Just a wee shout-out for the AW-friendly “Ultima Thule” mail order service for specialist progressive rock desires, As it is currently being passed by a NASA satellite crossing South Leicester. The shop (now sadly closed) was a heaven for those who missed old-school record shops full of progressive rock enthusiasts going through obscurity on-upmanship, accountants and acid casualties thumbing their way through Curved Air solo projects, and a surprisingly extensive world progressive section. It was run by the aptly named Alan Freeman and his brother, who used to put on various band “happenings” I never had opportunity to attend. They deserve our support.
Many people in the Northern Ireland music scene know Big Bill Campbell as a gentle giant – a superb jazz guitar player, string arranger for poetry projects and occasional rock/soul band sideman at the un-lime-lit back of the stage and also a very humble, soft-spoken fellow who never pushes himself forward. The latter reason is why many others on the current NI music scene – people who are more prominent in terms of getting publicity and opportunities – have probably never heard of him.
Well, I hope we’ll all hear much more of Bill in due course. He’s just posted a totally unexpected progressive-rock epic, a foretaste of an album-in-progress, I believe, and even those close to him have eyebrows raised in shock and awe.
Bill sings (none of us knew…), plays guitar and keys, with ‘Grinning Phil’ Smith, another jazzer, on bass and drums. The song is Bill’s.
Bill lives in Bangor, on the Ards Penninsula, a Viking stronghold back in the day. I’ve no idea if that has anything to do with it.
I wonder what else he’ll write about? Hitherto, Northern Ireland’s only noteworthy contribution to prog-rock has been Fruupp, in the middle 70s.
Big Bill’s » Continue Reading.
Carol From Luton reports sensational news frokm the equality frontline… She attended Heppo’s WIYE event last night and was astounded to find, in a room of a hundred or so people, no more than 4 women. Not that this stopped Cazza from enjoying the evening, but it made me wonder (having never been to one myself – the geography is against me) – are all WIYE events among the last bastions of male preserve? Or was last night’s an aberration? The way Carol described the demographic it sounded like the last gathering of the Ents, wondering where all the Entwives had gone.
As Bazza Gibb asked 50-odd years ago, ‘Where are the girls…?’
I see my alma mater, 30 years on, has found the audio cassettes I left in my research room and built a conference around them.
The debate goes on. We can’t leave it alone. It keeps bubbling up to the surface no matter what we do to keep it down. So this is it. The ultimate discussion on this persistent topic. Which band has been the most influential: Yes, or Pink Floyd?