NEARfest 2007-Magma, Hawkwind, Robert Rich and more Progressive Sounds

Get ready for NEARfest. The North East Art Rock Festival will be launching on June 23 and 24, with a special, yet to be announced pre-concert show on Friday, June 22. The line-up is the usual, broad-based mix of progressive rock, from symphonic post ELP keyboard bands to the electro-ambiences to slash and burn wrecking crews.

Headlines this year include Hawkwind and Magma. This will be Magma’s second NEARfest appearance, a rarity at the festival, and I’m making sure I catch it this time. Magma is a French band that’s been around since the early seventies with an aggressive storm trooper approach to operatic rock that’s like Carl Orff riding on a Harley. We play lots of singers using imaginary languages on Echoes, but Magma was the first with their guttural German meets Klingon lyrics.
Uber Kommandoh Live

I’m not sure what to expect fro Hawkwind, who I believe has only one original member, David Brock. Their brand of psychedelic space metal was always a bit uneven for my tastes, though they had some great songs and albums, notably the double live Space Ritual disc which includes “Master of the Universe” and “Orgone Accumulator.” Who remembers orgones?

Space Ritual Take Me to Your Leader
There’s lots of traditional symphonic prog this year with bands like Magenta echoing Renaissance and Yes, Pure Reason Revolution calling up the spirit of Kansas and NeBeLNeST bringing mellotrons, Chris Squire bass and riffing guitars recalling second generation prog bands like Shylock and Carpe Diem. But there’s also prog anarchy with folks like Bob Drake. Don’t know too much about him except he works in the avant-garde wing of Prog and has a bunch of solo albums with only idiosyncracy being the unifying theme. Indukti holds done the fort for the “sturm und drang” crew with ferocious post-Krimson pyrotechnics.

For the complete list and mp3s of all the bands, go to the NEARfest website. Remember, NEARfest seats only 1000 and sells out in less than 30 minutes so also check out the website for ticketing options. They haven’t announced the Friday Pre-show yet, which is a separate ticket.

Comment posted by
at 1/18/2007 12:12:52 PM

The Friday Pre-show was just announced
Alan Holdsworth Trio, Secret Oyster and One Shot. A fusion freakout.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.