PROG IN THE PARK

Brian Nee­son and Kevin O’Neil are hop­ing to put a his­tor­i­cal Scot­tish town on the prog map.

Prog - - Intro -

Dun­fermline is just a half an hour train ride north of Ed­in­burgh. The town is Ian An­der­son’s birth­place and was once Scot­land’s royal burgh, but its prox­im­ity to the more fa­mous cap­i­tal means it’s of­ten ig­nored by tour­ing bands. Two lo­cal prog fans want to change that with a char­ity all-dayer at Pit­ten­crieff Park’s Glen Pavil­ion on April 6.

“We both love prog and there are other peo­ple in this area that love the genre as well,” says Prog In The Park’s co-pro­moter Kevin O’Neil, who was di­ag­nosed with a rare form of can­cer sev­eral years ago. “There are some re­ally good venues for gigs, how­ever, bands who could get maybe 500-1000 peo­ple by­pass them. We just wanted to get out there and say, ‘This can be done and we can at­tract bands to the area.’”

Help­ing O’Neil in this mam­moth task is fel­low prog­ger Brian Nee­son, who runs Chris Squire’s Scot­tish Yes Net­work and was heav­ily in­volved in the 2018 Yes fan con­ven­tions in Lon­don and Philadel­phia.

“Kevin and I have been friends on Face­book and Twit­ter for quite a while and the idea [for the event] came from both of us,” says Nee­son. “We wanted to book tribute bands [for the first one] to raise in­ter­est. I knew the peo­ple from [Mar­il­lion tribute band] Stil­lMar­il­lion, Kevin knew the guys from [Ge­n­e­sis tribute acts] Af­ter­glow, and then he sug­gested that we in­tro­duce a char­ity el­e­ment given his med­i­cal his­tory.”

The in­au­gu­ral Prog In The Park will fea­ture both tribute bands along­side lo­cal in­stru­men­tal act Al­tres, The Alan Reed Band and Twelfth Night front­man Mark Spencer. Pro­ceeds will be split be­tween Mag­gie’s Cen­tre and Sar­coma UK, two char­i­ties that di­rectly sup­ported O’Neil dur­ing his can­cer di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment.

There will also be an ex­hi­bi­tion of Char­lie Roy’s prog por­traits, and a char­ity auc­tion – prizes in­clude some treats from Mar­il­lion and artist Mark Wilkin­son. Tick­ets are sell­ing well and the pair hope Prog In The Park will be­come an an­nual event. Says Nee­son, “If it’s suc­cess­ful, we’ll open it up to a wider range of orig­i­nal mu­sic.”

Maybe Dun­fermline will end up on the prog map sooner than ex­pected. NRS

Tick­ets are avail­able from http://bit.ly/ProginthePark.

“We just wanted to get out there and say, ‘This can

be done.’”

THE CHANGE MAK­ERS. L-R: KEVIN O’NEIL, DOU­GLAS CHAP­MAN MP, BRIAN NEE­SON.

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