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Progeny 2 Festival, London Astoria, Sunday 21st November 2004

Strangefish

Onto Sunday, north-west England's Strangefish opened proceedings for what was to be their first London show. With a limited stage space, it had to be said they made the most of every centimetre on offer! Well, frontman Steve Taylor did anyway! Strangefish opened with Happy As I Am which will appear on the next album, and I would say the crowd which was over 100 were impressed. Next up, the beachballs came out for Take A Holiday, and the knotted handkerchiefs too, which made the new viewers eyes open. The band were soon into their stride, and highlight for me on their set was Listening To Ghosts with 'Bob' on guitar performing the power chords with ease. Stage right on keys, Paul O'Neill was solid as ever, and keeping everything in touch on drums Dave Whittaker, who had a drum-stick put through his ears from frontman Steve Taylor! The Lighthouse Jig followed with Steve having a dance with many fans and companions of the band, and of course on violin was bass player Julian Gregory. Another new song on the next album Keep The Exits Clear was next, and the final song Shifting Sands And Turning Tides from first album Full Scale ended their set. To say this was a great show personally would be a little favourable, but the CD sales and comments speak for themselves. In my opinion, Strangefish made a impact which many people will remember, and they will be back in the capital before too long as I was informed.

Man

From Wales, Man were next. Again I admit to not hearing much about this band, but I enjoyed what was performed. The dual guitars of the two Jones's, Mickey and George, traded solo's throughout the set of five songs, and with the opening number of C'mon, many of the crowd were soon nodding heads. Drummer Bob Richards performed well, and was very tight in his playing, and the keys from Gareth Thorrington made a pleasing sound too. Martin Ace on bass who joined the fold in 1969, along with Bob held the back beat in place. It's amazing that after a few line-up changes, the band still retain the magic I was informed by a punter who had followed them since the early days, and you could picture what it must have been like back then. Back to the set, Even Visionaries Go Blind was next, followed by what I thought was their strongest song Hanging On, again with many people enjoying what they heard. Final two songs Heaven And Hell and Bananas put the icing on the cake for many people, and I would like to visit this band again to get a full picture. Man are a good band to have on the billing, and with many concerts lined up, their engine sounds just serviced.

Jadis

Taking to the stage next were Jadis, and it was nice to see them on a big stage, especially the mobile John Jowitt who was up to his usual Jadis tricks! Pardon the pun, but hiding in the corner (!) Martin Orford looked to be enjoying himself on keys and backing vocals, as well as frontman guitarist Gary Chandler, and on drums Steve Christey. As mentioned by other websites and magazines before, this is the classic Jadis line-up, and with Sleepwalk emanating from the PA, many of the crowd were thrilled on what they heard. Having seen Jadis many times through the years, this was a great performance, and was highlighted on such gems as The Great Outside and Daylight Fades. Well, with many bands performing on the days, it seemed a shame that Jadis had to do just an hour-long set, but it was a good hour which was played, and hopefully some new faces had seen them for the first time.

Re-Genesis

Al MurrayNow before Sunday's headline act Re-Genesis, the 'pub landlord' himself, comedian Al Murray, came onto the stage, and entertained the crowd with a bit of a 'prog' stand-up routine, saying that most of us are fat and bald and have long suffering wives and girlfriends! Could be true in many ways, but the crowd were loving every minute of his speech. He said that in the crowd was Steve Hackett who I spotted earlier and had a quick chat to the very man. Al then said in 1974 Genesis made a epic of a album and Re-Genesis were about to perform it. He said a Slipperman was on the stairs backstage which raised a big laugh with the crowd, then the band took to the stage and done just that. The screen behind the band projected many pictures and videos, but to compare this to the real thing will be unfair. On the whole it was well performed and put together, with the Slipperman costume that put a smile on many faces too, then after closing number It, Al Murray reappeared to introduce the encore. A punter shouted Supper's Ready, Al said 'what, in ten minutes stage time!' but finally it was Firth Of Fifth on which Al took to the drums to give 'Phil' a hand! after that, Al said 'that's it, go home' in not so many words and that was the final lick of paint on Sundays entertainment. (To see reviews of Monday, 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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Strangefish

 

 

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