RAMzine Issue 2 - Apr. 2015 - Page 9

HRH Prog Festival www.hrhprog.com Christopher James Ryan P rog Festival displays a broad range of acts from across the globe. Prog bands from far and wide come together in North Wales, to play on this stage that has had so many great acts perform on over the past few weeks. To kick things off on Thursday are The Osiris Club. These mysterious chaps came onto stage in complete silence. With a tranquil sound - making it very atmospheric and giving it a spacey vibe. Playing tracks such as ‘That’s Not Like You’ from their new album Blazing world. And then once they finished just utter silence and they walked off into the abyss. Headlining Thursdays line-up is The Skys. They travelled by car from Lithuania, which had taken them three days, to get here. They are a combination of electro and rock - it’s fantastic. They do have a wide range of tracks from faster paced rock to slower ballads. The crowd definitely loved them, as they were overwhelmed with the positive responses. Definitely worth the distance. Friday is wackier. One of many bands that got my attention was Lifesigns. Their track ‘lighthouse’ is a strong nutshell of what they are like. Great combinations of piano work along with guitar play. The intro reminds me of a Matrix film. Anna Phoebe definitely stands out from the crowd with her unique violin play. This combined with rock music is unreal! The first track ‘A Moments Deception’ was a honour to hear and see live. With special guest Simran Ghalley on the tabla - it packs a punch. This type of music I’ve never come across before but I’m glad I have now. It keeps you on edge not knowing what’s going to happen next. The Enid are mind blowing, like the voice of an angel - this is simply breathtaking! Everyone is stood or sat still staring at Joe Payne (lead vocals) as his voice touches your heart and mind. They are a combination of rock opera with a classical theme to it. It works fantastically. Moving onto the final day, Saturday. Collibus spice things up with their metal vibe, which added a surprise to the event. A wide range of fast and slower paced tracks with a classical feel to them. This mixed with metal and the cherry on top was Gemma Fox (vocals) rocking out. They sure did leave a mark. They remind me of Lacuna Coil, so if you love them you’ll love Collibus. Magenta from around the corner, founded in south Wales these welsh lot are a fine example of experimental prog. A combination of modern beats with a pop vibe but of course with the progressive rock in the mix. They remind me of Dido and Bjok, combine them and you’ll get this. Christina Booth (vo- cals). She does have a unique voice hitting those high and low notes with ease! Steeleye Span - Classic legends, what more can I say? Spamming over six decades they have truly made a mark in the music industry. Now this is a mix of instruments including an electro violin, making the band have a unique twang. A bit more modern yet holding their classic iconic folk feel. Playing tracks such as ‘Blackleg Miner’, ‘King Henry Boys of Bedlam’, and ‘All Around My Hat’. Everyone is singing and clapping along it’s very harmonic so merry and happy. Rick Wakeman. The legend himself headlining this festival. One man and his piano, that is all. Rick talks about the songs he will play and give’s an insight into the history behind them. He also talks about a lot of random stuff such as old albums, tours that include inflatable dinosaurs, which were annoying to use on stage. On top of this are his terrible jokes, which were quite funny, and the crowd loved them. One of my personal favourites is when he spoke about ‘Space Oddity’ and how he chilled out with the legend David Bowie. Playing this song on the piano alone is mind blowing it sounded so beautiful to hear live, I truly felt honoured to hear this live. He tells us that Bowie  was talking to him  about his new album and at the time the album name hadn’t been confirmed. Rick replied saying he was playing on a cheap instrument, and if you can play music and it sounds fantastic on that, imagine what it sounds like on high end instruments. Rick also told the crowd about how he initially wrote music on piano, to get the feel for it and then used it from there on other instruments.  There were loads of fantastic acts at this festival these were only a handful. It has definitely been a festival never to forget. It has been a new experience for me and the atmosphere was definitely unique! Here’s hoping next year will come quick. Rick Wakeman