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KEV ROWLAND’s PROGRESSIVE UNDERGROUND (part one)

It is amazing to think that Kevin Rowland and I were travelling in the same orbit as reviewers, with a link established much later as contributors to ACID DRAGON. Kev’s books for Gonzo publishers really are amazing time capsules of reviews of a period when prog rock was awakening from a period of hibernation in the 1990s after a period of evisceration during the punk and new wave period when it became, shall we say, unfashionable.

So, when leafing through Kev’s eye-catching THE PROGRESSIVE UNDERGROUND books, the first two volumes of them that is, memories were stirred of some great albums that I had reviewed almost simultaneously with Kev, our opinions being uncannily similar.


So, for anyone wanting to get deeper into prog or those on the explorational part let me mention a few notable, and perhaps forgotten albums, with a few brief comments on the way:

CAIRO - Conflict and Dreams; CARPTREE - various; CITIZEN CAIN - various; DISCIPLINE - Unfolded Like Staircase; ECHOLYN - As the World; ELEGANT SIMPLICITY - various; ENCHANT - A Blueprint of the World; EVOLUTION - various; GALLEON, GARGAMEL, HAWKWIND’s Weird Tapes (Yes, I got sent them as well at a time when music would drop through your door in physical format!); HAZE - various; STEVE HILLAGE - Deeply Dale (I didn’t actually get that one!); LYNNE - The Void (A lovely fellow who along with Ken Senior of Evolution I met on trips to Rotherham for the Classic Rock Society gigs with Sandy and co); MAGIC PIE - various; MASTERMIND (saw them in Rotherham); PETE BARDEN’S MIRAGE (Nice little story about this one; I was asked by Martin Hudson to do the draw for the raffle and to plug a survey I was doing for a two-part publication on prog for “Acid Dragon”, and drew out my own number; I still wear the T-shirt with pride on occasion); PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES (The Andy Tillison led group who became The Tangent; one of my great disappointments was when I had set up a backstage interview only for the concert to be cancelled; I never did get to see them); PRESENT – CERTITUDES (A taste of something different for me); RITUAL (I also saw them in Rotherham); SALEM HILL - THE ROBBERY OF MURDER (A highly recommended concept album); SPOCK’S DREAM -The Light (Attracted by the name I took a chance on them after coming across a copy at a record fair and never looked back); and last but certainly not least ROINE STOLT and THE FLOWER KINGS (I have interviewed Roine on a few occasions, most memorably backstage in Rotherham).


The releases I mention are merely the tip of the iceberg in this remarkable catalogue of Kev Rowland’s widely varied reviewing history. Please follow the links below if wanting to find out more:


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