I am a value guy. When assessing mags at renewal time, it’s simple: do they provide value for the annual subscription cost? Prog delivered in a few short paragraphs; anything else is gravy. Not only did
Prog discover (for me anyway) Southern Empire, but they wrote a review that prompted me to check it out.
It’s been a long time since I was utterly hooked by an album on the first play, much less delighted with every single track. Civilisation by Southern Empire is that rare surprise. By the end of the third track, my jaw dropped open.
I know nothing of the Aussie prog scene, have never heard of these musicians’ former bands, and have never been Down Under. No matter. With three months to go in the year, Civilisation is in my top slot for 2018 Prog Album of the Year. It’s ‘bloody brilliant’ as you Brits might say. I feel really good about the state of modern prog if we have bands this creative coming along to take us on a musical journey. Please check out this album and support this band if you love it – we proggers need to encourage young bands like this to continue to create and record such worthy additions to our musical libraries.
Switching gears, the concert noise level debate isn’t just on dry land. This year’s Cruise To The Edge had three headliners (Yes/Hackett/Marillion) which required a reserved seat and a blue or red badge for entry. Yet during Hackett’s gig there were people standing behind our reserved seats, wearing the wrong badge, and talking throughout the performance. At one point, six members of one of the other bands came in, stood against the wall, and proceeded to disrespect Hackett and concertgoers by talking/laughing throughout the early Genesis numbers. I lost all interest in that band, based not upon their music, but their untimely conversation! There’s a time for talking, a time for listening, and when it comes to concerts, never the twain shall meet!
Speaking of Cruise To The Edge, I hope they invite Southern Empire to cruise with them in 2020. Spending my life in the USA and Central America, I will never have any other chance to see this band live. Catching both sets by Lifesigns, Thank You Scientist and Southern Empire would be great value for the dollar – the rest of the cruise would be pure gravy!
SOUTHERN EMPIRE: HELPING TO KEEP MODERN PROG MOVING.