Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

DRUID

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Druid picture
Druid biography
Founded in Berkhamsted, UK in 1971 - Disbanded in 1977

Here's another acclaimed YES-oriented progrock band named DRUID with Neil Brewer on bass guitar, Andrew McCrorie-Shand on keyboards, Cedric Sharpley on drums and percussion and 'Dane' on guitar and vocals. In '75 they released their debut-LP "Towards the Sun" and a year later a second album entitled "Fluid Druid".

Their first effort is their best: fluent and melodic songs, layered with Mellotron, often in combination with sensitive electric guitarwork. The echoes from YES are obvious: lots of vocal harmonies, a Chris SQUIRE-like bass, WAKEMANesque keyboards and even the high-pitched vocals like Jon ANDERSON. But DRUID plays less complex and virtuosic, their pleasant sound appeals to me, more than the 24-carat YES-clone STARCASTLE. The second LP entitled "Fluid Druid" is in the vein of their first but less mature, as if the band is a bit running out of ideas. Nonetheless it's a nice album.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS: : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

DRUID forum topics / tours, shows & news


DRUID forum topics Create a topic now
DRUID tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "druid"
Post an entries now

DRUID Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to DRUID

Buy DRUID Music


Toward the Sun / Fluid DruidToward the Sun / Fluid Druid
Remastered
Bgo - Beat Goes on 1997
$25.00 (used)
Toward The SunToward The Sun
EMI
$31.99 (used)

More places to buy DRUID music online Buy DRUID & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

DRUID discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.49 | 135 ratings
Toward The Sun
1975
3.06 | 84 ratings
Fluid Druid
1976

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

DRUID Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.58 | 21 ratings
Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
1995

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

DRUID Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 84 ratings

BUY
Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 275

Druid was a 70's progressive rock band from England. The career of the band began very promising, after they had won a young talent competition of the magazine Melody Maker. Shortly thereafter, they were on the front page of that music magazine. In addition to the prize money of 500 pounds, this sense of achievement helped the band to a record deal with EMI. Thus, formally the starting position for Druid as a young band from the field of progressive rock was very favourable indeed. In 1975, their debut studio album 'Toward The Sun' was presented to the public in a release party. But, unfortunately, the fact that Druid won the competition was curiously almost a drawback, as the rest of the music press and some radio stations considered the band more or less as a pupil of a large magazine and a large record label.

Musically, Druid is comparable to their compatriots Yes, and sometimes is even charged as a pure clone. Guitarist and singer Dane has a distinctive falsetto voice. For the most part, he sings even higher than Jon Anderson, whose vocal qualities he doesn't achieve. The striking bass by Neil Brewer is obviously inspired by Chris Squire. With the release of their second studio album 'Fluid Druid' in 1976, the band distanced themselves from their first production and Melody Maker connections. As it couldn't make up for the weaker material on their sophomore effort, the band finally gave up.

The songwriting on 'Fluid Druid' is more varied than on 'Toward The Sun' and less Yes oriented, as if they wanted to find their own way. Druid had developed stylistically in search of more autonomy. It was apparently the concern of the band to bring their compositions to the point, without neglecting the symphonic note. This endeavor is partially exemplary succeeded. Still, they managed to keep the warmth and atmosphere in their sound. The use of the Mellotron was withdrawn compared to their debut. The guitar playing has become more variable and expresses its own stamp on the more compact compositions. It harmonizes well with the again crisp bass runs. With a few exceptions, the vocals no longer move in the dizzying heights of the first work. There's less falsetto-vocals on the arrangements in this time.

'Fluid druid' is the second album of Druid and was released in 1976. The line up on the album is Dane Stevens (vocals and guitars), Andrew McCrorie-Shand (keyboards), Neil Brewer (bass) and Cedric Sharpley (drums and percussion).

'Fluid Druid' has nine tracks. The first track 'Razor Truth' is a melancholic opener to the album. Yes' influence is easy to recognize. This is a good rocking track with a strange quiet interlude in the middle and with some pretty good lyrics as well. On the second track 'Painters Clouds' reins the acoustic presence, the bass heavily heavy and present, a true 'stone'. The Mellotron holds down the background here. Dane's romantic voice brings life and a nice guitar solo ends it gracefully. The third track 'FM 145' is an energetic instrumental track. It shows the first break from the Druid sound to date with a decidedly synthesized sound. The tone that Neil takes from the bass is great, but Cedric's drums, Andrew's keyboards and Dani's guitar are also great. The fourth track 'Crusade' has a song structure quite interesting. It starts with a fast track and a vocal with a heavy accent. The following melody is beautiful and carries peace in your notes. The second part of the song is instrumental and carries the 'weight' of classical training, including organ and chorus. The fifth track 'Nothing But Morning' is basically a harmless ballad, giving to Dane the chance to dizzy heights. In the dynamic middle a part of Yes let greet again. Packed by a melody on the piano the voice carries beauty and the sequence in any theme is carried by a strong atmosphere. The sixth track 'Barnaby' is considered the most unusual composition of Druid. It's a quite funny surprise with its ska/funk influences and differs completely from everything else they did before. The seventh track 'Kestrel' is a short and nice song, with the synth play briefly reminiscent of 'Gates Of Delirium', but not at all so fits into the overall concept of this short song. It's a more acoustic and Renaissance side of the band. The eighth track 'Left To Find' presents a dreamy facet of the band. A romantic piano playing in combination with a majestic guitar, determine the mainly instrumental character of this song. After quiet vocal lines in the middle section, romantic flute play brings the title to a close. The ninth track 'The Fisherman's Friend' is nothing more than a joke with a fast keyboard theme and vocals throughout the short song. It closes the album in a nice way.

Conclusion: For me, the last tracks on 'Fluid Druid' give me the impression that Druid was desperately searching for their own identity. Thus, the second side of the former LP it seems to me a bit inexperienced. And because of that, despite the album contains some really great tracks the final result isn't very well balanced, really. Although despite some changes on this album, they weren't so terribly drastic. It represents a decent symphonic prog album. If you like the first album, you'll probably like the second one too, but maybe a little less. If you're a devoted fan of symphonic progressive rock fan, I'd suggest starting with 'Toward The Sun' and then proceeding to this album if you're eager for more. But if you buy the double CD of the two albums in only one package, it represents an excellent value certainly.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.49 | 135 ratings

BUY
Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 274

As happened with some many other prog bands in the 70's, Druid is no more than another one relatively obscure progressive band from the 70's with a very short life. And also as happened with some many of their contemporaries, they were also strongly influenced by some of the major prog acts in those days. In this case, the sound of Druid was notably influenced by Yes. That influence became so evident that they were even accused to be a true clone of Yes.

So, Druid was a 70's progressive rock band from England. Formed in 1971 by the old schoolmates Dane Stevens and Cedric Sharpley, along with the local bass player Neil Brewer, Druid spent years playing in clubs as a trio before winning a competition by Melody Maker. At this point they added Andrew McCrorie-Shand, a recent London College of Music graduate. The Melody Maker prize included new instruments and a recording contract, and their eponymous debut album appeared in 1975. The band had a difficult time due to Yes' soundalikes. In fact, Druid was an opening act at a number of Yes' concerts. The Yes comparison, though an obvious one, isn't entirely accurate. While Dane's vocals are clearly styled after Jon Anderson and Neil Brewer's bass has the classic pick-driven Rickenbacker associated with Chris Squire, the rest of the band departs from that formula. McCrorie-Shand's unadorned keyboard parts, for example, have little in common with the lavishly baroque flash of Rick Wakeman or the martial Hammond pounding of Tony Kaye.

Druid had excellent instrumental skills and all the right moves for a symphonic progressive rock band, like swirling Mellotron and organ, sweeping tasty analogue synths, thundering Rickenbacker bass and some of the highest falsetto vocals ever heard from a progressive rock band. Their music often sounded like a softer and more folk influenced version of Yes. Their song writing, which isn't really as good as the song writing of Yes, was very decent and I feel very comfortable with it. But, above all, their nice very accomplished and atmospheric sound made up for some of it, surely.

'Toward The Sun' is the debut studio album of Druid and was released in 1975. The line up on the album is Dane Stevens (vocals and guitars), Andrew McCrorie-Shand (keyboards), Neil Brewer (bass) and Cedric Sharpley (drums). 'Toward The Sun' has seven tracks. The first track 'Voices' is a perfect opener for the album which goes after a dynamic and Yes' intro into a melodic section, which is dominated by the melancholy vocals of their front man Dane. It contains some downright smoking instrumental sections, though it's probably the most complicated playing that Druid ever did. The second track 'Remembering' offers almost sugar sweet vocal harmonies. Here we have again some delicate Mellotron passages recorded. It builds slowly and beautifully with some more amazing and slow leads towards the end. The third track 'Theme' unites as an instrumental title all already mentioned the qualities of the band. It's based around rather nondescript melody and jam section, but is a very enjoyable piece, nonetheless. The guitar playing is very melodic and is in no way comparable with the filigree string processing of Steve Howe. The fourth track is the title track. It nicely blends. The parts are so nicely layered here that you must like it, if you just love beautiful music. Yes, the Mellotron is truly ubiquitous with Druid, as happen with the title track. Therefore, with 'Toward The Sun' every Mellotron fan can feel it in his heart. The fifth track 'Red Carpet For An Autumn' is a very short piece based on a simple but haunting sequence on piano with some great singing. It's a very nice feather in the cap, just a nice solo piano melody for a bit until the vocal and Mellotron pick it up. The sixth track 'Dawn Of Evening' has a beautifully positioned Mellotron carpet that creates a magical atmosphere and the rumbling bass provides the right dynamics. It's another strong piece which takes a clever but understated chord sequence that starts out quietly and unnoticeably but builds into something quite intense. The second half of the track is a little less interesting though. The seventh track 'Shangri-La' distinguishes itself as one of the best. There's 3-4 minute of strength at the end of that track where the band finally stumbles upon a few genuinely catchy progressions. It's a pleasant and ambitious piece that ends the album nicely.

Conclusion: In my humble opinion and all in all, 'Toward The Sun' is a very nice symphonic progressive rock album from the 70's. If you don't have any problem with high vocals and don't deny the right to live in the beautiful tunes of the progressive rock, but above all, if you have no problems with the strong Yes' influence on Druid, 'Toward The Sun' could be a real pleasure to listen to. Druid belongs somehow to the same league as England and Starcastle. With this album which is dreamy, nostalgic and sad-beautiful, Druid proves an incredible sense of tune that touches. Maybe it's not as original as it should be and it's perhaps a little derivative in places. Still, I like it very much and I really think that it deserves to be heard. Anyone who considers Yes among his favourites and not only expects the band to perform works like 'Close To The Edge' or 'Gates Of Delirium', should definitely have Druid tested it. It's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.49 | 135 ratings

BUY
Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I've just discovered this band, thanks to David Silly Puppy and a YouTube suggestion link. I'm impressed. The Yes similarities are obvious but this album leaves me wondering, "Did every band who ended up sounding like Yes or Genesis intend to come out that way?" Something here makes me answer, "no." The folk-like use of sound and space, the unusual and impressive poetic pronunciation of the singer, the constructs are not quite as classical or hard rock in their outcomes. Classic rock, psychedelia, folk, and even early Styx and Rush and Narada Michael Walden/Nova come to mind. I like the vocal arrangements and sounds more than any of the above (though I find it remarkable that they're all performed by male voices.) A truly enjoyable find that I will without doubt enjoy coming to know more intimately. Nice sound engineering and production throughout. Nobody trying to impress me with their egos, just nice, solid, cohesive, beautifully-constructed songs.

Favorite songs: 1. "Voices" (8:14) (8.5/10); 2. "Remembering" (5:24) (8.5/10); 3. "Theme" (5:26) (9/10) and the title song (5:08) (9/10).

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.49 | 135 ratings

BUY
Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Does cloning Yes well make a good album?

Well if we take that "well" part, then you must be. Having the ability to play so similarly to such an eclectic and talented band must mean you have a certain share in that talent. This is the case for the 70's symphonic rock band Druid, and their debut Toward The Sun in 1975.

This album is undoubtedly influenced by Yes, who was a very prominent example of progressive music, especially during the 70's. But no matter how eclectic or dynamic Yes was, they still followed a formula, and that formula could be done by other bands. Many are quick to juxtapose many symphonic prog bands with Yes, but it's really only true in obvious examples. Toward The Sun is one of these examples. Everything from 'Dane''s high pitched, ultra soprano vocals to Neil Brewers thumping Squire-inspired bass. One thing I do have to give to Druid is that their percussionist, Cedric Sharpley, is fantastic. His abilities hold a candle to both Bill Bruford and Alan White with his talents.

Don't simply shrug this off as just a Yes clone just yet, because there's a deluge of other influences Druid takes in other than them. Dane has certain moments where during his self-harmonizations sounds oddly like Crosby Stills Nash and Young of all bands, most prominently on 'Remembering'. With this is an admitted folk undertone, no matter how vague and poorly executed it is. Some jazz influences that hopefully become more prevalent with their followup Fluid Druid (1976) that are done pretty well, as Druid sort of deals with this genre of symphonic jazz rock, a genre so strange that I wouldn't mind seeing more often.

Okay, I have to come clean. This album is not easy to review. At all. If you've heard Yes enough you've come to understand and accept their formula: overly complex drumming, long winded choral-like guitars, and high airy vocals. Many bands did copy this concept, but the worst ones were the ones in the 70's, where there was no newer technology present where they could tinker with the idea in any unique way, and were simply stuck to just playing the same thing. Druid, or rather Toward the Sun is one of these 70's rehash. I'll say it now and in the future; if I want to listen to Yes symphonic prog, I'll listen to Yes. There's no other reason to listen to a practical trudge through the same concepts as the band except with a lack of creativity.

In conclusion, the album isn't the best. I would go so far as to say it's one of the less interesting albums of the 1975 when it comes to symphonic rock, hell, progressive rock in general. Listen if you must.

2.5 rounded to 2.

 Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.58 | 21 ratings

BUY
Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Druid was one of the promising bands from mid '70's manageing to release ony two albums and then gone almost unnoticed. The re issue of both album by Beat Goes On in 1995 is good aqusition if you want to have both albums in one packaging.

First album rleased in 1975 named Toward the sun is a good one, with heavy prog moments combined with like Yes arppegios and passages. The voice of Dane shows a great potential somehow forgotten vocalist when we talk about great ones of the '70's. The albums is pretty varied in compostions, from opening heavy prog pieces Voices where the guitar has an importan trole, very strong arrangements on this one, to the last piece Druid make some intristing music here to much time underrated in my opinion. Yes influenced but without that lenghty parts Yes were famous for. Good album , like the druming and the re issue has a crystal sound. 3.5 for this one.

Secod album released one year later in 1976 Fluid to me is their best, even agaian is very low rated and totaly forgotten album from british school. Keeping the same attitude of the previous album, this time Druid manage to come with more intristing ideas , some of the highlights to me are the instrumental a short one FM 145, great piece, Crusade and Kestrel, nice passages, good voice , clean good album. A sincere band that I've always like, maybe they beggin their career quite to late, when the second album apper , the british scene was already preparing for the punk machine to take over the whole market, and for that matter they were restraind to close the chapter to soon disbanding in fall of the 1976 after quite promising first two albums. Aagain 3.5 stars for Druid fluid

 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 84 ratings

BUY
Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Druid evidently decided to craft a more distinctive sound for themselves after the Yes worship of Toward the Sun - a good idea with one vital flaw, namely that they don't seem to have much idea of what they want to change their sound to! With a few bits and pieces of Yes imitation cluttering up the place, the band also try their hand at jazz fusion a little (unconvincingly) and on one track (Barnaby) try their hand at a bit of ska in the vein of The Specials or Madness - a musical direction which might have seen them survive the onslaught of punk, were it not for the fact that the song is a completely incompetent jab at the genre.

Fluid Druid is 40 minutes of the sound of sheer panic setting in, as the band remove the safety net only to find that, at the end of the day, they just aren't ready to move out the shadow of the topographic oceaneers.. Two stars.

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.49 | 135 ratings

BUY
Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's no doubt about it - Druid are a full-blooded Yes clone and make no bones about it on their debut album. But if you're in the market for a set of songs rooted in Yes' sound circa Yes Album/Fragile and performed by a talented clutch of imitators, Toward the Sun is one of the best clone albums I've heard. Guitarist-singer Dane does a passable Jon Anderson impression and is actually pretty good with that guitar of his, keyboardist Andrew McCrorie- Shand resembles Tony Kaye's style more than Rick Wakeman's (which at least shows a bit of originality in terms of choosing which Yes keyboard to imitate), and Neil Brewer's bass work is uncannily like Chris Squire's. Drummer Cedric Sharpley (who would later take up a post in Gary Numan's band) is no Bill Bruford and so wisely keeps a low profile.

But where the band really excel is in their compositions, nailing the Yes compositional approach from the era they are imitating without imitating any specific Yes song. You can imagine this material being passed off as a long-lost Yes album by a less scrupulous record company. If you absolutely have to be a clone band, Druid do a good job of showing how to do it right.

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.49 | 135 ratings

BUY
Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released in 1975, 'Toward The Sun' was the debut release from British group Druid, a symphonic progressive rock act whose quintessentially-English sound bore a strong resemblance to the early-1970s works of their much more famous genre mates Yes, an observation that has seemed to dog that band throughout their sadly rather brief career(just check out the other reviews for this album on this very website). Featuring a singer(called, simply, 'Dane') with a high-pitched, almost boyish Jon Anderson-like vocal style, a bassist(Neil Brewer) who likes a nice, deep twang effect, not unlike a certain Chris Squire, to eminate from his four-string and a dominant keyboard, mellotron and moog player (Andrew McCrorie- Shand), Druid's sound seems rooted in the fabric of 'Fragile', 'Close To The Edge' and 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', just with a less rocky vibe. The music is by no means bad, and on songs such as the maudlin 'Voices' and the achingly ethereal 'Dawn Of Evening', the group even achieve a level of symphonic prog that almost matches their musical overlords. The real pity is that, wherever and whenever Druid are mentioned, whether it be in a print review, a conversation in a pub or song played on a radio station, he name Yes will never be far behind. The reasons become startlingly evident once the first thirty seconds of 'Voices' have been played, but unlike many clone groups there is much merit to the Druid sound. They also aren't the only group accused of taking Yes' music a bit too literally, as Us proggers Starcastle, and another English group, England, have also tried to emulate the quicksilver Yes sound, usually without too much commercial success. However, those fans who have exhausted the Yes discography and are hungry for more symphonic thrills should definitely check out 'Toward The Sun', an album that twinkles with a lightly-ambling and gorgeously-harmonic(though highly unoriginal) album that features excellent production. Druid's second album 'Fluid Druid' would find the group edging towards a less enthralling and more commercially-viable sound, though still with the Yes-isms firmly attached. If you like your progressive rock light-and-airy, and you don't mind a touch of harmless plagiarism, this decent release should be right up your street. But don't expect it to be 'Close To The Edge'. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 84 ratings

BUY
Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Every once in a while, when I am exploring the more far-flung reaches of the progressive universe, I find an album that I had never heard of back in the day that sticks with me. Fluid is such an album. Somehow I find it memorable and keep coming back to it. Not necessarily because of it's progginess, but just because I think the music is good and tastefully executed for the most part.

The first thing that struck me about the album was the vocalist. He's good, but he sounds eerily like Dennis DeYoung of Styx. So eerily that it surprised me that Druid was recording before DeYoung really took over Styx's direction. That some of these tracks have the grand sweep of those operatic ballads DeYoung loved to crank out helps support the similarity.

Next I noticed the bass. Brewer is no Chris Squire from the same time period. He doesn't seek out complexity for complexity's sake, but what he does do is give Druid a very solid foundation on which to build, and those growling plodding notes he churns out penetrate through the music and really drive the instrumentals.

As for the keyboardist, he's well above average if not worshipful. Good but not great chops, and he gets some really nice varied sound textures out of his equipment. The same could be said of Dane's guitar although not with quite as much enthusiasm.

But it's the material that really distinguishes this album. These guys have transcended the material that they released on their first album. They fearlessly tread through the realms of both pop and prog, churning out the best parts of each as they play this series of songs. What results is a very good album that sticks in my mind, and given the high volume of varied music that I listen to, that is definitely a compliment. I strongly recommend this album to all prog fans. I feel you will find that it stacks up well against much more well known albums from the classic age of prog. 4 stars.

 Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.58 | 21 ratings

BUY
Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The two only albums on one CD from a band which has been branded as a clone band. A Yes clone, that is.

The music here is pretty much down that road, yes. Then again, there is nothing wrong with Yes. Fluid Druid is the best album of their two albums. Although a bit too much lightweight symphonic prog at at times, the songs here are good. The problem with Druid is that none of their members, as musicians, was anywhere near the same league as the individual Yes members. It is kind of trying to race a Formula 1 car with a Chrysler people carrier. Sooner or later, you end up in the forest. Druid does that quite often, in fact. In particular on their Towards The Sun album which proves that cloning also requires skills. That album is nothing more than OK.

Taken into account is the good value for money here and my admiration of Yes. As clones, Starcastle is a better alternative than Druid. But this album is worth an investment if you find it for a reasonable price.

3 stars

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives