There’s less than a week to go until HRH Prog VI lands in Hafan y Mor, a beautiful yet remote holiday camp in North Wales. Here we provide you with the low-down on the talent set to take to the stage and lure the faithful to far-flung climbs just seven months after the festival’s last outing.
Mostly Autumn fill Thursday’s headline slot. Sight Of Day, their twelfth album, was released this year and saw the band follow up 2014’s rated Dressed In Voices with another slab of finely tuned progressive rock. Ever in thrall to Pink Floyd, the mature and polished live act are fronted by Olivia Sparnenn-Josh, whilst husband Bryan Josh writes the material, adding vocals and sublime guitar to their often lengthy, glistening compositions. Josh seems to be going through a purple patch as a songwriter: the band offered their new album as a limited double-disc set to those who pre-ordered, and it’s light, bright vibe can be partially attributed to Josh having exorcised his demons on 2016’s schlocky Transylvania side-project.
Sight Of Day features ‘Tomorrow Dies’, grandiose enough to soundtrack the high-octane adventures of 007. But it’s the album’s title track that’s its most lengthy and ambitious cut, varying between dreamy moods and more direct, contemporary-rock territory with ease. A haunting piano addresses the theme half way through, leading into a mournful slow section before a bright and accessible coda shows off the band’s gift for harmony.
Mostly Autumn play HRH Prog VI at 22:15, Thursday 16 Nov, 2017.
Also performing on the Thursday night are Krankschaft, founded by Hawkwind’s Robert Calvert in 1985. Following Calvert’s death in 1988, and Dead Fred’s departure to Hawkwind in 2013, the band are fronted by ever-present Steve Pond on guitar and vocals. Styled as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kranky Corp Industries (Japan), Krankschaft are time travellers who recharge their craft in Cambridge, bringing their tales of the past and the future to your ears via a mix of punky space krautrock. Unashamedly retro, check out the brain melting sounds of ‘Dark Energy’, the opening track from 2014’s Three, which, complete with a Lichtenstein-inspired pop-art cover, marked a return to form for these psychedelic sound explorers.
Krankschaft play HRH Prog VI at 20:40, Thursday 16 Nov, 2017.
IO Earth claim to make a blend of rock, ambient, jazz, classical, world, dance, progressive rock, celtic, folk, contemporary, metal and crossover prog. Less exhausting and more coherent than the above description would suggest, their heady mix is best demonstrated on their new album, New World. The brainchild of long-time friends and writing duo Dave Cureton and Adam Gough, their full-on, symphonic approach stands out on the album’s title track. Rounding out the opening night, IO Earth should ensure most self-respecting prog fans book the extra day off work and arrive in Pwllheli with enough time to luxuriate in a Thursday line-up that makes up for its relative brevity in quality and diversity.
IO Earth play HRH Prog VI at 18:50, Thursday 16 Nov, 2017.