Saturday 8 November 2008

Prog Will Find a Way

Just back from seeing Sigur Ros. They are an exceptionally brilliant but seemingly esoteric kind of band and, as they started the show with the lengthy and funereally-paced Svefn-g-englar, I did take a moment to look around and wonder how they had packed out such a large venue.

After a few minutes, however, it became clear that if you strip the music of some of its stylistic eccentricities, much of it would sit very comfortably in a Pink Floyd show. Indeed, the longer it went on, the more it felt like a prog gig.

And that's the great thing. While bands playing classic-style prog may be struggling to find a big audience, prog pops up in so many other places these days, from death metal bands like Opeth and Mastodon and heavy indie bands such as The Mars Volta and Oceansize, through to art-rock groups like Mew and Radiohead, and the post-rock of Sigur Ros.

Indeed, the very positive press reaction to the Gabriel-years Genesis box set, and the recent 'coming-out' of a number of celebrity Genesis fans suggests that even classic prog is no longer the music that dare not speak its name. Whatever it takes, prog, it seems, will find a way.