HRH Prog Festival
Christopher James Ryan
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
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
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
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.