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Galahad - Solidarity - Live in Konin CD (album) cover





4.10 | 21 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars On September 2nd 2011 bassist Neil Pepper finally succumbed to cancer, and this had a major impact both on the band and all those who had the privilege to meet him. What was the band going to do after this? They had recorded two albums with Neil, both of which were released in 2012, but how would they perform them live? Actually they didn't have to look too far, as keyboard player Dean Baker and guitarist Roy Keyworth had been helping out in Twelfth Night, which also featured multi-instrumentalist Mark Spencer. It was soon agreed that he would join them for gigs, and then in 2014 Tim Ashton returned to the fold, so this album captures quite a short-lived line-up. Recorded in Konin, Poland, on 26th October 2013, this double CD and single DVD set finds a band who in many ways are very different indeed to the band I saw so many times in the Nineties. Yes, singer Stu Nicholson, guitarist Roy Keyworth and drummer Spencer Luckman are still very much involved as they were back in the day, but this is an outfit that has progressed in many ways indeed.

At one time they were very much part of the neo-prog scene, heavily influenced by the likes of Marillion and IQ, but they have changed quite dramatically over the years, and how have a much heavier and dense sound. Dean has a wonderful approach on keyboards. Knowing when to be quiet, reflective, and 'progressive' in approach but he also knows what it takes to move into a far more metallic area. Spencer has grown in confidence over the years and has become much more of a rock or even metallic drummer, really pounding the kit, while Roy has turned it all up and provides a much more powerful platform. With all this mayhem going on it probably isn't surpriing that Stu's vocals have also gained a depth and breadth that they didn't have previously ' he still hits all the notes, but now they are quite a different proposition than before.

I am sure that a lot of this is down to the person who mixed and edited this album, Karl Groom, who has been working with the band now for some years. There are only a few of the older numbers included in this set, and one of these should be called out for special mention. After everything having been turned up to the max, and the audience blasted into submission, they come back for the encore. Or more truthfully, Stu returns on his own to sing 'Painted Lady' totally a capella. It takes a brave singer to do that at any time, let alone after already performing for ninety minutes, and he nails it. Totally. This album is a great introduction to the Galahad of today, and one that makes me regret now living so very far away, as I am unlikely ever to catch them in the flesh again, and these guys are proving yet again that they are one of the bes prog acts around.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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