Covid continues to dominate the news. Last year’s cancelled gigs have been rescheduled for this coming autumn, and I’m hoping to get my first sight (and sounds) of inside the refurbished Fairfield Halls, my local medium sized venue, on Monday 4th October for Steve Hackett. However, though vaccination rates in the UK are high, there’s a possibility that the end of lockdown in June will be delayed by the spread of three Covid variants B1.617.1, B1.617.3 (both currently ‘under investigation’) and B1.617.2, which is classed as a ‘variant of concern’. It will also be interesting to see the results of ‘event experiments’, allowing a controlled group of fans to attend a live performance and monitoring any spread of infection. I suspect this was a cynical government attempt at winning votes in the recent round of UK elections rather than serious epidemiological research.
And talking of research, An Acquired Taste? The Enduring Legacy of Progis the title of a PhD proposal from Paul Goodge, a student at Solent University in the UK who is championing the voices of prog fans to be recorded for academia.
Goodge is looking for fans of prog who are willing to relate how, when, where and why they got into and enjoy the genre, providing him with sufficient content to enable him to make a valid comparison with what scholars and theoreticians have written about the subject.
The enjoyment of fans of other bands/genres has been covered by PhD theses before, though they typically have relied on the order of a few 10s of respondents. The opinions of prog fans have been ignored up to now so it would be great to have as large a representation of our voice as possible committed to academic history.
Goodge wrote the Paper Late column in Prog 119 laying out his reasoning and asking for interested parties to come forward. The research is approved by Solent University Ethics Committee and respondents will be asked to complete an informed consent form.
He’s already passed the participation rates of previous artist/genre/style fan studies, including interviews with a young Austrian and a prog fan from Brazil. The interviews are carried out over Zoom/Teams and typically last for about 75 minutes.
Anyone interested in contributing to what will become a valuable and interesting resource should contact him at [email protected]
The ProgBlog music library continues to expand despite months without being able to enter a record store. Acquisitions since the last ProgBlog Diary include:
Onda Quadra (download) – Zaal; Blue Sun (CD) – The Ikan Method; Homo Habilis (CD) – Zaal; Sacrifice (vinyl) – Black Widow; Symphony (v) – Clearlight; Dwellers of the Deep (v) – Wobbler; Frammenti di Idee Perdue (CD) – Giardini d’Autunno; Something of the Night/9ine/First Light/Are We There Yet (d) – Gary Bennett/Oktober; Demo (d) – Wobbler; Meeting of the Spirits (d) – Amaterazu; 557799 (CD) – EYOT; The Second Brightest Star (CD) – Big Big Train; Forever Blowing Bubbles (CD) – Clearlight; Transmission Impossible (CD) – Genesis; Hidden Details (CD) – Soft Machine; Us + Them (Blu-Ray) – Roger Waters; Live at the Roundhouse (BR) - Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets; Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint (CD) – Steve Reich; Volutes (CD) – Snowdrops; Tako (v) – Tako; U Verci Za Spavanje (v) – Tako; The Clutters Storyteller (CD) – Mesmerising; IKITAN (CD) – IKITAN; Get Out of my Father’s Car (v) – Gryphon; Order/DisOrder (CD) – Daniele Sollo; Seven (v) The Watch; Endless Nights (d) – Michele Conta; Madanpura(a birthday piece) (d) – Stephen Parsick; Five Incantations (v) – Jo Quail; Foreign Land (CD) – The Far Meadow; Rigel 9 (v) – David Bedford and Ursula Le Guin; The Delphic Prophecy (CD) – Gran Torino; Not A Good Sign (CD) – Not A Good Sign; La Lama Sottile (d) – Zaal; Storybook (d) – Finisterre; Out There (d) – Rick Wakeman; Terra (CD) – Tantra; The Mirror Effect (CD) – Artnat; Il Principe del Regno Perduto (v) – Celeste; Ataräxia (CD) – Ataräxia; Constellation (d) – Elias; Sum of Erda (v) – Guranfoe; L’Enigma della Vita (v) – LogoS; Sadako e le Mille Gru di Carta (v) – LogoS; 1977 (CD) – Elias; Prelude (v) – Deodato; Solar Fire (v) – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band; Live (v) – Gong; HQ (v) – Roy Harper; Albedo 0.39 (v) – Vangelis; Heavy Weather (v) – Weather Report; The Underfall Yard (v) – Big Big Train; Extrasolar (d) – Elias; Off the Radar (v) – Isildur’s Bane; Pastoralia (v) – Jordsjø
All the downloads bar Wakeman’s Out There were bought using Bandcamp; the two Blu-Rays were Christmas presents along with a clutch of CDs. Terra and The Mirror Effect were from the Artnat web shop and the other CDs were from Bandcamp; the new vinyl came from Bandcamp and Burning Shed, and the oldies came from Wanted Music, Beckenham, British Heart Foundation, Keswick, Keswick Collectables, and online shops via eBay.
A lockdown project to collate and record all the gigs ProgBlog has ever attended has resulted in a series of ProgBlog Year books, from 1974 – 2020. The years 1974-2010 and 2011-2013 have each been grouped into a single volume, and all other years have a dedicated volume. Featuring live band photos, some of which have not previously been posted on ProgBlog along with selected edited texts from ProgBlog posts, these have been printed as A4 sized hardback photobooks using Snapfish. It would be interesting to know if there is any interest in making them available for purchase by the general public.
A short staycation in the Lake District during April provided the opportunity to see family members (outside, in small groups) but I also discovered Keswick’s rather good record shop, Keswick Collectables (18 St James’s Street) which deals with antiques but has devoted around half the retail space to second-hand vinyl, much of which is sold for £5. There are bins of slightly better quality, more sought-after items that sell for up to £30 and some interesting rarities on the walls. It’s not the only record store in the Lakes but it’s the only one that’s been open when I’ve been around! I was told that the stock gets updated every couple of weeks and they obviously do good business, despite refusing to have any on-line presence. Any prog-addict or vinyl junkie visiting the Lake District should make it part of their itinerary – it’s well worth the trip.
The Lake District – Mountains, lakes and vinyl