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SYD ARTHUR

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Syd Arthur biography
This band hails from the UK mainly the South East ( London, Canterbury & Brighton)in 2005 and comprise of the following band members:

Liam Magill - Guitars, Lead Vocal
Joel Magill - Bass, Percussion
Raven Bush - Mandolin, Percussion
Fred Rother - Drums

Syd Arthur are to quote the Dawn Chorus Record Company, devotees of sound, in a way which has become all too rare in this culture over the last three decades, patiently evolving their own sonic environments with a clarity of intent and a spirit of exploration.

The music that these four individuals come together to create sounds so unlike anything else around at the moment that it is genuinely worthy of the adjective -unique. While the spirit of their music has something in common with the more adventurous psychedelic and progressive sounds of the past, Syd Arthur are able to draw on a much more extensive musical palette. The result is what you might expect of musicians who have grown up in a post-everything world with WOMAD festivals and the world musical output at their fingertips. This ethos is also reflected in the studio, where they have been combining the art of traditional analogue recording with a contemporary digital approach.

Far from reaching this stage overnight, Syd Arthur have spent the last five years patiently honing their craft. During this time they have built up a strong following of admirers across the UK and other parts of Europe, who have been eagerly awaiting released material with a degree of urgency.

Their new single Ode To The Summer is released as an EP on the 31st October 2011

Syd Arthur official website

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Buy SYD ARTHUR Music


Sound MirrorSound Mirror
Harvest 2014
Audio CD$7.20
$4.64 (used)
On An OnOn An On
Harvest 2013
Audio CD$6.87
$5.19 (used)
On An OnOn An On
Harvest 2013
Vinyl$14.48
$20.35 (used)
Syd the Karaoke KidSyd the Karaoke Kid
Carpuzi Records 2001
Audio CD$481.99
$35.99 (used)
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SYD ARTHUR shows & tickets


  • Yes + Syd Arthur at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, Kansas City, MO on 7 Aug 2014
  • Yes + Syd Arthur at Ikeda Theatre at Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ on 12 Aug 2014
  • Parish Ent Group & Dead Nation Presents Syd Arthur on 21 Aug 2014
  • Syd Arthur at The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham on 18 Sep 2014
  • Syd Arthur + Prophets of Saturn at The Cookie Jar, Leicester on 23 Sep 2014
  • Syd Arthur at The Cluny 2, Newcastle upon Tyne on 25 Sep 2014
  • Syd Arthur at Joiners, Southampton on 30 Sep 2014
  • Syd Arthur + support I See Angels on 2 Oct 2014

SYD ARTHUR discography


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

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

3.81 | 46 ratings
On An On
2012
4.44 | 9 ratings
Sound Mirror
2014

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

SYD ARTHUR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
Willow Tree
2010
4.87 | 4 ratings
Ode To The Summer
2011
4.76 | 6 ratings
Moving World
2011

SYD ARTHUR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On An On by SYD ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 46 ratings

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On An On
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Coming from Canterbury, claiming to play Progressive Rock and not having 70's local influences in your sound is pretty much impossible.Syd Arthur hail from Kent, led by four musicians, brothers Liam Magill (lead vocals, guitar, percussion, flute) and Joel Magill (bass, percussion, vocals) along with Raven Bush (mandolin, violin, percussion, piano, vocals) and drummer Fred Rother.They slowly built a cult fame directed by the release of no less than 3 EP's, ''Kingdoms of experience'' (2008), ''Willow tree'' (2010) and ''Moving world'' (2011), before they launched their first full-length album ''On and on'' during the summer of 2012.The album was recorded at Syd Arthur's Wicker Studios and released on their own Dawn Chorus label, handed in CD and a limited number of vinyl editions.

They sound quite close to ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS, developing short tracks with a dense musicianship, where Pop sensibilities finally find some space next to nervous, jazzy interludes of the Canterbury scool of Fusion.''On and on'' comes actually as a mix of Prog, Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, Pop and Blues, but the adventurous workouts of the classic Canterbury scene are more than any of Syd Arthur's other influences.CARAVAN is the most appropriate comparison for this modern group, which builds its sound on some cool electric piano, plenty of violin moves and a happy rhythm section.Even Liam Magill's vocals seem like coming from the 70's, while he occasionally throws in some nice guitar bits, but his best contribution appears to be the clever mandolin shades in the bulk of the album's tracks.The music rarely becomes powerful, but when it does some moments of prog majesty are waiting in the corner.These guys seem to be fond of elaborate, finesse-styled musical textures with a flexible Fusion palette and indeed the result is usually quirky with the impressive violin tricks and the sound of piano being complemented by some inventive electric textures and a touch of acoustic crescendos.Only attempt on a longer composition, the 8-min. ''Paradise lost'' sounds like an amalgam of CARAVAN's career with ethereal passages, jazzy textures, proggy twists and a Post Rock vibe during the ambiental sceneries.

The spirit of Canterbury Prog will never be lost with bands like these.Modern material with beautiful vintage acoustics of the local area, wrapped in a mix of Prog, Jazz and Pop.Recommended.

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 On An On by SYD ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 46 ratings

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On An On
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by JwixVonJwax

5 stars What a lovely and elegant blend of so many different genres! Most songs have a warm and estival feel to them which is made even more interesting with the heavy jazz chords played in the background. Syd Arthur were not only able to mix genres but they did it in a very catchy way. They didn't trade beauty for complexity, everything flows naturally.

"First Difference" is one my favorite tracks on the album. From the first few bars, you are immersed in this bright Canterbury prog mood while the sound remains modern and fresh.

"Edge of the Earth" is a cool track but I think it lacks the catchiness and impressive background details of other tracks.

"Ode to the Summer", what a fabulous track! It will please prog lovers and their grandmas alike. The verse is a syncopated 3/4 riff. The chorus is incredibly catchy and I particularly love the contrast between the catchy vocal lines and the jazz chords.

"Dorothy" is a mellower, slow paced song which heavily relies on guitar jazz chords. The chorus is extremely catchy as well where quite a good part of the orchestration relies on background vocals in harmony.

"Truth Seeker" is one of the songs I liked the least. I find it a bit chaotic. Although it calms down half way through it. Give it a listen, you might like it!

"Night Shaped Light" is an instrumental. One recurring theme is played on guitar and is somehow reminiscent of Tosin Abasi's playing. The main theme is driven by Raven Bush's violin. A great tune!

"Promise Me" is a bit dull in my humble opinion. I won't elaborate since I'm not a big fan.

"Black Wave" is a cool song. A bit darker than other songs on the album. Won't elaborate either.

"Moving World" is also darker than most songs on the album. I like how the chorus emerges from the verse in a cresendo fashion. It suits the lyrics pretty well. The chorus is very well orchestrated.

"Paradise Lost" brings us back to the brighter mood of earlier tracks in the album. It is also considerably longer than those tracks. It does a perfect closing piece in my opinion. It starts with heavy distorted guitar than moves to one of the main themes where each and every member of the band plays a considerable part. This part is probably the one that will keep you coming. After that, we have a more chaotic section which serves as a transition to a peaceful and spacey part where lyrics kick in. This spacey part evolves into an additional section which is more syncopated, reminds me of Gentle Giant and Spock's beard. The song ends with the main theme.

Overall, an excellent album from a very promising band. In my opinion, highlights are: First difference, Ode to the summer, Dorothy, Night shaped light and Paradise lost.

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 On An On by SYD ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 46 ratings

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On An On
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Welcome to a wonderful world which some of us may have thought was lost only to be re-visited through the vinyl recesses of our collections.

From the first bars of First Difference you are transported to and wrapped in the warm optimistic Canterbury Scene of yore. But you are in an altogether modern environment. This has a distinctly contemporary edge. There's an undercurrent of jazz.

Edge of the Earth was a song I'd already come across on youtube. My favourite, this has an impelling rhythm, an edge, but it is the effortless changes of mood, the unstrained vocal which has such an impact. Love the drums. This is a must listen to track.

Ode to Summer I've already reviewed as an EP. The same beautiful synthesis of vocal, violin, bass and drums. Love the bass.

Dorothy: (there's an EP with studio and live). A slow understated jazz with almost lazy vocal style that reminds me of Stina Nordenstam (not the pitch though!).

Truth Seeker has a harder edge. Not typical at the start but again the effortless shifts in mood and rhythm stamp an unmistakable Syd Arthur seal on the track. I suppose that is one of the striking things about this band. Having only listened to 3 EPs and this album their sound is instantly recognisable. Formulaic this isn't.

Night shaped light features a stronger violin part. Again the changes and tight bass + guitar runs. For me there is a bit much. I found the guitar sound too distorted and muddy at the end. But then again I'm pretty sure that's exactly what was being sought.

Promised Me has a similar mix. Again the guitar is muddier as the song drives on. Then there is a break, the quiet melody on a radio.

Black Wave returns to the cleaner more open sound. There is control and balance. One of my favourites.

For a second as Moving World started I thought Michael Buble was about to cut in. That jazzy undertone is to the fore. But there is a folk story telling, a prog shifting of timing and mood. One of my favourites.

Paradise Lost. This has it all. At one point we have a distorted slow heavy beat with bass Geezer might have played. How did we get here? It's like Sabbath! Then a total breakdown, an ethereal passage more reminiscent of spacerock before the clean guitar brings us back. The vocals return with a delayed echo. Then back into an up beat staccato passage. Then break to a smooth rolling. reminiscent of classic yes. Classic prog.

You know you're hooked when you've listened to an album a dozen or so times and yet when it ends you find yourself going "what? no more?" replay and search the web for a few new snippets.

Simply a must have. Many will wait eagerly for the next offering. The worry is in an X-factor world of pop pap it takes proggers to support bands as such as this.

No hesitation: must have.

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 Ode To The Summer by SYD ARTHUR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.87 | 4 ratings

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Ode To The Summer
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Me Bad.

How did I miss this band. Beautiful. Way beyond the normal pap we're getting. Even on the prog scene. There's a maturity and finish that beggars belief. I really have been more surprised by this band than any since Hidria Spacefolk and Amplifier.

Cultured, restrained but for me ... there is a characteristic Canterbury vocal.

My favourite song is edge of the earth can't find it on any album.

What we're getting at the moment seems to be the best of early compositions. I cannot recommend this band too highly. I simply cannot imagine how this material should not be in a prog collection.

Having said this, these offerings are short, these are not fully formed albums: a few tracks.

If you are into prog you MUST listen to this. This music is fresh. there's a pint of folk, yard of ale of Canterbury and a gill or two of cross over.

We have a choice with prog. We contemplate our navels and ruminate about the magic 70s or we wake up and keep our eyes open for the contemporary.

I reckon this is a wake up moment. I may be wrong but I prepared to recommend this to all. I reckon this is the real deal.

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 Moving World by SYD ARTHUR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.76 | 6 ratings

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Moving World
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

5 stars OK,

This is the Canterbury Scene band you've been waiting for (for 20 years). I know they're in in the sort of don't really get it cross over prog category.

For this is an amazing reinvigorating Canterbury renaissance. Absolutely brilliant. Hatfield and Caravan trumped and brought to the 2010s. Not only essential but nailed to the top of any Canterburian (and hence any respectable prog collection).

I've always associated the Canterbury Scene with a vocal style as much as instrumental.

Simply awesome. The best original Canterbury style I've heard.

Nearly all their material is available in sorts online. absolutely no excuse not to try it out.

You will be gobsmacked.

This as good as Amon Duul's Phallus Dei is bad.

And that's saying something.

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Thanks to chris s for the artist addition.

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