Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My trip to England and North Wales. The last part: Meeting Clive Nolan and Colin Tench.

As I wrote in my previous posts, after the days I spend in North Wales attending the HRH Prog V festival, it was time to return back to Horley to Ben’s and Emily’s home.
(Here are the links for the 2 previous posts: Part 1: / Part 2: )

  I was very impatient, because on Monday something very special was waiting for me. A meeting with Clive Nolan and with Colin Tench! 
 Colin Tench is a very talented English musician, who now lives in Sweden. He is a member in Corvus Stone and other projects as well. We met through Prog & Roll, and we became something like “long-distance” fiends so to say. He is visiting Prog & Roll’s chatbox every now and then, and we speak through Skype on some occasions. So, when he heard about my trip to the UK, he suggested to meet each other, because he would be in London for a few days as well. 
  As for Clive Nolan, he is one of the most talented and important musicians of modern Progressive Rock in the last decades. He is the songwriter and keyboard player in Pendragon and Arena, and he is dealing with many other projects on the side, like for example the theatrical team Caamora.  
So, the basic plan was to meet Colin in London on Monday and share a few beers together. But that plan changed, when I manage to arrange a meeting with Clive Nolan at his home/studio for an interview on Monday morning as well. After dealing with this problem for a while, we decided to meet at the place where Clive Nolan’s home is, on Monday noon, after the interview. 

  So, on Monday morning, together with Ben Bell (who was kind enough to drive me there), went to Clive’s home. Clive was a very cool and friendly guy, and during the - almost 2 hours – we stayed at his home, we spoke about lots of interesting things. About his bands and projects, his musicals, about Prog & Roll, about the “modern” Progressive Rock scene, etc. At the end, we also went to the studio to take a look, where we met with Karl Groom of Threshold, who was there dealing with some songs. We took some – not so good – pictures together, did the interview, and Clive promised to send me a song from his new – unreleased - musical ‘King’s Ransom’ to play in Prog & Roll in a worldwide premiere.

  But time was flying, and we had to leave in order to meet Colin, who was waiting in a pub somewhere near. At that point, Clive suggested to go out and go have some lunch altogether, to a pub that he knew. We called Colin to reschedule, and finally all four of us gathered  to a very nice pub for lunch. So, there I was, sitting in a pub in the southern suburbs of London, together with 3 musicians, eating, drinking beers and chatting about many interesting and fun things. We exchanged some gifts and some memorabilia, and after a couple of hours we left. Clive went back to his home and his studio, Colin back to London, because the next day he was flying to Sweden and me with Ben returned to Horley. That was my last day in the UK, because the next morning I was flying back to Athens.

  In my luggage I was carrying lots of signed CD’s from all the musicians I met, and my mind was filled with great memories.

  I spend one very intense and tiring but also amazing week in England and Wales and I will never forget it! 
A very big thanks to all those people who helped me there; Ben and Emily first of all, because without them this trip would have been impossible for me, Lisa and Claire at the HRH Media Center, and Magda for arranging the meeting with Clive Nolan. 
Also, thank you for reading these posts. I hope you enjoyed them.