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TWELFTH NIGHT

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Twelfth Night biography
TWELFTH NIGHT emerged from the Andy Revell Band formed at Reading University, where in 1978 they won a talent competition. Geoff MANN was an artist friend of the band from the moment in 1977 that he knocked on Andy's door to find out what record Andy was listening to and discovered that it was just Andy playing guitar! The embryonic band consisted of Andy and Brian Devoil (drums), with Mr Rick Battersby managing the dry ice.

After Clive Mitten joined in 1979, TWELFTH NIGHT as a band were born and got straight down to the work of recording. A live LP followed several tapes and experiments with other musicians, including one Electra Mcleod who performed vocals for one tape only. A vocalist was needed - but where to get one? Many were auditioned - including Geoff, who also performed a gig or two with the band and wrote some words for "Sequences".

A successful series of gigs was followed by the band being booked for the Reading Festival - the first local Reading band to have achieved this in the history of the festival. After much deliberating, Geoff MANN, the backdrop painter became Geoff MANN the poet, lyricist and vocalist.

It's important to consider the musical, social and political climate of the late 1970s - early 1980s to get a handle on what TWELFTH NIGHT were about; The roots of the music lie mainly in Andy Revell's HACKETT/HILLAGE guitar sound, but GENESIS, early PINK FLOYD and WISHBONE ASH are the most obvious influences. It has been said that there is a punk element to TN, and while there is a certain amount of aggression, that energy comes more directly from NWOBHM than punk. MANN's vocal style and lyrics may be laced with anarchism, but they run a whole lot deeper than that - Geoff was a deep thinker and poet, and later became ordained. His words attack the idle non-thinking majority in a cajoling way, they attack the governments at a grass-roots level and they attack the nonsense of war - but also support the positive aspects of life, like love.

After MANN left (amicably) to join the church in 1983, a new era of TN started with Andy Sears as vocalist. TWELFTH NIGHT are still making music in one form or another - but it tends to be fitted around the day jobs. Sadly, Geoff died of cancer in 1993.

The "MANN-era" music will live on in prog as being something particularly special, as it goes several steps further than even FISH-era MARILLION, with whom the band are often (mistakenly) compared.

: : : Mark (Cer...
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Twelfth Night: Live From LondonTwelfth Night: Live From London
Import
Iguana Project 2005
DVD$19.00
$19.99 (used)
Fact & FictionFact & Fiction
Import
Cyclops Records 2002
Audio CD$214.81 (used)
Live & Let LiveLive & Let Live
Import
Festival Records 2012
Audio CD$19.21
$27.21 (used)
Live at the Target: Definitive EditionLive at the Target: Definitive Edition
Import
Festival Records 2012
Audio CD$16.29
$14.99 (used)
Art & Illusion: Definitive EditionArt & Illusion: Definitive Edition
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$16.75
$13.37 (used)
Smiling at Grief: The Definitive EditionSmiling at Grief: The Definitive Edition
Import · Extra tracks · Special Edition
F2 Music 2009
Audio CD$17.94
$27.11 (used)
Twelfth NightTwelfth Night
Extra tracks · Import
Emd Int'l 2005
Audio CD$250.13
$24.35 (used)
Collectors Item + 3Collectors Item + 3
Audio CD$24.95 (used)
Twelfth Night - Pop Up SleeveTwelfth Night - Pop Up Sleeve
Virgin
Vinyl$18.50 (used)
Take A LookTake A Look
Virgin
Vinyl$7.99 (used)
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TWELFTH NIGHT shows & tickets


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TWELFTH NIGHT discography


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

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

3.94 | 124 ratings
Fact And Fiction
1982
2.45 | 33 ratings
Smiling At Grief
1982
2.69 | 33 ratings
Art And Illusion
1984
2.43 | 39 ratings
Twelfth Night
1986

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

4.01 | 33 ratings
Live at the Target
1981
4.26 | 50 ratings
Live And Let Live
1984
3.21 | 10 ratings
Smiling At Grief...Live
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
A Midsummer's Night Dream
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
Corner of the World
2005
4.67 | 3 ratings
Live from London
2005
3.67 | 3 ratings
Entropy
2005
3.80 | 5 ratings
Flashbacks
2005
4.50 | 4 ratings
Night Vision: Art & Illusion Tour 1984
2005
3.89 | 9 ratings
MMX
2010
4.83 | 10 ratings
Live and Let Live - The Definitive Edition
2012

TWELFTH NIGHT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.04 | 9 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.38 | 12 ratings
MMX (DVD)
2010

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

4.09 | 40 ratings
Collector's Item (1991)
2001
3.07 | 10 ratings
Voices In The Night
2007
4.09 | 3 ratings
Skan Demo/First Tape Album
2013

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

3.10 | 2 ratings
The First Tape Album
1980
4.00 | 2 ratings
Early Material (Second tape album)
1980
1.28 | 6 ratings
Shame
1986

TWELFTH NIGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Skan Demo/First Tape Album by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.09 | 3 ratings

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Skan Demo/First Tape Album
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars If ever there was an underground progressive rock band who should have really made the big time then surely it must be Twelfth Night. Through many different factors, not all of them of their own making, they released just four full-length studio albums during their career, along with a couple of live albums plus some long-deleted and not available cassettes. However, due to the increased interest in the prog scene in general, and TN in particular there have been quite a few compilations and live archive releases released under the watchful eye of Bran Devoil, and there has even been a reunions and some gigs! But, what I am playing now is another of the Archive releases, and one of incredible importance to fans as it contains the very first demo from the band, the legendary 'SKAN' recordings when the band were just a trio, plus two songs from, the 'First Tape' album which was released later the same year (1979) when Rick had joined on keyboards.

Listening to these songs makes one realize just what incredible musicians these guys were, and also what a huge influence they must have been on Ozric Tentacles as "Fur Helene II" could easily have come from those guys. The songs themselves, albeit recorded in a studio, were actually 'live' with little in the way of overdubs and were normally first or second take. Andy is an incredible guitarist, while Clive was never content just to provide solid backing and also wanted to be in on the melody which left Brian at the back trying to hold everything together and ensuring that they all kept on track. The sound is really good, especially considering this was an unsigned band recording some 35 years ago, and certainly doesn't sound dated. But, this is an album that while not exactly the one I would recommend as an introduction to the band (their best studio album is 'Fact and Fiction', live is 'Live and Let Live') it is something that even those who don't know the band will enjoy as the swirling complex musical motifs move in the air to create something that is incredibly beguiling, compelling and entrancing.

But, if you are a fan of the band then you will recognise sections of songs that later on became parts of others, and having two versions of "Sequences" is always a good thing. I have to confess that each time I hear the early instrumental versions I still 'hear' Geoff singing over the top. To take such a monumental instrumental number (one version here is nearly eighteen minutes long) and add lyrics to it in a way that makes it seem that it was always meant to be hard that way is an incredible achievement.

I have been a fan of the band for years, but had not heard these versions until now and it is wonderful to have them widely available once again. www.twelfthnight.info

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 Fact And Fiction  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.94 | 124 ratings

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Fact And Fiction
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars How to review an album that I and many others view as one of the finest of its' kind? 'Fact and Fiction' remains to this day a supremely impressive album which captures a band at the pinnacle of their studio career. This is a reissue by Cyclops that manages to give us seven bonus songs on top of the original eight, and also restores the cover to its' original format (the MSI release had a negative cover, i.e. black on white instead of white on black). There is also a history of the recording process provided by Brian and overall this is a reissue that more than justifies purchase again even if you already own the MSI CD.

But what is all of the fuss about? Twelfth Night were the band that should have had the success of Marillion at least, and if Geoff hadn't decided to become a minister who knows what they might have achieved. But back in the early Eighties the band had been reduced to a four-piece with the departure of keyboard player Rick Battersby, who later returned. This left the core line up of Geoff Mann (vocals), Clive Mitten (bass/classical guitar/keyboards), Andy Revell (electric and acoustic guitars) and Brian Devoil (drums). The recording process took a year, during which time Marillion started to gain a lot of attention so the band decided to shift the attention away from some more commercial elements and dropped some numbers and rewrote others. The result was a progressive masterpiece.

The album starts with the second longest song, in "We Are Sane". Gentle held-down keyboards with Geoff singing falsetto and in the background that are the sounds of children playing and a radio being tuned. Gradually Geoff sings lower, the keyboards come down and the sense of menace starts to appear. Percussion starts not with Brian on drums but on typewriter as "Reports flop into the in trays". Even from very early on in the album it becomes apparent that Twelfth Night just weren't like any other prog band that was around at the time, or since. Prog bands often today are likened to Genesis/Marillion/IQ but rarely to TN. "We Are Sane" is about a Big Brother society where individuals are controlled by a small box they plug into their brains each day. The music swirls and changes, being beautiful and refreshing, or rocking and dramatic, as the need arises. There is a spoken word passage; all tricks utilised to make the song unusual and classic.

Following that is the more laid back "Human Being" which not only contains one of my favourite lyrics in any song ("If every time we tell a lie a little fairy dies, they must be building death camps in the garden") but also a powerful bass solo which has to be one of the best bass riffs ever. "This City" again starts slowly, with children in the background and in some ways is almost Floydian except with far more menace and emotion from the Mann. It is stark and barren, with Geoff in total control. Next up is a small instrumental "World Without End" which acts as a gentle keyboard bridge into the title cut. It may only be four minutes long, but this keyboard dominated piece is one of their more powerful and thought provoking, all with no guitar! Given the current climate this song seems even more poignant "If the unthinkable should happen, and you hear the sirens call, Well you can always find some shelter behind a door against the wall, Don't make me laugh!!"

This also gives way to an instrumental, "The Poet Sniffs A Flower" which features acoustic guitar and keys in gentle harmony until the drums kick in and they are off and racing, as they lead into the longest track on the album, the one with which Geoff will always be associated, "Creep Show". It starts gently enough, and we are invited into the creep show to see the exhibits (as in "Karn Evil 9", but here with an even more damning indictment on society). It is gentle, lulling and simple, or dramatic, rocking and complex. It can be a breaking voice, pure melody or a spoken statement of fact, whichever way you look at it this is one of the most important prog songs ever.

Given all of the horrors and complexity that has gone on before, the only way to end the album was with a gentle number that gave the listener the chance to reflect. "Love Song" is pure and delicate, as Geoff sings about the power of love and what it can achieve. It is a song of restrained emotion here in the studio, which became an outpouring when performed in concert (listen to 'Live And Let live' to get some idea). It builds and builds in tempo, on from the acoustic guitar to a more powerful prog rock number and to put it simply, out of all of the many thousands of songs I have heard over the years, this is my number one.

Of course, that was where the original album ended but now there are the bonus numbers. "East Of Eden" was one of the band's most powerful stomping rock numbers (and was the song they performed on the David Essex Showcase!) and had originally been destined for the album but was instead released as a single along with "Eleanor Rigby". The band weren't particularly noted for their cover versions, but this is a great take with the song taken from the Sixties into the Eighties and now imbued with the dramatic vocals of Geoff. "Constant (fact and Fiction)" has nothing in common with "Fact and Fiction" and sounds like Geoff and Clive and a drum machine and is interesting but has to be taken as a work in progress, and was never developed any further. "Fistful Of Bubbles" shows the band experimenting with an almost reggae style in the chorus, and much more in the way of emotional guitar and is interesting but again was a work in progress.

To the fan it has to be "Leader" that is by far the more interesting demo, as this is a song that had musically built out of a number called "Afghan Red" and would in turn become "Fact And Fiction". The verse is musically almost the same, with some of the final lyrics, and it is fascinating. "Dancing In The Dream" is a poptastic keyboard led song that is fun and is a song I have found myself singing. It reminds me of Men Without Hats and I wonder if a finished version of this had been released as a single what would have happened? The last song is a different version of "Human Being" which is only just over half the length of the finished article. Musically it is quite different and is more dynamic with in your face keyboards. The band seems to be bounding along on this much more rockified version.

So there you have it, an album that should have been in every music lover's collection prior to this Cyclops reissue and definitely should be there now. Forget labels, this is music of the highest quality that deserves to be heard. An album that is now over twenty years old yet is relevant and powerful. Superb.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

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 The First Tape Album  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.10 | 2 ratings

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The First Tape Album
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Somekind of a legend among fans of Neo Prog, despite being far from a famous band, Twelfth Night had the opportunity to release what is considered today the first ever Neo Prog album.The group was formed as The Andy Revell band in February 1978 at the Reading University by guitarist Andy Revell and drummer Brian Devoil, joined a few months later by bassist Clive Mitten.This trio recorded the rare demo ''Skan'' in March 79' and the summer of the same year the original line-up was completed with the addition of keyboardist Rick Battersby.In December 79' Twelfth Night entered the Multivision Studios in Wokingham to record two tracks for an upcoming cassette, ''Freddie Hepburn'' and ''Sequences''.These, along with two tracks recorded live in a concert at Reading University in November 79', would sum up what was going to be ''The first tape'' cassette album, released in January 1980.

Back in the day Twelfth Night played all instrumental Progressive Rock, obviously influenced by the 70's British Prog scene, as captured in the opening ''Freddie Hepburn'', which ia decent keyboard-driven instrumental piece with lots of solos and breaks, highlighted also by the great FLOYD-ian guitar melodies, which offer a quite symphonic mood, combined with the synthesizers.''Encore Une Fois'' reminds me of the Liverpool-based THE BODY or THIRD QUADRANT, it is good spacey instrumental Prog with a slight New Wave aesthetics and soaring guitar work with dominant floating synthesizers around.The very long epic ''Sequences'' belongs among the most ambitious works by the group, split in different segments, ranging from dramatic atmospheres to more virtuosic and melodic passages.The opening keyboards recall early MARILLION and in general the two bands sound quite similar, mixing undeground psychedelic movements with light Symphonic Rock.The middle part of the track sounds more like a jam with powerful guitars and a pounding rhythm section, followed by a long synth prelude, that eventually would lead to the melodic ending with these nice CAMEL/PINK FLOYD vibes during the guitar solos and the superb symphonic keyboards, which produce a majestic atmosphere.''Für Helene Part I'' seems extremely influenced by GENESIS with nice BANKS-like synth moves and a nice symphonic touch throughout, although at this point the early groovy parts of the group during the listening reflect a bit of an unpolished sound.

This belongs among the cassette releases of Neo Prog, which someone should own.It is a bit of an unpolished release with a raw production, but the music is very good with excellent performances and a well-arranged instrumental palette.Recommended.

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 Collector's Item (1991) by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
4.09 | 40 ratings

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Collector's Item (1991)
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars There are plans to re-release much Twelfth Night material over the next few months, and Cyclops have started with this reissue of the 1991 compilation. The original release saw not only previously available TN masterpieces, but also the classic line-up recording the epic "The Collector" and a new version of "Love Song". To have these two songs alone made the collection a 'must have' for the hardened fan, so why go out ten years later and get the album again?

Originally the compilation started with "Sequences" from the 'Live And Let Live' album. Rightfully viewed as one of their finest pieces, this most visual of songs dealt with a soldier's life in the First World War. Cyclops have already reissued that album, and have dropped the song from this reissue. This has given them a lot of room, and they have replaced it with three other songs.

A Twelfth Night gig started with "The Ceiling Speaks", with both Clive Mitten and Andy Revell providing guitars ? there was no room for bass. Like many TN fans I never thought that a studio recording had been made, but I was wrong!! It was one of four songs recorded in a session for MGM in 1983. This version doesn't capture the raw energy, but it comes pretty close. Next up is "Deep In The Heartland" from the same recordings. Historically this is interesting for the fan as it was reworked to become "Not On The Map" which in turn became "Blondon Fair" (which is also on this release). The other 'new' song is "Last Song", which appears on CD for the first time.

What can be said about the other songs? How can anyone not listen to the power and majesty of "We Are Sane", one of the most epic of songs dealing with control of individual. "Art and Illusion" is the bubbly riposte to the previous more thoughtful number, with Andy Sears making his first appearance. The album starts with Geoff's songs, then into Andy, but finishing with the new recordings featuring Geoff. Unlike Genesis, there isn't such a huge musical shift between the two versions of the band but many fans still favour the Mann.

"The Collector" is one their longest studio recordings, at just over nineteen minutes, and to me epitomises all that was great about the band. Musically it hits many differing areas, and Geoff stretches himself both vocally and lyrically. It has to be one of the longest and most complex Christian songs ever released. And as the gig started with "The Ceiling Speaks", so it always ended with "Love Song". A song that is so full of passion that I can never fail to be moved emotionally when I hear it.

Even before I received the reissue this was an album that I have been playing regularly since its' initial release. The new tracks make it an even better collection and along with 'Live And Let Live' should be in every proghead's collection. Apparently their great studio album 'Fact & Fiction' is going to be next, with many previously unreleased bonus songs. I can't wait.

Originally appeared in Feedback #65, Dec 01

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 Art And Illusion  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.69 | 33 ratings

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Art And Illusion
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars So, having released one of the most important prog albums (ever!) and then managing to lose their vocalist, the next studio album was going to be very important for TN. They had said goodbye to Geoff with the double live album 'Live And Let Live' and they now had to introduce a new singer. Due to the current interest in the band they decided to release only a mini-album on MFN and to save some of their longer, more progressive, works for another album which they planned to have out at the beginning of 1985. And so it was that in August 1984 they recorded the five songs that were to feature on the album to be released in the October. This was their only album to make the national charts (hitting the heights of 83!) and gained acclaim for their punchy outlook. "Counterpoint" opens the album with gentle riffing and long held-down keyboards chords as the bass starts to drive the song along. This song lives on the strong rhythm section and soaring vocals which prove right from the off that even though Geoff was unique, they had a new talent in TN fan Andy Sears. While more straightforward, he had a strong voice with great range, and wasn't averse to putting in odd inflections that meant that he wasn't a straightforward rock singer.

The title cut is up next, a song already well known to TN fans, as it was a number performed by Geoff but not recorded. This has to be one of the band's bounciest numbers, full of energy and enthusiasm. Instrumental "C.R.A.B." showed yet again that the band had an extremely solid bassist in Clive Mitten while Brian pinned down the beat, which allowed Rick and Andy Revell to move away and move the melody around. "Kings & Queens" has probably the heaviest section on the album, although the introduction doesn't really give that impression. It cuts and changes, moving from dynamic rock to soaring vocals with a sparse background, solid from start to finish. "First New Day" is one of my favourite TN numbers, simple and pleasant, yet strikingly dynamic and hard-hitting at the same time. While the atmosphere is mostly in the music, it is the vocals that combine with it to give this song such a strong edge.

And this is where the album finished, but not now. What follows are the three tracks that the band were paid to record as demos by MCA in May 1984. If 'Art & Illusion' had been a full album then these would probably had been on it as well. These three were "Blue Powder Monkey", "Blondon Fair" and "Take A Look", two of which were re-recorded for 'XII'. The first of these has a rather lightweight guitar riff, and is not one of my personal faves. But that gives way to the very much Japan-esque "Blondon Fair". This is a classic in every sense of the world. This is total atmosphere, yet after the introduction seems to take on a life of its own. "Take A Look" comes in at 12 minutes, and not a second of it is wasted. Yet again this is one of their best ever songs, although this version sounds recognisably different to their later version, particularly in the vocals which were strengthened.

As if that wasn't enough, the album closes with alternate versions of four of the original songs. The booklet is crammed full of photos, information by Andy Sears and Brian, as well as all of the lyrics

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 Fact And Fiction  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.94 | 124 ratings

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Fact And Fiction
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Prozac anyone?

Geez this is black. This is blackier than the eye of a shark. I am not fond of it by any means, but I give it 10 out of 10 for creepyness. This is rivalry with the cold wave of the Cure's Pornography or Bahaus Bela Lugosi's Dead mixed with a soundtrack for a B-Movie. Everything here is dark and depressing, especially the song Freakshow, which is something to be heard nonetheless. Black cover, black mood and definitely giving me chills in the back. Way too frightful for my little heart. Scary and definitely the grandfather of Discipline early albums.

It's making Peter Hamill looking like Mr. Bean on a sunny beach.

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 Live at the Target by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Live, 1981
4.01 | 33 ratings

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Live at the Target
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Shortly after the release of 'The Electra Tape', singer Electra departed which meant that the band had a recently released tape for sale which featured a vocalist, but were now an instrumental outfit again so they need to have some product available that featured this sound. This time they were going to move away from cassettes and instead release a record, and the decision was taken to record two gigs from The Target in Reading on 15th and 16th January 1981. From these tapes they would then select the best songs and that would be the album done and dusted. This 'Definitive Edition' release finds the original four songs on the first CD, with another nine on a second. To me the highlight is "Sequences", one the band's most powerful numbers. I only came to this album some time in the Nineties having already been familiar with the vocal version and I was amazed at how the guys told an incredible story without the use of lyrics (and 20 minutes long to boot) and how little the arrangement changed when Geoff became involved.

The sound is really good, especially considering that here was a local band with little money doing everything on a shoestring budget, and it certainly doesn't sound as if this recorded more than 30 years ago. There is a vibrancy and power to their music that means that the listener becomes involved in their world. The bonus songs on the second CD definitely add to the overall package, although there is some variance in the recording quality, and one of these is from early as 1979. I have always loved "The Cunning Man" with its hypnotic keyboard passage, and the version here from 1980 is great. These days this album is often overlooked with people heading straight to the recordings featuring Geoff or Andy Sears but this is well worth investigating. www.twelfthnight.info

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 Live and Let Live - The Definitive Edition by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Live, 2012
4.83 | 10 ratings

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Live and Let Live - The Definitive Edition
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars At the end of the Seventies a band formed at Reading University, initially as an instrumental group and then with a female singer. Electra didn't last too long and after reverting to an instrumental outfit the band then recruited long-time friend Geoff Mann as singer and so the die was cast. All these years later I still can't understand why Geoff, Andy Revell (guitar), Clive Mitten (bass/guitar/keys), Rick Battersby (keys) and Brian Devoil didn't make the breakthrough they so richly deserved. In 'Fact and Fiction' they released one of the finest progressive rock albums of all times, but never managed to pass through the door recently opened by Marillion. By the middle of 1983 Geoff was starting to question his role in the band, and whether he should follow a different calling. Some of his lyrics had been Christian in nature, but few outside the band would have know just how important he felt his religion was to him. And so, he decided that he had to leave the band (and eventually became a C of E minister before passing away way too young) but in a totally amicable manner.

Everyone agreed that they needed to record a live set, but also knew that they could only afford to record enough music for a single vinyl album, so 45 minutes. Certain epics would have to be included, so small instrumentals had to be played to get the timings correct. On 4th and 5th November 1983 they played their last two gigs with Geoff at the Marquee (massively sold out) and that was that. Originally it was to be released on their own private label, which would have had the catalogue number TN007 so hence the title, but during mixing (which took place the week after the gig ' but no overdubs), they were approached by MFN who then licensed it.

Although the band had paid only for certain songs to be recorded, the guys running the desk were so into what they were hearing that after the second gig they presented the band with a two track recording of all of the encores, and some of these were used when Cyclops reissued the album in 1996, but still it wasn't a complete record of what transpired.

Now in 2012, F2 Music have made available a double CD which uses all available sources to present what fans would have heard if they were there that night. This includes recordings from the gigs, soundchecks, VHS film and a version of 'The Collector' that was recorded a month earlier. The whole lot was given to Karl Groom to work on the levels and place everything into the correct running order. So, although you may feel that you have heard this album before I can guarantee it won't have been like this.

If I had to choose a set list from this era of the band it would be pretty close to this. All of the epics are here, and even now hearing the whistle on 'Sequences' sends a chill down my back as the band go over the top into no-man's land. It is strange to think that this already existed as an instrumental long before Geoff was involved as to me this is something he really owned. 'The Collector' is one of the most visual of all of their songs, and to hear it in this environment is just brilliant. It was never recorded in a studio when Geoff was in the band, but thankfully that was rectified when the compilation 'Collector's Item' was worked on in 1991. How about 'Human Being' with the lines 'If everytime we tell a lie a little fairy dies, they must be building death camps in the garden' or the way that the crowd know all the words to very song, even to the introduction to 'Fact and Fiction' or the way that 'Love Song' is the fitting end. The final song Geoff would sing while a member of the band.

Of course Twelfth Night didn't end there, Andy Sears was recruited and more great music ensued before they called it a day. But the band are now active again and are gigging, albeit with a slightly revised line-up, have released some great archive albums, and have worked with Dave Robinson of F2 on some brilliant reissues, of which this is the finest. As well as the great music there is an extended booklet with details of what happened, all of the lyrics, wonderful photos etc. If ever anything was an essential purchase this is it, and if I could give this six stars instead of a maximum five I would. www.twelfthnight.info

Disc 1 1. The Ceiling Speaks recorded 4 November 1983, first released on the original Live and Let Live vinyl album in 1984 2. Human Being recorded 4 November 1983, previously unreleased 3. The End of the Endless Majority recorded 5 November 1983, remixed from the original 16- track tapes, this remix version previously unreleased 4. We Are Sane recorded 4 November 1983, first released on the original Live and Let Live vinyl album in 1984 5. Deep in the Heartland recorded 5 November 1983 (soundcheck), previously unreleased 6. Fact and Fiction recorded 5 November 1983, first released on the original Live and Let Live vinyl album in 1984 7. The Poet Sniffs a Flower recorded 4 November 1983, first released on the original Live and Let Live vinyl album in 1984 8. The Collector recorded 27 October 1983, previously unreleased

Disc 2 1. Afghan Red recorded 4 November 1983, previously unreleased 2. Sequences recorded 5 November 1983, first released on the original Live and Let Live vinyl album in 1984 3. Creepshow recorded 5 November 1983, first released on the CD reissue of Live and Let Live in 1996, remastered from the original 2-track tapes 4. Art and Illusion recorded 5 November 1983, first released on Geoff Mann's Recorded Delivery CD in 2003, remastered from the original 2-track tapes 5. East of Eden recorded 5 November 1983, first released on the CD reissue of Live and Let Live in 1996, remastered from the original 2-track tapes 6. Aspidentropy recorded 5 November 1983, first released on Geoff Mann's Recorded Delivery CD in 2003, remastered from the original 2-track tapes 7. Love Song recorded 5 November 1983, first released on the CD reissue of Live and Let Live in 1996, remastered from the original 2-track tapes

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 Art And Illusion  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.69 | 33 ratings

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Art And Illusion
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The Andy Sears period of Twelfth Night is popularly seen as a time when the band sold out in order to angle for mainstream success. I prefer to see it as the band emphasising a different aspect of their sound than the one the Geoff Mann era focused on - if you listen to, say, Smiling at Grief you'll find a song or two in the poppy art rock vein they pursue here, it's just that on Fact and Fiction and Live at Last (the two best-known Mann-era releases) they leaned a bit more heavily on the neo-prog side of their sound. Still, whether or not this album represents a complete reinvention of Twelfth Night or merely a refocusing, that doesn't change the fact that the material has dated poorly even compared to other pop/art rock hybrids from the era.

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 Live And Let Live  by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Live, 1984
4.26 | 50 ratings

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Live And Let Live
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The best release of Twelfth Night's Geoff Mann era is without a doubt Live and Let Live, documenting the two farewell shows for Geoff at the Marquee. With a track list drawing on their best material, it's an entertaining enough listen, though Mann's vocal approach still rubs me the wrong way. It's not the lyrical content that irks me so much as the delivery - Geoff feels the need to tell us that war is bad and love is good, as though these were sentiments which would be novel and new to us, and chooses to enlighten us to these facts in as didactic and heavy- handed a way as he can. Furthermore, there's a fine line between Gabriel-like theatricality and embarrassingly corny whimsy, and Mann crosses it too often for my liking. Still, I concede that this is a matter of personal tastes and fans of early neo-prog would probably find a lot to like here.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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