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Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre picture
Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre biography
Formed in 2014

Two well-known north-Eastern English musicians have combined their talents to create one of the most surprising progressive statements in recent years, a thrilling debut to hit our charts in "Northlands".

Singer /composer Tony Patterson has a long creative career with Regenesis, Steve Hackett and Nick Magnus and has a gorgeous voice to boot. Brendan Eyre is a technically adept keyboardist who has coloured the incredible Nine Stones Close project as well as the off-shoot Riversea collaboration with Marc Atkinson (ex-Nine Stones Close).
Together they have made a debut that is cinematographic orchestral prog of the finest order, enlisting some powerful friends to help and flesh out the compositions, including Steve Hackett, John Hackett, Nik Magnus, Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close), Tim Esau (IQ), Carrie Melbourne (Oldfield), Dave Clements on bass and Nigel Appleton on drums.

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Antenna / Esoteric 2016
$24.89 (used)

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3.93 | 56 ratings
4.07 | 86 ratings
Tony Patterson: Equations Of Meaning

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tony Patterson: Equations Of Meaning by TONY PATTERSON & BRENDAN EYRE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 86 ratings

Tony Patterson: Equations Of Meaning
Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Breaking news: This is NOT a "Patterson-Eyre" output! The album is clearly listed as a "Tony Patterson" project. Yes, long-time collaborator Brendan EYRE contributes to Tony's album. But only on one song. This is clearly a solo album and should be credited thusly. Equations of Meaning is a collection of lovely Neo Prog drawing from 70s ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, 80s GENESIS, and current day STEVEN WILSON with plenty of lush keyboard arrangements and ethereal vocal displays. The drum machines may drive you crazy but the songs are definitely all gorgeous, mature constructs--they will quickly dig their way into your brain and never leave--you will never want them to; they are addictive.

1. "Ghosts" (4:01) captures the quintessential sound of the gorgeous STEVE HACKETT GENESIS and solo electric guitar stylings before giving way to a more cinematic song style. Gorgeous. (9/10)

2. "The Magdalene Fields" (5:59) opens with an obvious "Entangled" GENESIS/ANTHONY PHILLIPS sound before the gorgeous AMERICA-like voice harmonies enter. The key shift down into the rather disappointing chorus are this song's only flaws. Otherwise, beautiful--especially the ethereal section beginning at 4:08. (9/10)

3. "Each Day a Colour" (4:48) opens with some gorgeous spaciness very much like the work of Steven WILSON's PORCUPINE TREE in the 1990s ("The Sky Moves Sideways" and Signify come to mind). When the band's rhythm section and vocal join in it still has a bit of the WS feel but also a kind of California dream-pop feel not unlike that of bands like PORNO FOR PYROS and WEST INDIAN GIRL. The keyboard work, chord progressions, and 'light' rhythmic approach make this another absolutely gorgeous song. (10/10)

4. "Cast Away" (2:35) again we find Tony and company masterfully replicating the STEVE HACKETT songs style when Steve is at his most melodic and intimate. Another absolutely hypnotic, dreamy gorgeous song. (9/10)

5. "The Angel and the Dreamer (, ii. journey, iii. reprise)" (7:02) feels like a long lost song from one of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT's earlier days--Pyramid or even I, Robot era--even with the ANTHONY PHILLIPS-like 12-string presence in the middle. (9/10)

6. "Beneath a Perfect Sky" (5:09) casts such a hypnotic spell of lush beauty that you may find yourself pushing the 'permanent repeat' button and lying down to sleep in a poppy field ... forever. Echo-y repeat piano chords, intermittent synth washes, Mark ISHAM-like percussive keyboard sequencing, languid drum pace, Kate Bush-like background vocal incidentals, laid back Tony Banks-ian synth soloing, even a lazy trumpet solo, all contribute to the magic here. (10/10)

7. "Sycophant" (5:23) reminds me of the cinematic work of Poland's LEBOWSKI over-lace with an intermittent Hogarth-like vocal. Pretty good song! (8/10)

8. "And When the Sky Was Opened" (2:07) could've come off of one of STEVEN WILSON's spacier 1990s albums. Really cool. I'd love to hear a 10 to 20 minute version of this. (10/10)

9. "Pilgrim" (5:24) another hypnotic technologically created beat (quite similar to that of STEVEN WILSON's song from Hand. Cannot. Erase., "Perfect Life") whose dreamy music, melodies, and vocal don't quite stand up to some of the album's other gems. But it's still great! (I love the slow, single-note piano play at the 4:00 mark. Very dreamy!) (8/10)

10. "As the Lights Go Out" (2:44) is a pretty little piano-based song embellished by the occasional contributions of synths and flutes. (9/10)

11. "The Kindest Eyes" (6:30) again replicates the beautiful harmony vocal stylings that were so perfectly perfected by AMERICA in the early 1970s--but Tony here does only that: replicates; he offers nothing new, exciting, special or innovative. It's just okay, maybe even a little disappointing for its lack of buildup or climax. It would never be a radio hit in the way that AMERICA songs were. (7/10)

5 stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music. This is without a doubt a collection of very beautiful, well composed songs. In fact, this is one of the most beautiful collections of beautiful songs I've come across in a long time. Astounding and spell-binding.

 Tony Patterson: Equations Of Meaning by TONY PATTERSON & BRENDAN EYRE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 86 ratings

Tony Patterson: Equations Of Meaning
Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is a Tony Patterson SOLO album release.

If one was bold enough to imagine what the ideal vessel would be for a 2016 version of a progressive Genesis, well, I would like to propose Tony Patterson as the likeliest candidate. Having a voice that is Part Gabriel and part Collins is obviously a major attribute as well as the fact that Tony cut his teeth on being ReGenesis' lead vocalist, a band that unabashedly reprised the Prog icon in mostly live settings. I also cannot help also to draw parallels to Mike Rutherford's debut (and only truly prog) solo album 'Smallcreep's Day', a personal and much idolized album in my collection. My adulation for this artist really germinated from the recent masterpiece Tony Patterson put together with Riversea and Nine Stones Close keyboardist Brendan Eyre, entitled 'Northlands', to which I allotted a maximum score as it was a truly epic and genial release.

'Equations of Meaning' simply continues the spirit of "Northlands", with a similar feel, artwork and artistic lineup, yet this is a full Patterson solo album, playing most of the instruments himself (guitars, keys, flutes and programming). Guest cameos include keyboardist Nick Magnus, guitarist Adrian Jones and Brendan Eyre, Andy Gray has a solo spot on guitar and Doug Melbourne on synth. Fred Arlington returns on sax and horns. Tony's voice, while obviously capable of imitating his influences, is starting to develop its own hue and dimension, which is the added bonus one gets with sublimely atmospheric material that effectively paints pictures in the mind. The entire album is an utter audio joy, basking in deep clouds of melancholia, supreme wisps of heavenly sounds and possesses the uncanny ability to take the listener to an altered state of mind, in which to bask in. One also gets the sense that this is a very personal effort, deeply rooted in a certain perception of music, decorum and art and thus, highly original in its purpose and raison d'etre.

The spectral splendour of 'Ghosts' serves as the perfect anesthetic, a mellow and sublime carpet of synths and strings, suave and seductive, like melodic morphine seeping into the veins. Ready to get operated on, nicely medicated and comfortably numb. Gorgeous nirvana. In the spirit of the previously mentioned 'Smallcreep's Day' masterpiece, 'The Magdelene Fields' recalls those glory days of reverberating 12 string guitar phrasings, sweepingly sweetened voices (lead and backing) and titanic keyboard swarms. Fred Arlington's sax provides rays of sunshine amid the puffy synthesized clouds, the pulsing rhythms discreet in the background with loads of cymbal work. As the song whispers into silence, I cannot help but to sigh, contented.

Welcome to dreamland with the lighter-tinged 'Each Day a Colour', a simple gem of sunny musical disposition, unpretentious and fragile, stating 'the world begins to smile and a dreamer's dream makes it all worthwhile', a solid guitar foray and a sudden end. 'Cast Away' serves as a perfect segue, a sweeping lullaby of gentle vocal breezes that are barely above a whisper, birds fluttering in the air, clanging guitar flicks and utterly restrained. Achingly beautiful as the synthesized strings build into celestial orgasm.

The first elongated piece is the 7 minute, three-part all-instrumental epic 'The Angel and the Dreamer', initially a platform for Siobhan Magnus to use her mellifluous voice to instill a vaporous mood platform that has a simple backbeat and a spiraling acoustic and electric rant that takes shape for the music to coalesce into a meaningful whole. Arlington's horn work and the rather organic drum programming is quite out of this world as well as Doug Melbourne providing a mopho synth solo that is all sweetness, technique and feel. Church bells tolling, celestial choir and more chirping birds combine to create a cinematographic feel which is hard to castigate. Brilliance!

The solemn mood continues undeterred on the hypnotic 'Beneath a Perfect Sky', as Patterson owns this smooth and unctuous whisper that is entirely addictive to these ears, a swooning infusion that remains whole-hearted to the core. Tony adds his twinkling piano to the mix in fine and elegant fashion, as per his norm. The horn solo provides a welcome jazzy touch to the ethereal sounds.

Surprise! And then out of the blue comes this scintillating piece of inspiration, as 'Sycophant' has some bite, a James Bond-like orchestral theme that titillates and certainly kicks the audition up a notch, the voices all modulated to modern levels and of course, a rather snarly lyrical content , that spits venom in a gentlemanly tone. Andy Gray's twisted electric guitar solo only further conveys the nasty message 'I never liked you, I never will, Just bide my time and then move in for the kill', oh my, that is quite vile, tempered only by the cascading walls of string synthesizers that act like a mellotron in heat. Effing perfection!

A short symphonic and electronic interlude in the shape of 'And the Sky Was Opened' further gentrifies the sensational progression of this opus, heavy on the keyboards and laying the groundwork for the next piece, the 'ber-addictive 'Pilgrim', a modern serenade of pensive discourse, insistent beat, obstinate voice and adamant forward propulsion, leading to some sonic nirvana, fueled by more horn and sax work from mister Arlington. The drum programming is outstanding, though quite unassuming. Stunner!

The obligatory cameo comes in the form of the piano-led 'As the Lights Go Out', an opportunity for Brendan Eyre to reveal once again his lovely technique, fluttering over his ivories with passion and elegance. This will lead to the other extended piece and the lovely finale, 'The Kindest Eyes' is dedicated to Patterson's wife Angela, a gulp- inducing ode to a partner who faithfully influenced his craft, a testimony to this album's generous disposition and highly personal touch. It also happens to be addictive and superlatively beautiful in its relative simplicity. Adrian Jones of Nine Stones Close fame offers a scorching slide and lead guitar solo that will blow your jaw sideways. I mean, I am so totally impressed, feeling this music so deeply even upon first listen.

Imagine 10cc's classic 'I'm Not in Love' styled choir voices and lilt and you will get the drift , though this is way more wistful, creative and progressive. Exactly my kind of personal and personalized progressive rock music, highly evocative, heartfelt and meaningful. I could listen to this forever and I fully intend to do so. You should too!

5 equivalences of significance

 Northlands by TONY PATTERSON & BRENDAN EYRE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 56 ratings

Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Tony Patterson and Brendan Eyre were both born in North East England and both have a broad musical background. In 2012, they released an album Out Of An Aancient World, which was so well received it won them the Best Newcomer award at the 2012 Classic Rock Society Awards.

After this, they started thinking about a concept album describing their beloved North East England, which resulted in Northlands, an album that tells the tale of someone returning to the North East after so many years. The memories, good and bad, the beauty of the landscape and the unfinished business of the character are the drivers for the music. Without a story line to follow, and an album that is largely instrumental, it is hard to tell what the this character experiences exactly along the way. However, the music invites to sit back, relax and let your own version of the story unfold in your mind.

The opening track Northbound, with it's 24 minutes and subdivision into 7 separate pieces already is a story in itself. There are some lyrics here, that indicate this is about the trip north, probably entering the North East. The complete epic builds up from a piano piece, a flute, to a choir and then a full orchestra with strings and a horn (I think). The two vocal pieces, Take the Safe Way and I Recall make clear why Tony Patterson once sang in the Genesis tribute band ReGenesis, yet he does not attempt to be a copy of Peter Gabriel here. The vocal harmonies on I recall, accompanied by a haunting keyboard are beautiful. At the end, the piece returns to the intro - had this been the full album we'd be heading south again.

After this one long track, 8 shorter ones follow, some instrumental, some with vocals, and although the basis is always in the beautiful keyboard and piano work of Brendan Eyre, they are quite varied. A Picture in Time for example builds up from a dreamy keyboard piece with female vocals in the background to a fully orchestrated piece with these vocals rising in volume as a less psychedelic Great Gig in the Sky. After that it goes back to the more dreamy keyboard pattern, but with drums and (very well played) bass joining in. This contrasts with the short piano piece And the River Flows (with slightly Peter Gabriel like vocals again), which is followed by a jazzy piece with excellent piano work by Brendan Eyre, A Rainy Day on Dean Street - with some nice saxophone and horn work by Fred Arlington added.

The following Legacy I described in my notes as film music. It starts with a piano that seems to mimic a clock, while a guitar in the background makes the noises of a long train rolling by. This suddenly changes into a dreamy (again!) piano and flute piece, which then powers up by the addition of percussion. The percussion keeps the clock/train pattern alive underneath the other instruments, mainly the flute of John Hackett. The final part of this track is orchestrated to the extend that it would fit under a movie of a flight over the North East English landscape. A sound effect at the end brings back the image of a train disappearing on the horizon.

I Dare to Dream is a mellow piece, with relaxed vocals and an undertone of happiness. The backing vocals are a bit Pink Floyd like, and the piano is in the instrumental lead once again. This is almost a relaxed prelude to So Long the Day, in my opinion the best track of the album, featuring Steve Hackett (John's brother) on guitar. This track, features Peter Gabriel style vocals, with excursions to Pink Floyd (Roger Waters' era), excellent bass playing, Hackett's guitar work, but also a short piece of Spanish guitar, once again the piano and flute. All of this is used to divide the 6.5 minutes long song into short pieces, in Peter Gabriel era Genesis style, without making it a Genesis rip off. I love it, from the first piano note of the intro to the last note of the guitar solo that ends it.

To bring the listener, or at least me, back to his senses the album closes with a short, relaxed piano piece, A Sense of Place - the sound of seagulls at the end.

This album is not perfect, very few are, but it's definitely a well executed piece of music. Everything fits, and it allows for intent listening, if not requiring it. A bit more vocal guidance through the story would help get the concept clearer, but as I said - dreaming up your own story is a good possibility now. Also a few more excursions from the evenly tempo of the music than just A Rainy Day on Dean Street and So Long the Day would've made the album a bit more exiting, perhaps also rockier.

All in all, I had never heard of Tony Patterson and Brendan Eyre before I received this album in the mail and I'm glad I know them now. This is one to cherish and listen again every once in a while, on a quiet evening, with a nice glass of wine and your feet on the table.

 Northlands by TONY PATTERSON & BRENDAN EYRE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 56 ratings

Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Patterson/Eyre may just be that hidden gem that may go entirely unnoticed and cause a great degree of consternation, as the debut 'Northlands' may well just be the sleeper prog album of 2014. Fans of neo-prog, symphonic, crossover, folk and even psychedelic will take a huge liking to this super smooth masterpiece. Everything about this album is sheer perfection, from the brilliant sound, the lovely artwork and booklet, the crisp production, the stellar guests (including the prolific Steve Hackett, his brother John, Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close), Tim Esau (IQ) and Nick Magnus, among many others) and a first class vocalist in Tony Patterson (ReGenesis), a magnificent voice that wanders into visual delights, expressive and honest, causing many shakes of the head in amazement throughout this jewel, as well as the tremendously gifted keyboardist Brendan Eyre (Nine Stones Close and Riversea), whose predilection for the piano only heightens his impact and pedigree. There are numerous influences that run the gamut, from hints of jazzier material like Sting, China Crisis, Spandau Ballet to more symphonic elements like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Anthony Phillips, Camel and Penguin Caf' Orchestra.

To have the balls to kick off an album with a glorious 24 minute, 7 part epic shows the kind of quiet confidence exuded here, a masterful symphony of sounds that clearly span the entire prog spectrum, involving all the little intricacies that makes good music even better. The massive 'Northbound' suite is a symphonic breeze of the highest order, a lone earnest piano searching for its shadow, an awakening flute and a sublime melody initiate the sequence that will eventually invite dense orchestrations into a swirling thing of beauty. Highly cinematographic , as if a soundtrack from some obscure romantic flick, the neo-classical symphonics are clearly first rate, presenting a very British pastoral beauty as Tony takes over the microphone, and begins his 'coming home', a heady mixture of choir and vocal expression. The suite morphs into a more up-tempo groove, drums beating like a pulsating heart, with a cool Peter Gabriel feel, not surprising in lieu of Tony's work with ReGenesis. A brief dip into the carnival-like atmosphere of Brighton on the beach, sea gulls squeaking in the air, a lush flute and a glorious Genesisian vocal section and Ant Phillips-like acoustic guitars, one feels transported into the depths of nostalgia with enormous reverence. Brendan segues with a simple but mesmerizing piano motif, very pastoral and circumspect, infusing sparkling mandolin to add some sunshine. The sophisticated arrangement is never rushed, as if profoundly spiritual and searching to imbue the listener with images of a time gone by, a simpler, gentler world, far from the raging madness. The luminous finale seems to evoke a sense of hope, of rekindling old passions, a genuine return to roots, all expressed by a sterling guitar solo. Sheer perfection, a magnificent opus of the very highest order.

The restrained sound of oboe scours the horizon on the effusive 'Northlands Rhapsody', a brief orchestral moment that sets the luxuriant tone for the next series of tracks, a devoutly symphonic ditty that would fit nicely on any The Enid album. Utterly dazzling, again, for all its brevity. The quaint 'A Picture in Time' is a straight masterpiece again, featuring meandering female voices (Carrie Melbourne), shuffling drums and some shifting electronics that give it a lovely modern sheen. While extremely mellow and low-key, the distant orchestrations and permeating choir work recalls the fanatical wailing on Deep Purple's 'Sweet Child in Time', intense and deliberate. Music of this ilk is just plain spellbinding, as it flows on in atmospheric jubilation.

Brendan sits down on the piano, Tony next to him on the microphone and they are both watching 'And the River Flows', vivid and fragile as the oboe swerves into the picture, seductive to no end. Proof once more that the very simple can be very complex, when orchestrated accordingly, seemingly echoing along eternally. Change of pace? The urban cool of 'Rainy Day on Dean Street' has a China Crisis-like flow, with astonishing piano playing by both Patterson and guest Doug Melbourne, a brooding pace that may wink at the jazzier side of Sting's early solo career. Hints of Moulin Rouge, Mardi Gras and the Big Easy waffle along, hot and humid as the sexy flugelhorn blows just a little breeze. Groovy, aromatic and sensual, as guest Fred Arlington supplies sax and horn work of the very highest order. A defiant prog hit if there ever was one, appealing to any hip crowd, bluesy and smoky with an eyelash of decadence.

The hauntingly spectral 'Legacy' is another monumental instrumental delight, a fantastic musical universe where a silky smooth piano suggests only the deepest emotions, aided by a slithering flute from Mr. Hackett, some ethereal and voluptuous choir work, combined with the densest orchestrations. The chugging lilt reflects on the history of train travel, the atmospherics are impenetrable, the cloak of years gone by gloriously detailed and grandiose, another winner on an album of perfect victors. I recently watched the compelling British film 'The Railway Man', a momentous essay on forgiveness (gulp) and this would have fit in admirably.

'I Dare to Dream' continues that pensive sequence, this time infusing some soporific vocals that will soothe and inspire, adding a shifting beat and some glittering acoustic guitar in the mix. Gentle piano and a forlorn flugelhorn and then some trumpet will take us all to heaven and beyond. It has a Beatles 'like intelligence, a soft-rock promontory and an urban cool, mitigating sounds that coalesce with a romantic fervor, almost sexual, especially when that damned saxophone blows its top! No perspiration on this tuxedoed bad-boy hunk, he is a coooool man! A proggier Spandau Ballet comes to mind, in a very good sense.

The crushing beauty of a track like 'So Long the Day' is why I remain so thoroughly mesmerized by the progressive style, a mammoth melody, a mystical delivery bathing in lush arrangements and some overtly emotional vocals combine to let the listener close their eye and dream away. This sound is close to Riversea, Sound of Contact, Peter Gabriel or classic Steve Hackett, as the legend blisters forth on the electric guitar, forging a scorching solo so typical of his career, it will blow you simply sideways. One of the finest songs ever recorded.

A romantic piano etude leads the way to a just and glorious finale, a sense of serene accomplishment and pleasure obvious and comforting. 'A Sense of Place' is just perfect, gulls screeching goodbye.

This, proggers and progettes, is a bloody masterpiece, a highly personal set list of meaningful songs played to perfection. It felt like a devoted lover serenading me with emotional bliss.

5 arctic domains

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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