Tag Archives: progrock

KINDRED SPIRIT— Live at Twickenham

Through their inter-woven folk/rock prog-rock compositions, Elaine Samuels and KINDRED SPIRIT explore the magic of our existence.

We saw their spring show this week at the new community facility in the heart of Twickenham, in the excellent 320-seat theatre at Brewery Wharf — known as The Exchange.

Elaine Samuels and Kindred Spirit – “explore the magic of our existence” Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

Under a bright star-pentagram, an ancient sign of cyclic transformation, the show started with the driving energy of a new number.

Pandora’s Box” had dragon-skin rhythms from Aleem Saleh on drums, enchanted voices from both Elaine and Catherine, threaded stringwork from the talented Martin Ash on violin  and spiral water-snakes of pure enchantment from Catherine Dimmock on flute.

Their “Beast” cycle came in the first half of the concert. With “Run Red” perhaps the most melancholic part of the set-piece. Cloudy with violin mists, this lyrical “feminist historical anthem…” was performed with great majesty and artfulness.

Yearning sax from Catherine… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

Elaine explained that the song was inspired by a challenge given by a fan.

He dared her to write a song influenced by Alan Moore’s American Gothic story “The Cursed.”

The final part of the song-cycle was the Dylanesque and haunting “Wolves at the Gate.”

As well as the amazing song ‘Kindred Spirit’ with its gentle meanders, we also enjoyed the mysticism of ‘Children of the Stars’ a song that explored our shared journey across the universe, with yearning sax from Catherine.

We were also treated to a second apocalyptic new number [from their forthcoming fan-funded album.)

Titled “Red Rose” it began with a tribal drum then slowly built into a fiddle-dee-ree urban jig of wonderful proportions. The number was truly cinematic in scope.

The highpoint of the Twickenham show was, for us, the third new song from the much anticipated album. Titled “Daemons” this was the first time it had been played in public.

A a fiddle-dee-ree urban jig of wonderful proportions… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

A prowling pace was set-up by drummer Aleem with loitering moodiness from Mike Hislop on bass.

Then began the ever-fermenting and promiscuously potent concoction of sounds.

With a frenzy of fire from Martin’s violin strings and lots of lucid provocation from Catherine… this was possibly the only true “prog rock” number of the night. Boy, what a stunner!

Kindred Spirit gave us seductive treasures, moments of complete serenity, and songs of constant wonder. A great show. We can’t wait for the next album.

Words & Images: @neilmach 2018 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/KindredSpiritBand

Kindred Spirit gave us seductive treasures, moments of complete serenity, and songs of constant wonder… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

Velvet Razor

Velvet razor

Velvet Razor are a Rock / Classic Rock / Progressive outfit from Weybridge consisting of Dave Kent vocals lead guitar and additional guitar/keyboards;
Martin Wise bass guitar and backing vocals; Ian Pickering on keyboards and
Ian King on acoustic drums, electronic drums and percussion.

Having formed four years ago (2003), Velvet Razor haven’t wasted time in trying to establish themselves as a fixture in the UK South’s live music scene. 2005 saw the band play at Guilfest 2005 and proving to be a minor sensation of the festival. They were unknown late-comers to the festival, playing the notoriously difficult first slot on the Surrey Advertiser stage. Initially they played to a nearly empty marquee, but half way through their set, the crowd started to pour in from outside.

More recently they played at the Ents24 stage at Guilfest 2006 (The 2nd largest stage) and went back into the studio this sunmer to record a whole new disc.

I saw the band at The Hob, Staines last month. The band played a selection of their own-penned compositions plus a nice range of prog-jazz sounding covers from Stones through to Led Zeppelin via some more modern stuff. Their own material sounds a bit experimental (without being too avant-garde) allowing the boys to stretch the boundaries of the basic rock sounds. The band’s guitar-based tunes containing interesting percussive elements is reminiscent of Robert Fripp (King Crimson). It is obvious that the band enjoys exploring elements of jazz and funk whilst remaining loyal to a more solid rock foundation.

I heard plenty of old-style prog-rock (Pink Floyd, Yes etc.) but couldn’t really say that I heard ‘more modern’ prog-rock sounds like Porcupine Tree or Spocks Beard and I suppose this is not a surprise because the band are no spring-chickens…. not that I am being critical about their combined ages! As an example of their reliance on older sounds, I noticed on their website that they cite Genesis as an influence but are clear to note that it is the ‘Gabriel’ Genesis they are referring to and not the ‘Collins’ version (so in other words pre-1975.)

Perhaps the Hob is not the best venue for VR. The ‘jazzy & experimental’ feel of the group meant that, at times, their performance seemed lazy and a little self-gratifying. It is fair to say that the group seemed to lack the vigour and vim of some of the younger performers that night.

But, all-in-all, VR is a complex and multi-talented band worth exploring (you can get their disc from their website) and probably more suited to an outdoor event than a pub-rock venue.

Neil_Mach  October 2007


Sat, Nov 17th 2007 8:30 pm Robin Hood Pub Guildford

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