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GALAHAD

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Galahad biography
GALAHAD formed in 1985 just for fun playing roughly half covers (GENESIS, ZEPPELIN, RUSH, SABBATH, FOCUS etc) and half original material. Galahad then supported a few fairly well known 'Progressive' bands that were coming up at the time including IQ, PENDRAGON, HAZE and later PALLAS and MAGNUM.
Then, after mixing it with the slightly 'bigger boys' GALAHAD decided take it more seriously, and began playing only original material resulting in the release of their first proper album in 1991, 'Nothing Is Written', which was purely self -financed and released independently but which went on to sell several thousand copies.

The success of 'Nothing Is Written' was also helped by the fact that the band received substantial air play on BBC Radio One, especially on the Radio One Rock Show hosted by the late, great Tommy Vance. The band then landed themselves with deals in the UK, Japan and Germany.

The band has now released fifteen albums including albums by main band offshoots such as GALAHAD ELECTRIC COMPANY and the GALAHAD ACOUSTIC QUINTET. The band has played hundreds of gigs in the UK, Europe and America over the last few years, at times in some very unusual venues!

In 2002 Galahad released 'Year Zero' which featured John WETTON (ASIS, KING CRIMSON, FAMILY etc.) on guest vocals.

In September 2006 Galahad released their debut DVD 'Resonance' , which was recorded live in Katowice, Poland in May 2006.

'Empires Never Last' , which features Karl GROOM (THRESHOLD)) on engineering duties, was released in 2007 and took the band in a heavier, more muscular, guitar orientated direction. This more contemporary, metallic approach seems to have worked as 'Empires' was a great success, both commercially and critically, and resulted in them winning album of the year at the 2007 Classic Rock Society awards. 'Empires' was also included in many top 10 album listings for 2007.

In the interim and whilst recording TWO new studio albums GALAHAD released a couple of live albums 'Sleepless in Phoenixville - Rosfest Live 2007' and 'Whitchurch 92/93 - Live Archives -Vol.2' (CD/DVD) plus a re-issue of their 1992 Year Zero album, which also contained bonus CD consisting of live versions of tracks from Year Zero.

'Battle Scars', again recorded at Thin Ice by Karl GROOM was released in April 2012 and took the band further in to a heavy/rockier direction but mixing it up with a few more overt modern dance/trance and classical influe...
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When Worlds CollideWhen Worlds Collide
Double CD · Import
Galahad
Audio CD$21.99
Beyond the Realms of EuphoriaBeyond the Realms of Euphoria
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$9.28
$10.32 (used)
Empires Never LastEmpires Never Last
Import
United States Dist 2015
Audio CD$9.56
$14.25 (used)
Battle ScarsBattle Scars
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$7.29
$6.50 (used)
Seize the DaySeize the Day
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$6.01
$6.00 (used)
Mein Herz BrenntMein Herz Brennt
Single · Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$6.23
$6.22 (used)
Guardian AngelGuardian Angel
Single · EP · Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$5.88
$5.87 (used)
Resonance Live In PolandResonance Live In Poland
Import
Metal Mind 2009
Audio CD$10.98
$11.93 (used)
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GALAHAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GALAHAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.45 | 68 ratings
Nothing Is Written
1991
2.87 | 57 ratings
In A Moment Of Complete Madness
1993
3.44 | 37 ratings
Galahad Acoustic Quintet: Not All There
1994
3.48 | 94 ratings
Sleepers
1995
3.00 | 73 ratings
Following Ghosts
1999
2.22 | 18 ratings
Galahad Electric Company: De-Constructing Ghosts
1999
3.53 | 101 ratings
Year Zero
2002
4.08 | 371 ratings
Empires Never Last
2007
3.82 | 258 ratings
Battle Scars
2012
3.87 | 268 ratings
Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Quiet Storms
2017

GALAHAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 6 ratings
The Christmas Lecture
1993
3.26 | 15 ratings
Classic Rock - Live
1996
3.97 | 18 ratings
Sleepless In Phoenixville - RoSfest Live 2007
2009
3.90 | 11 ratings
Whitchurch 92/93 - Live Archives vol. 2
2012
4.10 | 10 ratings
Solidarity - Live in Konin
2015

GALAHAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.81 | 36 ratings
Live in Poland - Resonance (DVD)
2006

GALAHAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 12 ratings
Galahad - Other Crimes and Misdemeanours vol. 1
1992
3.05 | 19 ratings
Other Crimes And Misdemeanours II
1997
3.13 | 8 ratings
Decade
1997
2.61 | 18 ratings
Other Crimes And Misdemeanors III
2001
4.92 | 5 ratings
When Worlds Collide
2015

GALAHAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 8 ratings
In A Moment Of Madness (Tape)
1989
3.40 | 5 ratings
Voiceprint Radio Sessions
1994
4.14 | 11 ratings
Seize the Day
2014
4.00 | 4 ratings
Guardian Angel
2014
4.00 | 4 ratings
Mein Herz Brennt
2014
4.78 | 4 ratings
30
2015
3.50 | 2 ratings
Empires Never Last (Orchestral Version)
2016

GALAHAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 When Worlds Collide by GALAHAD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.92 | 5 ratings

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When Worlds Collide
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars Back in 1985 a small group of progheads formed a band, and even though the musical furrow they were ploughing has never been the most popular, somehow they have persevered and in 2015 they marked their thirtieth anniversary. Through some twists and turns, the line-up in 2015 was 80% the same as the one that recorded their first CD, 'Nothing Is Written', with just 'new boy' keyboard player Dean Baker the only one not there all those years ago. But, seeing as how he joined the group in 1997, possibly the new boy tag is just a little unfair...The concept behind this double CD was quite simple, re-record a number of songs from throughout the band's career, but perform them as if they had just been written. Also involved were previous members of the band (and in one case, the son of a previous member), and co-producer Karl Groom also assisted with acoustic guitar on one song. As for the booklet, they approached various people who had been involved with the band at some point in their career and asked for some memories to be included, so I do have to confess and admit some involvement at this point so my review is obviously going to be biased?

To my ears this is an amazing album in that they have stayed true to the originals in many ways, yet have given them a new lease of life. As an example, take the extended version of "Room 801" which in its original form was seven minutes long, but is now nearly eleven. There is a much longer introduction, Dean has provided quite a different keyboard sound in many places, yet stays close in others, while Tim's bass is much warmer, and both Spencer and Roy are kicking it far more than in the original. Of course, back in 1990 Stu didn't have the confidence that only comes from fronting a band for many years, and back then they weren't working with a producer like Karl. A nice addition to this song is the original comments from Tommy Vance that he gave after the song was played on the Radio 1 Rock Show, and he states who plays on the song, with a machine providing the name of Dean as he was the only one not involved at the time.

"Richelieu's Prayer" is another triumph, featuring quite a different piano introduction to the original, but performed by Mark Andrews who was of course the keyboard player on the debut CD. This has always been a personal favourite of mine, and it builds to a climax with the piano being a focal point throughout. It is the confidence of all those involved that makes this album such a triumph. It would be churlish of me to complete the review, though, without mentioning the reworking of "Exorcising Demons". This is has been one of my favourite songs since I first heard it performed at The Astoria a million years ago, and Stu and I had discussion a few times back in the Nineties when I realised that it wasn't going to be performed. Stu even made a point of telling me that it was going to be included on this album! It has been deconstructed in some ways, and the fresh arrangement has made it something that wouldn't sound out of place on a new album. Here Tim is putting his own take on what was originally Neil's bassline, instead of the other way around, which was the normal state of affairs.

It's not really possible to have a "Greatest Hits" album without at least one true "hit", so what we have here instead is an album of classic numbers that have been reworked and re-recorded to make them more relevant and important to today. If you have never come across Galahd before this, then this is the place to start.

 Solidarity - Live in Konin by GALAHAD album cover Live, 2015
4.10 | 10 ratings

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Solidarity - Live in Konin
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars On September 2nd 2011 bassist Neil Pepper finally succumbed to cancer, and this had a major impact both on the band and all those who had the privilege to meet him. What was the band going to do after this? They had recorded two albums with Neil, both of which were released in 2012, but how would they perform them live? Actually they didn't have to look too far, as keyboard player Dean Baker and guitarist Roy Keyworth had been helping out in Twelfth Night, which also featured multi-instrumentalist Mark Spencer. It was soon agreed that he would join them for gigs, and then in 2014 Tim Ashton returned to the fold, so this album captures quite a short-lived line-up. Recorded in Konin, Poland, on 26th October 2013, this double CD and single DVD set finds a band who in many ways are very different indeed to the band I saw so many times in the Nineties. Yes, singer Stu Nicholson, guitarist Roy Keyworth and drummer Spencer Luckman are still very much involved as they were back in the day, but this is an outfit that has progressed in many ways indeed.

At one time they were very much part of the neo-prog scene, heavily influenced by the likes of Marillion and IQ, but they have changed quite dramatically over the years, and how have a much heavier and dense sound. Dean has a wonderful approach on keyboards. Knowing when to be quiet, reflective, and 'progressive' in approach but he also knows what it takes to move into a far more metallic area. Spencer has grown in confidence over the years and has become much more of a rock or even metallic drummer, really pounding the kit, while Roy has turned it all up and provides a much more powerful platform. With all this mayhem going on it probably isn't surpriing that Stu's vocals have also gained a depth and breadth that they didn't have previously ' he still hits all the notes, but now they are quite a different proposition than before.

I am sure that a lot of this is down to the person who mixed and edited this album, Karl Groom, who has been working with the band now for some years. There are only a few of the older numbers included in this set, and one of these should be called out for special mention. After everything having been turned up to the max, and the audience blasted into submission, they come back for the encore. Or more truthfully, Stu returns on his own to sing 'Painted Lady' totally a capella. It takes a brave singer to do that at any time, let alone after already performing for ninety minutes, and he nails it. Totally. This album is a great introduction to the Galahad of today, and one that makes me regret now living so very far away, as I am unlikely ever to catch them in the flesh again, and these guys are proving yet again that they are one of the bes prog acts around.

 Sleepers by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.48 | 94 ratings

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Sleepers
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

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.

 Mein Herz Brennt by GALAHAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Mein Herz Brennt
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars

This was the last of the three EP's from 2014, and was a surprise in a few different ways. Firstly, Stu is singing in German (well, it is a German song after all), it's a cover, and it's a cover of a song by Rammstein, not a band usually referenced by prog bands. There will be a version on 'Quiet Storms', which will be out later this year, but whether it is one of these we will just have to wait and see. The first of the four is a delicate piano and violin version, which really captures a beauty that I think Rammstein threaten at in their own version, but miss with the bombastic attack for which they are so well-known.

The "fully loaded" version is the one that is closest to the original, as the delicate pianos give way to crunching guitars, although there is also a lot of depth here with quite a bit going on musically within the verse, so there is a stronger structure. Of course, Stu's vocals will never quite have the edge of the original as he is quite a different singer, but I he has always been able to provide menace when he needs to, and does it here with aplomb. The other two versions are an English language take on the piano/vocal, and the other is a piano instrumental. This last has a real beauty to it, and is something I have really enjoyed playing. In many ways it is simplistic, but simple music can be incredibly hard to play, and Dean produces a wonderful interpretation. If you are interested in Galahad, or Rammstein, then this is well worth getting.

 Guardian Angel by GALAHAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Guardian Angel
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars During 2014, the guys were busy working towards their thirtieth anniversary the following year, and so made the decision to release three EP's to bridge the gap from their last albums in 2012, of which this is the second. Released in the summer of that year this contains four versions of the song which appeared on 'Euphoria' plus a piano version of 'Beyond The Barbed Wire' (from 'Battle Scars'). Galahad have never been afraid to experiment with their own music, and it is interesting to compare the third song on this EP, the ten- minute plus album version, against the opener which has just Dean on piano and Stu on vocals. Of course, stripping a song back to its essentials is nothing new, and something that Martin Orford has been a party to both with IQ and Jadis numbers, but these are so very different that in many ways they come across as totally different songs. Between the two on the EP there is a hybrid version which as it sounds, contains elements of both the piano and the full on prog version. It's hard to say which I prefer, as they are both damn fine, and it is interesting to see the band experimenting like this.

The same is true of the last number, as with just some reverb on his vocals this is Stu stripped right back with just the Dean's piano to pitch against. There is no hiding place when music is performed in this manner, both must be perfect as any mistakes can so easily be heard. This is still available from the band as both a download and a physical CD and is well worth investigating if you are a fan.

 Sleepers by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.48 | 94 ratings

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Sleepers
Galahad Neo-Prog

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 www.angelosrockorphanage.com

 Solidarity - Live in Konin by GALAHAD album cover Live, 2015
4.10 | 10 ratings

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Solidarity - Live in Konin
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Since the release of the "Empires Never Last" , the band has taken a new direction with Karl Groom (Threshold) as an engineer. The Marillion or Genesis influence has been replaced by a more heavier sound. This live show spread out in 2 audio disk and 1 video demonstrate that new direction even further. The live versions of the songs seems to have a heavier sound compare to the studio versions. From the first song "Salvation I Overture" we almost have the feeling of being in a dance club dancing on a techno beat from the keyboard player Dean Baker. In the next song who is the suite, the singing begin with a faster tempo and the heavy sound. "Guardian Angel" has a melodic chorus with some clear Riverside passages. "Empires Never Last" brings things down on the first part with some improvisation in the middle of the song. "And Secret Worlds display some impressive piano lines throughout the song. "This Life could be my Last" is a favorite for the crowd with his dramatic melody carried by the emotional vocals of Stuart Nicholson. This live show could not exist without the old epic "Sleepers" who is still amazing on this live recording. It is clear that the band wanted to sound modern with some techno effects, heavy guitars and trying to get away from the Neo-Prog tag and probably prefer to be tag a symphonic Rammstein! The DVD of this show don't have a picture quality as good as the previous one : "Resonance", but it's still pleasant with a good stereo sound.
 Seize the Day by GALAHAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.14 | 11 ratings

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Seize the Day
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars A postcard from the Neo-prog underdogs.

A friend gave me this 2014 Galahad EP convinced that I would love one of it's tracks. And he was right.

Galahad always seemed to me to be the underdog of prog rocks' underdog class, the Neo proggers. Never able to raise to a level equaling Marillion, Pendragon and IQ, this band's core group of Stu Nicholson, Roy Keyworth and Dean Baker have been the main part of this group for the last thirty years and seem to have the desire to stay together for thirty more.

Seize The Day is a track from their 2014 album Battle Scars and is included it with a stunning remake of an early song, Painted Lady, that I understand to have been only available on a cassette, along with a later album period song called Bug Eye. Both Seize The Day and Bug Eye display the quintessential Neo-prog qualities which endears this band to fans such as Gilmour-ish guitar flourishes, Floydian synths and a vocalist, Nicholson, who has a touch of Jon Anderson in his voice without being irritating or completely derivative. Both of these tunes simply demonstrate what the listener is, or is not, missing according to their individual tastes.

Now, however, we turn the song in question. Renamed 21st Century Painted Lady, this beautiful haunting ballad, spiked with modern sounding sequencer touches, and a dense sound mix is absolutely one of the best Neo-prog songs that I have ever listened to. It's nearly impossible to get it out of ones' head. A real mental specter.

So, if you would like to check out Galahad as they sound in the 21st century, this 6 song EP will more than suffice and you're guaranteed of at least one killer song, along with a few very good ones, I would bet. 3.5 stars for the veteran underdogs.

 30 by GALAHAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.78 | 4 ratings

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30
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars Majestic. Grandiose. Class. Those are the very first words that came to me as I was listening to this four track EP, which Galahad have released as part of their thirtieth anniversary year. They have taken four of their older numbers, and have re-recorded them in a manner that is both a nod to the past yet very much showing the current and future direction of the band. Three of those involved, Stu Nicholson (vocals), Roy Keyworth (guitars) and Spencer Luckman (drums) were of course involved when the songs were recorded the first time around, Tim Ashton (bass) played on some before taking his rather extended break from the band (22 years!) while 'new boy' Dean Baker may not have played on these originally, but he has been around since 'Following Ghosts' (can it really be sixteen years since that came out?).

First up is 'The Chase', a song I first heard when Stu and I were sat in my car outside King Arthur's Court before a gig, listening to a pre-release of 'Voiceprint Radio Sessions' (which to my horror I realise was more than 20 years ago now as it was their 8th Anniversary show, with The Morrigan in support, who they had also played with at Whitchurch). This time around I was struck by the space contained within the song, and the way the use of acoustic guitar transforms it. Stu is still singing as well as ever, hitting the higher notes with ease, while the music shifts and moves. Providing bass is Daryl Watts, son of the band's original bassist Paul, and he locks in with Spencer to provide the groove while Roy is playing with more confidence than ever, relishing the opportunity to move the song into a more metallic direction with riffs that are both laid back and strident, while Dean definitely takes the opportunity to shine. Even when he isn't providing the primary melody, there is a great deal going on in the background, so that the song has way more depth and power than the original ever did. Something else I noticed on this song, and throughout the EP, is that the production has allowed us to really hear just how important Spencer is to the overall sound. I have played all of their songs many, many times, but I have never heard the drums quite so to the fore and hadn't realised just how much of a powerhouse he is.

And so, onto 'Chamber of Horrors'. I must confess that I was rather worried about this, as this was one of two songs from 'Nothing Is Written'. Not only was it their first ever full length release, but it is also an album that I have saved on my iPhone and still play frequently. For much of the time the band play this fairly 'straight', staying fairly close in many ways to the original (although Stu sounds more relaxed and going with the flow than first time around), but when Dean comes in with the keyboard lead with a sound straight from the Eighties all bets are off, with Tim providing some great driving bass in the background. The short break leads into the restrained guitar lead, some lounge keyboards and superb rhythm section, and then we are off and running towards the end.

'Dreaming From The Inside' was the A-side of the band's debut single, and was later re-recorded as part of the Galahad Acoustic Quintet project, but here the use of classical guitar (by producer Karl Groom ' very much a far cry from the sort of riffs he provides with Threshold) and piano (by ex-keyboard player Mark Andrews) combined with great vocals lifts it far higher than it had ever been imagined before. A great deal of thought has gone into this arrangement, and it is the restraint and use of space that makes it now one of the finest songs they have ever recorded. This is quality, sheer quality, of the very highest order with Tim and Spencer having an incredible impact by not appearing until nearly four and a half minutes through. Roy switches to electric, while Dean provides some keyboards on top of the piano, as they rock through to the end. Part of me is torn, as I can't make up my mind if it would have been better to stay with the trio all the way through, but I love it as it is.

'Room 801' is an intriguing choice to end the EP with, as although it has always been one of my favourite songs, this was one that I have always associated with Neil on bass due to the way he attacked this in concert, even though Tim played on the original recording. Here it starts with sound effects for the first minute or so, gradually coming in with a nod to 'Close Encounters'. One small thing that made me smile, is that on the original there is a distinct percussive sound that strikes out a rhythm, while here the exact same sound is used rather more sparingly. This has been done just for the true Galafan, as those hearing this for the first time won't know the difference, but anyone who has played the original will smile with the recognition. Almost Marillion-eque in its approach, there are multiple layers, and a classiness throughout the eleven minutes, with some great filmatic clips. I hate to think how much Dean had to work on this, as there are multiple keyboard tracks combining to provide a sound that is almost Tangerine Dream or Jean Michel Jarre at times, evoking the feel of 'space'. He and Stu combine magically, with the rest leaving them to it at times, coming back in to provide a restrained oomph. The guitar lick at eight minutes starts with Roy mimicking what he did all those years ago, before moving away and back again, keeping to the original but also making it very much a new piece with harmonies and layers of his own. Galahad probaby first came to prominence to many when they won the Radio One Rock Show Rock Challenge back in 1991. Somehow it seems fitting that the EP ends with the might Tommy Vance introducing the band (love the Stephen Hawkings amendment of Mark to Dean) and saying that 'Room 801' is an epic song. And do you know what? He's right.

So four songs, just tasters of what will be released later this year, and I can't wait.

 Nothing Is Written by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.45 | 68 ratings

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Nothing Is Written
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I bought this CD approximately six years ago (had I read the unfavourable reviews here beforehand I surely would have chosen something else in the record store) and haven't listened to it since that - until yesterday. At the time of buying, I knew GALAHAD by one track only, 'Bug Eye' from Following Ghosts (1999), and thought it was a great and indeed personal slice of Neo Prog.

And "personal" is exactly what this debut album is very far from. If one needed an album to epitomize Neo Prog from the 90's onwards as clean, derivative, diluted and clinical "second generation copycats" (considering the early Neo bands in the 80's as the first generation copycats), this would do the job perfectly. In other words, those who despise Neo in general won't like this album at all, and those who honestly enjoy melodic Neo Prog in its most typical form will probably see it at least as a very decent, if not even pretty good, album.

Some say that the synth-oriented sound is very thin and hollow, but definitely I've heard much worse. The songs are poppy and accessible and frankly quite forgettable compared to e.g. Fish-era Marillion, but none of them is unbearably cheesy or silly. Keyboards and guitars are OK, though solos could be more daring. The vocalist Stuart Nicholson has some slight Fish-influenced mannerism but not to a disturbing degree. The colour of his voice also reminds me a bit of Geddy Lee of (not the early era) RUSH. The band's musical influences probably have been MARILLION, PENDRAGON and IQ - perhaps also TWELFTH NIGHT, but this is averagely mellower. 2' stars rounded up.

My copy has a bonus song 'There Must Be a Way', which is closer to pure pop music than the main album, an emotional song with a sticky chorus that ELTON JOHN might have written.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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