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Dave Bainbridge

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Dave Bainbridge Veil of Gossamer album cover
4.16 | 74 ratings | 8 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chanting Waves (2:17)
2. Over the Waters (7:30)
3. Veil of Gossamer (4:56)
4. The Seen and the Unseen (2:18)
5. The Everlasting Hills, Part 1 (5:36)
6. The Everlasting Hills, Part 2 (2:34)
7. The Everlasting Hills, Part 3 (3:55)
8. The Everlasting Hills, Part 4 (2:54)
9. The Everlasting Hills, Part 5 (4:37)
10. Seahouses (3:07)
11. Until the Tide Turns (4:30)
12. The Homeward Race (5:26)
13. Star-Filled Skies, Part 1 (3:40)
14. Star-Filled Skies, Part 2 (2:41)
15. Star-Filled Skies, Part 3 (3:46)
16. Star-Filled Skies, Part 4 (4:42)

Total Time 64:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Bainbridge / acoustic & electric guitars, piano, keyboards, bouzouki, mandolin, autoharp, 15-string harp, balafon, bongos, hand drum, Indian tambourine, shaker, finger cymbals, sound treatments, arranger & producer

- Joanne Hogg / vocals
- Rachel Jones / vocals
- Mae McKenna / lead vocals (5,9)
- Chris Hale / vocals (9)
- Troy Donockley / uilleann pipes, low & tin whistles, voice
- Dave Bristow / piano, keyboards, guitar, bouzouki & bells (7)
- William Scofield / cello (1,3,5,9)
- Peter Whitfield Strings / violins & violas (3)
- Nick Beggs / bass (1,5), fretless bass (7), Fx (1)
- Tim Harries / bass (2,5,8,9)
- Frank van Essen / drums, rainstick, shaker, bells, chimes, celesta, tambourine, violin, bodhrán, bell tree, triangle
- Pete Fairclough / gongs, cymbals, chimes

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Sands with Alice Kettle (textile works)

CD Open Sky ‎- OPENVP4CD (2004, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy DAVE BAINBRIDGE Veil of Gossamer Music

DAVE BAINBRIDGE Veil of Gossamer ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

DAVE BAINBRIDGE Veil of Gossamer reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Let's continue the five star applause and wholeheartedly agree with my fellow reviewers ! This is AMAZING! Dave Bainbridge 's solo album is way more progressive and boundary- stretching than is usual main gig with Iona. Firstly, this is a more of a musician recording a personal adventure , where the focus is really on his multiple talents on a vast variety of instruments, like Oldfield did back when. This opus has solid structure with interludes, Celtic swoons, extended workouts, well thought out creative arrangements and of course, some sizzling guitar playing , evoking hints of Holdsworth, Latimer, Hackett and Howe but really a unique style that deserves the highest praise. The epic pieces are particularly impressive , each having their own special cachet and providing some memorable moments that verge on the best prog in recent memory. While more esoteric and personal than Iona, Clannad, Mostly Autumn , Karnataka and the other Celtic-prog purveyors, the music is in fact more muscular with some terrific drumming, intense reptilian bass , sumptuous synth tapestries and some simply astounding vocals. My favourite track remains the punchy "The Homeward Race" , a dizzying piece that confirms this CD as an absolute must. The closing suite , "Star Filled Skies" puts another exclamation mark on the merits of the five star rating.

What a truly captivating and highly enjoyable adventure! Definitely a classic that I will cherish for many years to come.

5 ionas

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Dave Bainbridge is the multi-instrumentalist and co-founder of the band IONA. He is most well known for his lead guitar work which is on display here in all it's splendor, but it has to be pointed out that he plays 15 other instruments on this album.15 ! Many members and former members of IONA are here to help him out including the great Troy Donockley on tin and low whistles as well as uillean pipes. He adds some vocals as well. Certainly these contributions, as well as the style of this album makes it fit right in with the IONA catalogue. Any IONA fan will love this record is what i'm trying to say. I have to thank tszirmay for pushing me a little to review this album as he did with "Open Sky", i should always listen to our site's prog guru, he's never steered me wrong yet. What i really like about this album that's different from IONA are the female vocals and vocal melodies. Led by Mae McKenna singing in Gaelic along with IONA's Joanne Hogg and KARNATAKA's Rachel Jones. As one sings lead, often the other two are singing wordless melodies at the same time. It's like a heavenly choir. This truly is music for the spirit.

"Chanting Waves" opens with Mae McKenna singing slowly and clearly as cello and spacey sounds float along. Joanne sings a line in Spanish as well. "Over Waters" is one of my favourites. Mandolin to open before synths join in. Dave's guitar leads are priceless as drums pound away. Mandolin is back as vocal melodies arrive after 3 minutes. These three ladies sing like an angelic choir. The guitar 5 minutes in is incredibly good as gong sounds can be heard. Organ a minute later joins in. The title track gets it's name from a book that implies that the veil between the seen and unseen world is as thin as gossamer. This is very IONA-like, very emotional and meaningful. It takes my spirit to places beyond the veil, like a memory can transport you to a former place and time. The tin whistles, ethreal voices(Joanne), wind chimes, gongs, synths, harp and cymbals are like a gateway to another place in my mind. "The Seen And Unseen" opens with birds singing as dual acoustic guitar melodies play so beautifully. Birds end the song with more chirping. "The Everlasting Hills" is divided into 5 parts and is almost 20 minutes long. "Part 1" opens with cello before guitar takes over with lush synths in the background. It's like the guitar is crying out for joy over and over for five minutes, the female vocal melodies late are so emotional. Amazing. "Part 2" features Mae on vocals similar in style to her singing on "Chanting Waves". Spoken words and uillean pipes arrive as it becomes other-worldly, heartbreakingly not of this world. Mae is still singing softly as Joanne and Rachel speak the lyrics. "Part 3" opens with cello and acoustic guitar. Vocal melodies arrive before being replaced by a tasteful guitar solo. Nice. Vocals are back. We then get some outbursts of drums before "Part 4" comes in with piano melodies throughout. "Part 5" is an uptempo, energetic track with drums and guitar leading the way.

"Seahouses" like "he Seen And Unseen" features acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Until The Tide Turns" is pure IONA with Joanne on lead vocals. This one is all about the meaningful lyrics. It is so uplifting after 2 minutes and later 3 1/2 minutes in when the song gets a fuller sound as uillean pipes cry out. "The Homeward Race" is an uptempo track with pounding drums and scorching guitar melodies. It ends with synths and bouzouki. A great driving tune. "Star Filled Skies" is divided into 4 parts and is almost 15 minutes long. "Part 1" opens with Mae on vocals as cello plays mournfully. Keys and acoustic guitar brighten the mood as Joanne and Rachel sing wordless melodies. Percussion and then vocals take over. "Part 2" is very celtic sounding with the tin whistles. That changes when the guitar takes over 1 1/2 minutes in with some aggressive play. "Part 3" opens with cello as synths come in. It calms right down before 2 minutes as low whistles are played solo. Cello is back 3 minutes in. "Part 4" has a fuller sound right away. Chris Hale sings in a language called Urdu very passionately before 3 minutes. A calm arrives before Mae takes over with synths and cello to end it.

There are some fantastic passages on this record, and to be honest there is so much to digest with all the different instruments in play. Not quite as good as "Open Sky" in my opinion, but still 4.5 stars makes it a must have.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars Being an avid fan of Iona, it was a no brainer in adding Dave Bainbridge's solo album to my collection. For those of you who aren't familiar with Iona's music I can best describe it as very progressive, modern symphonic Irish folk with a lyrical content that draws from the spiritual and/or Christian realm. And this multi-talented man contributes in a major way to their admirable creations. Therefore, I expected Dave's "Veil of Gossamer" to be crafted in that same motif but what I thought it would be and what it is are two different things. Since he's so imbedded in that band's sound there are certainly similarities to be found here and there but overall it comes off as an opportunity for him to expand his horizons toward more aggressive territories that Iona wouldn't be comfortable venturing into. All I can say is that, as a progger, if you aren't at least a smidgen impressed with Bainbridge's versatile composition skills and his ability to master a myriad of instruments then you're one tough nut to crack.

Actually, the short opener, "Chanting Waves," is very much in the vein of what Iona would do. The feathery vocal of Mae McKenna singing in the Gaelic tongue is the embodiment of serenity and Dave surrounds her voice with his trademark depth of field and swirls of musical colors. But on "Over the Waters" the Iona comparison ends abruptly for here you get your first exposure to DB's expressive and lightning-fast electric guitar expertise. Using a warm distortion much like that employed by Texas legend Eric Johnson, he literally flies over a strong foundation of a loping 4/4 beat and his layered strums from the Bouzouki, Mandolin and Balafon. This scintillating instrumental number then opens up into a wordless chorus of an angelic choir for a few bars before it reunites with the driving rhythm. Bainbridge's excellent arrangement takes the tune through many intriguing peaks and valleys but, more than anything else, you come away thinking "Wow! This guy can shred with the best of 'em. Who knew?" Variety is the most prominent characteristic of this CD, however, and the title cut is a 180 degree turn from the previous song. It is pure, unadulterated bliss with a grand piano and cello interacting with each other until Troy Donockley's tin whistle appears. It's a very moving, emotional number and DB even manages to work his electric guitar into the mix.

As if you've walked into an aviary of some sort, "The Seen and the Unseen" begins with bird sounds and then the velvety tones of Dave's acoustic guitars take over. It's a short solo piece that is soothing, to be sure, but not particularly memorable. "The Everlasting Hills," the first of two extended epics on this album, makes a grand entrance with DB's spirited electric guitar following a highly complex pattern of chords and key changes. It is jaw-dropping good and his fret work is killer. This opening segment builds to a climax involving roaring tympani, a chorale of ethereal voices and a deep cathedral organ droning underneath. Goose bump time. Next comes McKenna's voice crooning in Gaelic over deep keyboards. Then something unexpected occurs. Rachel Jones and Joanne Hogg enter stage right, speaking verses in English over Mae's lines. Not sure I've ever heard anything like that before. A whispery chant leads to the next part where acoustic guitar, violin and cello combine before a different chanted melody joins in. Dave's electric guitar ensues and the cathedral organ ushers in big orchestration soaring atop percussive outbursts. A piano etude performed solo follows, a graceful mixture of jazz and classical influences. The track almost explodes from there into a kickin' 7/8 time signature that brings the spotlight back to DB's hot axe work as he zips over banks of symphonic synthesizers. It all ends in enormous, forceful accents and fades away upon airy wisps. While I admire the scope of what Bainbridge attempted to do in this 20-minute extravaganza, I feel that there's a lack of continuity and it detracts from the intended impact. Just too many well-meant but disconnected ideas flying about for me.

"Seahouses" is another acoustic guitar air but this time Dave leaves it unadorned and unaccompanied by additional layers. Very peaceful and soothing. The best melody and the one I carry in my head long after the CD has finished is "Until the Tide Turns," a song that would fit comfortably on any Iona album mainly because it involves everyone in that group. Joanne's vocal is saccharine, Troy's Uilleann Pipes are breathtaking, Nick Beggs' fretless bass is seamless, Frank Van Essen's drums and violin tastefully fill in the gaps and Bainbridge supplies the fluid keyboards and Bouzouki to make it complete. All it needs is the gargantuan, towering finish and he doesn't fail to deliver. It's awesome. According to the liner notes "The Homeward Race" was written around an existing drum rhythm in 7/8 time created by Van Essen and it sizzles with energy. It's yet another chance for DB to thrill with his sleek electric guitar runs as he races faultlessly through a difficult maze of key changes.

"Star-filled Skies" is the second epic-sized track on the album. This one starts on a quieter note with Mae once again singing in Gaelic over light acoustic guitars and sparse percussion. But you can't keep Dave's fiery Irish blood down for long and Part 2 is a bit of a lively, traditional-sounding jig that soon turns into a straight-ahead rocker with the electric guitar and violin squaring off in a sparring match. In Part 3 things settle down with intertwining cello and violin before a lonely Tin Whistle blows somberly in the distance. Like an approaching storm, however, Part 4 slowly builds in intensity until the drums break in along with the electric guitar for the knockout punch at the end. A brief reprise of McKenna's opening verse for "Chanting Waves" brings the album full circle and closes it with a prayer-like coda. Unlike the somewhat forced "The Everlasting Hills," this collage of musical thoughts is much more cohesive and fulfilling.

While I won't bestow the "masterpiece" gold medal on "Veil of Gossamer," I can say without hesitation that it comes quite close and is a wonderful example of adventurous progressive music performed on a lofty plateau of expertise and elegance. The sound is immaculate and the packaging utilizing photos of textile art fits the atmosphere of the album perfectly. It definitely represents a side of prog that you should have in your stash because there are going to be moments in your life when this kind of music is essential. 4.4 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album of virtuosic composition, performances and production--Dave Bainbridge knows how to write, collaborate, play guitar (and many other instruments as well!), edit, engineer, produce, and Plus he's a GREAT interview--so humble about his music and so enthusiastic and thankful for the contributions of all of his collaborators! With this album I think he may have surpassed the achievements of his parent group, IONA. Such gorgeous textures and layers--and interesting and unexpected contributions--like layering the voices of three prima voce females; singers singing in Gaelic and Urdu; using acoustic and electric instruments to perfection; conveying a story (of the lives and contributions to faith and history of Sts. Aidan [of Lindisfarne] and Cuthbert) through the ebb and flow of this album. Breathtaking!

Without a doubt, an absolute masterpiece of progressive rock. If you never listen to an Iona album (which would be a sad, sad thing--you'd be missing some of humankind's most beautiful contributions to aural upliftment), please, please, listen to this one. You won't regret it.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dave Bainbridge is a renowned British composer/multi-instrumentalist, leader of the English Prog band Iona.Born in 1959 in Darlington, he found Iona in late-80's, marking them as the first ever recent English band to combine Celtic influences with Progressive Rock.In 2004 he also released his sole personal album ''Veil of Gossamer''.He draw inspiration from the story of a young shepherd during the 7th century, who saw a strange sight in the sky, that indicated the death of celtic saint St. Aidan.The boy eventually became Saint Cuthbert, replacing St. Aidan's loss.The album was mainly recorded at Iona's Open Sky Studio in Lincolnshire and released on Bainbridge's Open Sky label.Several current and former members from his band appear in the album: Joanne Hogg, Troy Donockley, Frank Van Essen, Nick Beggs and Tim Harries along with a few more guests.

Musically ''Veil of Gossamer'' could be actually regarded as another IONA hidden work.And reasonably enough one should ask ''why Bainbridge should come up with another album so similar to IONA?''.First comes the whole concept, which definitely serves Bainbridge's needs to adapt it in a music story.Second, why not releasing such a fantastic work, when the music is so good?''Veil of Gossamer'' is an alternating river of dreamy, Celtic-inspired drops and melodic, emotional and grandiose waters, led by Bainbridge's absolutely efficient guitar play, which can only compared to the touch of ANDY LATIMER.The laid-back movements are colored basically by Joanne Hogg's and Rachel Jones' ethereal vocals and they are supported by smooth acoustic guitars, archaic flutes, melancholic strings and even some nostalgic harp and percussion.Just when the listener tends to relax, Bainbridge will remind him that he is a God-sent talent.He surrounds these beautiful soundscapes with impressive FLOYD-ian guitar solos and more bombastic tunes with melodic moves, often showered by orchestral keyboards, to deliver a rare amalgam of smooth and intense back-to-back pieces.MIKE OLDFIELD is still among the man's main influences.But this time he displays himself as a unique personality, creating an album of unmet cinematic images, sensitive melodies and pastoral, folky movements.

Really great work with a crystalline production and a unique composer that surfaces as one of the best in this particular style.A must-have for all fans of atmospheric Progressive Rock and a fabulous example of how to combine traditional music with Rock.Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It has been a long time since I have wanted to review an album. But this album - Veil of Gossamer by Dave Bainbridge - has left me absolutely speechless and emotionally fulfilled. There is not one song that I choose to skip through - I want to hear the nuances of each and every second of eve ... (read more)

Report this review (#606454) | Posted by prog4evr | Monday, January 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I could not imagine any progressive music lover don't find something for him on this record. I once heard about Bainbridge/Iona 5 years ago and, since then, I have bought a lot of their materials (easily available on their web site). I was expecting a lot for "Veil Of Gossamer ", and I've ob ... (read more)

Report this review (#221312) | Posted by Ultime | Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To begin with, in my personal view this is afive star masterpiece. I absolutely loved it. However, the CD may not be to the taste of many prog heads. Thats why this CD was very difficult to rate, as to many, it may not be an essential, masterpiece of progressive music. However, I decided t ... (read more)

Report this review (#32993) | Posted by rjeffreyr | Wednesday, March 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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