Friday, March 31, 2017

HRH Prog V Festival (16-19/3/2017 - North Wales). A review (Part 2)

  This is the 2nd (out of 3) post about my travel to North Wales and to HRH Prog V festival. If you are interested in reading the 1st part, take a look here:
Saturday 18/3/17:
  This was the last day of the festival and the day I was waiting with great anticipation for many reasons: First of all, many of the bands I wanted to see were playing on that day. Furthermore, I had an appointment with Dave Cousins, the leader of Strawbs, and I couldn't wait to meet him. Also, the opening act on the main stage was the Greek band Verbal Delirium, and I was very curious to see how the guys will perform in front of a foreign audience. And the headliners on the 2nd stage was Gandalf's Fist, who is not a live band, and their appearance at HRH was kind of an exception. So, for all those reasons, I was sure that Saturday was going to be the most exciting day of all three!
  But all those great things had to wait, because in the morning we had to visit one more castle; the glorious Caernarfon, one of the most well preserved and famous castles in the whole area. There, we had an appointment with one of Prog & Roll's long time listeners, who was coming from North England in order to attend the last day of the festival and meet with each other.
  Caerfarnon was a truly majestic castle, totally worth the kilometres we did and the hours we spend there. But after our visit, it was time to go back and start enjoying the last day of the festival.
  At exactly 14.00 Verbal Delirium entered the main arena's stage and played for almost an hour. I was in the very front row, and I really loved their gig!  I have seen them 4-5 times before and I believe that this time they gave one of the the best performances I have ever seen! After Verbal, it was time for a quick beer, and then I had to rush back because it was Karnataka's turn; another band I wanted to see very much. Their performance was also great, but near the end of their gig I went out in order to eat something because exactly after them it was time for The Strawbs! To be able to see The Strawbs on stage was a dream coming true for me, and I didn't want to miss not even a minute!
   Exactly on time, The Strawbs appeared on stage. I was in the second row from the stage and I couldn't believe that I was seeing them live. They played for almost 80 minutes, and they were excellent! Their setlist was based mostly on the album Hero & Heroine, plus some other great songs from the albums they released during the 70's. The highlight of their gig was without a doubt the fantastic version of Autumn, during which I couldn't stop singing.
  When Strawbs left the stage, I felt that I needed a break in order to overcome the sentiments and the excitement, but there was no time for it. Because ten minutes later, Atomic Rooster was playing at Arena 1 and at the same time The Gift was playing at Arena 2. Well, that was a pickle! I wanted to see both bands, so I couldn't decide what to do. Finally, I watched the first half of The Gift and the second half of Atomic Rooster. That proved to be not a good decision because I saw both bands, but I couldn't really enjoy any of them.
  After Atomic Rooster finished their gig, I literally run to the Media Center's pub in order to meet with Dave Cousins. I entered the pub and there he was! Sitting there alone, waiting for me. I approached him and I wasn't sure what to do. I introduced myself, and just like that, we started talking like good old friends! I couldn't believe it! Sitting with Dave Cousins in a pub in North Wales, talking about music, musicians, albums, and other fun and interesting things.
 He signed some album covers I had with me, took a few (not good) pictures together, and he was kind enough to record a short spot for Prog n Roll radio show. 
  After almost 40 minutes that I stayed with him, it was time to go back to the concert area.
Once more I had to choose between two bands. Gandalf's Fist was playing at Arena 2, but at the same time IQ was playing at Arena 1! But although IQ is a bigger name by far, I decided to see Gandalf's Fist and never regret it! Gandalf's Fist gave an unforgettable show, including many theatrical elements, special costumes, and lots of great music and fun! It was also the only band that filled Arena 2 that much! The place was almost packed, and that was a sign of how good they were.
   Two of their members are Prog & Roll's regular listeners, so after their gig, I went for beers together with the band at the pub nearby. (It wasn't exactly a pub, but I cannot describe it). I was so exhausted, I could hardly walk, and I was feeling that I do not have the strength to go on. But despite that, I found the courage to return to Arena 1 to watch Wishbone Ash, who were the headliners of the 3rd day.
Not for long though. The place was jammed once more, so I stayed for 2-3 songs and then left. (I have seen Wishbone Ash twice in the past, so I didn't care that much).
  The next day we had to pack our stuff and drive back to the South of London, where I was going to spend two more days before my departure. Although the festival was over, I had something really great and exciting waiting for me there on Monday morning.
But more on that in my next and final post...
To be continued...
Pictures: 1:Caernarfon castle's inner yard / 2:Me in the TV studio of HRH festival, together with 2 members of Verbal Delirium and two English radio producers / 3:Verbal Delirium on stage / 4:Verbal Delirium's signed setlist / 5:With Dave Cousins / 6:The cover of Hero & Heroine, signed by Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert / 7:Gandalf's Fist on stage / 8: The signed setlist of Gandalf's Fist / 9. The Gift on stage.
Videos: 1: Part of Autumn by The Strawbs / 2: Part of The Lamplighter by Gandalf's Fist.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Prog 'n' Roll Radio Show: Our new Mixcloud page

Hello all!
I'm writing this post to inform you that almost a month ago I created a new page on Mixcloud for Prog & Roll Radio Show.
There, I will be uploading some selected shows, so you will be able to listen to them whenever you fee l like it.
I uploaded 8 shows so far, including some really interesting ones.
Listen to them and if you like what you see there, you can become followers.
Also, feel free to share or advertise the shows or the page itself.
Here's the link of Prog & Roll's page on mixcloud:
I hope that you will find it interesting.
Thank you!

Monday, March 27, 2017

PROG & ROLL Radio show (26/3/17) including the 'Song of the Month' contest. A small review & the complete playlist.

Hello all!
After a week's break, last night Prog & Roll Radio Show was back on air once more.
  This time our show was including the final stage of the 'Song of the month' contest, where our listeners had to grade the songs that reached to this final stage, in order to see which of them was going to win. This time we had 5 songs to play during the contest, all of them very good ones. And once more, the song we considered to be the favourite did not win!
So, according to our listeners, the Song of the Month for March is... Trains by Porcupine Tree!
  We had a good crowd listening and enough of them were participating on the chatbox as well, making the show more fun and enjoyable for everyone.
We played a rather big variety of music styles and genres once more, and I believe that the people enjoyed the music we played for them.
Here you can check the playlist from last night:

1st Part: THE GIFT: Sweeper of Dreams / CREDO: The Letter / HAZE: The Last Battle / GANDALF’S FIST: Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet.
2nd Part: NIGHTWISH: Sleeping Sun / JUDAS PRIEST: Angel / SHADOW GALLERY: I Believe / SYMPHONY X: Candlelight Fantasia.
3rd Part: MOSTLY AUTUMN: Never the Rainbow / THE WALKABOUTS: Good Luck Morning / TARNATION: Your Thoughts & Mine / RADIOHEAD: Street Spirit / MERCURY REV: Secret for a Song.
4th Part: The Song of the Month Contest: BABE RUTH: The Mexican (Av. Rating: 6.85) / PORCUPINE TREE: Trains (Av.Rating: 9.65) / RUSH: Jacob’s Ladder (Av.Rating: 7.83) / GENESIS: Carpet Crawlers (Av.Rating: 8.15) / ELOY: Mutiny (Av. Rating: 7.82).
I would like to thank all those who chose to spend their Sunday evening with us and our show. I hope you had some nice time. Prog & Roll will be on air again on Sunday the 2nd of April, at 20.00 UK time as always.
'Till then, take care! 
Thank you.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

PROG & ROLL Radio Show Presents: The Song of the Month contest.

  I'm writing this post to inform you that during this Sunday's Prog & Roll we are going to have the final stage of the Song of the Month contest. 
  During our shows, we are playing the "grade the song" game with our listeners and on the last show of each month we pick the songs that received the highest average points, and we are playing them once more. We ask from our listeners to grade these songs again but in a more serious manner this time. So, at the end of the show, the song that will receive the highest average rating will be announced as the 'Song of the Month'.
But it doesn't end there; The winning songs will create Prog & Roll's Top-10 songlist at the end of the season, in July.
 We got 5 very good songs to play during Sunday's contest, and I'm pretty sure that the competition will be fierce!
  Further than that, we prepared a rather interesting and enjoyable show for our listeners, that includes songs from many different music styles and sub-categories once more.
So, if you are free and in the mood for some good music and a very friendly company of this Sunday evening, tune in and listen to Prog & Roll.
 The show begins at 20.00 UK time, and it is a live bilingual broadcast.
You can listen by clicking on the following link at the time you see above.
I hope to "see" you there!
Thank you. 😎

Thursday, March 23, 2017

HRH Prog V Festival (16-19/3/2017 - North Wales). A review (Part 1)

 A couple of days ago I returned to Athens after my weekly trip to England and North Wales, in  order to attend the HRH Prog festival. (Among other things).
 I tried to organize my thoughts in order to be able to sit down and write these posts, because the truth is that, many things happened in very few days. So, this the first post I am writing, concerning the
days I spend in England and Wales, but not only at the festival, as you will see...
  I landed on England on Tuesday night, and after spending a couple of days in Horley, south of London, on Thursday morning our road trip towards North Wales begun.
  After many hours and many kilometers (or should I say miles?), we reached to Criccieth, a very
beautiful village almost 10 km from the place that the festival was going to take place. On the way, we did a couple of stops and made rounds into some very beautiful villages and castles, such as Ludlow.
Because we knew that we were going to reach at Criccieth late at night, we had no tickets for the first day of the festival. That happened because the first day wasn't including many bands, and if I exclude Pendragon, I didn't care much for the other ones.
   After a good night's sleep, on Friday morning I was ready to go to the concert area. But not before visiting the impressive Harlech castle. Right after that, we rushed to the area of the festival, because before anything else, I had an interview with Barclay James Harvest arranged, at 13.00. I reached at the reception almost on time, received my 'media pass', and headed to the Media Center, in order to meet the band. The Media Center was a very big area, including a small stage, where some of the bands were playing an "acoustic" gig only for the press and the VIP's, before their normal gig.

With a slight delay, the whole Barclay James Harvest band plus their manager appeared, and altogether we had a very nice chat for more than half hour. I did the interview but we also spoke about many other things as well. (But that was not the only time I was going to meet the band as it proved out). At the time I was ready to leave, all the members of Hawkwind came in, so I decided to remain there for a bit longer. I met with them, spoke for a bit, took some pictures and a couple of autographs and then I headed to the main concert area, that was including 2 stages.
  The biggest problem was that most of the times there were bands playing at both stages at the same time. So either I had to pick and watch one of them, or I had to come and go between the 2 stages. I watched the whole performance of Credo on the 2nd stage, and I must say that they were really good! Despite their singer was sick, his performance was very good. I also watched the half gig of Panic Room at the 1st stage, and I must say that they were impressive. After Panic Room, it was time for The Pretty Things to get on the stage, and they played a rather old-fashioned set, based on classic Rock and Blues tunes. Also a good performance. 
  Almost at the middle of their set, I left and headed again to the Media Center, in order to arrange a few things. There, I met again with the members of Barclay James Harvest, and after a short chat, they invited me to go to the backstage for a few pictures and a beer. So, I went into their car and altogether went to the backstage area. I stayed for some time with the band, and then I rushed to the 1st stage again, in order to see as much as I could from the gig of Curved Air. I think I saw the second half of Curved Air's performance, but I cannot say I was impressed. During the short intermission, I went in the front rows in order to be able to see Barclay James Harvest from the best spot possible, who came on stage right after Curved Air.
  And the truth it that Barclay James Harvest blew my mind! It was without any doubt the best gig of the day! They played many of their old and famous songs, including some that I truly love and I wasn't expecting to listen.
  During the almost one-hour break between Barclay James Harvest and Hawkwind who were the headliners, I went again to the 2nd stage and watched a little bit the Davy O'List band, but I can't say I liked them.
 I returned to the 1st stage for Hawkwind, but I didn't stay for long. The place was packed, and I had to stay near the entrance, because I couldn't go further inside. From that place I couldn't see or hear very well, so after almost half hour, I decided that it was time to go home and have some rest, because the really great day was the next one.
To be continued...
Pic No.1: The HRH Prog V banner / Pic No.2:The town of Ludlow / Pic No.3: The castle of Ludlow / Pic No.4: The castle of Harlech / Pic No.5: Me with BJH at the backstage / Pic No.6: BJH on stage / Pic No.7: Me with Hawkwind at the Media Center.
On the following video you can see a part of Mockingbird by Barclay James Harvest, as it was performed at Friday the 17th on the 1st stage of HRH festival.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

HRH Prog V Festival. A first impression

Hello all!
I am writing this short post from N.Wales from where we will be leaving soon,
The HRH Prog V festival finished last night, but before I will be able to write something proper, I should first clear my head and organise my thoughts.
It was a totaly crazy and intense 3 days, not to mention how tired I feel right now. I tried to make the best of it actually. I saw many bands, I made many contacts, I spoke with a big number of musicians, I did some inteviews,and I had a blast in general.
It was a great experience for me, but I will need some time before I will be able to write a couple of really informative posts about the event.
Please have some patience, and you will be rewarded. :-)
I will only mention here the bands that I manage to see on stage:
Panic Room, The Preety Things, Curved Air, Barclay James Harvest, Hawkwind, Credo, Dream Circuit, Verbal Delirium, Karnataka, The Strawbs, Atomic Rooster, Haze, The Gift, Wishbone Ash and Gandalfs Fist.
I am going to write many more interesting things in the near future about this festival and post many pictures.
So, check my blog from time to time.
Thank you!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Hello all!
Since last night I am in UK, preparing for my trip to North Wales for the HRH Prog V Festival.
At the moment I am staying at Horley, in the home of some friends, which is south of London. Tomorrow morning our road trip to North Wales will begin, and I am really excited!
I will try to keep you informed about my travel and especially about the concerts.
So, try to check my blog from time to time, if you think you are interested.
Thank you!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prog & Roll Radio Show (12/3/2017). A small "review" & the complete playlist

Hello all!
Last night one more Prog & Roll Radio Show was on air as usual, but this time I was alone in this. My wife and co-host wasn't able to participate, so I had to do all by myself. We had many people listening once more, mostly from Greece, England, Ireland and United States.
A pleasant surprise was the appearance on the chatbox of two members of Gandalf's Fist, who were listening to the show from the studio where they were making rehearshals for the HRH Prog V festival. 
 Once more, the show was divided into 4 half-hour parts and on each part we played a different style of music. I believe that it was a good show, and judging from our audience's reactions I think that everybody had some nice time.
Here you can check the complete playlist:
1st Part: QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE: Pride of Man / JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: High Flyin’ Bird / MOUNTAIN: For Yasgur’s Farm / THE DOORS: Waiting for the Sun / CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: Someday Never Comes / JANIS JOPLIN: Kozmic Blues.
2nd Part: FRUITCAKE: The River of the Dog / GANDALF’S FIST: The Lamplighter (Parts XIV – XV) / IQ: From the Outside in / ADVENTURE: Caught in the Web Part 2 / ARENA: Salamander.
3rd Part: DISTORTED HARMONY: Breathe / POEM: Weakness / ARCHONAUT: Ark / RUSH: Jacob’s Ladder.
4th Part: PORCUPINE TREE: Trains / DRIFTING SUN: Trip the Life Fantastic / EVERSHIP: A Slow Descent into Reality.

I would also like to inform you that on next Sunday the 19th of March, Prog & Roll will not be on air, because I will be in UK for the HRH Prog V Festival. I will try to write a few posts here about my travel and the concerts, so try to check my blog from time to time.
A very big thanks to all those who chose to spend their Sunday afternoon with me and Prog & Roll.
We'll see you again in two weeks.
'Till then, take care!
Thank you!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

GFreedom's Juke Box No.189

Hello all!
  It is a cold and rainy day in Athens today, which means it's perfect for staying indoors and enjoy some quality time with the company of some good music.
  During this week I listened to lots and lots of music, because I am preparing some compilations to take with me in UK. (Read the post below).
So, as you can understand, this time it is impossible to pick only 5 songs as my best ones. Normally I should write over 20-25! For that reason, I just picked 5 of the ones I liked the most and writing them here.
So, here's my list for this week:
DAVE KERZNER: Stranded (New World - 2015)
BRIAN MAY: Resurrection (Back to the Light - 1992)
MAGO DE OZ: La Costa del Silencio (Gaia - 2003)
BIG BIG TRAIN: Judas Unrepentant (English Electric Pt.1 - 2012)
MOSTLY AUTUMN: The Ghost Moon Orchestra (The Ghost Moon Orchestra - 2012)
By clicking on the folowing YouTube links you will be able to listen to the songs in my list right away. Enjoy the music, and have a beautiful weekend!
Thank you!
BRIAN MAY: Resurrection
MAGO DE OZ: La Costa del Silencio
BIG BIG TRAIN: Judas Unrepentant
MOSTLY AUTUMN: The Ghost Moon Orchestra 


Hello all!
  I am very glad to inform you that on the following days I'll be flying to UK, in order to attend the HRH Prog V Festival, that will take place in North Wales between 16-19 of March.
  After a short stay near London, where I am going to meet up with some friends, we will take a car and after a beautiful and long road trip, we will arrive at Pwllheli where the festival will take place. 
We will be able to attend only 2 out of the 3 days, but these 2 days are the best ones.
We are going to see on stage some really great bands such as: Wishbone Ash, IQ, Strawbs, Curved Air, Karnataka, Hawkwind, Gandalf's Fist, Barclay James Harvest etc... (You can see the full line-up in the picture on the right).
  Also, there is a big possibility that I will be able to get a"press pass", which means that I will be able to meet and interview some of the bands there. :-) (Fingers crossed).
I already arranged to share a beer (or more) with Mr. Dave Cousins (the leader of Strawbs) after their gig, and with Colin Tench on Monday in London. I hope that I will be lucky enough to meet with more musicians there, take some pictures and get some autographs.
  I am going to carry a small laptop with me, and I will try to write a few things about my travel and the festival in the following days. So, try to visit this blog from time to time, to see how things are going, and read my posts about the concerts. (I hope I will find the time to do it, though).  
As you can understand I am really excited, and to be honest I can't wait!
So, do not forget to check my blog in order to read some concert reviews, and news from this wonderful travel!
Thank you! :-)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Prog & Roll Radio Show (5/3/2017). A small "review" & the complete playlist

Hello all!
One more Prog & Roll Radio Show was on air last night, and I dare say it was a good one.
We had a good crowd listening, including people from UK, Greece, Germany and United States; as far as I know at least.
Once more we divided the show into four half-hour parts, and on each part we played different styles of music. 
We also did a music quiz, and the winner was the person with the nickname J2 who was listening from somewhere near New York. His prize is a downloable version of the excellent album The Clockwork Fable by Gandalf's Fist.
Here you can take a look at the complete playlist from last night's show:

1st Part: RIVERSIDE: Cybernetic Revolution / SOEN: Jinn / YOSSI SASSI BAND: Palm Dance / THE TEA PARTY: The Bazaar / OPETH: Seventh Sojourn  
  2nd Part: ELOY: Mutiny / CAROL OF HARVEST: Somewhere at the end of the Rainbow / GENESIS: Carpet Crawlers / THE MOODY BLUES: Emily’s Song  
3rd PArt: JOE COCKER: Can’t Find My Way Home (Music Quiz) / VAN MORRISON: Why Must I Always Explain? / TRAFFIC: Forty Thousand Headmen / RARE EARTH: Feelin’ Alright / BABE RUTH: The Mexican 
4th Part: BIG BIG TRAIN: Evening Star / TIGER MOTH TALES: The First Lament / MOTHER TURTLE: The Art of Ending a Revolution.
I would like to thank all those who listened to our show once more. I hope everybody enjoyed it.
Thank you all!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

GFreedom's Juke Box No.188

Hello all!
Here I am again, with my usual Saturday's 'Juke Box' post, which is my weekly Top-5 songlist for you.
During this week I've listened to lots of music, but mostly old and classic stuff as you will realise by looking at my list.
So, for this week, these are the songs I've picked as best ones:
ELOY: Mutiny (Power & Passion - 1975)
GENESIS: Carpet Crawlers (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - 1974)
LED ZEPPELIN: No Quarter (Houses of the Holy - 1973)
JANIS JOPLIN: Kozmic Blues (I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! - 1969)
BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST: The Great 1974 Mining Disaster (Everyone is Everybody Else - 1974)
I will conclude this post, by adding the YouTube links of the songs in my list, so in case you are interested. you can listen to them right away.
Enjoy the music and have a nice weekend!
Thank you! :-)
 ELOY: Mutiny
GENESIS: Carpet Crawlers
JANIS JOPLIN: Kozmic Blues
BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST: The Great 1974 Mining Disaster