A tribute to Chris Squire

One year since Chris Squire passed away. Not just one of the founding members of Yes, but the only member to stay in the band throughout their entire 60-year run until last year, his own death being the only reason for ever missing a gig. A beautiful and inspirational person who never stopped writing wondrous stories… Chris Squire, your music was a shining light in the darkest points of my childhood, you were my biggest bass inspiration, and you will always be missed.

prog-cover-chris-squire

Seriously, look at this fabulous, talented man and his multiple amazing bass guitars.

The video below is one of the few examples where he sang lead in addition to playing bass.

Can you imagine what it’s like seeing life
From the other side
Do you imagine darkened light, starless night
You might need a guide

And will the illusion confuse you, play with your thoughts
And alter your mind
Or become a delusion, include you
Change your existence for another kind

See what you see for yourself
‘Til your heart is open wide
Wish what you wish for yourself, and you’ll find it there
And you’ll believe it, and you’ll believe it

A releasekonsert with OAK and Airbag in Oslo

Last night I spent a fantastic evening watching prog band OAK perform for the second time. Since I saw them at Kolbotn’s ‘Progbotn’ festival back in January, they’ve been signed to Bergen-based record label Apollon Records, which is truly fantastic news. OAk have just released their first album, Lighthouse – and you can watch the trailer for it below.

Okay, so OAK are officially called an art rock band, but I digress… it’s amazing music, truly enrapturing and innovative. The lead singer also plays the keyboard, and has a beauty of a KORG that looks very much like a Stage Vintage (correct me if I’m wrong). What’s nice about this is being able to see the keyboard action more closely, as too often keyboardists are relegated to the sidelines.

This time they brought on a saxophonist for a few tracks, and the feel immediately plunged into something akin to the solemn atmospheric work of electro jazz groups like Hidden Orchestra. It was great to hear their new stuff, along with some of the classics from the first set I heard of theirs. The singer truly has a stupendous voice, and I got chills on more than one occasion during their set.

I really want to see this band evolve further and produce ever more work. For now, I’m just basking in the release of Lighthouse, which can be heard on Spotify in its entirety:

SUPPORT THESE GUYS, THEY ARE GREAT!

Also, at the end of their set: biggest applauding for a bass guitarist I’ve ever heard in my life! This makes me happy.

After OAK we had Airbag, a more established outfit who performed a very tight set with a more rocky vibe. They were celebrating the release of their fourth album, Disconnected, and performed a range of pieces from all their previous albums too.

While Airbag did not do anything overly structurally interesting to their pieces, they are a talented group of musicians and had a wonderful sound that was very immersive. A lot of their songs began in a dark and broody manner similar to that of Seigmen, rose to some rocking riffs, then descended into Pink Floyd style instrumentals. Oh, and also, their songs are looooong! Shine On eat your heart out! I feel as though I was listening to a lost Pink Floyd album, and with the moody and meditative, somewhat trancelike vibes, I know I need to listen to this music more when writing.