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.


Anonymous said...

Hell yeah... there is this huge PF vibe in Sigur Ros live performances. I remember seeing them for the first time somewhere around 2000 and it felt like I was at similar performance as PF's Live At Pompeii. I have seen them this summer with the expanded band i.e. incl. Amiina string quartet and the Horny Brasstards (5 piece brassband) and that was an stunning show.

Anonymous said...

I guess prog did become unfashionable, but it's also true it lost it's way. Crimson, Genesis and Yes produced some real duffers in the 80's and 90's. Sigur Ros are just a great band and great music will always find people willing to listen, with or without the support of the press. I'm just amazed Sigur Ros have such strong media support. Suggest you release the next album in anglo saxon.

thegreenman555 said...

Prog WILL find a way (if you want it too..) I agree that Yes released a lot of 'duff' stuff in the 90s & early 00s, driven no doubt by commercial pressures, the desire to be '$ucce$$ful' & cherchez the yankee $$..

I just think they should just stop trying & just make good music, then success will come.

in a bizarre kind of way.

but maybe its too late & the future lies with BBT, Frost, Circa, Mystery &c...