rec.music.progressive (Paul Beecham), Whitchurch Music Festival

Sphere³ - Wow. This band's set was NOT long enough. Here is a band which will confound the view that the UK can produce only neo-prog. Energetic, intricate and majestic prog full of twists and turns played by a band that were as tight as a gnat's arse. Imagine what Anglagard would have sounded like if they had been into jazz fusion. Oh, and NO VOCALS. Prog Heaven, THE band of the festival. Have I given you the impression that I liked them yet? Once they work on their stage presence, these guys will be a live act to be reckoned with.

Martin Orford Band - Martin's a nice guy, and a good performer, but I've seen him play before and it's just not the same kind of music as what I'd just heard. I went outside to shmooze with other musicians around the site.

Flower Kings - Played very well, nice music, but nothing earth shattering. Good stage presence though. Jonas Hellborg is a very good bass player and did a very entertaining solo slot towards the end of their set. Thomas Bodin was producing some great organ sounds, so I collared him afterwards to find out what he was using. It turns out he has an endorsement deal with the people who produced the Nord Lead, but the keyboard he was using for the organ sounds is so new it isn't on the market yet.

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