Yet another sterling review of the first volume of this three-book set, this time by Paul Rijkens in #158 of the influential Dutch magazine IO Pages. Volume 2 will soon be available, while Volume 3 is also due out later this year.
The author of this book, Kev Rowland, can be
called a colleague of ours. Between 1991 and 2006, as an employee of the
Feedback magazine, he wrote many reviews about prog and related music. Rowland
has bundled his reviews into three books. This is part 1 that deals with the
letters A-H. A difference with iO Pages is that Rowland did not discuss too
many big names. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Fish, The Flower Kings and Gentle
Giant, for example, are treated, but the majority are still lesser known bands
and artists from the underground. The Nineties were very different from the
present. In 1991, Kev received a cassette with the demo From The River To The
Sea from the then unknown band Big Big Train. Kev tried to get in touch with
the person who sent him the tape, Greg Spawton, but it didn't work. Nowadays,
contact with Greg can be made within seconds. Well, maybe the cassette will
come back all the way after the LP.
When I read this piece, I had to think back
to the days of SI Music Magazine, because that was exactly the same way.
Rowland has a relaxed and occasionally disarming writing style that I like to
read. He has a preference for certain bands and that is what he says in the
reviews: this is how Aragon, Credo, Galahad (who wrote the foreword) and Grace
commented particularly positively. What is striking about the reviews is that
they are bands that we categorize as neoprog, but that this term is hardly
mentioned in the book. The beautiful artwork is by Martin Springett and was
used by the Canadian band Coney Hatch. It reminds me of the cover of In The
Court Of The Crimson King.
I have enjoyed this book very much and I
heartily recommend it. I am already looking forward to part two.
...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?
Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.