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14 December, 2007

Discovery of the day

Whilst working this week, I've been streaming 'back-issues' of The Rogues' Gallery, Frans Keylard's 'prog'-orientated podcast for The Dividing Line, hoping to discover some new music.  The experience has largely reinforced my prejudices about the genre – there's a lot of derivative rubbish out there – but there are some promising bands, and I've ordered a couple of CDs.

Today's highlight has been a Norwegian band (though one wouldn't know it from the music or vocals) called Gazpacho. As the name implies, it'd be reasonable, if uncharitable, to describe them as a clone of modern-era Marillion. In fact, I understand they supported Marillion's 2004 tour and release their albums on Marillion's 'Intact Records' label; I ordered their latest CD from Marillion's webstore. Somehow the similarity isn't a problem, and hints of Porcupine Tree or 'Kid A'-era Radiohead add to the attraction.

Okay, I wouldn't describe their music as earth-shatteringly wonderful, and I don't have a new favourite band, but they're certainly worth trying. Their website offers a few full-length album tracks for download in 192 kbps .mp3 format, and for the price of an e-mail address, one can download an audience recording of their live set supporting, yes, Marillion, in Paris in 2005. It's even possible to hear their entire back catalogue online (streamed), though that facility didn't work well for me.

"Play it loud with the lights off."

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