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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

IQ

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. Fortunately, the choice of venue meant near perfect acoustics throughout and a terrific ambience among all the attendees, most of whom knew each other through regular contact on Facebook and Twitter. It was in fact one of the friendliest music festivals ever staged on these shores, made all the more exciting when Steven Wilson joined the audience on the Saturday night.

Saturday night headliners, IQ, performed their Subterranea set which they also presented at RosFest this year. This was the nearest thing to prog opera as it gets as they retold the story of a man held captive and his isolation, the subject of an experiment when he is deprived of sensory perception and then let loose into a world he cannot comprehend. This was the first time they had performed the album live in nearly 20 years and a more powerful piece of rock theatre it would be hard to find with singer Peter Nicholls the focal point throughout.


Martin Reijman
 
Martin Reijman
   

It was extraordinary, the musicianship of the first order with Michael Holmes on guitar and Neil Durant linking up for some beautiful keyboard-drenched passages. Rounding off with “Frequency” and “The Wake,” this was a timely reminder on how this band has helped to shape the prog landscape over the past 30 years.


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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