& Captain Horizon
Venue: Trillians Rock Bar, NewcastleDate: 27 August 2014
It seem like only last week we were standing at the bar at Trillians, in fact it was less than a week ago, and tonight would be our third visit in as many months, but once again the lack of bodies to see a live band at this once hot bed of the North East rock scene is quite depressing to see as reviewer, so this must be tenfold for the bands. Again a lack of advertising seems to be the problem yet again, as the venues website and even its Facebook site didn’t have tonight's show listed, so the lack of patrons was almost to be expected.
But the two bands performing tonight showed such a degree of professionalism, that it fair brought a lump to the throat, as they performed their respective sets as though the place was packed to the rafters.
First up was Birmingham’s answer to Porcupine Tree, Captain Horizon led by the exuberant frontman Steve Whttington, aided and abetted by Josh Watson on guitars, James Merrix on drums and last but by no means least, Alex Thomson on bass. The band delivered the own brand of Prog infused Classic Rock, highlighting songs from their latest album ‘The Lights Of Distorted Science’.
times both Steve and Alex left the stage to join the
audience, I don’t know if it was to get closer to the
adoring fans or to make up the numbers, but both seem eager
to do so at every given opportunity, with Alex even taking
to jumping on the tables to play exclusively for the bar
staff. Steve even managed partake in a little dancing
with one of the audience and even showed off some
moon-walking skills. Despite the lack of a crowd, the
band really gave it their all.
Now if you think traveling from Birmingham to do a show in front of nominal crowd was hard for Captain Horizon, imagine you’ve traveled all the way from Canada to do a few shows in the UK, because that's exactly what Simon Tj, Stephan Bots, Erik Smistad, Carl Janzen and Darren Young, aka, Diatessaron did.
Hailing from Calgary the quintet brought their eclectic mix of Prog to the Newcastle stage, mixing a vibe that contained elements of Rush with Radiohead and Muse, with their own Amplified Classical sound.
The Canadians put on an impressive set that included the massive three song trilogy ‘Sunshine’, that dipped and swayed like feather in the wind as it opened A cappella style, before frontman Tj got into full swing, being equally active as he fill the venue with his very emotive tones.
The band did bring a little rockier vibe to proceedings with the likes of ‘Sky Blue’ and the soaring ‘Kitestrings’, which had the Muse/Radiohead vibe.
The band even through in ‘Deexister’ that had a sort of Jethro Tull feel but without the flute parts from Tj's solo album ‘Each Sparrow’, before pushing the boundaries of the Prog as the performed their 'Monument' EP in its entirety. This five song ensemble opened up with ‘The Statue’, a song that Tj brought a little Geddy Lee into the mix, the six minute magic carpet ride of ‘The Phoenix’ brought back that Radiohead dark eerie vibe, whereas ‘Prism’ brought a more traditional Prog vibe back with a touch of psychedelic blues thrown into for good measure.
Then 'Galactic Jellyfish' carried on a very spaced out vibe, with TJ vocals dipping in out of English and French, before the 12 minute finale 'Sanbaruru', which brought back the Rush vibe, with a touch of Eastern spice, rounding off an overall very impressive set.
Both band gelled really well tonight, not something that you can normally say about the Progressive scene. If you like that air of Progressiveness around the Rush/Muse style, then this could be one for you.
Review by: Barry McMinn
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