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Jan 08 2015

The Progmeister’s view

Owston007

Yer a fickle old bugger aren’t yer? was the conclusion to a most recent music debate in our village pubarama. In many ways i suppose i am. However, given that i am only a man and do not have the natural resilience, dexterity, sense of logic and the ability to multi-task like so many of my female counterparts the new year period had been somewhat debilitating due to a nasty cold virus. This was a really good excuse to some artistes who sent discs to me for review and i simply did not review them. Which brings me back to our pub conversation.   some of the disc sent to me recently have had the rather dubious title of Prog/metal. Interestingly a title that Windows Media Player gives to The Tangent thanks to it’s questionable informational sources. I think it is fair to say that side stepping the debate the recent influx of discs have been borderline metal bands who with the aid of a modern digital keyboard instrument and a few obscure time signatures now believe themselves to be Prog. When i try to point out this to my erstwhile colleagues i am told i am too fickle. May be so, but i would much rather someone who would give these artistes a less biased hearing than myself therefore i am trying to coerce, persuade, bribe or even blackmail into doing such reviews for me. there is no doubt at all that some exponents of prog metal are extremely good at it and deserve  recognition for their work.

Prog is a very broad church and for that you need a very broad mind. My mind stays within certain parameters within the genre and sadly does not lend itself to certain notions of crossing over into heavy, thrash or Prog metal. I simply don’t buy into it! I intend to stick with my more traditional perceptions of Prog and enjoy them to the full this year though i always make an exception for Steven Wilson who has a certain something.

Of immediate interest to me is the chance of a new Combination Head album. Paul Birchall is one of my favourite boards men who’s musical tastes are scarily close to my own. I hope to hear more from The Heads camp soon. Tony Patterson is also hard at work on a new solo album scheduled for later in the year, he is putting the finishing touches to lyrics as i write.  Another is of course The Tangent who will be along with their new album in the next few months. Another treat later in the year will be the second album by Riversea. Northlands muso Brendan Eyre teaming up with wondering minstrel Marc Atkinson (ex Gabriel) to put a grin on our faces again.

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In fact the only thing i am not excited about in 2015 is the fact the i couldn’t get a ticket for any of the Big Big Train gigs in London. Absolutely gutted. So if anyone has any they can’t use please get in touch. These gigs will be definitely one of the live highlights of the year.

I do hope i haven’t put too many people off sending me new music to review though i honestly think that so many metal albums would be better reviewed elsewhere. This really is the land of Gray And Pink with Topographic Oceans  located on the Dark side of The Moon and as a result a little more Fragile than the more powerful chords of today. sorry for being so fickle.

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