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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

The Tangent

Live at Celebr8 Festival London, England, July 2012

Review by Alison Reijman

With both High Voltage and Glastonbury shelved this year due to the London Olympics, there appeared a real gap in the market for a quality summer music festival in the capital ahead of the Games. This opportunity was seized upon by Jon Patrick, promoter of the House of Progression series of concerts at the Peel pub in Kingston, together with Geoff Banks, music manager, promoter and writer, to put together a weekend event featuring the best of the prog bands that had appeared previously on the rather cramped stage at the Peel. Most of them had their roots in the neo-prog movement of the 80s and are still performing 30 years later, while the others were young upcoming names on the prog scene. The run-up to the festival had not been without incident, Mars Hollow being one of the bands due to appear but because of a shake-up in their line-up, they were unable to participate. However, promoters Patrick and Banks had built up such a close rapport with the band’s former bassist, Kerry Kompost that he and fellow Californian musician and composer, Matt Brown, were invited over to play on the festival’s acoustic stage. What is more, several members of the audience had flown in from the US just to be at this festival and very welcome they were too.

It was very much an afternoon for musical sorcerers to show off their apprentices and The Tangent has two young prog wizards in the making, 23-year-olds Luke Machin and Dan Mash who are under the tutelage of keyboard maestro Andy Tillison with stalwart drummer Tony Latham completing the line-up. If there was one band who captured the whole spirit of the weekend then it was the Tangent when they completely wrong-footed the audience by starting their set with the funkiest, hottest rendition of “Celebration” this side of Kool and the Gang. Whoever said prog musicians weren’t versatile or had a sense of fun?


Martin Reijman
 
Martin Reijman
   

Their performance was so intense and frankly beautiful, several members of the audience were openly weeping. Starting with “The World That We Drive Through,” even in the ten short months since I last saw them at the Summer’s End festival last year, the band has taken itself to a completely different level. This is due to the incredible chemistry which now exists between the four of them. There is no finer guitarist in prog than Coolhand Luke from whom the most fluent and jaw-dropping runs flow which he articulates so naturally through his facial expressions. Mash is now simply commanding the bass grooves with real authority and style. The rest of the set comprised “The Wiki Man,” “The Winning Game” and “Where Are They Now?” For many, this was the performance of the weekend.


Martin Reijman
 
Martin Reijman
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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