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Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

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Times Up biography
UK quartet TIMES UP was formed back in 2006, initially consisting of Geoff Smith and Andy Gibbon but soon supplemented by the compositional and instrumental skills of Mike Hagland and Steve Leman. This veteran act, that combined have close to 100 years of experience in the trade, issued their debut album Snow Queen in the spring of 2012.

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TIMES UP discography

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Storm Coming In
2.94 | 25 ratings
Snow Queen
3.38 | 8 ratings
Sea of Schemes
2.97 | 4 ratings
Black Wing and Prayer

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

TIMES UP Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

TIMES UP Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Wing and Prayer by TIMES UP album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.97 | 4 ratings

Black Wing and Prayer
Times Up Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This is the fourth album by Times Up, a band who describe themselves as symphonic progressive rock, and the second since they brought in Linda Barnes on vocals. I note that Prog Archives have them listed as 'crossover', and that's exactly how I would view them as well, as they bring in multiple different styles with strong commercial elements and would rarely think of them as symphonic. This album is a really enjoyable listen, with the sparing use of instruments such as mandolin, saxophone and flute really adding to the overall feel. Linda's vocals are strong and forceful, with good harmony support, and it comes across as a well-constructed and thought through release. In many ways it feels like a classic 70's rock album, in that there is not much in the way of flashiness, not much in the way of guys saying, 'look how clever I am'.

It also feels very much like a live album, in that if you went to see this band in concert this is very much what you would get. It did make me think of Stone The Crows at times, as opposed to modern bands, although to be honest they don't sound like them, it is all about the approach. This is a collection of strong songs, vocals front and centre, with really good musicianship which is a very interesting jaunt indeed. It is accessible on first hearing, and a refreshing step back in time in terms of approach. There is plenty of thought and care within the arrangements, and an approach which shows all those who are involved have been involved in music for some time, and they bring that experience to bear. Nothing is rushed, and there is time for everything. Certainly, a very pleasant release indeed.

 Black Wing and Prayer by TIMES UP album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.97 | 4 ratings

Black Wing and Prayer
Times Up Crossover Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Times Up was founded in 2007 and released four studio-albums, this review is about its latest effort entitled Black Winger And Prayer, from 2018. I didn't know about this UK prog band so I was very curious to the music, it turned to be a very pleasant first musical encounter.

1. Black Wing And Prayer (9.34) : First lush twanging acoustic guitars and piano, then strong female vocals join (reminding me of Flamborough Head), in a slow rhythm. The musical encounter between the acoustic guitar, mandolin and flute with the synthesizer flights sounds like prog (hints from early Genesis and Renaissance) meets folk, very pleasant and melodic. Halfway a surprising wah wah drenched guitar solo, then an accellaration with a swinging clavinet and a saxophone - and synthesizer solo, topped with lush Hammond waves. In the final part rock guitar, powerful vocals and saxophone, contrasting with the cheerful folky sound of the flute. Singer Linda Barnes meanders very flowing between folk, melodic rock and prog with her wide range, embellished with a varied keyboard sound.

2. Window Shopping (8.32) : This track starts with a catchy mid-tempo beat featuring sparkling flute (evoking Jethro Tull), rock guitar riffs, strong vocals, fiery electric guitar runs and again varied keyboard work. Halfway the climate turns into an experimental sonic landscape with soaring flute and electric guitar, later joined by hypnotizing vocals and subtle vibraphone, again lots of surprising musical ideas.

3. Everybody's Everybody (8.19) : First a swinging rhythm with saxophone, then a tight beat with slightly distorted vocals, and another fiery guitar solo. In the second part a break with a catchy beat that contains orchestral keyboards and a propulsive guitar riff, evoking Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd. Gradually the moods shifts into more bombastic with powerful work on guitar and saxophone.

4. There is no Smoke Without a Fire (13.08) : This epic compositon begins dreamy with twanging acoustic guitars, celestial keyboards, a male voice, and subtle electric guitar and piano. Gradually the sound turns into more dynamic, with militairy drum beats and guitar runs. The delicate use of the tremolo arm gives a special flavour to the music. Then lots of fluent shifting moods, from dreamy with again the sound of the guitar tremolo arm to swinging rock with Hammond and screamy saxophone. The final part is pretty surprising: atmospheric with dreamy vocals, tight drum beats and subtle work on the acoustic guitar and keyboards, a captivating contrast with the rest of this long track.

5. After the Storm (5.29) : It starts with the sound of thunder and rain, tender piano runs, high pitched female vocals and soaring strings. Then dreamy vocals (again reminding me of Flamborough Head), joined by piano and a celestial keyboard sound, what a wonderful interplay, with strong emotional undertones. Finally a slow rhythm with howling guitar leads, militairy drum beats and tender piano runs, another interesting musical idea, a trademark of this band.

6. 21 Grammes of Starlight Glow (I Will Miss You) (11.05) : This final epic composition begins with a slow rhythm featuring a tight beat, powerful saxophone, flute and gospel-like vocal harmonies. Then lots of shifting moods, embellished with a variety of instruments (from Hammond and piano to E-bow banjo, Minimoog and flute), topped with Linda her excellent voice. This band knows how to keep my attention, and to blend influences from Classic Prog with interesting own musical ideas.

My rating: 3,5 star. This review was recently published on the Dutch prog website Background Magazine, in a slighlty different version.

 Snow Queen by TIMES UP album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.94 | 25 ratings

Snow Queen
Times Up Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Times Up come from South Wales and were formed in 2006 by four rock veterans, namely Geoff Smith on vocals, Andy Gibbon on bass, Mike Hagland on guitar and Steve LeMan on drums.The debut album ''Storm coming in'' was released in 2008 and, according to the band, it was a Classic Rock album with some Prog influences.For their second work ''Snow queen'' they recruited three keyboardists, Ron Rogers, Richard Lawton and Dave Hughes with Sed Edwards providing also some bass lines.Recorded at Up The Lane Studio, the album was released in 2012, at a time when Geoff Smith had already parted ways with the group.

They have completely turned prog at this point, although the rhythmic and more Classic Rock-styled parts are never absent.Imagine the more pompous vibes of YES mixed with some Hard Rock-in' guitars and tons of flashy keyboards to come close to what this album is all about.The music is generally fast-paced and dense with a nice bunch of breaks, clean vocals, memorable vocal deliveries but also some intricate instrumental parts.The aim was apparently to come up with musicianship that doesn't lack demanding instrumental depth, but ends up to be striking and accesible and the guys eventually made a decent attempt.Powerful guitars and passionate vocals meet with neurotic keyboards, but the sound is also showered by some delicate flutes at times as well as some breaks into acoustic territories.Retro references are not absent either, light organ passages and even some Mellotron samplers are appearing every now and then to deliver a nostalgic mood.Rich, lyrical and dynamic arrangements, at the end the album sounds fresh and cheerful.Maybe the whole thing is a bit too pompous and flashy for its own good, but there is some serious talent in composition here, allowing the band to offer emphatic and quite long pieces with a balanced sound between guitar- and keyboard-led themes.

A band to keep an eye on.The long members' experience has been tranlsated into an easy-going listening, which still pays a tribute to the principles of Classic Prog.Recommended.

 Snow Queen by TIMES UP album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.94 | 25 ratings

Snow Queen
Times Up Crossover Prog

Review by pinkeyes

5 stars Snow Queen is almost the alternate soundtrack to an animated movie as if they could have recorded it for the classics; The Last Unicorn and The Swan Princess and would have gotten them a huge turning point for them and success to those films, but the music itself is astonishing and spiritual at the same time and feels that you are embarking on a Magic Carpet Ride into another dimension. As expected, there's a huge inspiration of; ELP, Starcastle, early King Crimson, Camel, Genesis, and Styx in there to make it sound like a huge amount of dosage of Symphonic Rock like no other and it's quite evidential by listening to this from start to finish, that this album could have been recorded back in 1977.

Again, this album feels like a Spiritual Journey. Starting off with Secret Garden, it becomes a swooshing harmonic and melodic melody synth into soaring skies while the thrilling guitar rumbling solo by Mike Hagland makes it an exciting thunderstorm, then it becomes a folky turned into calming movement that Geoff Smith does in his vocals as to let the listener know that the story has just begun. Nightmare Days reminds me of the Grand Illusion-era of Styx with the acoustic rhythm introduction and then becoming a haunting '70s power chord rocking touch while The Prophet starts off with a middle-eastern vocalization and whispering spoken word gibberish and then it goes into the same situation of the second track then goes into the midsection of a wonderful Flute and Synth workout, to make it an excellent exercise between the two instruments.

The title track, which is an 8-minute epic, is a mind-blowing experience. A thumping guitar solo, more power riff chords, and Chris Squire-like bass lines between Mike Hagland, Andy Gibbon, and drummer Steve Leman, go into town together for a grand old time with a touch of adventure in their heart and soul as if they were working with Yes on this composition. Spellbound begins with a rumbling militant snare drum and moog/mellotron work in the styles of King Crimson as the battle rages on as it goes into an emotional and wonderous resemblance of Kansas stylization on the Point of Know Return-era that is spot on.

Fall of the Queen closes the album with a wonderful ballad, between electric, acoustic guitar, and double-tracked vocals before kicking off into the sunset with the Keyboards as Geoff sings his heart out on what will the next morning will hold for the survivors who kept as prisoners from the Snow Queen. This is perhaps one of the best albums I've listened to and while this is their second album, it'll probably be one of the best of 2012 to come out.

 Snow Queen by TIMES UP album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.94 | 25 ratings

Snow Queen
Times Up Crossover Prog

Review by robbob

1 stars I had so many expectations about this last months many good works from British bands...and if they are from UK many possibilities to be not dissapointed .


If this band wanted to upload a music work for tube ...Ok interesting demo to visit....But an album?

I listen and listen this album there something to consider ..some passages of the songs..some arrangements?...the vocals? maybe .

In comparison to quality bands of the nowadays prog rock...this is precarious...I

In my opinion they were in a rush to get this material off.

Maybe here is a basis for the future ...maybe...

Now i don t like this music

In my opinion this work is unrespectful for prog fans.

1 star

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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