Singer and bassist John Wetton dies at the age of 67 after cancer battle


John Wetton has died at the age of 67.

The news was confirmed by his manager Martin Darvill, who said that the cause had been colon cancer. Wetton had undergone major surgery in 2015 to have a one-kilo malignant mass removed from his abdomen.

Wetton was born in 1949 and played with a variety of bands including Family, Mogul Thrash, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and King Crimson.

He went on to form prog supergroup UK and following their split in 1980, he teamed up with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer in Asia. They released their self-titled debut album in 1982, with Wetton becoming the band’s principal songwriter.

Wetton would later team up with Downes in Icon and along with playing with artists including Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, David Cross, Ayreon and District 97, he also enjoyed a successful solo career.


Carl Palmer was one of the first to pay tribute to Wetton, calling him “brave and innovative” and a “musical giant.”

He says in a statement: “With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant. John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music.

“As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of Asia to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle.

“For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humour and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend.”


Geoff Downes called his friend “one of the world’s finest musical talents” and adds: “It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions – out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony – unreal. He was literally a ‘special one.'”

He continues: “Life will not be the same without him. And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the world will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on. The music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops. Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother.”

King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk also paid tribute to Wetton. He posted on Twitter: “Truly and genuinely saddened by the news that John Wetton has passed. I was honoured to call him a pal. Love to you, JW.”

Wetton is survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.

This article originally published on and is reproduced here with kind permission.

101 Dimensions Live

Broadcast 19th February 2017 all the tracks are taken from live performances

The tracks are from across the whole Panoply of the electronic/ambient universe.

  • The Orb – Blue Room
  • Klaus Schulz & Manuel Gottschsching – live Improv
  • Mike Oldfield Tubular bells
  • Steve Wilson – No Twilight within the Courts
  • Dave Brock/Harvey Bainbridge/Nik Turner – Ghostdance
  • Nisus – B Wave (improv)
  • Manuel Gottsching – E2 – E4 live
  • Tangerine Dream – Fourth Movement
  • elec-festival-2

ns 100

Northern Star  160217

Podcast 100 nearly twice around the sun so here is to another 100 or more

Northern Star – Pallas Theme

  • Anthony Phillips – Tibetan Yak Music
  • Hammerfall – Man on the silver mountain
  • Unitopia – Nothing Lasts forever
  • UFO – Rock Bottom
  • Nick Magnus – Brother sun Sister moon
  • Drifting Sun Five Ever
  • Roger Hodgson – School
  • Earthside – A dream in static
  • Delrium – Pensiero Per un Abbandono
  • Nektar – oops (unidentified flying abstract)
  • Oktopus – Eyes Open
  • Roger Water – Perfect sense pts 1 – 2
  • Talk Talk – Tomorrow Started
  • The Dear Hunter – Gloria
  • Halo – Modern day regime
  • Enchant – Hostile World
  • Radio head Karma Police
  • No Man Back when you were beautiful
  • Steely Dan – deacon Blue
  • This Mortal Coil – Fire brothers
  • Anathema – Untouchable 1 + 2
  • Rush By- tor & the Snow Dog
  • Sound of Contact – Cosmic distance ladder


Repeat Shows Tuesdays 1.00am GMT & 3.00pm GMT

Sunday at midnight GMT Podcasts of all the shows are available here

Subscribe to the show here

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After 2013’s The Bonding it was hard to imagine how Edenbridge could further improve on their sound and majestic power as a band. That album is definitely one of my favorites of this decade, if not of all-time. From the profound lyrics to the symphonic sound, it was a game changer in every way and a big step in the right direction with orchestra and choir support really making the album spectacular.

So, how to follow all that power?

With The Great Momentum Edenbridge have made another great album. The stories may not have the same magnitude as The Bonding and it might not be as powerful, particularly the closer, but that is not to discredit The Great Momentum in any way as the lyrics, music, symphonic qualities and choirs remain in place, however, those waiting for the next stage of the band’s development must wait longer…

The album’s first single, opener Shiantara sends a signal that the template established on The Bonding will continue as the spirit of that album comes through in lyrics with a majestic quality that sits well with the music. The symphonic orchestration highlights and extends the great musicianship while the accompanying video uses images from the album to fine effect.

[embedded content]

Sabine Edelsbacher’s vocals are as magnificent as ever and one of her most powerful performances on the album:-

“I stand here…eye to eye…face to face,
I take this place…in the right of Shiantara.”

“This path continues emotional, intense the way to gain a renewed sense.
This bag of memories I have prized as vintage wine.
It seems to strike a chord in me enshrined.”

The Die is Not Cast begins with excellent acoustic guitars and symphonic synths set against muscular bass and drums. Electric guitars take over and build up steam in another lyrical track driven by some compelling music. No, the die is not yet cast and I hope that songs like this are part of the band’s future; symphonic music and strong vocals, mixed with quiet periods of acoustic guitar or piano. Perfect, one of the album’s best tracks. The lyrics could have many meanings, from saving the environment to slowing the nationalist fervour disseminating throughout Europe and the world:-

“Take the new day.
Move doubt away.
Chances are best.
The die is not cast.”

“It comes to character traits.
Believe me, it’s all in your hands,
But nature’s dictating your fate.”

Positive words, almost directives to live a more purposeful life and something we need to hear, especially amid some of the darkest days we have experienced globally in years.

The Moment is Now opens with more symphonic thunder than can be imagined, then grinding guitars and rhythms take over in a Rocky–like fight song to get you moving. This should be the next stage of development for this band.

“It’s never too late.
So why do you wait?
The moment is now for igniting the fire!
Get into your stride with eyes open wide.
The moment is now or never.”

Until the End of Time has a melody that sounds very familiar. A love duet, the song opens with Erik Martensson singing with Sabine in another classic Edenbridge track that warms the heart. Electric chords build with the rhythms for The Visitor until that wonderful orchestration is added, then Sabine:-

“Where are you.
Frozen in time.
It makes my blood run cold.
Long ago and far away.”

“Take the early hour.
Leave your ivory tower.
Live your life for your own sake.
Drop in the ocean.
Restless the emotion.
Reality is not your fate.”

It’s a good song, but similar to many of their others over the years. They saved that last verse, the most powerful lyrics, for the end, all sung with the choral support of Thomas Strübler and Alex Koller, with the Junge Philharmonie Freistadt orchestra.

Return to Grace has the magic of The Bonding as similar rhythms and melodies build momentum and drama through orchestration mixed with heavy lead guitar, Eastern instrumentation lifting this symphony to a whole new level.

“If you give power to some unforeseen rite
And are you hiding in the shadows in yourself so deep inside?
When you are feeling helpless
At the mercy of someone disregarding you.
Glory is the story.
Life is too short.
It is a return to grace.”

Sabine’s vocals with piano accompaniment make Only a Whiff of Life another of the best tracks here:

“Years go by.
Who defines the moment
Where we go, or we choose?
How many souls fade before they came in?
This life…tragic to lose.”

It reminds me of the Everflow album from Sabine and guitarist Lanvall’s acoustic Voiciano project. Like a movie soundtrack, the excellent guitar and piano offer a break from the heavy, the orchestra joining in to provide the surrounding symphony.

Another great song is A Turnaround in Art, the grinding guitars and rhythms returning, but the thundering orchestra then lifts the sound beyond the usual and the floor is given to Sabine to tell the story:-

“A stage for dreamers.
Weave yourself into the flow of life.
It’s moving you inside.
Will take you on a ride?
Inspiration and imagination.
The door is open wide.
Learning, turning…where are you now?
So open up and feel.”

The closing track of The Bonding was what made all the difference in the world for this band – my favorite song of that year with some of the best lyrics I had heard in a long time and music that took my breath away. The final track on The Great Momentum, The Greatest Gift of All, is a fine song about a distant land, but the lyrics, though bold, do not match the power of The Bonding, despite the choral and orchestral support. The song’s themes are very similar to My Earth Dream, the band’s 2008 album, but they have done it before and I was hoping for something that would be like Shangri-La…a glimpse of something spectacular and unknown; a surprise.

The Great Momentum is another wonderful album from Edenbridge. It may be more balanced than The Bonding in that all the songs have powerful elements, the strength of the album not locked up in the closer with most of the songs featuring orchestral support, choirs and, of course, Sabine’s wonderful voice. This is a great follow-up and another fantastic recording.

01. Shiantara (5:51)
02. The Die Is Not Cast (5:15)
03. The Moment Is Now (4:21)
04. Until The End Of Time (4:36)
05. The Visitor (5:54)
06. Return To Grace (5:13)
07. Only A Whiff Of Life (3:44)
08. A Turnaround In Art (7:32)
09. The Greatest Gift Of All (12:18)

Total Time – 54:44

Sabine Edelsbacher – Lead Vocals
Arne “Lanvall” Stockhammer – Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Bass, 6 & 12-string Acoustic Guitars, Nylon Guitar, Piano & Keyboards, Hammered Dulcimer, Bouzouki
Dominik Sebastian – Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Nylon Guitar
Johannes Jungreithmeier – Drums
~ With Guests:
Erik Martensson – Lead Vocals (track 4)
Thomas Strübler – Backing Vocals & Choir
Alex Koller – Additional Backing Vocals
Junge Philharmonie Freistadt – Orchestra

Record Label: n/a
Country of Origin: Austria
Date of Release: February 2017

DigiPak CD
2LP in Gold Vinyl, Gatefold, 180g, Printed Innersleeves, CD in Paper Sleeve
Boxset (only for Europe, Limited to 750 units) including DigiPak, LP, Mousepad, Poster, Sticker, Button and more

Edenbridge – Website | Facebook


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This news story was originally published here:

Islington Assembly Hall, London
11th February 2017

On a night when The Pineapple Thief played to an enthusiastic sold out Islington Assembly Hall at the end of triumphant European tour, it seems appropriate to note that pineapples used to be symbols of great wealth in architecture. Similarly, The Pineapple Thief have found an opulent seam of musical creativity and have greatly cultivated their skills and confidence in performance. Watching this assured band in full flow in front of a packed auditorium is an impressive sight that makes those days in much less salubrious – and less populated – venues around the Somerset town of Yeovil seem a very distant memory now. The seeds that Bruce Soord and his band mates planted over 10 years ago now seem to be finally reaching a very satisfying fruition.

TPT 5 - photo by Smile For The Camera

On this tour, they have been supported by the Welsh band Godsticks. Darran Charles, who now plays guitar in The Pineapple Thief live band, has a busy night as he leads this young band in a powerful support set. With a set almost exclusively drawn from their most recent album, Emergence, Godsticks draw in an appreciative crowd with a double guitar attack of Charles and Gavin Bushell, particularly on the impressive Exit Stage Right. New drummer Tom Price drives them on at a furious pace, ably supported by the solid bass of Dan Nelson, whom also plays with Magenta. Godsticks thunder along for much of their set, but there is also subtlety and deftness in their material, including new song Revere. As an entrée for the main event, it is heady and heavy stuff which much of the crowd enjoy.

Godsticks - photo by Leo Trimming

Much Sinister
Below the Belt
Exit Stage Right
Lack of Scrutiny

Darran Charles – Vocals & Guitar
Dan Nelson – Bass
Gavin Bushell – Guitar
Tom Price – Drums

Godsticks – Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Pineapple Thief arrive on stage and appropriately tear into Tear You Up from their new album, Your Wilderness. In a recent interview with Manchester.Rocks, Bruce Soord stated that “the line-up now is a completely different proposition and the general consensus from people is that it’s gone to a completely different level”.

TPT 3 - photo by Leo TrimmingThe opening number instantly reveals the accuracy of this statement as the song oscillates excitingly between the ferocious cut of Darran Charles’ guitar and the incisive power of Gavin Harrison’s drums, with Soord’s silken voice and plaintive acoustic guitar. The Pineapple Thief have always gloried in the contrasts between light and shade, the soft and the loud, the sinister and the positive, but with this band they now have the chops to fully describe those juxtapositions. Needless to say, with the addition of Gavin Harrison, from not one but two legendary progressive rock bands in Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, The Pineapple Thief have made a quantum leap in quality and reputation. Nevertheless, it is testimony to their inherent class and skill that Harrison would consider joining them, and from the evidence of tonight’s performance he is enjoying the experience. The recruitment of Godsticks’ guitarist Darran Charles to the live band, and for some of the new album, has also helped The Pineapple Thief to develop and express their musical ambitions. In the same interview Soord explains that Charles “takes the songs to different areas that I just can’t do. He allows me to focus on the song”. The impact of these new band members is perhaps best exemplified in the set of three songs taken from 2014 album Magnolia, as The One you Left to Die, Alone at Sea (with some scintillating guitar in the middle) and particularly Simple as That are transformed with increased power, crispness and impact in the live setting.

TPT 2 - photo by Andy YoungAfter the incendiary Alone at Sea it is probably apt that Soord soothes our fevered souls as we float away on the uplifting and almost translucent beauty of That Shore. Reaching Out, from 2012’s All the Wars, plunges the crowd into more sinister soundscaping, also transformed in the live context from the string-laden lushness of the album version into a more eerie sound effect strewn and powerful epic. In Exile and Take Your Shot are two of the highlights from the outstanding Your Wilderness and already feel like fan favourites as they continue to carry the crowd along on waves of finely crafted rock, before ‘The Thief’ return to one of their finest albums, Someone Here is Missing from 2010. Show a Little Love rolls along, twitching and pulsing with electricity, with Jon Sykes in particularly fine form. Working alongside a drummer of the skill and reputation of Harrison has inspired Sykes on to greater heights in his bass playing, and he lays down an impeccable and pulsating display all night.

No gig by The Pineapple Thief would be complete without Part Zero from their elegiac 2003 album Variations on Dream, and it is received with great acclaim as the band dramatically play their classic ‘Prog’ number. The Pineapple Thief have always focused on rather more ambitious songs with imagination and subtlety. However, even in that context it has to be acknowledged that the impressive new song The Final Thing on My Mind is an extraordinary piece, especially in a live setting. This finale perfectly frames Soord’s intelligent, sensitive and impassioned lyrics and vocals as it builds and builds hypnotically to a heroic ending for both the song and the main part of the gig.

The encore inevitably and fittingly showcases the melancholic Snowdrops from 2006’s Little Man, an album based in tragedy. Over the years it is a song that has evolved in beauty and drama with a well-judged guitar solo added to the coda. As on the original, the crowd clap along perfectly, showing the palpable connection between band and audience that grows as the night progresses. Loss never sounded so heartbreaking and captivating.

TPT 1 - photo by Andy Young

The night closes with a throbbing and coruscating version of Nothing at Best, with Steve Kitch conjuring a dazzling galaxy of sounds from his keyboards with the skill he has shown more subtly all night long. The crowd are in raptures but the band wisely leave them wanting for more. They are photographed with the crowd behind them and there is a real sense that this is a band that has moved to another level tonight, with some gig goers saying this is one of the best gigs they have ever seen.

Bruce Soord is the main songwriter and front-man and he has been remarkable at this gig, showing a delicate touch with the acoustic guitar or a cutting edge on electric. He has handled the crowd with charm, modesty and confidence, but it is his silken voice which most beguiles the audience. However, as he has said about the new album, “Your wilderness was very much a band collaboration”. It is also clear that the undoubted success of this gig is borne out of the chemistry and combination of intertwining skills and imagination of a band on truly top form. They have provided a memorable night of ethereal and transcendent beauty combined with finely executed and precise rock power. Those small venues and clubs of the South West seem a long, long way away now…

Bruce Soord - The Porcupine Tree - photo by Smile For The Camera

Tear You Up
The One You Left to Die
No Man’s Land
Alone at Sea
That Shore
Reaching Out
In Exile
Take Your Shot
Show a Little Love
Fend for Yourself
Part Zero
Simple as That
The Final Thing on my Mind
~ Encore:
Nothing at Best

Bruce Soord – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Steve Kitch – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jon Sykes – Bass, Backing Vocals
Gavin Harrison – Drums, Percussion
Darran Charles – Guitars

The Pineapple Thief – Website | Facebook | Twitter

[Photos by Sandy Steele-Perkins of Smile For The Camera, Andy Young and Leo Trimming, all used with permission and with TPA’s thanks.]

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This news story was originally published here:

“Is This The Life We Really Want”.
Scheduled for May 2017.

Very good chance I won’t make any of his shows. But buy the album? Oh yes!

I would provide a link, but just enter the album title into any search engine of your choice and choose from either Rolling Stone or Classic Rock Magazine for more information.
And apologies to the PA mods if a thread like this already exists.

The Police – Omegaman

Saul Blease – Black Hole

Stewart Bell – Time Dilation

Godsticks – Hopeless Situation

Blackfield – From 44 to 48

Pain of Salvation – The Taming of a Beast

Anglagard – Ganglat Fran Knapptible

Twombley Burwash – ZZZvv

Kyros – The Door

Quidam – Awakening (Dawn of Hope)

Thieves’ Kitchen – Spiral Bound

UFO – This Kids’ (Live)

Kajagoogoo – Kajagoogoo (Instrumental)


This news story was originally published here:
Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967

August 4th, 1967 will remembered in the Rock history as one of the most important days, the day when London’s Pink Floyd released its debut LP The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The record, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, remains as one of the crucial moments for the genre that’s been in constant progress for decades.

This article is an excerpt and is a part of an exclusive app-only content of our app. Download the Prog Sphere Android app from Google Play Store HERE, and read the rest of this article, as well as other exclusive content. iOS users can access this content via Apple News app.