Uriah Heep have never quite received the plaudits they deserve from the prog scene. Perhaps it’s the band’s biggest triumphs have occurred in non-English speaking countries – ‘Lady In Black’ was a big hit in Germany in the late 70s. Perhaps it’s their sound, which straddles blues-based heavy metal and progressive rock, that’s seen them left out in the cold. Either way, their Friday night HRH headline performance should be an opportunity to set the record straight, with a set that’s likely to encompass plenty of classic material.
Formed in 1969 by Mick Box, Uriah Heep boast a relatively stable line-up. Both keyboardist Phil Lanzon and lead vocalist Bernie Shaw joined the band more than 30 years ago. Check out ‘Gypsy’, taken from their classic debut album …Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble, for a taste of the quintet’s vintage guitar and organ-driven sound.
Uriah Heep play HRH Prog VI at 21:40, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
The Von Hertzen Brothers are the Bee Gees of prog. Hailing from Finland, the band centres around three brothers, all of whom exude rock-star cool, and harmonise perfectly. Their new album, War Is Over, marks a return to proggier territory for the band. Expect to hear tight interpretations of their new material, alongside more epic rock offerings, such as ‘New Day Rising’, a track from 2015’s successful album of the same name.
Von Hertzen Brothers play HRH Prog VI at 20:00, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
Former headliners Caravan should need no introduction. Pye Hastings’ ensemble have a long and brilliant discography, having formed from the ashes of The Wilde Flowers in Canterbury at the height of that city’s musical heyday. Quirky hits such as ‘Golf Girl’ should get the crowd onside, whilst newer material such as ‘I’ll Be There’ shows a sentimental side to the group. With Hastings having recently released his first solo album, some 50 years into his career, and viola player Geoffrey Richardson also having put out material under his own name of late, there’s no shortage of talent in tow when Caravan come to town. Check out their famous ‘Nine Feet Underground’ – 22 minutes of distorted organ creativity and a finale featuring one of the most affecting songs recorded to tape.
Caravan play HRH Prog VI at 18:20, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
Earlier this year, HRH Prog V saw Hawkwind headline the Friday night with a heady, psychedelic performance. Hawklords will always be known primarily as associates of the mighty ‘Wind’, but they deserve their place on Friday’s bill on their own merit. Sure, their set borrows Hawkwind classics, such as ‘Spirit Of The Age’. But Harvey Bainbridge (a member of the original 1978 Hawklords) and Jerry Richards’ band have plenty of their own tracks to melt minds with, and will surely look to promote brand new record Six during their set. From the call and response repetition espoused in ‘Circus Freaks’, to the stomping inclusivity anthem ‘We Are one’, expect space rock of the highest order from these reprobates.
Hawklords play HRH Prog VI at 16:40, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
Heather Findlay made her name with Thursday’s headliners Mostly Autumn. Since departing Bryan Josh’s group, Findlay has developed her voice and can now be counted amongst the foremost female vocalists in modern progressive music. Whether scaling esoteric heights with Dave Kerzner in Mantra Vega, or exploring her own, less bombastic offerings, such as on forthcoming wintery anthology-ette I Am Snow, out in December. Here’s ‘Dark Eyes/The Dreamer’s Wake’, an offering that’s delicate and heavy, all within one track.
Heather Findlay plays HRH Prog VI at 15:20, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
Edgar Broughton’s mix of story-telling and psychedelia warms up a jam-packed Friday at HRH Prog. It’s 49 years since the formation of Edgar Broughton Band; he’s expected to mix up his own charming acoustic songs with those of the bluesy band that bore his name. Here’s Broughton’s solo take on ‘Green Lights’
Edgar Broughton plays HRH Prog VI at 14:00, Friday 17 Nov, 2017.
The second stage will be headlined by none other than Threshold. A revolving door policy has seen former vocalist Glynn Morgan rejoin the fold, replacing Damian Wilson. Their new conceptually heavy double album, Legend Of The Shires, contains catchy, epic progressive rock, such as the 10 minute ‘Lost In Translation’. The David Cross Band showcase the virtuosic skills of the former King Crimson violinist; Sonic Tapestry and Wheel round out the evening bill.
There’s plenty of talent on display on stage two in the afternoon: Godsticks, Darren Charles’ Kscope-approved heavy rockers, are joined by L’Anima and classy neo-prog survivors Third Quadrant. Opening the Friday’s festivities are Kyros, formerly known as Synaesthesia, who made a lot of noise upon breaking through a few years ago. They’ve now delivered the goods on the impressive debut Vox Humana, which blends alternative rock, brass and a healthy dose of progressive intent.