later millennium years that i watched the fated Prog documentary which incensed me so much i created the persona of The Progmeister which became the title for the website (now in it’s sixth year) that became the vehicle to exorcise my angst and express my views and opinions. This has brought with it many privileges and frustrations. I have the privilege of being privy to new projects, being a guest at live performances and trusted as a reviewer. The frustrating side of things are when i get a phone call or email telling about new projects albums or tours which i am then duty bound not to discuss. This trust and confidence in me is a massive responsibility and one which i take seriously. I find the music and bands which make up the third wave of Prog as exciting, skillful, fascinating and yes, life saving as it’s previous two incarnations. I have become personally acquainted with Prog legends and made personal friends with exceptionally gifted people all of which has enriched my life. These have been my adventures in modern Prog and i hope they will go on for many years to come. As i write news of a new album by Tony Patterson has been sent to me via soundcloud and let me tell you, It sounds bloody good. This is a privilage, not being able to tell you about it yet is frustrating but hey, i is the Progmeister dudes!