An initiative of the Classic Rock Society’s (CRS) Paul Allwood to provide a full day’s
worth of ‘prog’ entertainment, the event was hit by the cancelled of Quadesh, a few days
before the event, resulting in a slight reorganisation of the schedule. From the band’s
point’s of view, it meant that there was time to play a little longer, so for a mere
£13 each punter got over 5hrs of top-quality musical entertainment.
The afternoon session began with Manning fronted by Guy Manning (ex Parallel
or 90 Degrees). His five-piece backing band included Jon Binns (Drums), Rick Ashton (Bass,
B.Vocals) , Gareth Harwood (Electric Guitar), Neil Harris (Keyboards, B.Vocals) and Laura
Fowles (Sax, Keyboards, B.Vocals and shakers) and they played material from Manning’s 2
disks and Guy’s solo album as well as some new tunes. The band were well into their set
by the time I’d completed my 6 hour journey to Rotherham and were bringing Walking In
Cascade to a close.
Guy then introduced a string of numbers from the upcoming The Ragged Curtain
disk of which Tightrope with its excellent saxophone solo, stood out. After Guy had
introduced the members of his band, he switched back to electric guitar for the
The Night & The Devil from
Cascade and the excellent Songs of Faith. The band then performed two further cuts;
the "noisy", uptempo Domicile from 1999’s
The Cure and a concluding In My life which featured great singing from the
entire band. The musicianship was excellent and the songs were very pleasant indeed. On for
me to re-visit
The dinner break lasted from 5:10pm until 6:45pm according to the schedule posted at
the door, so most people went to one of the local pubs for a drink and a bite to eat.
I went off in search of more batteries for my Digital camera, so I arrived back sometime
later than planned. I thought that I may have missed some of Thieves Kitchen’s
performance, but they were delayed and eventually took to the stage 20 minutes later than
This was only the fourth or fifth time that the band had played live and they put on
an impressive performance. The band were both tight and inventive, filling their 75
minute slot with just 4 numbers, 2 each from their albums
Head and the more
I was hearing the band for the very first time and but I found
them instantly engaging, mixing a slightly jazzy Gentle Giant-like approach with
the heaviness of a modern day prog-metal band. Andy Bonham on bass and Phil Mercy
on guitar impressed throughout the long instrumental passages. I enjoyed all of the
tunes they played, with perhaps John Doe #1 standing out as my favourite.
Primitive Instinct were another outfit I hadn’t heard and were playing live for the
first occasion in some time. Though, as their singer said later on, they weren't really a prog
band - "prog/pop perhaps", they provided a nice contrast to Thieves Kitchen
by being more song-orientated. Opening with a wonderful instrumental number Ideology,
the band immediately grabbed my attention and drew me away from the CD stall. They did make
extensive use of backing tapes for samples and keyboard sounds as the group still lacks a
replacement for its former keyboard player, but the threesome weren't bad musicians
themselves with the bass and drum-playing amongst the tastiest of the evening. They covered
most of the material from their 2nd album,
made up of 5 minute plus long tunes with good, well written lyrics and nice melodies.
Praying For The Rain and Hope in particular, stood out.
The Event had also been chosen as the "Launch Party" for the new album from
Parallel or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways To Die. The extra time available to
them allowed them to start with an unusual number Blues for Lear. After that they
played a good number of songs from the new disk very little of which, I have to say,
really appealed to me. In fact it was older tunes such as Petroleum Addicts and
Dead on a Carpark Floor which I found most enjoyable.
The new songs in particular were heavier than I'd expected and I didn't find Andy
Tillison's vocals all that pleasing either. Half-way through, some technical problems
with the bass guitar forced the band to interrupt the set for 5 or 10 minutes in order
to rectify the situation. As it was already quite late, a good number of the audience
chose this point to slip quietly away, leaving a much reduced number who saw the set
through to its very end at just after midnight. For the final couple of numbers the
band wore silly hats and wigs, but unfortunately the crowd was a little too tired to
join fully into the fun and the effect fell flat.
Despite the rather disappointing end to the day, the event was a huge success musically,
though it was disappointing to hear that there were less than 100 paying attendees.
All four artists are certainly worthy of further investigation.
Parallel or 90 Degrees
- The Voyager
- Catholic Education
- In Swingtime
- What Is It Worth?
- A Strange Place
- Walking In Cascade
- Where Do All The Madmen Go?
- A Place to Hide
- The Weaver of Dreams
- The Night & The Devil
- Songs Of Faith
- In My Life
- John Doe #1
- Call to Whoever
- Praying For The Rain
- Finding My Way
- Break on Through
- Needed (Alter Ego)
- Chosen Few
- Blues for Lear
- Petroleum Addicts
- Impaled on Railing
- Thin Air
- Unforgiving Skies
- Heavy Metal Guillotine Approach
- Body in Free Drift
- Dead on a Carpark Floor
- Drum One