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Willowglass - Willowglass

Willowglass - WillowglassHaving lived in the county of West Yorkshire for 18 years I was pretty sure classic progressive rock had passed most people by with one or two exceptions.  So it was a pleasant surprise to hear about Willowglass who hail just a stone's throw away in the often overcrowded yet picturesque little town of Holmfirth, famous for a certain long running television comedy series, saucy seaside postcards and the beginnings of the British film industry.  And, thanks to Willowglass, perhaps it will also become known for progressive rock.

The person behind Willowglass is multi instrumentalist and composer, Andrew Marshall.  Andrew plays electric, acoustic, 12-string classical and bass guitars, keyboards, flute and drums (though not all at the same time I suspect!).  In fact Dave Brightman also appears on this beautiful debut album on drums.

Entirely instrumental, mainly in a pastoral symphonic style, the music combined with the sound of the instruments invokes a vague familiarity, but perhaps that is just me.  Let me just say that fans of the following bands will be smiling 'til it hurts; Camel, Genesis, Anthony Phillips, Sky and perhaps a little Floyd on one track.

Take Into The Chase as an example; the first couple of minutes sounds like some lost Andy Latimer piece written around the time of Mirage or even the first album whereas the following section is Tony Banks working on an idea for The Lamb only in 1971, finishing in a Camel vein.  Yet the whole album has the delicious delicacy of Anthony Phillips' Geese And The Ghost.

It is one of my favourite albums of 2005.  And if Andrew manages to get a band together and ever ends up on the same bill as Steve Hackett, I would hate to put money on who would take top spot.  Highly recommended.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Willowglass

(See www.leegaskins.com for the complete Willowglass (and others) artwork)

 

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