Turning into Rick Wakeman


Progmeister's views
It’s been an interesting week in not so Great Britain this week. Amidst drought conditions and government imposed hose pipe bans keyboard ace and sound friend Brendan Eyre and myself headed for Durham last Thursday to watch DeeExpus supported by Wintert In Eden at The Loveshack. Imagine our surprise upon our arrival in the beautiful cathedral city to find the river Wear moving at an alarming pace and about to swell it’s banks. We sensibly moved the car to a safer elevation before heading across the footbridge to the gig. A months rain fall in two days and yet no way of capturing and storing it to propogate crops or direct to domestic use. Yet we are qualified as a nation to advise people in Africa to do it.

On the other hand, both Winter In Eden and present flavour of the month DeeExpus played their hearts out to an enthusiastic and grateful crowd. I could well appreciate the merits of their performances though hesitantly subscribed to the steely metal edge of their delivery. Upon leaving The Loveshack into the ravages of the night i fell pray to the psycho-analysis of my erstwhile colleague who informed me of my catagory with regard to the new order. Whilst the above have been described as Prog-metal, there seems to be other forms coming into view with the Prog prefix. What ever get’s you through the day eh? My given Prog title to fully describe my leanings was retro. I can cope with that, I am happy and content to have such a label and taking into consideration the larger cognasenti prefer to promote my view of what Prog is to me.

All seemed well with the world until Friday evening’s episode of The One Show which featured The Ronnie Hazelhurst band and the very talented Bill Bailey. The main theme of the programe majored on just that, theme music, of which i love. It was a treat to hear Ronnie’s TV tunes played by the band and discussed at length. Bill Bailey’s equally interesting and musical contribution was every bit as entertaining. It was only when a story about Punk Rock was featured that my enjoyment waned. This was following a comment made by Chris Evans during a conversation between Bill Bailey and another individual about Punk bringing about an end to the music left over from the end of the sixties. it was at this point that Progressive music was mentioned and Emerson, Lake & Palmer were mentioned. At this point Chris Evan’s sited such music as “a bit airy fairy”. This was then verified by Bill Bailey which although could to a point be agreed with seemed a betrayal given that he did not then elaborate.

I emailed The One Show suggesting they should consider including a feature in a future show offering an alternative view. I await with bated breath. I would dearly love someone to represent the many modern Prog bands who have worked tirelessly recording and touring their original and exciting traditional prog which is based upon the foundations laid down by the fore mentioned Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd. Watch this space. Though i would suspect that such matters to the many are at best uninteresting.

Saturday brought about a trip to York on a mission to distribute some posters and flyers for Progmeister2. Yet again the car park close to the river e a lot closer to the water than my previous visit. Not without good reason. The river had indeed burst it’s banks. I was forced to reflect on my recent visit to Durham and reinforced my criticism of the governments lethargy with regard to regulating water company’s and failing to punish them for refusing to repair leaks and capturing millions of gallons of rain water. It was only when i set off for home that it dawned on me that i was turning into Rick Wakeman. A grumpy old man! I don’t know which of these things to be annoyed about more. I think i will just go and enjoy some vintage Prog to cheer myself up, Yes you guessed it, Raindances by Camel.

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