Friday, September 28, 2012

Unitopia To Release Highly Anticipated New CD 'Covered Mirror'

Much to the excitement of progressive rock fans around the globe, legendary Australian prog ensemble Unitopia is releasing a new CD of cover songs titled 'Covered Mirror' on October 31, 2012. The most well-known and respected progressive rock band to emerge from Down Under, Unitopia is back with a ground breaking, powerful new release!
“Making a covers album is always a challenge,” confesses lead vocalist Mark Trueack, “and reproducing classic songs and making them ours was always going to be difficult.We spent a great deal of time coming up with ideas and we are very proud of the results. We wanted to take the listener on a journey or experience, if you like. We fused together progressive, pop and rock music into one smooth sound.”
Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Unitopia endeavours to draw from the heart and soul of the listener thought provoking topics such as environmental awareness, political and social upheaval and the hectic pace of life and human relationships in a positive and uplifting light. Using progressive themes as a framework, Unitopia's music includes elements of world, classical, jazz, heavy rock and groove. Mark Trueack (composer/lead vocals/producer), Sean Timms (composer/keyboards/backing vocals/producer) and Matt Williams (guitars/backing vocals/producer) form the nucleus of the band. To complete the line-up, they chose the combined drum/percussion batteries of David Hopgood and Tim Irrgang, Craig Kelly on bass and Daniel Burgess (sax/clarinet/flute/piccolo/didgeridoo).
Unitopia released their first album 'More Than A Dream' in 2007 on the Canadian label Unicorn Digital. The band signed a three-album deal with InsideOut Music in Germany in 2008; the only Australian band to have signed with the label to this day. Unitopia's second album 'The Garden', released that year, established the band as one of the premier progressive rock acts in the world. With the release of their critically acclaimed third CD 'Artificial' and a subsequent successful tour of Europe in 2010, the critics were unanimous. “Unitopia has been one of the best live acts on the Progressive Rock scene in the last few years!”
The band's performance at the Boerderij, Zoetermeer in the Netherlands during the 2010 European tour was filmed and recorded. A subsequent live CD and DVD 'One Night In Europe' were released in 2011, successfully capturing the excitement of Unitopia in concert. Adding another dimension to Unitopia's conceptuality, renowned artist Ed Unitsky was brought into the fold, touted as the “fourth Unitopian”. Says Mark in a recent interview with Prognaut, “We found each other on the net. He liked our sound so we started the process of getting to know his art, before engaging in his work.”
And now Unitopia has taken their music to another level with their new CD of cover songs. “Both Sean and I chose songs that we both liked and wanted to give them our Midas touch,” says Mark. “We wanted to bring these songs together, by bridging nice musical segways.”
Tracks include:
1. Signs of Life (Prelude) Sean Timms
2. Calling Occupants (Klaatu)
3. Easter (Marillion)
4. Man of Colours (Icehouse)
5. Genesis Medley (Genesis)
The Silent Sun
Suppers Ready
Dancing with the Moonlit knight
Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Carpet Crawlers
6. Rain Song (Led Zeppelin)
7. Even in the Quietest Moments (Supertramp)
8. Can We Still be Friends (Todd Rundgren)
9. Speaking The Truth (Dan Burgess/Matt Williams)
10.Everybody’s Gotta learn Sometime (Korgies)
11.Yes Medley (Yes)

     And You and I
     Close to the Edge
     South Side of the Sky
     Owner of a lonely Heart
12.To one in Paradise (Alan Parsons)
13.The Way the Waters Moving (The Flower Kings) Bonus Track Remix 2012

To purchase Unitopia 'Covered Mirror':
As of September 24th -
As of October 31st - Musea Records -
As of December 1st - Bird's Robe Records -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Single by The Psychedelic Ensemble

Earlier this year The Psychedelic Ensemble released a downloadable single title "Silent Sam", available through the TPE website. Now comes a new single, titled "Undone". For those who loved the albums, these are two new additions that are worth the download, til the next album comes along.

Speaking of TPE, is you haven't yet heard the interview I did with the leader of this project you can still download it via the download tab on this page. We discussed all his releases, and got insight into the creative art of making music. He has recently gone through some surgery in July, and is now home recovering. He wrote to me saying: "It has been awful. Slowly but surely I am returning to "normal"." Let's wish him a speedy recovery and a return to good health.

Focus "X" to be Release November 5

One the the most notable Dutch progressive rock bands, Focus, will be releasing their eleventh album (that is, if you count 1985's Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer's Focus) with a stunning Roger Dean cover and logo. Focus are releasing "Focus X", standing in for the roman numeral 10, following Focus 9: New Skin, released 6 years ago, and Focus 8, released 10 years ago.

Legendary progressive rock veterans FOCUS are set to release their new studio album FOCUS X on November 5 via Eastworld Recordings.
With their unique progressive rock Focus manifested themselves at the start of the seventies as the most successful and the most appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports.
The band is fronted by founder and musical genius Thijs van Leer. Their hits include the instrumentals, "Hocus Pocus", "House of the King", and "Sylvia", and their timeless albums include "Moving Waves", "Focus 3" and "Hamburger Concerto".
A new Focus era has arrived. There is a rejuvenated passion in the new compositions that adorn the new album "Focus X", which features a full scale Roger Dean painting on the cover. Thijs van Leer commented “It’s a thrill to have finally completed Focus X; we are all ecstatic and looking forward to playing the new material on the forthcoming Focus X Tour.” This album - and the following gigs - will surprise the loyal fans. They will hear once again all the classic Focus tunes and they will be surprised at the strength and depth of the new material. "Our music is evolution, not revolution", Thijs van Leer once said about the music of Focus.
After a comeback which resulted in the well received albums "Focus 8" and “Focus 9”, the band is now back on the frontline, with a fantastic line-up. Also back on the drums is Pierre van der Linden, who is internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, and is still a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who stems from a well-acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, completes the band's current line-up.
Focus X is released on November 5 via Eastworld Recordings.

Focus will also be on tour, you lucky europeans, you!!

November 2012 ‘Focus X’ UK Tour Dates
Nov 08 Buxton Opera House
Nov 09 Hessle Town Hall
Nov 10 Glasgow The Ferry
Nov 11 Hebden Bridge Trades Club
Nov 13 Wolverhampton Robin 2
Nov 14 Runcorn The Brindley
Nov 15 Barnsley Birdwell
Nov 16 Fletching Trading Boundaries
Nov 17 Tavistock The Wharf
Nov 18 Sutton Boom Boom Club
Nov 19 Milton Keynes The Stables
Nov 20 Chislehurst Beaverwood Club


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

International Prog Rock Show Back on the Air

It's been over a month since the last IPRS aired on UK 70s Prog Rock radio station. As some of you may know, my wife and I recently bought a house and we used our vacation time to pack and go through all our possessions to find out what to keep, what to give, and what to through away.

It has been a painful task, going through years of accumulated stuff (even ticket stubbs from concerts dating back to 1975!!). It also was a time of elation, as we were finally moving into a house of our own.

Though the boxes are not nearly as empty as I would hope them to be at this point (friends tell me it usually takes a couple of months yet again), enough are unpacked and my recording studio is now functional. And now, after a full month without it, we are now connected to the internet, which means I can now conduct interviews.

All this to say that next Friday, September 28th, the IPRS will be back on the air at its usual time (2 PM EST in North America) and place (uk70sprogrock), and will hopefully repeat on Sunday the 30th at 7 PM EST.


To all artists wishing to send CDs for review or for airing on the radio show, contact me through the e-mail stated on this page to receive the new address at which to send your press kits and packages.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

UK Prog Legends Curved Air Release 'Live Atmosphere' CD/DVD

Reformed in 2008 after a sabbatical of 18 years, Curved Air's concert and festival appearances in the UK, Japan, Italy, Malta, Germany, Portugal, Holland and Belgium continue to thrill a steadily increasing mass of new and old fans. Their experimental blends of classical themes, electronic sounds and pop/rock energy and beautiful, timeless songs are performed with fire and passion and tremendous musicianship.

Now, much to the excitement of their fans worldwide, Curved Air have released a new CD/DVD titled 'Live Atmosphere' - 'Songs of revolution, insanity, loss, desire and ghosts: a unique compilation of powerful Curved Air songs played by a vital contemporary Curved Air'.

'Live Atmosphere'
includes potent new versions of many of the band's classic early 1970's repertoire, including the hits "It Happened Today" and "Backstreet Luv" as well as fan favorites such as "Propositions", "Phantasmagoria" and "Stretch". Produced by Marvin Ayres it showcases both new and original members of the band and comes with a bonus DVD with a tour featurette and an atmospheric visual collage.

The band, still fronted by Sonja Kristina, selected the tracks after multi-track recording the entire first leg of its Live Atmosphere World Tour. Sonja Kristina elaborates by saying:

"We recorded this album to capture the invention and interplay of these virtuoso musicians. Robert Norton is exceptional - as is Paul Sax, a master violinist, one of the first entrants to the Yehudi Menuhin school - a passionate and brave performer very well qualified to step into Darryl's light. All the band are brilliant players and inspiring people. Chris Harris is literally our root on bass and Kit Morgan the fire on guitar. Great chemistry and communication..."
1. Atmospheric Overture (intro)
2. Marie Antoinette
3. Propositions
4. Easy
5. Hide and Seek
6. Screw
7. Phantasmagoria
8. Melinda
9. Everdance
10. Back Street Luv
11. Stretch
12. It Happened Today
13. Atmospheric Overture (outro).

'Live Atmosphere' is available from and other online stores. A new studio album will follow by the end of 2013.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pallas's Ex-vocalist Alan Reed to Release Solo Album

Three years after his stint with Pallas came to an abrupt end, singer Alan Reed is set to release his first fully-fledged solo album. Reed, who's recognizable voice graced Pallas's albums from 1986 to 2008, previously released an EP in 2011 called "Dancing with Ghosts" in which he reworked some songs from his back catalogue and added a couple of new ones. He also released two singles, "Begin Again" in 2011, and "That's Life", earlier this year.

His newest CD, to be titled "First in a Field of One", will be released October 8th 2012, and is a unique collection of songs that provide the perfect setting for the unmistakeable timbre of his voice. The album embraces a number of musical flavours - through celtic folk, world music, and even jazz; - held together by strong song-writing and a passionate sense of identity.

Tracks are:

1. Begin Again
2. Kingdom of the Blind
3. Never Too Late
4. The Bottom of the Bottle
5. Darkness has Spoken
6. The Real Me
7. Teardrops in the Rain
8. The Usual Suspects

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prog Award Results Are In

This week were held the first ever Prog Awards, hosted by Gavin Esler of Newsnight. The awards, conceived by UK's Prog Magazine (formerly Classic Rock Presents Prog) were voted for the most part by the public, other awards being voted by a panel of critics and reviewers. Let's hope it becomes an annual event!

The winners are:

NEW BLOOD: TesseracT

 LIVE EVENT: Anathema

GRAND DESIGN: Pink Floyd Immersion reissues

ANTHEM: Squackett - A Life Within A Day

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Rush - Clockwork Angels

VISIONARY: Peter Hammill


VIRTUOSO: Carl Palmer

GUIDING LIGHT: Steven Wilson

PROG GOD: Rick Wakeman

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rick Wakeman's King Arthur in Gloucester 2013

Rick Wakeman strikes again!

After having done a concert in 2009 at Hampton Court performing the whole of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" with some new material, Wakeman will now perform the whole of "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" during the Gloucester Mystery Plays Festival on June 15th 2013.

Original music for the Plays has been written by our composer and director of music Robert Perry (Cheltenham) and will be performed by the Company of Friends quartet and Sine Nomine Choir. Contemporary scripts have been written by our Artistic Director for the Cathedral productions, Rachel Murray (Cheltenham).

In addition to the plays, the festival in June will feature over 100 medieval groups filling the streets of Gloucester with sights, sounds and smells of the Middle Ages, together with street theatre, traders, music and dance, and the plays performed at various locations throughout the City. To take us through the night, there will be a grand concert at a gloucester venue, featuring rock legend Rick Wakeman, with the choirs of Gloucester Cathedral and a full symphony orchestra – The Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra .
Whilst tickets are not yet available for the event, the organizers have opened a priority reservation list so you can be amongst the first to know when they are made available.

More details about the event will be posted on Rick Wakeman's website when they are known.

The Reasoning Release "Adventures in Neverland" on the 24th

2012 didn't start so well for proggers The Reasoning. The disappearance of guitarist Owain Roberts on March 10th and the subsequent anxiety about his safety took its toll on the band and their friends. Then trying to find a replacement to fill-in for live gigs and to complete the recording of a new album.

Although we still have no news about Owain, the band have soldiered on and are now ready to release their latest offering.

Adventures in Neverland album cover art
The past couple of years have been an extraordinary journey in every sense: with all of us being tested to the absolute limit. Nevertheless, in the face of much soul searching from us all, we closed ranks, talked about many things and found the strength to get up off the floor and to write and record what we believe to be our most adventurous, exciting and dynamic album to date. We are therefore delighted to announce that our fourth full-length album - Adventures In Neverland - is now completed and ready to order via our new record label Esoteric Antenna. This CD is brought to you with our heartfelt emotional investment, and encapsulates our collective journey to this point in time. Given that it was for some while rather uncertain as to whether this collection of songs would ever actually be recorded (yet alone released), for us to be able to sit here, listen to, and enjoy our new songs - and tell you about them - means the world to every single member of this band.

We're not going to try and explain everything about this album, because, as always, the proof is in the listening! We can however say that if you want ROCK - you'll find it here! If you want Prog - you've got it here too! If you want bombastic riffs, you've most definitely got those! If you want beautiful music and vocals to lose yourself in, it's all here! And, if you want melodic hooks and the kinds of earworms that will stay in your head for a long time to come… guess what: you've got it! We might even have thrown in a little funk and fusion for good measure: but you'll just have to wait and see.

Suffice it to say, we haven't held back with this album, and we can quite categorically state that it marks a huge step forward for the band musically and in every other sense, too. Even the band name now has its own unique, distinctive typeface. The artwork, as you can see, was brought to you by a wonderful artist called Dan Powell, and we really believe it is our most striking piece of artwork yet, even though we've had some great album covers over the years. This is a whole new Reasoning: but, of course, we haven't lost sight of what brought us here and why we started this crazy journey. Our history has made us who we are, and has motivated us to be the very best we can be.

This is also the longest album we have recorded, and contains 10 songs, coming in at just over 56 minutes. The track listing is as follows:

The Omega Point
The Glass Half
Stop The Clock
End Of Days
No Friend Of Mine
The Forest Of Hands and Teeth
Adventures In Neverland

It can be pre-ordered now directly from Cherry Red at the following link -

The CD will also be available at ALL of our forthcoming shows, and the official release date Worldwide and in all major retail outlets is the 24th September 2012. We will be releasing some snippets of songs over the coming weeks. Check this site, our Facebook page and our Soundcloud page for those exclusive previews.

So there you go dear friends, a whole new adventure begins and we can't wait to share that with you! Our first gig for this album will be on the 9th September in Cardiff, with the amazing Marillion. We then head out on the road with our rock buddies Touchstone at the end of September, heading to Europe and then back to the UK in October for more fun and madness. We then round off the first leg of the tour by supporting FISH at his convention in Leamington at the end of October. After that, more touring is planned, and work has already begun on new Reasoning material. It's going to be hectic, but it's going to be wonderful.

Thank you to everyone that has stuck by us, and a very warm welcome to those who will hopefully join us. Thank you also to those who have been and gone: we hope to see you again one day in the future. Enjoy the album as much as we have enjoyed recording it. You are all wonderful.

Love as always,

Matt, Rach, Tony, Jake and Keith xxxxx

Love as always,

TR xxxxx

Upcoming shows:
September 9: Cardiff Student Union - Cardiff (Supporting Marillion)
September 27: Poppodium W2 - Den Bosch, Netherlands (Headlining with Touchstone)
September 28: Poppodium Nieuwe Nor - Heerlen, Netherlands (Headlining with Touchstone)
September 29: Dru Cultuurfabriek - Ulft, Netherlands (Headlining with Touchstone)
September 30: Bergkeller - Reichenbach, Germany (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 1: Logo - Hamburg, Germany (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 12: The Garage - London, UK (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 13: Tivoli Theatre - Wimborne, UK (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 14: The Globe - Cardiff, UK (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 15: The Robin 2 - Bilston, UK (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 16: The Duchess - York, UK (Headlining with Touchstone)
October 21: Assembly Rooms - Leamington Spa, UK (Special guest at Fish convention)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mars Hollow to Release CD and DVD Later This Month

American prog rock band Mars Hollow will be releasing a live CD and a DVD of their performance at ROSfest.

Mars Hollow announces the September 25 release of the CD “Mars Hollow Live,” featuring the 2011 performance of the progressive rock band Mars Hollow at RoSfest. As an extra bonus, the band is including a studio track titled “So Far Away.” The studio track features the new line-up of Mars Hollow which was announced this past July.
RoSfest is one of the most respected progressive rock festivals in the United States, and has been held continuously on an annual basis since 2004. RoSfest 2011, where Mars Hollow performed at the coveted ‘Church of Prog’ position on Sunday morning to 600 people, was held in Gettysburg, PA at The Majestic Theater.

The 2011 line-up performs the live show, which consists of John Baker (lead vocals, lead guitar), Jerry Beller (drums and backing vox), Kerry Chicoine (bass and backing vox), and Steve Mauk (keyboards and backing vox). “So Far Away” is performed by the new line-up, consisting of Baker and Mauk along with original Mars Hollow bassist Joe August and welcomes drummer Bob Craft.

“Mars Hollow Live” will be available September 25, 2012 on, and soon after on Amazon, iTunes and other major digital retailers.
I do hope that the artwork presented here is a quick mockup and not the final cover. Still, being a fan of their music and having seen them live (and the energy they have on stage) this will definitely be a must-have.

IQ's Subterranea: The Movie Is Funded!

I am proud to announce that the Subterranea Movie has been totally funded through Kickstarter, with money to spare. Congratulations to Mathew Miller, the writer/director of the movie, and his crew. We look forward to hearing more about the filming and post-production in the months to come.

For more info about this movie go see the website Subterranea: Leaving the Darkness where you'll see more about the characters, the actors, etc.

Believe Renew Their Contract with Metalmind

Polish progressive rockers BELIEVE have signed a new recording contract with Metal Mind Productions.

The band will release a new album in 2013.

"We are very proud to announce that Believe have just re-newed their recording contract with Metal Mind Productions. Their next studio album is planned to be released in Spring 2013."

Believe, one of the most interesting and original bands on the Polish art/prog-rock scene! The band formed in 2004 by guitarist Mirek Gil, should be known already by fans of Polish prog-rock legend Collage and Satellite. Not only was Mirek a founding member and main song writer of Collage, but he played with Satellite as well. The band’s debut album “Hope to See Another Day” was released in 2006, six years later Believe return with their second live DVD entitled “Seeing is Believing”. Filmed in 2011 in Wyspiański Theater in Katowice (Poland), this brand new DVD documents how much the band has changed: Believe released two more excellent studio albums, letting their music grow more brilliantly intricate and sublime than ever before; Tomek Różycki was substituted by the charismatic singer Karol Wróblewski, whose deep and distinctive voice contributes much to the style and mood of Believe’s music; the new keyboard player Konrad Wantrych joined their ranks, enriching their music with his stylish and technically superb soundscapes. During this unique evening in Wyspiański Theater Believe primarily presented material from their fourth, most recent studio album "World Is Round” (Metal Mind Productions, 2010).

Next month Believe will play five gigs around Europe with Swedish band Moon Safari:

19.09 De Boerderij - Zoetermeer, Holland
20.09 Spirit Of 66 - Verviers, Belgium
21.09 Russelsheim, Germany (Progressive Promotion Festival 2012)
24.09 Galery Music Bar - Pratteln, Switzerland
28.09 Lydney, UK (Summer's End Festival)

In May 2013 Believe will play ROSfest 2013!