Author Archives: Laurence Todd

Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

Why Keith Richards’ solo album ‘Talk Is Cheap’ is still a classic 30 years on

There’s an interesting story about the gestation period of this album. Talk Is Cheap was put together by Keith Richards and his side band, the X-Pensive Winos, during 1987-88 while the Stones were off the road. In fact, they’d been off the road for several years by this time and hadn’t toured since 1982 because Jagger believed he could do ...

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Salem’s Bend explore fuzzy sounds on ‘Supercluster’

“Three dudes crawled into a garage-turned-studio and dug out some tracks from the nether regions of Sabbath, Purple, etc, and other 70’s rockers, infused these with other musical elements and slithered out as Salem’s Bend,” which is how the band describe their origins. Supercluster is their second album and, if there’s still some justice in the world, it’s an album ...

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Here Comes The Rain Again

Warmrain… Here Comes The Rain Again           

This is a four-track precursor to Warmrain’s debut album, Back Above The Clouds, scheduled for June release and, if it’s anything as good as this EP, I’m definitely interested in hearing it.  This is an EP likely to appeal to anyone who enjoys the kind of music performed by John Mitchell and Steven Wilson and other similar artists, indeed anyone whose ...

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John Lodge

Moody Blues bassman John Lodge brought his 10,000 Light Years band to London for a rare solo gig

In the almost baronial splendour of Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square, Moody Blues bassman John Lodge brought his 10,000 Light Years band to London for a rare solo gig in the capital. The Moodies have always been a class act so it was only fitting he chose to perform with his band in similar surroundings. He’d already done a short solo ...

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The Far Meadow - Foreign Land

The Far Meadow’s Foreign Land

The Far Meadow are a symphonic, prog rock band from London who emerged from Blind Panic, and who’ve just released their third album, Foreign Land, the follow-up to 2016’s Given the Impossible, which was this writers introduction to the band. Actually, the real introduction was seeing them open up the Saturday afternoons proceedings at the 2018 New Day Festival where, ...

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Lonely Robot

John Mitchell releases Under Stars by Lonely Robot

Lonely Robot are a crossover solo prog project from the mighty John Mitchell, a man who’s almost a tour de force and a one-man army in prog rock, both as a multi-instrumentalist and his contribution to bands such as It Bites, Kino, Frost* and Arena, amongst others. He’s also a producer of some note with his co-ownership of the label, White ...

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Jordan Rudess's Wired for Sound

Jordan Rudess’ ‘Wired for Madness’ is testimony to the extraordinary range and breadth of his musical desires

If you’re a fan of Prog-metal the name Jordan Rudess will be familiar to you as the keyboard player with rock titans Dream Theatre and also as one of the two main composers of their music. But although he’s made his name and stellar reputation inside this band, his skill and musical palette extends far beyond this. His latest solo ...

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The Mute Gods

THE MUTE GODS – Atheists and Believers

The Mute Gods are a kind-of prog-rock supergroup, with all three members of the line-up having a lengthy pedigree playing in other major bands, currently including The Sea Within and Steve Hackett, among several others. This new album follows on from their last release, 2017’s Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth, and continues to shine the spotlight on topics and issues ...

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DEVIN TOWNSEND – An iconoclastic musician who has pushed the boundaries on Empath

If one word could be said to sum up the music and career of Canadian rock musician Devin Townsend, it’s probably Iconoclastic. Since he’s rarely in one place for any length of time and is always following his muse to wherever it leads him. Which puts him alongside fellow Canadian Neil Young, who’s always gone his own way and made ...

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Dream Theatre’s Distance Over Time “Them at their most dynamic”

A contentious point, maybe, but it’s probably true to say there’s no other band like rock titans, the mighty Dream Theatre. Consequently, few bands divide opinion in the rock world more than they seem to. That’s because they’re an interesting hybrid; neither wholly prog, nor wholly metal, rather, they’re a fascinating amalgam of the two styles. They effortlessly bridge together ...

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