Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Galahad Sleepers album cover
3.50 | 133 ratings | 7 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sleepers (12:19)
2. Julie Anne (4:43)
3. Live and Learn (9:54)
4. Dentist Song (4:19)
5. Pictures of Bliss (2:06)
6. Before, After and Beyond (6:08)
7. Exorcising Demons (9:15)
8. Middleground (6:03)
9. Amaranth (11:43)

Total Time 66:30

Bonus track on 1995 Canyon & 2015 Oskar reissues:
10. Suffering in Silence

Extra bonus track on 2015 Oskar reissue:
11. Pictures of Bliss (alternative version)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Nicholson / lead vocals & vocal Fx, samples
- Roy Keyworth / acoustic, electric & synth guitars, Fx
- Karl Garrett / piano, Hammond B3, harpsichord, harmonium, synths & samplers, Fx, backing vocals
- Neil Pepper / fretted & fretless basses, Hondo acoustic 2-string bass
- Spencer Luckman / drums, percussion, Octapad electronic drums

- Kathy Smythe / operatic vocals (1)
- Paul Beavis / percussion, Octapad electronic drums

Releases information

CD Avalon Records - GHCD4 (1995, UK)
CD Canyon International - ‎PCCY-00752 (1995, Japan) With 1 bonus track
CD Oskar - 1065 CD (2015, Poland) Remastered w/ 1 extra bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GALAHAD Sleepers Music

GALAHAD Sleepers ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

GALAHAD Sleepers reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars For those GALAfans out there I need not say any more than "Sleepers" to summon a cheer, but for the uninitiated let me elaborate on this excellent recording. After several excellent recordings GALAHAD hit their most creative in "Sleepers" which combines the mysticism GENESIS captured back in the early 70's and the sheer power in early MARILLION. Don't worry my friend, "Sleepers" has its own character all the way through but is greatly rooted in the progressive genre. Songs range from the complex and powerful opening track "Sleepers" to the humorous ditty the "Dentist Song" which is also one of the standout tracks on this album for me. Stuart Nicholson's vocals are at the height of his career and combines with the musical strength of this band, we are treated to a stunning display of sheer talent, power and creativity. "Sleepers" would be one of the top prog releases of 1995 in my opinion.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars I've tried to like this album but there is no way, even after many listens. This mostly reminds me of Fish era MARILLION, actually this reminds me too much of their work if you know what I mean. And then there are some songs that do nothing for me at all.

"Sleepers" opens with 1 1/2 minutes of distant sounding orchestral and operatic female vocals before the guitars and drums arive. Actually it's 3 minutes before a full sound comes in. The vocals seem uninspired on this track to me, although the guitar solo after 6 minutes has some inspiration behind it. This has a distinct early MARILLION sound to it. "Julie Anne" is another Fish-era MARILLION sounding tune. Organ,piano and soaring guitar all are well done. This is a good mellow song. "Live And Learn" has some good organ and piano melodies, the uptempo sections are well done. Actually the vocals here really remind me of Geddy Lee's vocals from the mid to late eighties.

"Dentist Song" is a pleasant, mid paced song. "Pictures Of Bliss" features acoutic guitar and fragile vocals. "Before, After And Beyond" turns out ok after an intro which I don't like at all.The guitar and vocals are the focus. "Exorcising Demons" is about child abuse and it opens with the sounds of children playing.The percussion is good, but this one is all about the lyrics. "Middleground" is a love song. Yikes ! "Amaranth" has some good guitar and vocals throughout. An electronic beat arrives after 7 minutes as well as samples.They would explore these sounds to a greater degree on "Following Ghosts".The dreamy section with synths is the best part of the song.

2.5 stars because to these ears this isn't very good.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Three songs from this album were already written as soon as in 1992.

The epic and title track, which turns out to be a good and interesting song after all. It takes a while to kick off, that's for sure, but one the whole band comes to the party, this number is definitely one of the best they have written. Fine vocals and conservative keyboarding.

"Dentist Song" is the second of these older song to be featured and it has little to do with "Sleepers". Just a little pop neo-prog tune. Press nextT. The third one of the kind is "Before, After And Beyond".

The poppiest of all, "Julie Anne" holds a very catchy melody; it is a sweet and gentle song which automatically recalls me of "Julia" ("Pavlov's Dog"). Not thanks to the vocals (one can't match Surkamp's ones) but to the chorus line. Pretty similar and very pleasant.

But I would say that this is the main tendency. Music is fine, even if not highly creative. There is always a moment during which one can tell: this sounds like "G.." or related. But this is the essence of the genre. Some bands do re-create these atmospheres quite well. Others don't.

In this work, "Galahad" is doing alright. A composition as "Live & Learn" brings sufficient complexity to be attractive. This track is again very much keyboard oriented and quite convincing actually.

As if he was obliged to do so (and IMHHO he was not), Nicholson is incorporating some Gabriel-esque atmospheres in his tone of voice during "Exorcising Demons". Lots of off-beats, and again the leading role played by the keyboards duet. One of the best song featured. I particularly like the final guitar solo. Guess to whom it reminds me?

The problem again with this album is its length. A band should understand that it is at times wiser to produce a shorter and more interesting effort than just record a lengthy one ("Middleground" could have easily be skipped IMO).

The second epic (almost twelve minutes) "Amaranth" holds a bit what I like (vocals) and dislike (obvious and too close "Genesis" instrumental parts) here. A good cloning affair though. The finale is seriously Pictures & Exhibitions oriented.

Still, I have always liked this album (maybe more during the first few listening). Three stars, synonym of a good album. But if you are an "orthodox", you should pass your way.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars "We had it good in the eighties, everything coming up roses - we were drowning in success!" Really?

Sleepers was the album that finally realized all the potential of Galahad's early albums and it is a very strong album in its own right. The music of Galahad had developed into a hard edged Neo-Prog with some appealing Neo-Classical influences and some slight poppy touches too. This album was released in the same year as Arena's fantastic debut album Songs From The Lion's Cage, and like Arena, Galahad too opted for a more hard edged sound compared to earlier Neo-Prog bands like IQ and Marillion. Sleepers is a varied and reasonably diverse album with several longer more complex songs as well as shorter songs that range from tasteful acoustic ballads (Pictures Of Bliss) to poppy love songs (Julie Anne, Middleground) to dramatic and melodic Prog.

The brilliant opening title track is the highlight of the album and easily my favourite Galahad song of all time. This is also one of Stuart Nicholson's finest and most theatrical vocal performances. The vocals are very strong throughout the whole album and while Nicholson clearly belongs to the Fish and Peter Gabriel school of singers, he has unique tone of his own that I appreciate very much. Indeed, he is one of the best singers in said school if you ask me! He also sometimes remind me slightly of Geddy Lee of Rush!

Like in most Neo-Prog, the sound here is based on electric guitars, bass, drums, electronic keyboards and dramatic, emotional vocals but the presence of acoustic guitars and grand piano on several songs makes the sound more diverse. All instruments are played with skill, enthusiasm and confidence here but the most important factor is that the songs are all very well-written and memorable this time around.

Apart from the excellent title track, the ten minute Live And Learn and the nearly ten minute Exorcising Demons are other highlights. The opening line of the former song goes: "We had it good in the eighties, everything coming up roses - we were drowning in success!" This can hardly refer to the band themselves as they had only minor success in the 80's, as far as I know!? Indeed, it was with the present album that the band finally found some success.

Sleepers was the peak of Galahad's career and this album should be regarded as a classic in the Neo-Prog genre. It is thus essential for any fan of Neo-progressive Rock and highly recommended!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The intense work for Galahad still continues towards mid-90's.The band records two cover tracks for the Geoff Mann's tribute album ''Mannerisms'' and Genesis' tribute ''The River of Constant Change'' respectively, while an acoustic version of the band under the name Galahad Acoustic Quintet releases the work ''Not All There'' in 1994.In the meantime they continue to perform live in a constant basis.In 1995 it was time for Galahad's third official studio release.The album ''Sleepers'' sees the light in 1995, again on Avalon.

1/3 of the album (''Sleepers'', "Dentist Song'' and "Before, After And Beyond") were tracks already written in early-90's with Mark Andrews on keyboards and Tim Ashton on bass,the rest being new material with new drummer Spencer Luckman and new bassist Neil Pepper.However musically they do not sound much different.The band's sound is deeply rooted in mid- to late-70's GENESIS with some MARILLION-esque overtones,especially on the lyrical and heavy vocal sections.Galahad try some more ambitious approach on ''Sleepers'' compared to their previous releases.Four out of the nine tracks extend the 9-min. mark,but the result is really questionable.They sound a lot like the mediocre tunes of the previous works,just overstretched with little instrumental explosion and strongly leaning on Nicholson's theatrical performance.Dreamy keyboard work,sensitive guitars,deep atmospheres and a light symphonic influence as always offer some moments of beauty,but the arrangements remain a bit unfocused and at places pointless and mainly rather incohesive and unconveincing of their talent.These long questionable explorations are fairly supported by some shorter tracks in a rather Pop-Prog vein with a ballad atmosphere, compositionally decent but far from what we expect from these talented English men.

To my ears Galahad still search for a personal identity and a strong compositional style in ''Sleepers''.Some moments in it are very good and point to the right direction,but again you will be left with a bittersweet taste at the end.Not exactly recommended,''Sleepers'' will be propably a decent addition only for fans of early Neo Progressive Rock styles...2.5 stars.

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The English quintet Galahad was founded in the mid 80's, and as such celebrates it's 30th anniversary in 2015, while at the same time commemorating 20th birthday of their album Sleepers. A remaster of this album, which is considered an underrated gem amongst neo prog fans, was released in 2015 for this purpose.sleepers

On the album, Galahad certainly shares sound elements with the likes of Marillion and IQ. The fact that singer Stuart Nicholson manages to sound like Fish and Peter Nicholls at times, may have something to do with that - something that has been brought up many times. It certainly isn't a bad thing, let that be clear.

The remastered release of Sleepers has great sound, on all the original tracks as well as the two additional bonus tracks. A sound that sometimes oddly reminds me, but I found out I'm not the only one, of the Pet Shop Boys, not exactly a progressive rock influence. It's not bad, but it might not be what one might expect from a band in this musical domain. Just listen to The Dentist (with funny lyrics about what happens at a dentist visit) to get the idea of how synth pop mixes with rock. [acfw id=2]

On other tracks, like Sleepers and Exorcising Demons, the music is more comparible to the likes of Genesis and Marillion - influences that are nowadays also still very much present in the works of Tiger Moth Tales. Exorcising Demons reminds me of Marillion's The Web in terms of atmosphere. The song Amaranth deserves mention as well - it brings rock with a beat, and has a very bombastic keyboard section in the instrumental mid section.

Looking at the complete picture, I like this album for what it is. It is a milestone in the career of Galahad and might have deserved more attention when first released, and certainly over time. At the same time, it's not one that I would play every day - it may not be a blind buy to everyone.

Also published on my blog

Review by kev rowland
5 stars So, an envelope arrived one day from the UK, and my wife asked me who it was from. When I replied that it was from Stu Nicholson she asked me what he had sent me, so I showed her the CDs it contained, and she immediately said "Oh, isn't that the dead lady?". Of all the thousands of CDs I've been sent over the years, this is the one where the cover made an impact on her, from twenty years previously. True, the story about the cover did make quite a fuss, and this was in the days before internet or Prog Magazine, but for me the story was always that of the album itself and how it was recorded. After the success of 'Nothing Is Written', winning the Radio 1 Rock Wars, appearing on the Friday Night Rock Show it appeared as if the stage was set for Galahad to burst through into the mainstream in a big way. All they needed now was the follow-up album. "NIW' was self-financed and had come out in 1991, but the band were starting to make a real name for themselves and new keyboard player Karl Groom had settled in. They started experimenting with new songs, showing a move into a slightly rockier area, and although the loss of bassist Tim Ashton was a blow, it allowed them to bring in Neil Pepper, who was a force to be reckoned with.

I still remember Stu ringing me in a state of real excitement, as they had managed to secure the services of Tony Arnold to engineer and produce the album: he couldn't believe that a producer of such history and renown would be interested in a small prog band from Dorset. It is fair to say that the experience on all sides was not perfect, and the album took far longer to come to fruition than was expected. The band were playing the songs live, and I can even remember Stu needing the lyrics to the title cut at one gig as it was the first time they had played it! Some of the guys even went out and recorded an album as the Galahad Acoustic Quintet just to be able to work on something. But, the album finally was released in 1995, and even then, I found it strange to review it given that I knew all the material so very well indeed. So, what would I think of it now?

The 2015 reissue has been remastered by guitarmeister Karl Groom, has two additional songs not on the original, and has been released as a digipak by Polish label Oskar. What I noticed immediately from the sound is that this is contains far greater balance than the original, and the drums have been given a much greater focus. Karl is known for creating great sound both in a studio and in the live environment, and even though he is a guitarist he has always been adept in getting the best out of a drumkit, and as with the '30' EP he has brought to life all the work that Spencer carries out at the rear of the band.

As for songs, well, we're spoilt for choice as we go from the dramatic and sublime to, frankly, the ridiculous. "Dentist Song" really is a song about a trip to the dentist, and although this seems like a strange subject choice for any lyricist, let alone a proghead, I have always enjoyed this, as the layers of keyboards tie in so well with the guitar that this poppy little number that I have always found it to be a load of fun, although I am fully aware that most proggers don't share my point of view. "Julie Anne" is still one of the finest ballads they have ever produced, and with its appearance on a 'Frontiers' CD it also gained them a lot of interest from outside the prog scene. Stu has always been a great singer, and with the right production and minimal backing he has always been able to deliver the goods, and is a format that the band still use today.

I could go through every song in turn, explaining why I feel that this album is still essential after all these years, but instead I'll focus on a song that is still possibly the best they have ever recorded, even after all these years. I first saw them perform "Exorcising Demons" at The Astoria, when Tim was still in the band, and even then, I could hear that the band was moving into a more mature style of music. At nine plus minutes long, it is the fourth longest on the album, but it is both timeless and way too short! With keyboards and percussion setting the scene, it always makes me imagine Stu alone in a cavernous warehouse, switching his singing between gentle and menacing. After more than three minutes the bass comes in playing a riff that is picked up by the guitar, and gradually the band starts to pick up speed and the vocals contain more venom. Until everything stops so that Stu can sing out "Exorcising Demons" unaccompanied. This is a song that really does build, with lots of layers and complexity, and although it is more keyboard-driven than the live version it is still a powering number.

I have no idea how often I have played this album over the years, but "lots" seems like a good number, and back in the day Stu and I have had discussions at gigs when I discovered that they had dropped "Exorcising Demons" for one reason or another. Looking back this is a bridging album in some ways, from the naivety of "Nothing Is Written' to the more powerful works that they were to bring later. It took too long to be released, of that there is no doubt, and the band lost some of the momentum they had been building just a few years earlier. But, they got through it, and all these years on is still an album I enjoy playing, and isn't that what listening to music is all about? If you have only come to Galahad through 'Battle Scars' or 'Euphoria' then you will find this quite different, but for someone who first heard them when I played the 'Madness' cassette (which I still have!), then this is something that I dearly love, and would take with me if I was ever stranded on that desert island.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of GALAHAD "Sleepers"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.