MY PROG

The great and good of pro­gres­sive mu­sic give us a glimpse into their prog worlds. As told to Grant Moon

Prog - - Contents -

The ever-de­light­ful An­neke van Giers­ber­gen re­veals what goes on in her own prog world.

Where’s home?

Eind­hoven in Hol­land. It’s a cool city for rock and turn­ing into a prog city too – we’ve got the Prog­no­sis Fes­ti­val, The Pro­gres­sive Al­liance. It’s small but there’s a lot go­ing on.

Your first prog mem­ory?

My big brother was into metal and prog early on, and I grew up around him play­ing records by The Alan Par­sons Project, Ge­n­e­sis, Pink Floyd. I felt very at home with prog from a very early age.

The first prog record you bought?

In our vil­lage there wasn’t a record store, but the li­brary had a huge se­lec­tion of records, and we’d rent all the proggy stuff. The first one was Je­sus Christ Su­per­star, which I think is quite prog.

First prog gig?

King Crim­son in Utrecht. They toured Hol­land in the early 90s and I went to all their gigs.

Favourite piece of tech­nol­ogy?

I’d be to­tally lost with­out my iPhone. I’m into ev­ery­thing: Ap­ple, Spo­tify, so­cial me­dia, all of it.

Any guilty plea­sures in your mu­sic col­lec­tion?

I’m a huge Bar­bra Streisand fan. The Broad­way Al­bum is kind of cheesy but she’s so, so good. She’s got one of the best voices in the world ever, and I love her per­sona and how she looks.

What would be your Mas­ter­mind spe­cial­ist sub­ject?

I know way too much about Prince.

Your big­gest prog ex­trav­a­gance?

I did the Pro­gres­sive Na­tion At Sea cruise [in 2014] with Devin Townsend, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I spent a lot at the casino bar ev­ery night, so it was pretty ex­trav­a­gant.

Your favourite venue?

The O13 in Til­burg. It’s one of the best

venues in Hol­land, and we have a lot of them.

Out­side of prog, what else are you into?

I love to read – re­li­gion, psy­chol­ogy, es­o­teric things. I love be­ing out­side, walk­ing and cy­cling. And I like com­edy and ac­tion movies, stuff to make me feel good.

Who is your prog hero?

John Wet­ton. I love his voice. I had the plea­sure to work with him, and I miss him very much.

Are you a col­lec­tor?

I’ve got all my tour lam­i­nates go­ing back to my very early shows. There’s about 1000 of them on the back of one of my doors at home!

The last al­bum you bought?

I bought the last Mastodon al­bum [Em­peror Of Sand] on vinyl, and down­loaded Le­prous’ last one, Malina.

What was the last gig you went to?

Mastodon in Utrecht last year. When­ever they’re in Hol­land I go, they’re one of my favourite bands in the world.

Ever had a prog date?

Yes. I used to have a boyfriend in the early 90s and we went to see King Crim­son, David Syl­vian and lots of oth­ers. And I go with my hus­band now. We went to see Stick Men re­cently, I was one of three women in the au­di­ence!

Who do you call in the prog com­mu­nity for a good night out?

Julie Slick, she’s Adrian

Belew’s bass player. I met her on that Pro­gres­sive Na­tion cruise and we clicked like sis­ters. She’s su­per cool, very funny and great fun to hang out with.

What’s the most im­por­tant prog song for you?

Star­less. John [Wet­ton] singing on one of prog’s most epic songs. It sums it all up,

I truly love it.

Which prog muso would you most like to work with?

Adrian Belew. Be­cause of his voice, be­cause of his per­sona.

Which prog al­bum al­ways gets you in a good mood?

Any of Mastodon’s last three al­bums. Whether you’re vac­uum clean­ing, driv­ing, what­ever, their mu­sic al­ways lifts your spirit. They’re to­tally up my al­ley.

Who’s the best prog artist you’ve ever seen?

Opeth at Be

Prog! My Friend

Fes­ti­val in Spain [2016]. Their set started with my all-time favourite song of theirs, Cusp Of Eter­nity.

Rec­om­mend us a good proggy read.

My bible is The Power Of Now by Eck­hart Tolle. Tolle’s not airy-fairy, he’s Ger­man and very to the point. It isn’t sim­ple to live in the present, but it will open up a whole uni­verse to you.

What’s your favourite al­bum cover?

Go­ing back to my brother’s col­lec­tion,

I’m very fond of Alan Par­sons’ Tales Of Mys­tery And Imag­i­na­tion – Edgar Al­lan Poe. It’s

clas­si­cally-ori­en­tated, but peace­ful and with a lot of de­tail.

What are you up to at the mo­ment?

Next year I’ll be mark­ing 25 years in ‘the busi­ness’, so my clas­si­cal al­bum Sym­phonized is out, and I’m work­ing on a theatre show – 43 dates in Hol­land over Jan­uary, Fe­bru­ary and March next year. I’ll play mu­sic and tell sto­ries from my whole ca­reer.

It’ll be fun.

I love to read – re­li­gion, psy­chol­ogy, es­o­teric things.

ADRIAN BELEW: AN­NEKE’S DREAMCOL­LAB­O­RA­TION.

PRINCE: SPE­CIAL­ISTSUB­JECT.

MASTODON: MU­SIC TO LIFT SPIR­ITS.

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