PROGRESSIVE ENCOUNTERS OF DIFFERENT KINDS
It’s no that surprising that Steve Hillage – and his partner Miquette Giraudy for that matter – re-joined Daevid Allen’s GONG alongside the band’s caring mother Gilli Smyth, bassist Mike Howlett, drummer Chris Taylor and sax player Theo Travis. Last time they played together – save for one-off 2006 Amsterdam Gathering a great DVD document of which is out on Voiceprint – was in 1977. Now, the classic line-up are back – for, at least, two summer shows in London.
No less exciting is the news of the CURVED AIR reunion for a full tour including the June performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. Singer Sonja Kristina, violinist Darryl Way and drummer Florian Pilkington Miksa have sporadically played together since the band split in 1976 yet didn’t set on the road for a good trek. A pity is guitarist Francis Monkman isn’t part of the party this time but, nevertheless, Way said to be “very excited to be performing again with Sonja and Florian and looking forward to meeting faithful fans and maybe creating some new ones along the way. CURVED AIR in the early Seventies was very much at the cutting edge of new technologies for the production of music, with its use of synths and sequencers. Since that time, music technology has developed and matured in almost unimaginable ways; it should be really exciting and great fun to come back after all these years and have so many new toys to play with”. To prove the point, a new CD is to be out in June featuring re-recordings of classic songs as well as brand new tracks.
HERE WENT THE NICE
THE NICE were among the most undersung heroes of British progressive rock, but they’re still remembered – mostly for inclusion of keyboard wizzard Keith Emerson in their ranks whose fame overshadowed the deeds of his colleagues Lee Jackson, Brian Davison and David O’List. Yet Davison’s drumming was an integral part of the quartet’s unique sound as well as the sound of REFUGEE where Brian and Lee Jackson worked with another ivory meister Patrick Moraz, and GONG with whom the drummer sat in from time to time. There could be more yet on April 15th Brian Davison’s heart stopped the beat. The nice go the first…
THE RENAISSANCE FAIRY
Though it’s Annie Haslam‘s voice that’s most associated with RENAISSANCE, the English band’s first singer was, together with her famous brother Keith, Jane Relf. With the origina line-up went their separate ways, Jane had a shot at a solo career and later in the ’70s reunited with her former colleagues in ILLUSION who recorded two fantastic albums but didn’t last long. Relf has still remained in touch with the drummer Jim McCarty who since then resurrected THE YARDBIRDS yet dabbled with other projects such as STAIRWAY which featured Jane’s voice.
And it’s this voice that, according to The Jane Relf Appreciation Society, is a subject of “Jane’s Renaissance”, a box set to be out soon, that gathers the singer’s rarities, including her newly remastered solo singles. It’s a “a resequencing”of the WPKN Radio Show aired in November 2003. The setlist at that time was as follows:
Ship Of Happiness