The jukebox was biding its time between swallowing pound coins by playing random tracks. there was some Phil Collins, and some B*Witched which I was pretty happy about, but at some point in the evening this chorus grabbed me by the ears.
Very nice. This is the kind of thing of which I can imagine Jem Godfrey would produce a brilliant cover. And it's part of a concept album apparently, but I'm not convinced.
So, something I've been meaning to do for a while is feature some songs and bands who aren't Prog, but are certainly learning that way. More to come, sometime.
I mean... What? Just look at that video thumbnail. Not a lot could be less Prog.
I'm gonna tell you all a short moral story, so grab a cup of cocoa and get comfortable. I'm afraid it doesn't have a lot to do with Prog, but bear with me, I've been at the wine.
Now then, let me take you back to the days when I were but a wee lad. Most weekdays I'd come home from school in the afternoon, dump my bag on the floor and run to the wireless in my bedroom to listen to the Chris Moyles show. At the time some of the music was ok, most of it was naff, but I listened for the banter, and aside from this I was fascinated by the overall production of the show. In those days I wanted to be a disk jockey, or a producer, or a script writer, or a playlist clerk. I was also a huge fan of Mark&Lard, remember them? The risqué duo of windup scamsters from the North, with one foot heavily placed in the glory days of comedy and the other boldly treading the icy waters of 'What's the filthiest material we can get away with broadcasting at 2pm on national radio?' As it was though, during the hours their show aired I was usually sitting through double maths or running away from a rugby ball.
Of course, all of this changed when a friend introduced me to Iron Maiden's 'Rock in Rio'. I was a late bloomer. Don't judge me.
Somewhere amongst the Radio1 playlist though was 'Butterfly', which I remember being a half decent choon back in the day. You know, one of those tracks you'll only confide your enjoyment of to a select few trusted friends. So after being taken aback by seeing Crazy Town appear on the Download lineup for this weekend, I figured I'd give some of their other material a listen.
Right, you know those moments when you unwittingly decide to try something completely and utterly senseless and stupid, and it takes about three seconds before you fall into the deepest regret and embarrassment? This was one of those times. I ended up watching the mutant spawn of S'Club7 and Lil Wayne. In fact, I feel the need to make a public apology. I am deeply ashamed by my actions, and vow to never repeat them. Each to their own and all that, but I implore you to do the same.
Again... What the f**k?
Did I say this was a moral story? I did, didn't I. B****cks. Well, I guess the moral is... Erm... If it's Prog you're after, probably look somewhere other than Download Festival?
But you knew that already. I'll get me coat.
As a footnote, I am looking forward to seeing Anathema and Opeth this Friday; maybe I'll report back on proceedings. For the rest of the weekend, I shall be taking it as it comes, skipping merrily between hardcore, rap-metal, heavy metal, blues, pop-punk and classic rock with a huge grin on my face and a beer in hand.
...But only really when Phil Collins does it. The rest of the time it's not particularly Prog, but nevertheless still a wonderful and powerful thing, and also one you should partake in.
Standing on the shoulders of giants though are my radiant bandmates Gemma Lawler and Amie Chatterley, who will each be travelling five kilometres on foot in the name of Science. And by Science, I mean they'll be raising money so that other people can do Science.
Cancer Research UK needs no introduction I'm sure, and it is in their direction that the proceeds will be heading. So I beg of you, please donate what you can to motivate the girls, but more importantly so that Cancer Research can buy more Petri dishes and continue to save lives every day. It'll make a difference.
Here is the Link (<-There it is) to the girls' JustGiving page. Please, please give it a visit and make a donation.
Colourful both by nature and by language, Gem and Amie also govern their own Blog if you're into that kind of thing. They get a lot more hits than I do, but then it is a lot better than mine.
If you'd like to join me in cheering them on and throwing tomatoes as they valiantly pursue their quest, the event is in Redditch on the 15th of June.
And so it comes to be that a chance encounter once again introduces me to another brilliant group. It was whilst re-homing some surplus drums that I started chatting to drummer Liam Kearley. We exchanged band names, and I started listening to Shrine's 'Closer To The Sun' EP.
Blimey was I blown away by this one.
Shrine are a four piece band from Brighton who have already received high acclaim from the likes of Metal Hammer, Thrash Hits and BBC Radio1's D.P. Carter, and I hear they've bagged a slot at Knebworth this year too. These days it is very difficult (and I would say wrong) to pigeonhole any group into a single genre. These guys cover many bases by branding themselves as somewhere between math rock, aggressive hardcore and post rock. They are indeed all of those things, sometimes all at once, but to me their outside-the-box composition and experimentation grants them that all important Prog status.
The first thing that struck me was the sheer tightness of this band. The music is intricate and complex, but still powerful and engaging. It takes a great deal of skill to be able to pull off this kind of thing, and Shrine are faultless. If you're into Mastodon but fancy something more precise and varied, check these guys out.
I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more in the future. Tight as f**k, lads, keep it up!