TRT PROJECT TAKES US BACK TO 1976
New LP by Andy Tillison, Jonas Reingold and Roberto Tiranti evokes classic Italian prog.
The Tangent’s Andy Tillison has a new project with bassist Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings/The Tangent) and vocalist Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth/Mangala Vallis), Tillison Reingold Tiranti. The trio’s album, Allium: Una
Storia, was inspired by an encounter with a young prog band while a teen Tillison was on a family holiday in Italy in 1976.
“[Allium] were rehearsing in an empty hall and they caught me looking through a glass door,” Tillison tells Prog.
“They said to come in, I sat and watched them play. Then they invited me to get up onstage with them. It was the first time I ever played with a band. I’ve got no idea how rosetinted my spectacles are, but at the time I thought they were brilliant. I could play a little bit of keyboards [then], and I managed to play the first few bars of Celebration by PFM, and they joined in! So just for a few fleeting moments, I was leading a band. The thrill of that has never left me.”
A meandering 40-minute prog odyssey with lyrics by Moongarden alumnus Antonio De Sarno, Allium: Un Storia
was pieced together remotely during lockdown. Somehow, it also sounds like it might have been beamed directly into the present day from 1976. It will be released in two different mixes: the original mix and a more modern, technologicallyenhanced take on the same material by Reingold. For Tillison, the purposefully authentic sound of the original mix is the one that nails the spirit of that magical age.
“Yeah, that’s the one,” he says. “I decided to go on holiday, but I went on holiday to 1976! We also turned all of the modern digital recording equipment we’ve got into a virtual eight-track recording studio, so when we came to the mix down, everything was bounced together, just as it would’ve been if we’d used an old tape recorder.”
A heartfelt attempt to create the record that Allium might have made, Tillison’s new labour of love also speaks of a profound love for Italian prog’s unique vibe.
“I absolutely love Italian progressive rock. In England, the big progressive bands were recording at Trident and Abbey Road, but these guys were just going into the local eight-track place and making albums, with this amazing musicianship. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to recognise the band that gave me my first inspiration?’ I’ve essentially either had a great time or completely wasted my life, ever since that moment! [Laughs] I just wanted to say thank you.”
“I want to recognise the band that gave me my first inspiration.”