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Progeny 2 Festival, London Astoria, Monday 22nd November 2004


Monday opened with the re-formed Audience. After reading other reviews on our site, it put me in a good frame of mind of what I was in for. The small crowd soon got a little bigger as many people were arriving from work, but opening number You're Not Smiling reminded me a little of Lindisfarne and the Sensible side of the Bonzo's. On sax, flute and clarinet was Keith Gemmell and with his special effects made the sax sound stand out from other players I have seen before. On guitar Howard Werth's playing was precise, but main feature was his strong voice. Along with the melody from Keith's sax, Howard's na na na on the first number was a joy to be heard. The solid performance from bass player Trevor Williams needs to be pointed out too, and with a nice solo towards the end of the set made an impression on me and some of the crowd too. Many of the songs performed this afternoon (!) were from the latest album House On The Hill, which were I Had A Dream, I Put A Spell On You and the title track. Jackdaw was one of the old favourites to be played too!

This was the first time I have heard the band, and I was thoroughly entertained by them. I will keep a watchful eye on the gig guides!


Next on the stage was last years early birds, Magenta. It has to be said that this year has been a big year for them, and the live album was available on the day too, which will keep the fans happy before the next album hits the racks around March. Starting with Home, a new song due on the album, many of the crowds eyes opened wide, and when Gluttony was aired the whole place erupted. The impressive Christina on vocals soon got the crowd mesmerised on every note she sang, and along with the guitar solos from Chris Fry soon got the crowd applauding. On keyboards and backing vocals Rob Reed again was faultless in performance, hiding away in the background Martin Rosser just hit the chords note perfect, combined with the holding it all together section of drummer Allan Mason-Jones and bassist Matthew Cohen create the magic of the band. The last single Broken was next, and the long The White Witch had the crowd wanting more. You had to be there to witness this outfit performing to their best. Ending the set was Pride, which had Chris and Rob trading twiddly widdly bits. You can't imagine how long it will take this band to get bigger status, but next year looks promising with the new album. With a end of the year gig supporting IQ at Rotherham on the 27th November, one thing to point out is, hide your beer! But on today's outing, it will be a great show!

Carl Palmer

The Carl Palmer band took to the stage next after the can can opening, and went straight into Peter Gunn. Carl's band consists of the talented young guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and excellent bass player Dave Marks, and the playing was brought to light on solo spots such as Flight Of The Bumble Bee and Message In A Bottle. Going back to the Emerson Lake And Palmer material, such classics as The Barbarian, Hoedown, Tarkus, Trilogy and final song Fanfare For The Common Man which included the famous Carl Palmer drum solo. This band cover all aspects of great musicianship, and are just leaders in their fields, but sadly is ignored by many people. It was clear the band enjoyed themselves without a doubt, and this show is part of the tour taking place at the moment. The crowd was a lot bigger than before, and they all witnessed one of the best drum legends around today. The band just gets better every time I see them, and well worth the entrance fee.


Happy crowdEnding Monday night and the festival was former Marillion frontman which everyone should know by now, was Fish. The giant Scot entertained us with loads of chit-chat between songs, and played a what I would call very mainstream set. Again the musicianship was to a high standard, and of course Fish put in a great stage show. During a couple of his chit-chats, he said his daughter and himself saw a Marillion tribute band called Forgotten Sons, and was embarrassed when he saw them! He said too that the 'prog' greats of the 70's such as Yes, Genesis, ELP etc were all great, and not like the twiddly widdly sh*t around today! Which makes one wonder, he was performing at a prog festival, obviously got paid for doing it, he hates 'prog' these days, why do it and why take a swipe at the newer bands here? Going back to the 'set' Internal Exile and Market Square Heroes ended the Fish show, and the whole festival, the huge crowd seem to enjoy it too. It goes without saying, Fish has moved on since he started with Marillion, but from my personal preferences, not really my cup of tea now.

So that was Progeny2. It was very eventful, but I feel a Progeny website would be helpful as many people got confused with timings and running order, but a big thank-you must go to the organiser of the whole event Chris Alexander. We look forward now to Progeny3, and hope it is well supported by the paying public! (To see reviews of Sunday, click on the buttons in the top menu. To return to Saturday click here)

Danny Mayo

(See below for gallery of photos.)





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