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John Holden


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John Holden Capture Light album cover
3.85 | 37 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tears From The Sun (9:06)
2. Crimson Sky (5:53)
3. Capture Light (7:26)
4. Ancient Of Days (7:52)
5. One Race (6:11)
6. Dreamcatching (7:04)
7. No Man's Land (6:13)
8. Seaglass Hearts (5:09)

Total Time 54:54

Line-up / Musicians

- John Holden / guitars, bass, keyboards, programming, composer & producer

- Joe Payne / vocals (1,3,5)
- Julie Gater / lead (2,7,8) & backing (4,6) vocals
- Jean Pageau / vocals (4)
- Marc Atkinson / backing vocals (4)
- Lee-Anne Beecher / backing vocals (4)
- Max Read / backing vocals (5)
- Oliver Day / guitar & lute & mandolin (1-5,8)
- Billy Sherwood / guitar solo (2), bass (6)
- Oliver Wakeman / piano & keyboards (1,3,7)
- Peter Jones / saxophone & flute & backing vocals (6,8)
- Emily Dolan Davies / drums (2,4,5,8)
- Gary O'Toole / drums & backing vocals (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Omerika

CD self-released - JHCD001 (2018, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to damoxt7942 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy JOHN HOLDEN Capture Light Music

JOHN HOLDEN Capture Light ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JOHN HOLDEN Capture Light reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Cheshire cat has emerged from years in a monastery as a progressive rock artist--at least that's what the gorgeous music on this debut release feels like! His ideas and sounds have apparently been so winning that he was able to enlist the support and contributions of a veritable Who's Who of modern Prog World! Some of, if not THE, best singers in the Anglo Neo Prog world! (All of whom just happen to possess those extraordinary voices that seem to come out of church choir training.)

1. "Tears From The Sun" (9:06) opens with a long instrumental section in which virtually all of the sounds and instruments used conjure up, for me, the musical traditions of the Christian churches I spent time in during my youth. When Joe Payne's angelic voice(s) enters after the church organ in the third minute I am lost, won over by the brilliance of this new composer. And one cannot say enough about the genius of Joe Payne (who I know better from his work with Nikitas Kissonas' METHEXIS project than The Enid). I fear I'm not going to say enough about the contributions of guitarist OLIVER DAY while reviewing this album. Oliver Day. Keep that name in your mind--you'll be hearing more from him in the not-too-distant future, of this I am certain. My lack of appropriate praise will, no doubt, be due to the fact that I can get confused with the work that composer John Holden himself is doing, but this multi-instrumentalist (Oliver Day) is such an important part to all of these songs. His ability capture that sacred feel of Christian-inspired compositions from all eras of the past is uncanny. And nice work from Oliver Wakeman on keys. (18/20)

2. "Crimson Sky" (5:53) a fairly simple, straightforward rock song that is uplifted by the excellent guitar work from Oliver Day, John Holden, and Billy Sherwood--as well as by the soothing voice of Julie Gater. (8/10)

3. "Capture Light" (7:26) takes us to church--or is it that the church is being brought to us through prog music? This song is inspired by the art of Sixteenth Century Venitian painters Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto. The use of lute by Oliver Day is brilliant! And, once again, the contributions of Oliver Wakeman on multiple keyboards is outstanding and not to be ignored. A top three song for me. (13.5/15)

4. "Ancient Of Days" (7:52) again, I this music, this song, makes me feel as if I'm at a church revival! It's so beautiful, so theatric, so uplifting! Nice drum work by Emily Dolan Davies and awesome prog choir from Jean Pageau, Marc Atkinson, Lee-Anne Beecher, and Julie Gater. (12.75/15)

5. "One Race" (6:11) containing a wonderful vocal from Joe Payne, this song mixes up styles and tempos to seemingly take us on a little biographical journey of 1936 Olympic hero, Jesse Owens. I love the jazz guitar flourishes in the fifth and sixth minutes as the story's tension mounts. Awesome song! One of my top three songs from the album. (9.5/10)

6. "Dreamcatching" (7:04) an instrumental inspired by Native American traditions that John decided to employ some spoken word clips from the creation story of the dreamcatcher. The music of this one falls a little more into the category of New Age/World Music. Nice contributions from Peter Jones. (12/15)

7. "No Man's Land" (6:13) inspired by "green therapy" and the disharmonizing psycho-spiritual effects that city life can create due to its disconnect from nature, John tried to incorporate a jazzy feel to this song to represent the city perspective. Julie Gater's soothing, healing voice must surely represent that of Mother Earth/Nature. Gorgeous singing, gorgeous lyric, gorgeous song. (9/10)

8. "Seaglass Hearts" (5:09) yet another absolutely gorgeous song with great performances from Emily, Julie, Peter, and, of course, John himself. Though the choice is difficult, this is probably my final top three song from the album. (9/10)

Total Time 54:54

I'm a sucker for anything with a religious tradition behind it--music composed out of sincere devotion and positive inspiration--and John has certainly delivered this in fullness. I also appreciate tremendously the clarity and spaciousness of the sound production. Great job! And I can't say enough about the talents of Joe Payne, Oliver Day, Oliver Wakeman, and Julie Gater!

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is always a revelation when you land on some new hidden talent, an impulse that makes the hunt for musical stimulation oh so attractive. Therefore, I religiously follow certain progressive rock pundits whom I not only respect, but I also trust their well-crafted words in defining some style that I might feel comfortable with. Drew (aka BrufordFreak) is a long-time colleague who has introduced so many otherwise unknown to me artists, I am left with only the luxury of scouring the net, finding the target and clicking the "purchase" button. Such is the case with John Holden , a British musician who has recently released 2 intricate opuses, loaded to the gills with famous artists to guest on both the 2018 debut 'Capture Light' as well as the stunning sophomore 'Rise and Fall'. One word: IMPRESSIVE!

"Capture Light" sets the wheels in motion with the stirring "Tears from the Sun" , a 9 minute historical hymn that is a grandiose as one would hope for, guided by the lush voice of Joe Payne of The Enid fame, easily one of the UKs most powerful vocalist. Holden is aided by a duo of Olivers: Wakeman on piano and keys as well as Day on mandolin and guitar. The main theme is utterly memorable, sounding pleasant and familiar, an exhilarating entrance, to say the least.

When I first heard "Crimson Sky" , it did not do anything for me, as it was a change of direction that caught me quite by surprise, a traditional melody that harkens back to Oldfield's poppier albums featuring Maggie Reilley, here sung by Julie Gater. The chorus has a "I must have heard this somewhere before" feel, Billy Sherwood takes a lead guitar solo and its fun, quirky and addictive. In fact, I cannot seem to get that melody out of my head, damn musical drugs! The stately title track returns to more medieval stylistics, with piano, lute and acoustic guitar at the forefront, relating to Venice and its grand masters of art. Both Olivers do another tour de force, but Joe Payne really steals the show with an absolute operatic performance of a cathedral melody that is just magic as he hits the high notes like no other. Shivers down the spine.

"Ancient of Days" is more vocal oriented with Mystery's Marc Pageau on lead microphone, with the immense talent of Marc Atkinson (my current favourite vocalist), Julie Gater and Lee-Anne Beecher all on backing vocals. Prog choir extravaganza, a melody that sinks in immediately, very British and gospel at the same time. The music shifts to a more blues feel, the drums are held down brilliantly by Emily Dolan Davies, and John delivers some terrific licks on stinging electric guitar.

A big surprise comes up next "One Race", a wordplay on Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, overcoming both internal and external racial prejudice in an overt Aryan superiority context with swastikas galore, and doing so with dignity and courage. Joe Payne delivering another stellar delivery, amid sound bites of crowd noise and oppressive Wagnerian fanfare. Lyrically poignant, musically expressive, this is another real gem.

Spoken intro on "Dreamcatcher", introduces a stylistic shift, closer to New Age explorations, seasoned with Native Indian influences, with Peter Jones guesting on flute and sax. The bass and the guitar also thrive in the arrangement as the solid drums shuffle gently along. Soothing little ditty.

And the fantastic pieces keep on coming with "No Man's Land", a jazzier universe where drums are handled by Gary O'Toole, a long time Steve Hackett member, while Julie Gater takes over the lead vocal duties once again. Love the lyrics here, with delightful twists like 'a subway to Paradise'. Moody and reflective, the arrangement evokes that space between the city and the countryside in lovely fashion, a very inventive take. The album ends on "Seaglass Hearts", a lovely ballad of two hearts beating as one, saxophone on the windswept beach, a gentle farewell balm of simplicity and purity.

A world class debut by a talented composer and musician, who seemingly has the gift of surrounding himself with right-minded and enthusiastic collaborators. It certainly captured my light! Rise and Fall is next.

4.5 Glow grabs

Review by kev rowland
5 stars Last year I was fortunate enough to hear John's second album, 'Rise and Fall', and it is safe to say I was blown away by what I was hearing. Here was a multi-instrumentalist who had brought together a group of singers and additional musicians to deliver an album that was simply epic. John and I got to talking afterwards, and that of course led to me wondering what was the debut like? Well, I can honestly say that it is another absolute delight. As well as providing all the material and producing the album, John also provides guitars, bass, keyboards, and programming, but he has also brought in a host of star names to assist including the likes of Emily Dolan Davies, Gary O'Toole, Billy Sherwood, Oliver Wakeman, Peter Jones etc. Then to cap it all he some wonderful singers in Joe Payne (The Enid), Jean Pageau (Mystery) and Julie Gater. Although the album is fairly split between male and female vocals, Julie had a huge part to play as she sang the vast majority of songs as they were being developed (John admits he is unable to sing) and provided guide vocals to the others so they knew what John required.

This is one of those albums where it is difficult to describe what is the most important aspect of the overall. All performances are wonderful, with complex arrangements, the vocal melodies are sublime, while the lyrics are often thought-provoking. Take for example "One Race" which is all about Jesse Owens, not only that race itself at the 1936 Olympics but his return to the States. It actually got me thinking about the man who was famous for setting four world records on the same day and defeating the myth of Aryan supremacy in front of Hitler, so much so that I undertook some research and discovered that not only did Hitler actually shake his hand, but that in many ways he was disowned by his home country on his return due to the colour of his skin. It reminded me of the story of Muhammed Ali returning from the Rome Olympics and then throwing his gold medal into the Ohio River after he and a friend were refused service at a restaurant.

One of my favourites is "Dreamcatching", which is mostly instrumental, featuring some wonderful flute, saxophone, and fretless bass, along with some spoken words about where dreamcatchers hail from and the significance of the different elements. Interestingly, Peter Jones added the flute and saxophone as he was undertaking some backing vocals, and then presented them to John to use if he wished, yet they are an integral part of the overall sound. There is no real theme to the album, and each song is quite different to the rest, yet it is always the strength of the arrangements combined with complexity and simplicity which makes this such a compelling piece of work. That it is a debut from an "unknown" is just incredible, as it is polished and refined in a way that convinces the listener they are playing an album by someone who has been at the very top of their game for a great many years. This is polished progressive rock that is commercial, yet also refined and combing both elements of the Seventies and today to combine in one album that is simply essential for anyone who enjoys this style of music. Check out John's informative website for more details on his albums, all the musicians involved, and then buy them. Simply superb from beginning to the very end.

Latest members reviews

3 stars On reflection, there are simularities between this and a Tony Banks solo album, in that there are many singers involved. The Fish songs always stood out on Tony Banks albums. Whether many singers detracts from an album 'Being one whole' is a point. In 'Capture light' no one singer stands out, lea ... (read more)

Report this review (#2432322) | Posted by sussexbowler | Sunday, July 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A great gentleman of music who starts to release his own tracks, nothing new at the moment. A musician who sees himself surrounded by musicians and singers of great renown, there it raises questions about the musical niches that said gentleman seems to have. When each prestigious guest comes to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2352300) | Posted by alainPP | Saturday, April 18, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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