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28 October 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > Introducing > New Prog Rock festival hits Gloucester

prog rock band Magenta

Prog rock band Magenta

New Prog Rock festival hits Gloucester

Progressive rock is back! As a new festival dedicated to the cosmic sound launches in Gloucester, Stephen Lambe explains why rumours of the death of prog have been exaggerated...

Heather Findlay

Heather Findlay: Mostly Autumn singer

Gloucestershire prog rock fans will be in for a treat when The Summer’s End Festival, a celebration of contemporary progressive rock, comes to the Guildhall on September 17th.

Prog rock, you say? Didn’t that die out in the late 70s, overwhelmed by punk?

Well, no, actually, it is very much alive and well, and undergoing something of a revival in the 21st Century.  This is due to a whole host of exciting new bands taking the classic music of bands like Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Renaissance and giving it a fresh, contemporary twist.

Christina Booth

Magenta's Christina Booth


So who will be at the Guildhall in September?

Headliners are Magenta from South Wales, fronted by charismatic singer Christina Booth, who bring a strong sense of melody and fun to a form of music which has wrongly been seen as stuffy and pompous. 

Their recent credentials include impressive festival appearances in Mexico and the USA. By contrast, The Pineapple Thief fuse indie pop with progressive rock in a style very much their own.

The festival will be opened by Also Eden, an excellent Gloucestershire band who were prompted to organise the event after the demise of a similar festival in Chippenham.

The Tangent

The Tangent on stage


So how has prog rock managed to survive?

Well, growing consumer dissatisfaction with the vacuity of the pop charts has led to a revival in the need for music with more originality and substance. 

Add to this the ability to record much more cheaply and the rise of the internet as a link directly to the end consumer has allowed many bands self-sufficiency without the need for huge record contracts. 

The kings of this form of direct marketing are Marillion, who have rewritten the way that CDs are sold, by largely bypassing the retail industry and marketing themselves direct to their fan base via their website.

While there will always be those who would like their Prog to sound exactly like their favourite bands from the 70s, for many like me the continual evolution of the music is what drives their interest. 

Bryan Josh

Mostly Autumn's Bryan Josh


Mostly Autumn, from York, fuse the music of Genesis and Pink Floyd with Celtic themes, hard rock and strong, emotional melodies. Their singer Heather Findlay demonstrates, yet again, that this is not just music made by and for, the boys. Their sound is a unique and appealing hybrid, which has taken the band to the brink of mainstream success.

New band The Tangent, who have both British and Scandinavian members, take their lead from the jazzier Canterbury based bands such as Caravan and Hatfield and the North. 

Meanwhile, English band Porcupine Tree regularly sell out concerts world-wide with their very modern form of adventurous rock, and other bands with large followings like The Mars Volta and Radiohead continue to push back the boundaries of what rock music can achieve.

Stephen Lambe, Angela Gordon and Heather Findlay

Stephen Lambe: Happy that Prog didn't die out...

Live Music

For me, these bands have not just rekindled my interest in prog rock, but in music itself, particularly as a live experience.  Gloucestershire has a few good venues like the Guildhall offering live music, but look a little further – to Bristol, The West Midlands or South Wales – and you will find dozens of venues offering live music by bands playing original material every day of the week

The progressive rock community came together this year to make its contribution towards the Tsunami relief effort.  The Progaid single All Around the World, written by Magenta's Rob Reed, drew on contributions from the current crop of bands, as well as the artists from the brief early 80s revival, like IQ, Pallas and Pendragon. 

With that sense of community spirit binding these bands together, it looks like prog rock could be with us for many years to come.

This article contains user-generated content (i.e. external contribution) expressing a personal opinion, not the views of BBC Gloucestershire.


What's your Prog Rock band name? Use the link above to find out, then let us know by filling in the simple form at the bottom of this page.

Here’s what you’ve been telling us so far…

few bands beat Camel for pure classic prog rock

Tyrannosaurus Dimension
Great name but my original band was "Virgo Plug", which I think is better. Prog rules and always has - one day it will rise again when Britain and the World most needs it. In the meantime check out Arena, IQ,Pendragon, Flower Kings, Spocks Beard, The Tangent, Parallel or 90 degrees, Riverside, Opeth, Guy Manning, devin Townsend, Pallas plus all the card carrying members of the Judas Iscariot Club - Marillion, Mansun, Muse, The Mars Volta, No-Man, Porcupine Tree("no we're definitely not a prog band, honest guv. - its just we like twiddly bits.")

Nordmark is my band name but i am not progressive rock. i am space rock that is way cooler

Erik (a.k.a. "Sword Wormhole," apparently)
Good music never dies, whether it's prog or any other type. Here in the US, the torch is carried mostly by Spock's Beard, as far as good, old-fashioned prog goes, but so-called "progressive metal," a la Dream Theater, seems to have captured the market. If I were to name a true successor to the legacy, however, I would look to Sweden and The Flower Kings. Allow me also to nod in hafid's direction for mentioning Ayreon; Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a true visionary, responsible for some of the greatest, most jaw-droppingly expansive soundscapes of the last decade.

hi...prog heads!!! lets make some prog stuff.. hey all... can you give me some information abot HEATHER FINDLAY VIDEOGRAPHY? did she makes some video clip or else? I just have her videography with AYREON "THE HUMAN EQUATION". did she make videography with other projects? with Mostly Autumn maybe? thanks n best regards PROG HEADS...!!!!!

Princess eldi
hi friends For Enid Fans I would suggest to listen to Princess Eldi: could be heard:\princesseldi urs Hans

Duke (George)
Always good to see Heather and Tina in the BBC article. Greetings from Bulgaria!!

vermillion monolith

nickolas gunn

Enipus 5
I decided to change it after my girlfriend renamed it Enipenis 5. Foggy

March 23rd 2006 8pm Prog @ The Fleece, Bristol Lineup change now Credo, Crimson Sky and Darwin's Radio.

Sat Feb 25, Crimson Sky at the Old Tavern, Stapleton, Bristol.

March 23rd 2006 Prog @ The Fleece, Bristol Credo Crimson Sky Also Eden More info

Space Station At the End Of Time
How did they know? The response came in 6/8 time Bill D. Connecticut USA

sword symphony
It never died. It sunk beneaththe oceans for a few years and re-emerged to stay as a legitimate form of musical expressions embrassing many genres and styles. It appeal to music listeners that need to have their brain captivated more than just their feet. Like all styles of music it's fashionable entry has been shaded. It will change some of it's structures but will remain fidel and true to style as long as the musicians and fans will keep up the interest generated.

Alien Trees
great name!!

Chris A
Cor Blimey! I'm the keyboard wizard in ALIEN DIMENSION! Where's me mellotron gone...?

Mike Alexander
I was a rock DJ on Radio Aire in Leeds in the early eighties and I'm so pleased to hear Prog Rock is back. Amongst the HR & HM, I loved the gentler sounds of PR. I was a particularly big fan of The Enid and Robert Godfrey. I hope he/they are still around. I hope this is the start of a revival and that youngsters get the bug. After all it's only hippiedom revisted. Fashions wane and then get rediscovered. Youngsters think it's new - the older ones just smile. River Symphony (!)

Crimson sky. a must see for all bristolians

First Crimson Sky gig for 2006 27/01/06, The Bunch of Grapes,(behind the Hippodrome, Bristol, FREE ENTRY.

crimson sky

If you like Prog Rock, check out Bristol band Crimson Sky. Playing The Bunch Of Grapes, Bristol, 14th October, FREE ENTRY.

Alien Monolith
Haven't had so much fun in ages! Prefer the one I get with my maiden name though - Alien Symphony.

moons of Uranus
Want more prog rock band info,Check out the Prog Archives web site,free legal taster downloads ,web links to band websites etc. Also check out the Rain, art and illusion sites for free downloads of their whole albums and not forgetting Eivind Fivlsdahl onetime member of Foxtrot who collaborates over the net. See you Sat. The Squirrel.

Project of the Replicants
I prefer the Alan Parson Project. Yes! Even better.

Yeah, IQ rock!! Check out their last CD, Dark Matter!

No mention of IQ ???? Get out more folks !

weather machine
Prog Rules! I am currently getting together my own prog band and we hope to be one of the many bands putitng prog back on the map! good luck with any other bands and keep proggin;)

Rob Stubbings
Today is tommorrows yesterday

Project Symphony :)
I'm 18 and I grew up around prog rock, so I've always loved it, with it being amongst my first memories. It's cool to see that a prog rock festival will be happening soon, I'll definitely be there. My fave bands are Yes, Rush, English Rock Ensemble, Pink Floyd and Mostly Autumn, and I'm constantly trying to find others. And love the band name generator, Project Symphony sounds very cool to me! :) And hi to all the other prog rock fans reading this! Prog lives on! :)

Turgid Dino
I'm a longtime prog fan with lots and lots of CDs, and 2 of the most humorously bad ones I own are by Mostly Autumn. I find it both perplexing and disturbing that they're considered progrock at all. Just because a band uses keyboards doesn't mean they sound like Genesis or Pink Floyd.

Miles Bartaby
Apparently my band name is River at the End of Time. I kind of like that! Nice one Stephen...

Ian Oakley
Great article - Perhaps the rest of the BBC and media will start to take notice of this large 'underground' movement. Its quite strange but by the way the genre is ignored by the commercial media and only survives of 'word of mouth' and home made fan magazines and websites in many ways 'Prog' is todays 'Punk'.

Neil Derham
re-entering Prog Rock name allows for the following .. Vermillion Moon,Cantaloupe Dimension, Alien Dimension, Rainbow Dimension, Project Dimension, Galactic Dimension, Age Dimension, Rainbow Dimension etc. The usual problem, start off original but end up a little one-dimensional

Not that great a name, I wanna go with 'The We Should Be Band' and a concept album about a supermarket trolley collector!

The Tangent
Thanks for the first recognition in yonks BBC. You've got 30 years of catching up to do.

Planet Tripod seems to be my band :-) Looking forward to another trip to the UK for the Summers End Festival. Can't wait!

River Platypus
I appear to be a neo-prog band - while I do like Marillion, Genesis will always be my favourites - Supper's Ready would be my choice for the greatest piece of music ever written, across all genres.

Unbleached Monarch
The "Scandinavian members" of The Tangent, of course, came from The Flower Kings, an absolutely amazing bunch of musicians. Check them out!

Mike Foley
What a well written article, check out the new prog bands espcially Mostly Autumn & Magenta,both of whom have recently released albums which stand comparison with,if not even surpassing, many of the classics from the '70s.

james thompson
I'm Not impressed! Putting in my name and it came up with Dawn Dimension Definately the wrong Sex! jim

neil houlton
loved prog since 1969 (old), prog is witty, emotional and speaks volumes about this country and its people. Sure prog has its bad points but its still living and just read the music press to see how many prog have reformed. Favorite bands, YES, Druid, Fruupp, Mostly Autumn, Fantasy, Porcupine Tree and big Big Train.

Luke Napier
Genesis are the best! I have most of the stuff they've written and I couldn't live without them!

Bjørnar Lunde
I love Genesis, Gentle Giant, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Yes, Supertramp etc.

Rainbow Dimension!
Yep, thats me! Great article. Its refreshing to read an article about prog rock which doesn't take the mickey. Punk is alleged to have killed off this music, but it's ironic that all the big prog bands proceeded to outlive AND out sell the punks right into the 80's and beyond. Doesn't sound like they died to me!

Mostly Autumn are just light years ahead of the music around today. What a real pleasure to see and hear music as it should be. Don't take my word for it, go and buy there CD's, see them live, and judge it for yourself; Stunning!!

Age Machine can't fail to like Mostly Autumn.

john morley
Great article Steve!

Prog is the coolest.

Nice to see a positive and informed article. The name generator tells me my band is called Space Station Of Time. Move over, Hawkwind, here we come!

River Machine
Good name...

Bernardo Staut

Steve M
This is excellent! Apparantly my Prog Rock name is Weather Machine. Now I need to just get a drummer and keyboard player.

last updated: 19/02/2008 at 12:57
created: 05/08/2005

Have Your Say

What's your Prog Rock band name? Use the link above to find out, then post your comment here. Rock on!

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Weather Of The Replicants
I am a member of an unsigned prog band with an album and more material. We want gigs,please tell me there are gigs. Someone ? We are based in the West M

Leandro Ratamero
"Gulliver's Dragon".Well, i had my teeth brushed today !


I was in 'Paley's Watch' in the early/mid 90s. One day we may put out another album!

Carl Klinkenborg
"ALIEN TRAPEZE". Who knows what digital electrical trickery ('tis withcraft, you be warned!) derives this band name from my ancient North German name but I love it. Anyone in the West Devon/North Cornwall area want to form a band?

Paul L
Apparently mine is Galactic Machine ;-) For those who don't know, Twelfth Night have been back on the stage recently - they are every bit as good as they ever were 20 years on... All we need now is for them to write/record some new stuff!!

Tangerine Dragon..hmm...any chinese keyboard player interested in forming a Tangerine Dream tribute band??

Times Up
We are a buch of aging old rockers who should know better. Just cutting 1st cd in monmouth(wooly Wales)

Rainbow Dragon....I just to sub-contract Nick barrett of pendragon, And I'm on the way to a great band :-)

Everyone should check out a new progressive rock band called Never Wasn't, its awsome

Julie Shail
My Prog rock name is Dawn of Time. This is particularly spooky as "dawn" happens to be my middle name !! How did it know ?

Rhapsody Trapeze
Camel and Genesis (with Peter Gabriel) were the best band from the 70s, but Mostly Autumn are the best band around at the moment - quite brilliant and as good as the giants. There's loads of great prog bands around (IQ, Pendragon, Riverside) Long live prog!!!

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