The Prog Blog – Our Week In Prog
We’d only just gotten over Download and the Ed was bathing his poor behind after cycling up there and we had Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods upon us down at the Indigo O2 in Greenwich. The usual star-studded affair featuring the best the metal world has to offer never fails to be a hugely enjoyable occasion but this year’s event was made all the better with the arrival of acting legend Brian Blessed, who was the recipient of the Spirit Of Hammer award. It fell to the Ed to have to look after Mr. Blessed backstage, a task made most pleasant by the great man’s genial demeanor and wholly down-to-earth attitude. Best of all was watching the hordes of metal musicians blithely ignoring the likes of Back Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, Motorhead’s Lemmy and Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham in favour of getting their photo taken with the actor. Gordon’s Alive!
The end of the week was given over to an entirely different sot of celebration – the wedding of Bryan Josh and Olivia Sparnnen. Held at a beautiful church in Yorkshire in the shadow of the palace of the Archbishop of York it was a most pleasant celebration as you can see from Chris Walkden’s photo below. Things got a little rowdier when we all made our way to the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge out on the moors in North Yorkshire. The guest-list, as one might expect, read as a proverbial who’s who of the prog world. Aside from the wedded couple and their Mostly Autumn entourage we chatted with Steve Hackett and his charming wife Jo, Heather Findlay, Troy Donockley of Nightwish, Dave Bainbridge of Iona, Roger Waters‘ guitarist Dave Kilminster and more. And the party really took off when Donockley’s late 80s Celtic rock band You Slosh reformed for their first gig in 21 years, Bryan, a front-row supporter from those early days leading the carousing and dancing.
Bryan and Olivia re-appeared in their wedding garb the next night at York’s Duchess to lead Mostly Autumn in a fine set at a special one-off gig for family, friends and fans. It was a memorable occasion and one you can read more about in a future issue of Prog magazine. That aside, back in London a few other Proggers were down at the O2 Arena for a splendid Moody Blues show.
And this week, aside from finishing the latest issue of Prog magazine, we’ve got a little bash at the Houses Of Parliament to contend with. But we’ll tell you about that next week. Til then, prog on…