“The House of Progression put prog firmly on the map in Kingston-upon-Thames and we know many fans travelled great distance to see many of the bands performing there. The same is happening with Celebr8.2 as we have fans coming from as far afield as Brazil and Australia just to join us for the two days. However it is not just a weekend of great music. Most of the fans and the bands know each other through social media so one of its other attractions is the friendly spirit which it generates. I do not think you would find this in many other musical genres.”Jon Patrick
There’s a house in Kingston-upon-Thames they call the House of Progression… There is this man, Jon Patrick who’s been focussing on Progressive Rock and making the Peel a centre for the prog-heads all over the UK.
Then, this man, winner of the Classic Rock’s Society’s 2012 Unsung Hero Award, thought he’d give the great prog acts all over the world a new, bigger home and did Celebr8 last year.
It was a bang-up job, a huge success and something amazed the bands, the reviewers and the fans alike.
So, along with Geoff Banks, publicist, writer and band manager, this promoter extraordinaire will be hosting Celebr8.2 at the Kingston-upon-Thames Hippodrome (May 11th and 12th – slightly over a week away that is!)
There will be nine bands playing this year – three of whom from abroad and the rest from the UK.
Canadian band Mystery , formed by guitarist Michel St-Père and fronted by the vocalist Benoit David – yes, who toured with Yes and was featured in their album and, yes, pun intended – (I am so excited to see them!) along with District 97 from the States – which had piqued my interest with their distinct style, high quality and their vocalist Leslie Hunt – and Harvest from Spain make up the international list of acts this year.
Now, the British bands appearing include Arena – founded almost 20 years ago and featuring Clive Nolan (of the Pendragon fame), Mick Pointer (of the Marillion fame!), John Mitchell, Paul Manzi and IQ’s John Jowitt – Frost* featuring keyboardist Jem Godfrey, John Mitchell again, Nathan King, and drummer Craig Blundell – (oh mang!! Too much!! just too much!) and Alan Reed and The Daughters of Expediency. I guess, I am going to faint!
All of these bands go on stage at Celebr8 seem delicious but there are extra sweet treats there as well. First off, the singer, composer, thespian and generally very brilliant and sweet man, Damian Wilson will be there with Threshold! Incidentally, you can see the Lady interviewing this inspiring musician in this video! Pete Morten also was so nice to agree to answering my questions about Threshold and his own band My Soliloquy! Can’t wait!
Also, one of my TOP 5 bands, Haken will be on stage as well! Oh I interviewed Tom MacLean, too by the way… Yes, pretty psyched for this one!
Hey no! I’m not done yet! There is an impressive acoustic stage, too, featuring Simon Godfrey, with whom I can’t wait to meet in person! Galahad!!! I’ve wanted to see them for a while now! Andy Tillison, Matt Stevens, Knifeworld, Clive Nolan, The Clive Mitten and Mark Spencer Trio…
I am psyched just typing them out!
Finally I can’t wait to see Alison Henderson and celebrate her birthday!
Now go and buy tickets. See you there!