Trinity Live Presents

Arena, Touchstone, The Reasoning, Lost in Vegas, Heather Findlay, Magenta, Matt Stevens and Alan Reed.

The Assembly Rooms Leamington Spa 18th May 2014.

The idea for Trinity Live came about when Magenta singer Christina Booth was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fellow Prog Rock artists and friends worked together to put on a day of quality prog rock music with all monies and profits being donated to the charities Cancer Research UK, Brain Tumour Research and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. So, on the 18th May 2014, The Assembly Rooms in Leamington Spa was taken over to raise money and enjoy a day of the very best of what progressive music can offer. On one of the hottest days of the year so far, we chose to spend it indoors sweating it out for charity. With eight acts on the bill, a long but enjoyable afternoon and evening lay ahead. Opening the event was a lovely atmospheric acoustic set from Alan Reed (ex Pallas, solo artist) closely followed by the amazing talents of Matt Stevens (Fierce & The Dead, solo artist). Using a succession of fused recorded loopback’s, Matt delivered a great set of passionate solo instrumental acoustic guitar tracks.

Matt Stevens

Traffic delays forced a quick change in the running order, with Magenta next on stage. A good crowd had steadily built up by now and were ready for the first full band set of the day. Magenta, with core members Christina Booth (Vocals), Rob Reed (Keyboards, guitars) and Chris Fry (Guitars), have been a well respected part of the progressive rock scene since 2001. Nearly an hour long set saw Rob Reed holding the band together from his keyboards to the right of the stage, while Christina provided delightful vocals for audience attention, accompanied with extended and intense instrumental’s filling the set. A truly poignant and moving moment came when Allan Reed accompanied Christina in a cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Don’t Give Up’. Following this great set from Magenta, a break was called for with a quick trip for me to the bar for a cool lager shandy and a packet of crisps.

Magenta

Heather Findlay was on next, literally going straight from car to stage, but the delayed start was worth the wait. The former Mostly Autumn lead vocalist, Heather Findlay was accompanied by the equally talented musician and singer-song writer Chris Johnson on acoustic guitar and ran through an exquisite set full of dynamic and beautiful songs drawn from both her solo and Mostly Autumn backgrounds.

Heather Findlay

A heavier band set followed Heather Findlay’s delicate vocal set. More rock than prog, Lost in Vegas certainly raised the noise bar with killer guitar work and hard rock numbers full of great catchy hooks. I was both excited and disappointed at seeing these guys for the first time. Excited because it’s not very often a band grabs you and shakes you from the inside out the first time you see them, disappointed because they announced this was their very last gig ever. After a long period of inactivity, Lost in Vegas agreed to do this one-off gig for the cause. Their album was available for sale with all monies being donated to the charities, of which I duly complied. At the end of the set there were still three more bands to follow and the crowd showed no signs of flagging despite the rising sweaty atmosphere.

Lost In Vegas

The Reasoning opened their set with the haunting and mesmerising ‘Dark Angel’. Lead singer Rachel Cohen, resplendent with her black angel wings, captivated everyone with her vocals that took on an ethereal spiritual quality, flowing in pure form from track to track. Bassist Matthew Cohen has been one of the primary organisers of the Trinity Live event, so much praise and thanks goes out to him and the team. There was an in joke about rabbits and chickens which I still haven’t figured out yet. The Reasoning’s set was full of great complex music, bursting with power and energy with the final track of the set ‘Aching Hunger’ a great example of their blending of classic rock and prog rock.

The Reasoning

Things were getting a bit sweaty in the crowd by now, over six hours into the event, but a quick stop for the raffle to raise more monies was in order before Touchstone hit the stage to display some more powerful prog music. The lead vocals of Kim Seviour echoed around the room with a haunting passion, intertwining with great extended guitar riffs and immense power drumming. To the cries of ‘Moo ! Moo!’ Touchstone encored with their classic tune ‘Wintercoast’ before being joined on stage by the legendary John Mitchell of Kino, It Bites and Arena fame for a remarkable cover of Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’.

Touchstone

A break before the headliners set allowed for the grand auction to take place. With items and memorabilia donated by major artists such as Steve Hackett, Yes, Rush Steven Wilson and Marillion up for grabs, the bidding was intense. By my calculation, over £1500 was collected from this auction alone, outstanding stuff from the crowd! Once the shock of money parting hands was over, everyone was ready for the powerhouse of prog music that is Arena. Heavy, melodic, progressive rock and metal of the very highest quality is their trademark. The pedigree of the band members is amazing with the line-up including original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer, It Bites front man John Mitchell, Pendragon keyboard wizard Clive Nolan and bass player John Jowitt who’s worked with Ark, Jadis and Frost. Monstrous vocals from enigmatic frontman Paul Manzi completes the act and their set finishes off a tremendous programme of events with plans afoot for Trinity II and dates already being set for next May.

Arena

See the full picture set HERE:

Review and Photography by Stephen Turner.

Bad For Lazarus

Caught In The Twist - Bad For Lazarus

New release – single and video ‘Caught In The Twist’

June 16th heralds the return of psychoutfit, Bad For Lazarus as they announce the release of their single, ‘Caught In The Twist’, off their upcoming debut Album Life’s A Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!, due for release 28th July.

Reception for BFL’s first single, ‘My Muddle’ back at the end of 2012, bordered on hysterical, as they watched the record’s video fly to number two on the NME’s most popular video chart. Equally, ArtRocker stuck their Single Of The Month flag right through the track, citing the song’s effects as such to “pleasure all the neurological senses.”

Giving their fans and followers even more cowbell this time round, ‘Caught In The Twist’ is a fiery frolic of pleasingly scuffed up vocal harmonies, Rich and Richie’s trademark multi-guitar meatiness, and newcomer garage ghoul, Andrew Knightley’s distinct psycho-surf keys. “When I started the band,” says frontman Rich Fownes, “I said I wanted it to be like Buddy Holly meets Slayer. Well, here you go.”This video contains adult scenes.

As ever, BFL’s audio drive, fuzz and thwack is epitomised through ‘Caught In The Twist’; like the Beach Boys teamed up with Bela Lugosi and cooked dinner for Sid and Nancy.

“Lyrically Caught In The Twist is a love letter to the way of life that this band bestows upon us; it’s not always pretty, but it’s about that sense of perspective : we would all daydream about doing what we’re doing when we were kids. It’s easy to forget that, you can get blinkered and twisted. You can look at a band like an emotional and fiscal black hole…but you could look at a child the same way. That is the perspective, we are wading in a pool of madness, and the song is saying thank you for the chance! The song could be called “woah man, I didn’t see THAT coming” Rich Fownes.

Emma Scott

The O2 Academy 3 Birmingham, 10th May 2014.

Singer-songwriter Charow opened the night with an excellent and passionate solo acoustic set which even included a thought provoking poem recital.

Charow

Kuoko followed with the first of the night’s full-on indie and alternative band set. Together since 2012, Kuoko set the pace and showed their professionalism with an injured bass player playing his first gig with band, sitting down with his bass held vertically between his legs, old school bass style!

Kuoko

Superficials followed on by unleashing some impressive 90’s rooted alternative vibes on to the audience. Plenty of hooks were in there together with guitars proudly riffing away in heavy doses.

Superficials

A great young band, The Assist were up next. Full of swagger and Madchester attitude, The Assist brought some killer beats to the night together with a sound that was full of soul and passion.

The Assist

Headliners, The Rainband were certainly the jewel in the crown of the night. The four piece Manchester band hit Birmingham with a shedload of powerful rhythms, catchy melodies and tasteful guitar riffs that seemed to drive adrenaline throughout the body with a compelling force. With endorsements and supports slots with some of the great established music acts such as Simple Minds, Ocean Colour Scene and Liam Gallagher under their belt, the feel about The Rainband is that they are on the verge to break in a big way. With the good times rolling, The Rainband have announced they will tour Italy in July with Scottish singer songwriter Paolo Nutini in addition to having their latest single Sirens being playlisted on Janice Long’s BBC Radio 2 show.

The Rainband

See more pictures from the night HERE:

Review and Photography by Stephen Turner.