Since moving to sleepy Dorset, I had been on the look-out for local musicians for collaboration. I placed adverts on a couple of websites, and made a few contacts, but nothing much happened. Then, one day, I was contacted by a friendly and verbose keyboardist/composer, asking me if I was interested in joining a start-up Prog Rock band, based in Poole.
I was a huge Progressive Rock fan in my youth. And I still very much enjoy listening to the likes of Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator. But it never crossed my mind to join a Prog Rock band. I always thought that much-maligned genre was very much in the past, being superseded by the likes of Radiohead, Deerhoof and Field Music many years ago. Besides, I never really got into the Neo-Prog bands which popped up in the 80s and 90s.
But the keyboard wizard was very enthusiastic and persuasive, and after a long telephone conversation, he sent me demos of the songs he’d been working on with his bandmate and one-man music factory (on bass and vocals). The demos were slightly scary in their length and execution. There was extensive use of falsetto, banks of retro synthesizers, and they seemed to go on forever. But there was a lot of potential clearly visible amongst the chaos.
We agreed that I should take a few songs and see if I could beat them into a more manageable form. So, three finished songs later, we met up and rehearsed them. It was clear that we worked well as a unit. It was very refreshing to play with musicians with similar aims and abilities, and things went surprisingly smoothly. I found myself invited to join — And Then There Were Three (sorry). Five months later, we had a 3-track EP and an album of original material in the can, and we’d named ourselves Crimson Creatures.
We are releasing the songs on Crimson Creatures’ Bandcamp and streaming platforms, in 2-weekly intervals. We’ve acquired some PA gear and have started regular rehearsals. We are also looking for a progressive drummer who isn’t scared of a 7/4 time signature. Eventually, we hope to be playing live, assuming there are still people who like a bit of Prog in their Rock.