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Comedy Of Errors biography
Formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1984 - Disbanded around 1990 - Reformed in 2011

Comedy Of Errors were formed in January 1984 with Joe Cairney (vocals), Jim Johnston (keyboards), John MacPhee (drums), Mike Barnard (guitars) & Steve Stewart, soon replaced by Mark Spalding (bass).

Their first recording was a demo called "Ever be the Prize", and was recorded at a studio in Blanefield (Scotland) in 1985. They recorded a number of songs with Rog Patterson (of "Twice Bitten" fame) as producer, which were then further refined with the assistance of Mike Bentley and Niall Mathewson (Pallas). These were released as a "mini album" in 1986, strongly influenced by Pallas or Abel Ganz style.

In 1987 when Mike Barnard left the band, Barry Henderson joined the band on bass while Mark Spalding played guitars. This line-up recorded the demo tape called "24 Hours" in November 1987 at Evenload Studios in East Kilbride. This was later combined with the mini album to form the band's only CD release under the french MSI label. Unfortunately, the quality of this release is very poor, being a direct transfer from vinyl, rather than master tapes. This is compounded by the fact that "The Student Prince Part One" has been omitted and replaced by an inferior version of a track from earlier on the disc.

A change of direction was heralded in 1989 with the arrival of new lead vocalist John Cowden, replacing Joe Cairney who went on to join the Fire Brigade. The demo tape "Hold On" was recorded at Evenload Studios (East Kilbride) in May '89. The band were playing more standard rock songs, which were more suited to the new vocalist. They played regularly around Scotland, and then quietly disappeared from view.

: : : Yves Le Perchec : : :

Remarkably though, the story does not end there, and in 2011 Comedy of Errors reformed. As the band's official website succinctly puts it:

"One man however kept faith in the original concept, dropped out of the prog scene completely, stayed in his room, kept writing new material and revising songs and waited.and waited.His name I don't recall but that's not important right now. Suffice to say it was hoped these mini-rock symphonies would, at some point in the future, see the light of day and find an appreciative audience. And so it was, thanks to those who kept faith in the music, the new incarnation of COMEDY OF ERRORS came to release their debut album ' DISOBEY ', a difficult birth, a long time in the maki...
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House of The MindHouse of The Mind
Imports 2017
Comedy of Errors 2015
$10.00 (used)
Original recording
CD Baby 2011
$14.43 (used)
Fanfare & FantasyFanfare & Fantasy
CD Baby 2014
$20.64 (used)
Spirit (autographed edition)Spirit (autographed edition)
Comedy Of Errors
Disobey by Comedy of Errors (2011-08-03)Disobey by Comedy of Errors (2011-08-03)
CD Baby
$39.10 (used)
Fanfare & Fantasy by Comedy of Errors (2014-05-04)Fanfare & Fantasy by Comedy of Errors (2014-05-04)
CD Baby
$39.10 (used)
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COMEDY OF ERRORS discography

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COMEDY OF ERRORS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 260 ratings
4.04 | 474 ratings
Fanfare & Fantasy
3.90 | 258 ratings
3.63 | 106 ratings
House Of The Mind

COMEDY OF ERRORS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 42 ratings
Comedy Of Errors

COMEDY OF ERRORS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.42 | 3 ratings
Ever Be The Prize
3.40 | 5 ratings
Mini Album
5.00 | 2 ratings
24 Hours
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hold On


Showing last 10 reviews only
 House Of The Mind by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.63 | 106 ratings

House Of The Mind
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Neo prog of the first order with a bit too much familiarity and simpleness where and when divergence and experimentation could have made it so much more interesting. Plus, the production is flawed by sterile sounding individually-separated instruments.

1. "Tachyon" (6:21) the cheap imitation piano sound used in opening does not bode well for this album. The bouncy "Dreamer"-like piano foundation in part 2 does not inspire any more hope or confidence. We're already almost two minutes into this and it still doesn't feel ready to "start"--and yet the vocals enter in the third minute--distant multi-voiced 80s/Thomas Dolby-sounding voices melodically duplicated by a synth. By the fourth minute we at least have a little more fully developed weave established. The vocal melody just doesn't crack it. (8/10)

2. "House Of The Mind" (14:47) a decent prog epic that, unfortunately, shows little novelty or freshness. (8.5/10)

3. "A Moment's Peace" (4:15) Wow! does this belong on a New Age/Adult Easy Listening radio stream, or what? And not even a word much less lyrics despite the ABACAB set up. (7/10)

4. "One Fine Day" (2:48) Seriously! This is the finished product? This is the vocal of a professional? It sounds like a demo by some one-man garage band! (6/10)

5. "Song Of Wandering Jacomus (13:47) nice atmospheric instrumental opening for the first four minutes. The third section that begins in the fifth minute is too syrupy--even before the sappy vocals enter. The guitar and keyboard work is decent. It's just those vocals... Horrible build and peak. Too bad. This one had potential. (7.5/10)

Bonus song (on CD): "Ever Be the Prize" (9:00) decent song. If it only didn't sound like IQ trying to be GENESIS... (8/10)

Three stars; an acceptable addition to the Neo Prog catalog--though nothing I'm going to shout out about.

 House Of The Mind by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.63 | 106 ratings

House Of The Mind
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Ludwigvan57

5 stars Another masterpiece from the multi-talented Comedy Of Errors.

I seriously loved their previous album "Spirit" it was perfectly put together and I thought it would be difficult to replicate the complex depth and success of that album but "House of the Mind" gets us there.

First track really sets the pace, after a scene setting melodic slow keyboard intro, the rhythm gets us going at high speed like "Tachyon". After nearly two minutes the vocals come in and the rhythm gets ramped up, strong rock, lots of great keyboard and superb guitar play near the end of this track. Memorable lyrics throughout. Brilliant opener.

The title track is very ambitious. Right from the start there are complex, competing sounds and ideas. Tons of invention here, at times atmospheric , other times pacey and punchy, brilliant guitar leads and outstanding, vivid keyboard work, with counter melodies and a huge range of sound. The music and the lyrics describe a struggle about our feelings and the meaning of our lives. I like "we were lost right from the start" and "call it faith, call it love" and at the end how it's all "safe in the house of the mind". I had to listen to this track a few times before I really got it there's so much in it but I'm there now! Love it.

The instrumental "A Moment's Peace" is just perfect. A clever contrast between the giant tracks on the album. It's a serious, feel good piece, and as always with Comedy of Errors, just a little atmospheric. This is an instant favourite. The fourth track and the shortest on the album is "One Fine Day". An easy, relaxed , dreamy song harking back to childhood (probably). Vocals shine here as always, brilliantly supported by keyboard throughout. Could be wrong but somewhere in the middle of this track, I had a feeling of "Strawberry Fields". Nice one.

For me the highlight of this stunning album is track 5. "Song of Wandering Jacomus" is a bit special. Right from the get go we know this going to be momentous, with the keyboard's magical, cosmic like sounds. Then overlaid with an exceptional guitar section which brings in a classical like climax before it fades away back to keyboard, then overlaid with guitar and later drums before a fantastic vocal entry. So after nearly five minutes of clever, complex build up with all the Band's elements coming together, like an orchestra, we arrive at a familiar sound which to me is unique "Comedy of Errors". It's the relaxed sound of the Band in full swing, "one day we will walk through this world hand in hand". Brilliant. Then there is outstanding guitar and keyboard development which brings us back full circle to the earlier tune and vocals including the classical theme from earlier. Brilliant the way these classical type sounds are integrated into the song. Then it's back to the atmospheric keyboard drifting away to the end. This track is seriously addictive.

The finale is a bonus track "Ever be the prize". The beautiful, cosmic, two minute introduction gives no clue to the pace that arrives to bring in the guitar and vocals with this solid rock song. The song develops with the usual mixture of innovative sounds before exploding into the full "Comedy Of Errors" treatment with exceptional guitar playing and the Band at full throttle. A fitting climax.

An inspiring, brilliant album. I've nothing but praise for everyone in Comedy of Errors but especially Jim Johnston who writes all the songs and isn't afraid to experiment with different styles. Comedy Of Errors just keep getting better and the possibilities for this Band are limitless.

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Scottish band COMEDY OF ERRORS was originally active back in the '80s, one of many neo-progressive bands at the time that never quite made it. But following a couple of decades of inactivity the band reformed again, and since their return in 2011 they have steadily built a reputation and a growing fan base with the three studio albums they have provided us with this second time around. "Spirit", their most recent studio album, was self-released by the band in 2015.

Those fond of ambitious bands that operate within a neo progressive-meets-symphonic progressive rock kind of landscape should find this CD by Comedy of Errors to be of general interest. A key audience would be those that tend to enjoy concept albums dealing with deeper spiritual matters, and especially those who find the notion of a 45-minute long epic dedicated to such a topic in a style as described above to be alluring.

 Disobey by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.94 | 260 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars Just like the other album of Scottish band COMEDY OF ERROS that I known "Fanfare and Fantasy" this first release "Disobey" is pleasant album . However, in my opinion not so close by their second album which I confer 5 stars ( review ( (#1533623) | posted Sunday, February 28, 2016 ) But, my assertive about this last also be applied to this one: "COMEDY OF ERROS show to us another good example of how to make good progressive rock music without the necessity of complicated use of scales and time signatures , being enough inspiration and good taste. " Disobey" is another album which flows easily and captivates the audience with some fairly inspired moments ... as for instance the unquiet theme of track 2 "Jekyll" ( how is expected in face of track title) a heavy-prog theme mixing MARILLION and JADIS with a brilliant band acting, including a moog solo (starting 3 min 51 sec) leading this heavy theme to a symphonic conclusion (starting 4 min 4 secuntil the end of track ) .Other similar theme is track 9 " The Student Prince ":Part 1 - When Will I See You Again with a "bottleneck" guitar solo and the same symphonic ending. I can detach the instrumental track 3 "Prelude, Riff And Fugue" with a "medieval" introduction with harpsichord and tambourines open space for a heavy riff and a posterior bucolic "crying" guitar melody ... very beautiful . Last the beautiful ballad "Could Have Been Yesterday" some "mellow" song with keyboards or a tuned percussion ( maybe a glockenspiel ) accompaniment with great guitar ( acoustic and electric ) and vocal parts. How I said above this isn't so good like "Fanfare and Fantasy" but ... a very good album in the style ! My rate is 4 stars !!!
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A far more sophisticated and complex effort than their frequently bouncy and peppy previous album `Fanfare and Fantasy' from 2013, Scottish band Comedy of Errors return with their biggest and most impressive musical statement to date with the concept album `Spirit'. An extra few years have refined the sound of the band by way of more adventurous arrangements and a richer vocal variety, and this time around the sometimes Pendragon-flavoured Neo Prog styling of the group has been given a lavish classical and frequently symphonic upgrade, resulting in a sweeping grandeur that weaves in and out of the entire disc.

Essentially a fifty-one minute suite that ponders life, death and personal tragedy, `Spirit' unfolds over ten continuous parts. Opener `My Grief All Lies Within' starts with a quick burst of whip-snap drumming and frantic riffing before slowly murmuring bass, gently rising keyboards and a melancholic collection of voices all come together, soon to be blasted by the snarling vocal of `Infinite Wisdom?' powered by organ pomp and a smashing beat. `Spirit Shines/Spirit' introduces a heavenly soothing vocal theme that drifts in and out of the album with sublime deftness, a warm mix of sighing harmonies, reflective organ, twinkling synth melodies and fancy piano that calls to mind British group Pendragon. Both `Can This Be Happening?' and `In Darkness Let Me Dwell' remind of Clive Nolan's other Neo band Arena with their heavier guitar grunt and spectral symphonic synths, and `I Call...' rises with orchestral elegance and theatrical build.

`Set Your Spirit Free/Goodbye my Love...' and the opening minutes of `Ascension...' emerge as stirring orchestrated grandiosity full of wonder and symphonic power that effortlessly welcomes a reprise of the winning `Spirit' theme from earlier in the disc. It's at this point that the final run of pieces lift the album to an almost legendary status, both `Into the Light' and `Above the Hills' victorious with sighing harmonies and soaring guitar soloing lifting to the heavens. Whirring Moog runs and graceful Mellotron veils deliver majestic themes in the classic Neo-Prog-flavoured mold of I.Q and the vintage Pendragon releases, with some addictive stop-start patterns that are especially satisfying once you know the album back to front! A six minute instrumental `Epilogue: This is How It Has to Be' closes the disc (discounting a `single' edit of `Spirit' that serves as a bonus track tacked onto the very end) with regal and sprightly flavours presented by chiming guitars, pristine ethereal synths, grumbling upfront bass and commanding drumming full of dignity and stature that would give Rick Wakeman or even modern symphonic masters Glass Hammer a run for their money!

The first couple of listens of `Spirit' reveal a few unengaging little stretches, and lead singer Joe Cairney is still something of an acquired taste (sounding somewhat like the love-child of Nick Barrett and Weird Al Yankovic!), but repeat plays help the album flow more naturally, balancing constant dramatic and hopeful passages - not to mention some surprisingly angry outbursts! - and the skilfully implemented reprises of themes throughout brings a thoughtfully considered cohesion. The emotions revealed throughout the album are never to be doubted as being anything but true and heartfelt, and lovers of any of above mentioned groups and those who especially connect with the melodic end of prog that equally balances superior vocal qualities and exciting instrumental skills will likely adore `Spirit'.

Four stars.

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An amazing album, once again!

Comedy of Errors has been on my neo-prog radar since they released Disobey, a wonderful that I knew thanks to the same Joe Cairney who I've been in contact with ever since. And man, I have to tell that they are one of my favorite neo prog bands nowadays, I loved Disobey, I also loved Fanfare & Fantasy, and now I can tell you I love 'Spirit' an ambitious concept album where the neo prog is present, but I could say the band has morphed its sound compared to the previous works, here adding a dose of symphonic and classical music. Here, the band divided the album in 12 short tracks (none of them reaches even the 7-minute mark) giving us 55 minutes of extraordinary progressive rock.

It starts with 'My Grief Lies All Within' and wow, what a powerful way to open this album. I love the energy and the guitars that explode on the first minute, and then I love how it slows down and then Cairney's voice appear very softly, so drums, strings and keyboards create a calm atmosphere that continues like that, with a charming sound until the very end, adding in the last minute a great guitar solo. 'Infinite Wisdom?' starts with energy like the first minute of the previous song, very symphonic but with a touch of metal (or maybe heavy prog). This short track offers a feast of keyboards greatly complemented by vocals (lead and back) and drums. Then when it vanishes and the sound changes, 'Spirit Shines / Spirit' has already started, giving a spacey background in the first minute, but later a sound tender, shiny and bright, representing that spirit that shines. I love the vocals here, both, main and backing vocals.

I love that the album has no pauses required, so at first it is difficult to know when a song finishes and other starts, however, when you listen to it over 3 or 4 times you already notice those changes. 'Can This Be Happening? / Timeless' starts a bit atmospheric, then some heavy guitars appear, again it vanishes but then a rock song begins with a somber atmosphere, a darker and I think more heartfelt voice enter. 'In Darkness Let Me Dwell' has a great game of voices once again, the choir is great and the keyboards superb all the time. I also like a lot the bass notes and the drumming, the rhythm section. And then the lead vocals along with the keyboards create a darker atmosphere. Then all of a sudden it all slows down and 'I Call and Cry to Thee' starts, whose first two minutes are like a choir in a church, then it disappears and the instruments begin to build up a new structure until it explodes at minute 3 with raw guitars and loony keyboards full of energy.

'Set Your Spirit Free / Goodbye My Love Until We Meet Again' has a moment of peace when you can close the eyes and just like the title suggests, set your spirit free. This is a short track that let you take a deep breath. 'Ascension / Et Resurrextit / Auferstehen - Arise In Love Sublime, Arise ' Spirit' is the longest track of the album, reaching almost 7 minutes and it is wonderful how it is progressing little by little, using symphonic classical elements and making our emotions float on, I really love that crescendo and how in a moment it reaches a climax at minute three and then a new structure begins, in which vocals enter. This track might be one of my favorites here, again I love the voices and the keyboard choirs and atmospheres. Amazing! Even better that all of a sudden you are listening to 'Into the Light', this is one of those track-changes that I found more difficult to notice. But well, before the first minute the keyboards take leadership and then bass and drums join, later vocals and together create a track that reminded me of Marillion, but well, without being Marillion of course, because the sound of Comedy of Errors is actually unique.

'Above the Hills' is a beautiful progressive rock composition, the sound is very symphonic and classical again, and the feeling is just cute, wonderful, like you have to smile every time you listen to it. When this track finishes, the sound disappears for the very first time, I mean, you can actually notice when a song finishes. But there is a bit more to come. The epilogue, entitled 'This Is How It Has To Be' is a great instrumental song that has that sensation of goodbye, and I think it is an excellent way to close this wonderful album.

There is an extra track, 'Spirit' which is marked as the single of the album.

Well, Comedy of Errors did it again, and am very happy to review it and tell to the world this band has created a wonderful album, once again. My final grade, 4.5 out of 5.

Enjoy it!

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is one of those prog albums where the lyricist decides to tackle the big questions of life and death and whether there's anything after that and all that jazz - think IQ's The Wake or Ever for preceding examples in a neo-prog context, though anyone with a reasonably-sized prog collection can probably cite a bunch more. It's also one of those albums where the artists decide to be proggier-than-thou by including a really epic song - in this case, the titular Spirit is a 45 minute epic, and then there's a last song tacked on at the end as a sort of epilogue - a bit like Mike Oldffield's Ommadawn has On Horseback at the end.

So, there's the blueprint, but how did Comedy of Errors do on the implementation? Reasonably well! The lyrics are not going to offer any major philosophical revelation to anyone who's been at least momentarily thoughtful on the subject of mortality, but the same old sentiments are at least expressed in a pretty way, with a mostly solid musical backing. That said, I don't think it's as consistent as the preceding Fanfare and Fantasy, and I think there are moments where the challenge of constructing the long piece overshadowed the requirement to make sure every piece of music was top-notch.

 Fanfare & Fantasy by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.04 | 474 ratings

Fanfare & Fantasy
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars "Fanfarre & Fantasy" of Scottish band COMEDY OF ERROS show to us another good example of how to make good progressive rock music without the necessity of complicated use of scales and time signatures , being enough inspiration and good taste. This album flow with such naturalness which , although the musicians are skilled in their own instruments, in fact isn't the main attraction in their compositions. This second album ( how already said the P A collaborator - Easy Livin SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin - "While "Disobey" was a landmark album of "neo- prog", "Fanfare and Fantasy" takes a more symphonic approach, the nine magnificent tracks here being carefully crafted masterpieces of the genre". Review #933466, Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013) and I entirely agree !!!! The band show some influences like GENESIS, YES, CAMEL from the old stream of symphonic prog and PENDRAGON, JADIS and MINDGAMES ( in fact in some vocals passages , Joe Cairney's vocals reminds me a lot Bart Schram's voice from MINDGAMES) and including , some musical "lanscapes" like in track 4 "Going for a Song". Other interesting moment be in track 6 "The Cause" a true symphonic piece of music, with a long keyboard / choir introduction in a ceremonial mass atmosphere and a posterior "minuet" ( or something like this). The last track 4 "The Answer" and his keyboards arrangements and the sequent ballad theme guided by electric-guitar and vocals, close the album with perfection ! My rate is 5 stars !!!
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I really love this album, and it is their best one to date. My Grief Lies All Within starts with an awesome bass line layered with background vocals, excellent lyrics and musicianship. The album takes off from there with many changes and surprises, and it is an excellent adventure to explore again and again. If you are a fan of Comedy of Errors, you likely already have this one. If you love progressive rock, this is a must buy. Their previous two albums are also excellent, but if you are new to the band, start with Spirit. Joe Cairney's vocals are always excellent and provide an excellent tone for a perfect progressive rock album. I highly recommend this release.
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 258 ratings

Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by branchranch

3 stars I was quite impressed with this band's previous effort "Fanfare & Fantasy" (definitely a 4-star recording), so I was looking forward to this release. The title suite is a concept piece based upon a personal tragedy (I don't know if it affected one the band members, but I suspect it did), perhaps the loss of a daughter. As one would expect in times of difficult trial, the writer's attention is focused upward. "Why?" is a completely human and understandable reaction, as is even some anger when we cannot grasp the unexplainable. Unfortunately, the lyrics go on and on there, in a exceedingly lengthy rant against Almighty God as the writer says in the opening piece "You're God and You let me down". I get it. You prayed and didn't get what you asked for. You feel abandoned, betrayed perhaps.

But the writer continues to pursue after God, declaring Him uncaring, even plotting evil. In the lyrics "Why take the innocent? Why punish the good? And why make us suffer as only You could?", he declares his wisdom and knowledge superior to God.

This concept had the opportunity for real greatness, had the writer come to grips with his smallness, as did Job. When God questioned him "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!" Job realized his lack of understanding in even the most basic things of life. Who is he to question the motives or wisdom of the Almighty? "I put my hand over my mouth."

Finally, toward the end of the suite, the author passingly attributes that someday we will know all things and they will make sense:

"Rise again, oh rise again in everlasting love. Death is but a shadow and conquered from above. Your spirit soars in love and joy, carried to the light. Everything makes sense now. As the dawn breaks through the night."

But there is no repentance for the long-winded screed against God which consumes most of the lyric. There are some moments of great music here, even some surpassing "Fanfare". The title theme "Spirit shines" is particularly uplifting, and I would have liked to have heard more of it.

Normally, I would consider this a 4-star release, no question, but the lyrical content is very poor theology, and, as a Christian, I find this hard to overlook.

3 stars for what could have been 5 stars plus.

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

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