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Topic ClosedNew Thieves' Kitchen album - The Water Road

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Thieves' Kitchen album - The Water Road
    Posted: February 06 2008 at 17:57
Their new album is due in March 2008.
 
From their website - http://www.thieveskitchen.com/
 

New year, new album...                                                    13th Jan 2008
Well, Happy New Year everyone. Again, apologies for the infrequent website updates. Things move apace and we're very near the point where all things that have to be recorded have been recorded. We hope to be able to have a first formal listen through to the album as a band down at Aubitt later this month, and a March release date is looking very likely.

So what's taking the time? Well, in summary I'd say it was attention to detail. We've been honing in on all aspects of the compositions and refining everything until we're happy. Thomas particularly has been really fine tuning his parts. The piano, organ, and especially his Mellotron work sound exquisite to my ears. We've shared some provisional mixes with close friends and, well let's just say there's been a lot of smiling going on.

So, I want to thank you all for your patience, it's not long now. I can't wait to stop talking about all this and just let 'The Water Road' speak for itself.
More later - Phil.

 


Edited by avestin - February 06 2008 at 17:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 09 2008 at 06:50
better late than never
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2008 at 13:56
More info:
 
THIEVES' KITCHEN: have announced the impending release of their fourth CD, 'The Water Road'.
The new album will be the first to display the immense talents of new member Thomas Johnson (formerly of Anglagard) on keyboards. Aside from this change, the line-up remains identical to 2003's 'Shibboleth' but also features a number of additional textures provided by guest musicians. Anglagard alumnus Anna Holmgren has contributed numerous stunning flute passages, original TK bassist Paul Beecham plays saxophone and oboe, and cello makes an appearance courtesy of Stina Pettersson. Furthermore, vocalist Amy Darby introduces a wide range of further instrumentation including recorders, clarinet, harp - and even Theremin and spoons!

'The Water Road' was recorded primarily at Rob Aubrey's Aubitt Studios - highly renowned amongst the progressive fraternity in the UK - whilst the Anglagard connection is further enhanced by the use of Mattias Olsson's studio in Stockholm, Sweden where Thomas recorded copious Mellotron parts along with Optigans and Orchestrons. The move away from 'in house' recording has also enabled drummer Mark Robotham to employ acoustic drums on this album for the first time as opposed to the electronic skins previously utilised by the band. This especially complements the increased use of fretless bass by Andy Bonham.

Instrumentation is one matter, but what of the compositions? Founder member and guitarist Phil Mercy has formed a prodigious writing partnership with Thomas and the material thus produced is definitely the finest of the band's career. From the delicate piano intro to the 21 minute opener 'The Long Fianchetto' to the triumphant, symphonic strains of the album's eponymous closing track, the band's music has taken on a whole new dimension. The music ranges from quasi-orchestral passages in 'Fianchetto' to the psychotic, breakneck fusion of 'Om Tare'. Long-term fans of the band are not forgotten either with the prog-fusion stylings of material such as 'Tacenda For You', but this contrasts delightfully with the crazed folk of the 4 minute 'Returglas' - almost a single! Meanwhile Amy's voice has taken on a whole new richness and maturity along with the lyrics certainly being her best yet, running the whole gamut of emotions from defiance to introspection and poignancy.

Thank you for your time.
Thieves' Kitchen - Oxford, England
Details of the release date (proposed March 2008) will follow.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2008 at 15:02
wow...Anglagard + TK =
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2008 at 10:35
Latest from the band's website:
 

New album available!                                                   17th March 2008
Thieves' Kitchen's fourth album, 'The Water Road' will be officially released on 31st March, but is now available for pre-ordering in our online shop. We're all thrilled and incredibly excited with the results, and we can't wait to see what you all think.


The album was mastered at Aubitt Studios, Southampton, in February by the wonderful Rob Aubrey. Meticulous attention to detail has been evident at all stages of the making of this album, and the mixing and mastering processes were no different. In particular, listeners will find that the album has been mastered to preserve the dynamics in the performances and compositions, something that we're seeing shamefully less and less of in these days of 'brickwall limiting'. We'd urge you to check out the TurnMeUp! organisation, a movement advocating bringing dynamics back to music, to find out more about not only why 'loud' does not equal 'better', but why it may be progressively diluting the quality of recorded music, and thus providing you, the listener, with a product that is the sonic equivalent of fast food, and for no seemingly good reason!

This album breaks new ground sonically, creatively and compositionally - and we are immensely proud of it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we've enjoyed writing, recording and playing it!

Useful links: TurnMeUp! - Bringing Dynamics Back To Music.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2008 at 11:06
am I blind or there are only two of us in this wonderful thread?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2008 at 18:07
By the way, I'm friends with the girlfriend (in real-life) of one of the members of Thieves Kitchen and I asked her awhile back if it was all right to maybe rewrite the band bio at some point.  I don't know when I'll next see her, but I'll ask.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 28 2008 at 12:12
I saw my friend today and she has a copy of the album waiting for me for review purposes, so I hope to have it soon.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2008 at 06:37
Originally posted by James

By the way, I'm friends with the girlfriend (in real-life) of one of the members of Thieves Kitchen and I asked her awhile back if it was all right to maybe rewrite the band bio at some point.  I don't know when I'll next see her, but I'll ask.
 
 
I'm curious. 
Why would you want to rewrite the band bio? Is it wrong?
And why you?
 
Cheers,
Paul.
 


Edited by progmap - April 04 2008 at 06:41
http://progmap.tripod.com/
http://www.thieveskitchen.co.uk/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2008 at 17:04
I'm not re-writing it, Paul.

Nothing is wrong with it, I just feel it could be expanded or updated, especially in regards to the release of the new album.  Also, the biography on P.A. has been noted by the neo-prog team members as needing further work , I believe.  I have no idea who originally wrote it.

I was actually going to ask the band members to perhaps write a bio themselves (or ask permission to use one written already), rather than writing one myself.  After all, I do not want to tread on any toes.  I am perfectly happy to get feedback in regards to this matter.

All potential edits I suggest to make to the database always get clearance with the relevant team first.  I do not just update things without asking first.

I just thought I'd clear that up and I do not desire any ill feelings.

Thanks for the concerns Paul, it is much appreciated.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2008 at 18:30
Absolutely no ill feelings, I was just curious. I misunderstood your intent, however, I thought you were referring to the band bio on the Thieves' Kitchen website, rather than here on PA. As a matter of fact I agree with you, the information here on PA is sketchy at best, and in some things downright misleading. If someone were to rewrite it and actually get the facts right, I'd be very pleased.
As to the information on the TK website, Amy was extremely busy on the artwork for the album and then had other things taking her time, so I expect there'll be more updates to come when she has time.

Cheers,
Paul.

Edited by progmap - April 04 2008 at 18:34
http://progmap.tripod.com/
http://www.thieveskitchen.co.uk/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2008 at 19:00
Paul,

Thanks a lot for clearing it all up.  I presumed you had got confused with the band bio on the Thieves' Kitchen website and the one here, but I was not sure.

In fact, I have a small biography written by Phil already.  I am going to contact Tina again (I won't see her  personally, next week, unfortunately) via e-mail and thank her for sending me the biography through.  I am sure Phil will be happy to share it with you in due course.

It is not often that members of Prog Archives have the opportunity to correspond with band members personally, so it is always a privilege to work with them personally, especially in relation to biography and discography information.  We always want accuracy and we do not obviously wish to be bias, or misrepresent a band or artist, but it does happen sometimes.

Any help is most definitely welcome, by the way.  I believe P.A. should show better album art (e.g. clearer jpg images) for the albums already added here (they look blurred my end), so any help with this would be much appreciated as well.

Thank you once again and I hope in the near future, that the P.A. band entry for Thieves' Kitchen does the band justice.

James.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2008 at 21:05
No problem. These misunderstandings are easily sorted out. :)

I already know the band bio, having been there from the start, so Phil doesn't need to share it with me. I'm just glad that the information here will be improved in the near future. Now, if you can persuade those in authority that TK's music is not in fact Neo Prog, that will be the icing on the cake. :)

(Not that there's anything wrong with Neo Prog, but TK is something else)

Cheers,
Paul.
http://progmap.tripod.com/
http://www.thieveskitchen.co.uk/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2008 at 11:10
Well, I've actually yet to hear The Water Road, but judging by the influences, especially the Canterbury and jazz/fusion, like National Health, I know am going to be in for a treat.  I understand your trepidation with the neo-prog label. Wink  I'll see what I can do in that regard.  As a matter of interest, which genre would be more preferable?

By the way, what's the availability of the other other albums?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2008 at 15:58
Well, right from the first album there's always been a heavy jazz/fusion influence from Phil, whereas I was more into Gentle Giant, UK and an early Chris Squire approach to basslines. I can safely say there were no attempts to emulate the likes of Marillion, IQ or GLD, we were actively trying to avoid duplicating what was prevalent in the UK prog scene at the time as we felt there were plenty of bands working in that style.

Obviously, when I left the band, my input was reduced, with Escape being the only track on Argot that I helped write, but the TK style was always more down to Phil due to his speed of working and abundance of ideas compared to the rest of us. I'd say the shift in TK's direction has been steadily towards the more technical Canterbury style, but with a firm eye on vocal melody.

The latest CD has been a wonderful surprise for all concerned, with Thomas contributing some beautiful material and a symphonic lushness and level of detail that surprised everyone. Amy too has raised her game, both vocally and instrumentally. I feel truly privileged to have been allowed to sneak on to a couple of tracks when Phil's better judgement was looking the other way. :)

As to what category that puts TK in, I guess as long as the people who decide know their sub-genres and give the music a good listen before making their decision, that's all that one can hope for.

All the albums are still readily available from the TK web site.

Cheers,
Paul.
  
http://progmap.tripod.com/
http://www.thieveskitchen.co.uk/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2008 at 23:42
Paul, thanks again, it is always a treat for prog fans to hear anecdotes from actual (or former) band members.

I shall certainly try and purchase those earlier albums.  I want to hear The Water Road first though, as it sounds like - from your description - to be the best yet.

Of course, when I have heard it, I shall certainly relay my thoughts here.  Keep on proggin'!


Edited by James - April 09 2008 at 13:41
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2008 at 02:01
Thanks guys for that interesting discussion about what sounds to me to be a very interesting band that I've yet to sample . Looking forward to some reviews of the new album but, frankly, with the info. posted here, it sounds like a 'must have' anyway. I'll be on to the website at my earliest uninterrupted opportunity to hear some excerpts of the bands material.
Looking still the same after all these years...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2008 at 02:04
I've listened to the 'snatches' on their website and it sounds interesting, paticularly some nice piano and rhodes like sounds, but I'm really waiting on a precise review......please somebody?
Looking still the same after all these years...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2008 at 13:24
Here's a review from www.znrcds.com to whet your appetite:

Well, I should start off by saying that I have never made any secret that I am a fan of everything this band has done. So, even this long-time fan and supporter of the band has to admit that the press release for "The Water Road" stating that it is by far their best work is in no way an exaggeration. It has been nearly 5 years since the release of the group's excellent third album "Shibboleth" and I can say without reservation that they had been hard at work on what can only be described as a progressive symphonic rock masterpiece! This is certainly the best Thieves' Kitchen album but my praise goes much further than that. It is the finest album made by any symphonic progressive band in the last 30 years! Period. Beautifully and majestically melodic. Powerfully Rhythmic. Masterful arrangements both instrumentally and vocally. Harmonically advanced and conceptually cohesive. The core of the band remains Phil Mercy (guitars,vocals), Andy Bonham (fretted & fretless basses) and Mark Robotham (drums & cymbals). Returning from the last album is the wonderful singer Amy Darby whose voice sounds like the perfect marriage of Annie Haslam & Sonja Kristina - with a hint at Joni Mitchell! Original keyboardist Wolfgang Kindl has been replace by Thomas Johnson. Johnson's style is much more symphonic and classical - the closest reference being Renaissance's John Tout mixed with some of Tony Banks' harmonic sensibilities and some of the late Peter Bardens' raw talent. Where Wolfgang's playing was more about atmosphere & texture, Thomas has a wider ranging palate giving his arrangements the ability to go from delicate solo piano to multi-layered orchestrations and everywhere in between. The only other symphonic prog band of recent years to reach this level was Sweden's Anglagard. Interestingly Anglagard's Mattias Olsson and Anna Holmgren both appear as guests. While Mattias' musical contribution is limited to 'loops' on the song "Chameleon" (and to help with the engineering), Anna plays the beautiful flute parts on nearly every track! And the recording itself is breathtaking - with a depth and dynamic texture usually found only in recordings from the 1970s made in big, famous studios. The two things that are notoriously difficult to record properly - vocals and drums - both sound crystal clear and natural. Mark Robotham has switched to an entirely acoustic kit making the recording even more dynamic! I could go on and on about how great Phil Mercy's guitar lines are, or about the depth and poetry of the lyrics, about the beautiful guest parts of Paul Beecham (oboe) or cellist Stina Petterson. Or about the gorgeous vocal overdubs by Amy Darby and how she has an incredible range from warm alto to crystalline mezzo-soprano. Or about Thomas Johnson's beautiful keyboard arrangements including the real mellotrons! I could drop names like Genesis, Camel, Yes, King Crimson and Anglagard to give you some idea of the overall sound. But none of this - none of it - will really prepare you for how great this album is. It is one of a handful of symphonic rock albums of the last 30 years that no fan of that genre can do without. Period!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2008 at 19:41
Thanks James . It's going to be hard for it to live up to that review ! But if it goes even close, it's obvously going to be special.
Looking still the same after all these years...
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