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Progeny 2 Festival, London Astoria, Saturday 20th November 2004

After last years successful Progeny festival featuring bands from the UK, the second one was a mixed bag with British and international bands. This time, spread over three days instead of the weekend two-dayer last year, this proved to be an eventful one all round. Set in the Astoria theatre in the heart of London, 12 bands performed to their full extent, and a certain funny comedian entertained us all on the Sunday evening.

Ars Nova

As in true style, the early start caught many people out last year, and it had to be said the same thing happened this year. All the way from Japan, Ars Nova opened the festival and played to a mere handful of punters before many more filtered in towards the end. First song of their set, which is of course instrumental, was Morgan. Many of the small crowd had not heard or seen Ars Nova before, because many people seem to be focused on certain biggies and don't take much notice of the talent of other bands around today. Keyboard player Keiko Kumagai introduced the band and remarked they were happy to be back again in the UK, and I feel it won't be long until they will be back again. On bass 'Panky' just played solid in the short set, and the energetic Masuhiro Goto on drums and strange vocal noises, was the showman of the band! With following songs such as Transi, Horla Rising, the trademark Emerson Lake and Palmer influence shone through. The final song Nova had the classic drum solo ending with Masuhiro standing up hitting cymbals, and the party piece of running over to the large gong of Ummagumma, hitting and knocking it over! Well at least the stage crew enjoyed it anyway! So that was Ars Nova, they seem to leave a lasting impression in your mind, and with an impressive CD catalogue on show which a few were sold too, made this the perfect start.

The Attack

Sadly, the next act The Attack did not perform due to we believe as technical problems. The Nice guitarist David O'List was seen to be setting up his gear and then taking it down, and it was hoped he would play later on, or on another day.


After a lengthy delay, early Pink Floyd tribute band Ummagumma hit the stage, and played the early classics before Dark Side Of The Moon was born. We had such gems as Astronomy Domine, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and from Meddle the long classic Echoes. The large screen projected liquid like images behind the band, and made them a pleasing sight to watch.

Jan Akkerman

Saturday had a mix of countries on show, and Dutch legend Jan Akkerman from 70's band Focus entered the stage. His unique style of fast guitar playing soon got the now healthy sized crowd enjoying the big figure of the man himself. The bands set was mainly a example of Jazz with a little Blues thrown in for good measure, and of course the two Focus songs that nearly everyone knows of Hocus Pocus and Sylvia, but the Hammond was a little lost in the sound. I must say I enjoyed this set, all of the musicians gave a great performance, and to have just arrived from the airport in a taxi to play this evening must count for something here!

Amon Duul

Headline act Germany's Amon Duul arrived during Ummagumma's set, with the suit-cases and other items of luggage they disappeared to the dressing room. All those years ago at school, many fellow students were fans of this band, but for some reason they never made my ears I'm afraid. But on tonight's short set because of time curfew, I was impressed to say the least. The sometimes twin guitars were excellent, and the Latin style of one song gave their sound a nice edge. The strong female vocals from the front lady Renate Knaup-Krotenschwanz all dressed in black made this a memorable performance, and the 'monk' bass player was a nice touch too. With many instruments on offer here, including a lute, the crowd loved every minute of their set, and sadly I know the set was shortened somewhat. But to sum up, I would like to see them again. (To see reviews of the other days, click on the buttons in the left-hand menu.)

Danny Mayo

(See below for gallery of photos.)


Ars Nova



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