Those of you who saw our last newsletter will know that we were anticipating a flurry of activity on the live front, positively rushed off our gigging feet by Abel Ganz standards. Well, as the Meatloaf song goes, “two out of three aint bad”. Unfortunately through a situation out with our control we were unable to participate in Mattfest at The Peel on 3rd June. By all accounts it was a great gig and our former singer young Master Alan Reed who we had hoped to team up with live at the festival, put in a fine performance with his newly formed trio dropping in an Abel Ganz song into his set for good measure. (Kean on the Job from Gratuitous Flash). Hopefully we’ll get down to London before too long.
So to the gigs that did go ahead. Friday 20th May saw us at The Ferry in Glasgow sandwiched in between Comedy of Errors and Credo making their first foray over the border into Scotland. Both bands had new albums to plug and everyone put in a power of work to ensure a small but enthusiastic band of hardcore prog fans turned up to enjoy a great night of varied music. Thanks to everyone who turned up including The Ganzettes and Neil!
Time constraints of a three band bill cut our set to a meagre 3 songs but it did witness the live and hopefully definitive version of Davie’s new song “Rewind”. We had played it at Baltic Progfest but without Mick’s mid section and the song was enhanced both sonically and visually by the inclusion of Stevie’s “new toy” - an electric double bass! The song is sure to be a favourite when the new album finally comes out, mixing whimsical 12 string ala early Genesis, trademark vocal harmonies and some great solo interplay from Jack and Davie.
And so on to Saturday. At 2 am as I missed my junction off the M6 heading for a Travelodge I was beginning to question the wisdom of playing on Friday with a ridiculously early get-in on Saturday. That said we were absolutely delighted to be asked to play at the inaugural Electric Garden Festival in Blackpool, an ambitious 3 day festival featuring some great bands such as The Tangent, The Watch, Credo and Also Eden. The whole festival was put together almost single handedly by Ken Foster who deserves immense praise for the professional way in which the festival was run and promoted and the fantastic way we were looked after during our trip “up the Pool” (other festival organisers please take note!).
Although only held in a small venue it was pretty well attended by prog fans who were there for all the bands and gave everyone a good reception. If there was a slight down side it was the problems the soundman had in getting to grips with our mix of electric and acoustic instruments and we all felt we had played better in Glasgow the previous night. We did however get our full four song set in this time with the inclusion of Ventura which Ken quoted as the song that stuck in his head after the dust had settled on the weekend, high praise indeed!
Hopefully Electric Garden will go on to be a regular on the prog festival circuit, it certainly deserves to and to attract a wider audience from prog fans further south.
Back home we are continuing to record the follow up to Shooting Albatross, we’re not short on idea’s and songs and under Denis’s watchful direction we are putting down some interesting and varied sounds.