Yesterday, 11th September 2014, The third annual Progressive Music Awards, presented by Orange Amplification and in association with Currencies.co.uk took place, has honouring progressive music in the intimate and idyllic settings of the world famous Underglobe, beneath Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – a new home for the awards.
Hosted by world renowned news broadcaster and journalist Gavin Esler, the evening celebrated and honoured the past, present and future of prog. From Rick Wakeman collecting the Live Event of the Year, to the new generation of music mavericks like Messenger and Syd Arthur, who collected Limelight and Breakthrough respectively. Once again, The Progressive Music Awards brought together and celebrated the pioneers, innovators and present-day torchbearers of the prog scene. With 13 awards given out on the night, the Progressive Music Awards is a gathering of some of the most successful rock musicians of all time.
Peter Gabriel was the evening’s guest of honour and was the recipient of the Prog God sponsored by Orange Amplification award. Previously accepted by Rick Wakeman and Ian Anderson in 2012 and 2013 respectively, it celebrates the people that, without them, prog and rock music would be a lesser place. Jerry Ewing, Editor of Prog Magazine, summed up why Peter is so deserving of the accolade… “From a groundbreaking eight years with Genesis to a solo career that has now stretched almost 40 years, few artists have striven to push back the creative boundaries, generating a body of work that in its very nature progresses ever onwards. From massive worldwide hits through startling experimentation and pioneering work with world music, as well as his fantastic work outside of music and an astute grasp of technology, it really is an honour to pay tribute to Peter in this way.”
The evening’s ceremony was opened with a stripped back performance from the 2014 Album of the Year winners, Transatlantic. Performing to a unique audience consisting of their peers, idols and collaborators. They performed ‘Shine’ and ‘We All Need Some Light’.
Jerry Ewing, Prog Magazine Editor, says, “It’s been a terrific night. A splendid celebration of a cross section of truly progressive music of all styles, sizes and ages. At a time when Kate Bush is playing live, a new Pink Floyd album and a King Crimson tour are also helping push progressive music into the public spotlight, a night like tonight really shows the diversity and far reaching appeal of this music.“
The evening’s winners:
London’s Messenger were the winners of the Limelight sponsored by K Scope award. With a multitude of band comparisons, The Guardian said their track ‘Midnight‘ is “… like having seven different bands compacted into one song”, perfectly summing up dynamism of this truly exciting band. Featuring in Prog Magazines one-to-watch section Limelight, in October 2013, they released their debut album ‘Illusory Blues’ in April this year.
Rick Wakeman’s incredible ‘Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 40th Anniversary Tour’ was the winner of the Live Event sponsored by Butlins. Performing with The New World Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by The English Chamber Choir and the English Rock Ensemble, it celebrated the anniversary of his groundbreaking concept album of the same name. It was a state of the art, dramatic, live presentation of his epochal, classical-rock crossover work.
Breakthrough sponsored by Inside Out was this year picked up by Syd Arthur. The Canterbury four-piece have already found critical acclaim throughout the world of music. From their early days of winning local Best New Band competitions, to picking up peer support in the form of Paul Weller, this is a band with a big future.
‘Anathema’ by Anathema was the winner of the Anthem sponsored by Roadrunner Records award. Taken from their ‘Distant Satellites’ album released in June of this year, this huge track hooks onto the incredible vocal of Vincent Cavanagh. A truly epic song, it was produced by Christer-André Cederberg and mixed by Steven Wilson.
The Storm Thorgerson Grand Design is named after the first ever winner of the award and the most celebrated graphic designer in music. Storm’s work is synonymous with Pink Floyd, Muse, Genesis and many more. This year’s recipient is Fish for his first album in six years ‘A Feast of Consequences’ which was designed by Mark Wilkinson.
Transatlantic’s fourth studio album ‘Kaleidoscope’ was the winner of Album of the Year sponsored by TeamRock Radio. Released on January of this year, it received acclaimed reviews from the critics and fans alike, and in support of the album, they have completed a worldwide tour to sell-out crowds.
Band of the Year sponsored by Kraken was this year awarded to Dream Theater. With 2015 set to be their 30th anniversary, they have released 12 studio, eight live albums, two EP’s have toured relentlessly through their career. Their 2013 album ‘Dream Theatre’ gained Top 20 status throughout the world including the UK and US, and they have a live album ‘Breaking The Fourth Wall’ coming out later this year.
There are artists who sit firmly within the boundaries of progressive music and those who lurk on the outer limits. The Outer Limits Award has been created to coincide with the magazine feature of the same name, which celebrates the diversity of those whose creative output is most definitely progressive, although not necessarily in the traditional sense of the style. The first ever recipient is Uriah Heep. Known as one of the ‘Big Four’ rock bands of the 1970’s alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, they have sold in excess of 40 million albums worldwide and in June they released their 24th studio album ‘Outsider’.
The Virtuoso Award sponsored by Kef is about celebrating the best players around, and this year there is none more deserving than Arjen Lucassen. A musical jack-of-all-trades, and seemingly a master of them all as well, in his career of over 34 years he has released 23 albums, and his prog opera Ayreon has seen him garner huge acclaim and is routinely described as a ‘genius’ through the world’s music press.
Guiding Light sponsored by Currencies.co.uk is for people who keep flying the prog flag, inspiring others and keeping prog in the public eye. This year’s recipient is Sonja Kristina. Performing since the age of 15, Sonja played Chrissie in the original London cast of Hair at the Shaftesbury Theatre and went on to become the lead singer of Curved Air. She continues to write and perform music throughout the world as a solo artist, in collaboration with Martin Ayres as Mask and with Curved Air, who released a new album, ‘North Star’, in March of this year.
Robert John Godfrey received the Visionary sponsored by Eagle Rock award. A true trailblazer, Robert is a renowned pianist, studying at The Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. From 1968 to 1971 he became resident musical director with Barclay James Harvest and is credited for establishing their full, orchestral style of rock music. From there he went on to play with Siddartha, but it was in 1974 when he founded The Enid, which he performed in for over 40 years.
Lifetime Achievement sponsored by Prog Rocks! was accepted by Andy Latimer, one of the founder members of one of the most iconic prog rock bands of all time, Camel. Forming the band in 1971 they have produced 14 studio albums as well as numerous live and compilation albums. In recent years, Andy along with Denis Clement have been writing new material to huge acclaim, and have toured consistently through 2013 and 2014.
The 2014 Progressive Music Award winners presented by Orange Amplification and in association with Currencies.co.uk were:
Limelight sponsored by K Scope Messenger
Live Event sponsored by Butlins Rick Wakeman Journey To The Centre Of The
Earth 40th Anniversary Tour
Breakthrough sponsored by Inside Out Syd Arthur
Anthem sponsored by Roadrunner Records Anathema – ‘Anathema’
The Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Fish – ‘A Feast of Consequences’
Album of the Year sponsored by TeamRock Radio Transatlantic – ‘Kaleidoscope’
Band of the Year sponsored by Kraken Dream Theater
Outer Limits Uriah Heep
Virtuoso sponsored by Kef Arjen Lucassen
Guiding Light sponsored by Currencies.co.uk Sonja Kristina
Visionary sponsored by Eagle Rock Robert John Godfrey
Lifetime Achievement sponsored by Prog Rocks! Andy Latimer
Prog God sponsored by Orange Amplification Peter Gabriel