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NOLAN & WAKEMAN

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Nolan & Wakeman biography
Clive NOLAN and Oliver WAKEMAN team up for two concept albums. The liner notes are extensive with very good artwork. "Jabberwocky" is based upon a poem written in Lewis Carroll's novel "Through the Looking Glass" and features four parts, all represented by four different singers. "In this novel, Alice is looking for the meaning of a certain poem, called Jabberwocky. It's about a fierce creature in the woods, that threatens every being that trespasses its territory." This album is almost like a musical fairytale with bombastic keyboard based symphonic rock, and a very impressive line-up. The singers and the musicians are really great and very skilled! The music is a mix between the bands that the musicians and singers usually are playing in: LANDMARQ, MAGNUM, PENDRAGON and Rick WAKEMAN. A true masterwork, NOLAN & WAKEMAN's "Jabberwocky" is an outstanding album in all respects. Bravo!

"The Hound of the Baskervilles" is a well known Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This wonderful story became the concept on which Clive NOLAN and Oliver WAKEMAN built this magnificent epos. This album is an incredible Rock Opera, a Progressive Rock Musical, a true musical experience brought forth by twin keyboards accompanied by some violin and flute and the classic metal guitars, bass and drums. The twin keyboards create a fantastic atmosphere, you think that a whole symphonic orchestra is participating. Beautiful arrangements and great story telling make this album VERY interesting.

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  • Seldon The Hound Of The Baskervilles, 2002

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NOLAN & WAKEMAN discography


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NOLAN & WAKEMAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 53 ratings
Jabberwocky
1999
3.38 | 39 ratings
The Hound Of The Baskervilles
2002

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NOLAN & WAKEMAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Hound Of The Baskervilles by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.38 | 39 ratings

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The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This album has been with me for such a long time ago and sometimes I spun it - not until the end of the last track and I changed it with other album. I tried to write many times and failed to do so and only today I had a chance to spin the whole album until it ends. My initial comment is: too flat to my ears - there is no ups and downs that stimulate the adrenalin to explode. There is basically no memorable segment at all. There is nothing spectacular actually but the music is just OK, not special.

As this is a concept album with many narratives at the beginning of every single track, it of course reminds me to Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Center of The Earth. The fundamental difference is of course on the use of orchestra as Rick really used it "live". This album of Nolan & Wakeman is merely keyboard-drenched composition from start to end. I actually enjoy the opening track "overture" that sets the overall tone of the album. But then the following tracks do not stem from what that has been laid out nicely in the overture part as the music flows in flat nuances. It's a pity that there is too much keyboard on the first half of the album and the only stunning guitar solo only happens when it reaches track 6 "Run for Your Life" with female vocal.

On the line-up actually there are big names like Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon, Karl Groom of Threshold, Peter Banks (veteran of Yes), John Jowitt (IQ / Jadis) a well as Tony Fernandez who helped Rick Wakeman albums. Unfortunately the great line-up does not help a lot if the album suffers its fundamental composition issue.

Overall, this is just a mundane album with many keyboard sounds. Those of you who like keyboard sounds would enjoy it. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 The Hound Of The Baskervilles by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.38 | 39 ratings

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The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars This is the follow-up by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman to their 1999 release 'Jabberwocky', but in truth this should be seen as the sequel to Jeff Wayne's 'War Of The Worlds'. Instead of Richard Burton we have Robert Powell as narrator, and he has an awesome presence and majesty that this album deserves. I have been playing this a lot in the car and Sara (who normally turns all of my CDs off as a matter of course) has been listening to it and confessed in a moment of weakness that it is a good album. If they can get through to Sara then this obviously has appeal for a much larger market than many of the Verglas releases.

With different singers taking on roles (the usual suspects include Bob Catley, Tracy Hitchings and Ian 'Moon' Gould as well as others such as Ashley Holt from the Rick Wakeman Band), the idea behind the album is to turn the story into a concept album and to my ears they succeed brilliantly. While there is plenty of help on the musical front (Karl Groom, Peter Banks, John Jowitt, Peter Gee to name just a few), there are a lot of keyboards on the album which give it an orchestral feel, particularly in the long linking passages.

However, the songs themselves are often full of passion and dynamics, such as the exciting "The Curse Of The Baskervilles". I have known Clive for many years and I think I have heard just about all that he has released in all of his guises, and can say honestly that this is the finest work with which he has been associated. The biggest problem he now has is getting this album out to those who need to hear it, because properly marketed this could be a huge commercial success. Get in before the rest and buy this superb concept album. Visit the web site at www.verglas.com

Originally appeared in Feedback #66, Feb 02

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars The first thing that jumped to my ears was the fact that I can't ditinguish Oliver form his father. I don't mean the keyboard playing, I mean composing. There's a lot of Criminal records, No earthly connection and 1984 here. Effectively Rick is credited on the album's cover, and having I liked the 3 mentioned albums I can say that this is enjoyable as well, even if it's not adding much to hwat Rick has already done in the past. The concept comes from "through the looking glass". I worked several years in Cheshire and I can appreciate the athmosphere. The less instrumental songs like the first half of Dangerous world, with the very nice voice of Tracy Htchings, are more in Pendragon's mood and this makes this album various enough. If you have room in your storage to retain this disc it's a good addition. Between 3 and 4 stars, I'll go for 4 to keep the average on 3.5.

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Journey to the centre of the... town?

Backed by an all-star cast, Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman create a bombastic, theatrical concept album. Those who like Rick Wakeman's classic Journey To The Centre Of The Earth album will most probably like this one too, or at least recognize the similarities between the two albums. It is actually rather remarkable just how similar Oliver's keyboard playing is to that of his legendary father. Rick himself is even present here, as the narrator of the whole thing. All the clichés of a fantasy-tinged concept album are present, but it is not too cheesy or overdone. Everyone involved are super professional and know exactly what they are doing. They are having fun!

The vocals are handled by Bob Catley from Magnum, Tracy Hitchings and a couple of others. Catley and Hitchings are great. And so are the keyboardists, of course, and the band backing them all. This is simply a quality product. But it still has somewhat limited value due to the very nature of the project. They are doing this for fun and this fun then spreads to the listener who is entertained. Once or twice, that is. The albums does not have any staying power. It is like a theatre play or movie - you may enjoy it while it lasts, but you almost never want to witness it again.

A pretty good album of its kind, but absolutely not essential

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 The Hound Of The Baskervilles by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.38 | 39 ratings

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The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars EDIT: 4 stars, but only barely. Weird thing. Fifth review and even this one is going to give 3 stars. Not that I don't like this one, it's probably 3+, but giving it 4 doesn't seems like good idea to me.

Whole idea and reason for three stars can be described by one sentence which describes it all. "Intro track is a very good one for a intro, but the rest of record seems exactly like it." You simply can't take album with 68 minutes which all sounds like intro to prog heights. OK, there are exceptions (second track for example), but that's it, just exceptions. This is reason why I'm giving 3+. Another good thing is this whole story thing. We like stories, right ? And when you combine it with prog rock, then something wonderful is here.

It sounds very much like Arena. That's another advantage. Their guest list is long enough to make supergroup, but not much of this potential is used (hello Asia).

If you like Arena, you will enjoy this too. 3(+) and good feeling from it.

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by fairyliar

5 stars I have been searching for a new real interesting thing in prog for a long time, finding no or small interest in recent bands like The Tangent, RPWL...I found this Jabberwocky with Rick's son and Clive Nolan from Pendragon and was expecting nothing special. I couldn't have been more wrong and I was going to experience one of my most enjoyable listening time ever. For those who know Rhapsody and its Hollywood metal, I would say that Jabberwocky is Hollywood prog. With a trademark like the name Wakeman on the paper, you can't be disappointing by the keyboards. Oliver is as gifted and imaginative as his father and Clive Nolan is a magician too. But the other musicians are top notch, just to mention Tony Fernandez the excellent drummer of Rick Wakeman on tour (remember the incredible solo of Live in Nottingham in the 90's), Peter Banks a previous member of Yes, I don't know the bass player but he is really good. The vocal performances are really good from narrations to songs and perform with great sensibility. The songs varry from rockers, ballads, symphonic, are well written and the flood of the story is perfect. The absolute jewel is the instrumental Shadows which will kick your ass severely. So why is this brilliant album so ignored?????? I am sure this would have been released under Emerson , Lake & Palmer, everyone would have say prog album of the year. So, 5 stars and it's well deserved. I'm looking for Hounds of Baskerville now.

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 The Hound Of The Baskervilles by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.38 | 39 ratings

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The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The core duo is surrounded by some close friends who were already playing on their previous common effort "Jabberwocky" but there is one additional artist who IMO had a major influence here: Arjen Lucassen. Actually, this album almost sounds as an Ayreon production.

Which means that from time to time, some pomposity can be felt. It is the case with the "Overture" although I quite like it (but I am an ELP fan, so in terms of pompous, I'm quite immune by now).

This concept album is taken from a Conan Doyle famous work. Since I have seen a TV picture based on it, it was not difficult to follow the storyboard. For sure, it seems to have been written to be played at a West End theatre.

Lots of instrumental passages are introduced/closed by the narrator who sets the scene. I am not too found of this though. But I guess that it was necessary; just to break the battle between both flamboyant keyboard players.

Arjen's influence is very much present in "Shadows Of Fate". The riff is hard, almost metal at times. But melody is present as well. Same apply to "Waiting" much later on this album.

I also particularly appreciate the fine vocal work of Tracy Hitchings who has been singing with "Landmarq" for a while. She was also a guest on their previous work.

But my feeling is that this work is far too long to keep the listener interested from start to finish. To pay full attention for almost seventy minutes is rather demanding. Still, a song like "Seldon" is quite catchy and the guitar break is gorgeous.

Chasing The Hound is also well achieved and closes this work brilliantly. A good album from the pair Nolan / Wakeman (and friends).

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Although I 'm not often keen on this sort of rock opera, I was curious to discover this combined work from Nolan/Wakeman. Especially that I really like Clive's work within "Arena" and "Pendragon" and to a lesser extent "Shadowland".

Some friends / family are also helping here. Father Wakeman (yes, Rick) as well as Ian Salmon (bass player of "Arena" and "Shadowland"), Peter Gee (Pendragon). The music displayed here ranges more to the symphonic vein (in which it was previously featured on PA) than neo-prog although several musical genres are mixed here.

Bombastic during the "Overture", almost funky/jazzy during "Coming To Town" this album is consistent at least in the quality of the musicians. But this is just a normal thing IMO. Professionals just need to be at this level. Even Rick is truly credible in his narrator role. I also appreciate the vocal work from "Tracy Hitchings" in most of her parts.

The only minus point (but this often takes place with such a work) is that it sounds pompous at several occasions ("The Forest" for instance). Same comment about "Shadows" during which the ELP influence is obvious.

If you happen to be a keys freak, there are real good parts in here. Being synth or just piano. You should be delighted. But maybe that you would feel (at least I do), that in terms of compositions, the whole sounds a little weaker.

Anyway, "Enlightment" shines here; mostly thanks to a great . guitar solo! Not to mention the catchy melody and a sustained rhythm. My fave from this album but as in lots of concept album there are few standout tracks. It is more a whole than individual songs that are making the album grandiose or not.

In this case, I would just speak about a good album. So: three stars.

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars CLIVE NOLAN's colaboration with -Rick Wakeman's eldest son- OLIVER WAKEMAN begun through their meeting on a radio show of Mike Portnoy. WAKEMAN sent NOLAN some of his ideas on tapes and after a few meetings,they decided to join forces on an ambitious project.The two keyboardists worked on a cinematic and epic style of progressive rock,which was to be entitled ''Jabberwocky'' after the eponymous poem of Lewis Carroll.The work was released in 1999 on Arena's Label,Verglas.

Featuring a number of important guests both on vocals and the instrumental section, such as Peter Gee, Peter Banks, Ian Salmon and Tracy Hitchings, ''Jabberwocky'' ended up to be a grandiose keyboard-led album, borrowing elements from symphonic music, soundtrack music and neo progressive rock.A modern version of RICK WAKEMAN's early epic symphonic prog style is also a good comparison.The album is filled with the beautiful keyboard work of the two musicians,who change their approach all the time.Classical piano and new agey atmospheric synthesizers are combined with the guests' voices to create deep emotions of a tale-atmosphere to the listener.Some times a medieval/renaissance nostalgic color will come to surface,even some harpsichord is used for that aim.For thos who can't get a minute off the progressive rock board, don't hesitate:There is much of our beloved music in here with fiery solos and nice grooves by the guitar players,a very good bass work and some dynamic drumming.Finally I think NOLAN and WAKEMAN came very to close to achieve the project's purpose: ''Jabberwocky'' is an epic, story-telling tale of progressive rock with a good balance between keyboard-driven music and progressive rock.Both an interesting musical experience and addition in your collection!

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 Jabberwocky  by NOLAN & WAKEMAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.56 | 53 ratings

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Jabberwocky
Nolan & Wakeman Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This project is one that Clive and I discussed a few times before it finally came to fruition. It tickled him to think of recording an album which featured Rick Wakeman talking instead of playing keyboards, and that also featured Oliver but not his more well known brother, Adam. This is a concept album loosely based around the famous Lewis Carroll poem of the same name, with Rick taking the part of The Narrator: Bob Catley plays the part of The Boy, with Tracy Hitchings as The Girl.

The album is very much in the same theme as concept albums of the Seventies. In fact it reminded me somewhat of Rick's own 'King Arthur'. This is due in no small part to the fact that Clive has successfully distanced his writing from his previous albums/bands/projects, so that this doesn't sound as if it is from Thin Ice. Also, by using musicians who are not normally associated with him (such as Peter Banks and Tony Fernandez) he has also created some space. The keyboards are very dynamic, with strong interplay, and the long instrumental passages work very well in an orchestral fashion. The result is an album that has to be listened to in its' entirety to get the full benefit, but it is worthwhile and very enjoyable. The booklet is well laid out and the use of Rodney Matthews as the cover artist also harkens back to another age and era. If you ever enjoyed listening to concepts in the Seventies (and who didn't?) then this is an album that you will thoroughly enjoy.

Feedback #58, May 2000

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