All posts by Tony Kinson

Tim in Prog Magazine

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Prog 82Tim in Prog Magazine

Tim gives a “glimpse into his Prog world” in the “My Prog” feature in the latest issue of Prog Magazine (issue 82).

Issue 82, which is on sale now, also features Peter Hamill, Godley & Creme and Daniel Cavanagh.

The full page “My Prog” piece includes:

  • Tim’s earliest prog memory
  • The first prog record Tim bought
  • The best prog gig Tim has attended and much more…

no-man’s Returning Jesus deluxe

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no-man’s Returning Jesus deluxe

returning_jesus 500A deluxe Kscope label reissue of no-man’s lauded fourth studio album featuring a 2017 remaster by Steven Wilson.

Originally released on the 3rd Stone label in February 2001, Returning Jesus is a collection of ambitious songs which combine Singer-Songwriter, Art Rock, ECM Jazz, and Ambient influences with the band’s unique widescreen production and seductively melancholy compositions.

Returning Jesus received highly positive reviews in Mojo, Uncut, Billboard, Classic Rock and other publications at the time of its release and has continued to be seen by both critics and fans as one of the best albums produced by the duo of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson (both currently enjoying successful solo careers, with Wilson recently reaching the Top 5 album charts in several countries).

Guest musicians include Steve Jansen (Japan/Rain Tree Crow) on drums, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass and double bass, Theo Travis (Soft Machine) on saxophone and flute, and Ian Dixon on trumpet. The late trumpeter Ian Carr (Nucleus), David Kosten (Faultline, Bat For Lashes) and Ben Christophers contribute to the evocative opening piece Only Rain.

The double CD edition contains the original album, plus a bonus CD of b-sides, demos and alternate versions. The double 180g vinyl edition is packaged in a gatefold sleeve and includes the album alongside a selection of EP tracks. Both formats feature additional artwork and photographs from regular no-man collaborator Carl Glover and sleeve notes by Tim Bowness.

Orders from Burning Shed include an exclusive postcard.

Buy the Returning Jesus CD

Buy the Returning Jesus vinyl

IB Expo 2017

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Live in Sweden

Tim will be appearing at the IB Expo 2017 in Halmstad, Sweden on 25 November 2017 and performing two short sets with the members of Isildurs Bane and assorted guests (including trumpeter Luca Calabrese).

Peter Hammill – who is currently mixing the second Bowness/Chilvers album – will also be performing at the event.

Buy tickets.

Sweden

Album Cover Of The Year

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Album Cover Of The Year

Lost In The Ghost Light has won the 2017 Prog Awards ‘Album Cover Of The Year’. Thanks to everyone who voted for it.

LITGL

“Only 200 more to go before I equal Steven Wilson’s Prog trophy haul!

Lost In The Ghost Light follows the career of a fictional Rock musician from 1967 to 2017 and takes him from a time when music had cultural and financial value to a point where he’s sitting backstage after playing to fifty people at the Warrington Parr Hall. It makes Samuel Beckett seem like Benny Hill.

Generally speaking, since the age of Sgt Peppers, beautifully crafted records have become poorly paid streams and album covers are now more often than not tiny images on mobile phones.

The best artwork provides additional layers of meaning or mystery to the album experience. Via the likes of Hipgnosis’s designs for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Roger Dean’s work for Yes, Paul Whitehead’s art for Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis, or brilliant one-offs such as In The Court Of The Crimson King, Prog was at the forefront of combining music and imagery in a way that offered an immersive experience for the listener.

Musically and visually, Lost In The Ghost Light is a tribute to the Progressive spirit of the 1960s and 1970s that got me interested in being a musician in the first place. It’s an honour to be in a room with so many of my teenage favourites.

Thanks to everyone who voted for the cover, Jarrod Gosling for brilliantly transforming ideas into reality, Inside Out for their ongoing support, and Jerry and Prog magazine for promoting creative music that the mainstream ignores.”

Songs From The Ghost Light update

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Songs From The Ghost Light update

The limited one-off pressing CD of Songs From The Ghost Light – now sold out – is in this week’s UK charts at #20 in the Rock chart, #10 in the Indie Breakers chart and #39 in the Independent Albums chart.

Congratulations to Steven Wilson for his astonishing #3 chart placing and Judy Dyble on being #14 in the Indie Breakers chart.

sftglchart

2nd diary entry

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Another new diary entry

Tim has written a new diary entry – with discussion about unreleased no-man material, the 20th anniversary of Dry Cleaning Ray, the Prog Awards and news of a possible appearance in Sweden in November.

11 August 2017

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Two blogs in a month. Clearly a sign of bad things to come or a serious mental decline!

This diary entry is partly prompted by Jakub Kurek and Piotr Zdunek, two very enthusiastic and knowledgeable no-man fans from Poland. Not only did the dynamic duo send me songs from the 1990s and early 2000s that I’d completely forgotten I’d recorded, they also reminded me of the fact that it’s the 20th anniversary of the release of no-man’s Dry Cleaning Ray.

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The unreleased tracks were a revelation in many ways, not least because I’d entirely erased them from my memory and don’t have copies myself.

My ‘hard drive of doom’ contains several album’s worth of unreleased material. Some of it’s good and some – probably courtesy of my Bandcamp downloads page – might even end up being heard. Sadly, it doesn’t contain the original – Flame outtake – version of Wild Opera’s Taste My Dream, which I recorded with Richard Barbieri.

Amongst the lost and lonely:

- A half-finished Bowness/Chilvers album of Nick Drake songs from around the time of California, Norfolk. We were genuinely pleased with our versions, but felt that there were too many Nick Drake covers in existence at the time and didn’t want to add to the clutter. The result, one abandoned project.

- A Bowness/Chilvers album of Ambient/Electronica meets spoken word. Fully completed (around 2001) and featuring some interesting music, this was deemed too pretentious to ever be heard (by anyone, including us!). Consequently, the lock and key is strong on this one! The spoken word parts were drawn from poems and short stories I’d written in the 1990s.

- A very eccentric Postcards From Space (me with Alistair Murphy) album circa 2007. Hugely ambitious, this never felt quite right to me. The first side contains five self-contained, and slightly melodramatic (in an early Bowie/Hammill sense) songs, while the second consists of a demented 22-26 minute ’suite’ which has elements of very early Tangerine Dream, Stockhausen, Pawn Hearts-era Van Der Graaf Generator and some prettiness to counter the aural horror. This was put aside when I started to write for no-man’s Schoolyard Ghosts. Alistair and I subsequently got together to co-produce and co-write Judy Dyble’s Talking With Strangers and that album’s 20 minute epic Harpsong scratched my sidelong itch.

- An EP with Tony Harn from 1998. Containing four songs – one of which emerged on World Of Bright Futures – this was a surprising and surprisingly accessible fusion of Tony’s virtuoso Summers/Fripp meets Pat Metheny guitar approach and my vocals. Lyrically, the songs were more in the Modernist/disjointed style of no-man’s Wild Opera and Centrozoon’s Never Trust The Way You Are.

- An EP’s worth of Samuel Smiles’ World Of Bright Futures rejects from 1999. Of the many tracks brought to my attention by Jakub and Piotr, these were perhaps the best and most fully formed. With a line-up of me, Michael Bearpark, Peter Chilvers, Sandra O’Neill and Myke Clifford the music operated in a lyrical, Ambient-tinged singer-songwriter style. Take The Sadness was perhaps the strongest of the pieces, with rich textures, ethereal flute solos and nice vocal harmonies. Should it ever happen, these outtakes may find their way onto a World Of Bright Futures reissue.

- Outside of the above, ‘the hard drive of doom’ also contains many solo experiments/songs, half an unreleased no-man album, the original 1992 version of Loveblows And Lovecries including a 12 minute take on Tulip, the completed Plenty album, the very nearly finished Bowness/Chilvers 2.0 (we’re almost there!), an EP with Jacob Holm-Lupo, two unreleased collaborations with James Matheos, two unreleased pieces written with Kit Watkins, dozens of Henry Fool works in progress etc etc.

The horror, the horror!

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As for the odds and sods mini-album that is/was Dry Cleaning Ray:

Originally, it was intended as a single or an EP featuring Wild Opera outtakes and alternative mixes of songs (including the shorter – re-recorded – version of DCR itself). Pretty quickly it became something more substantial.

The main reason the project expanded in the way it did was that Steven and I were excited about three new songs we’d written. The songs seemed like a more crafted evolution of the Wild Opera ‘hourlong experiments’, and we liked the idea of material being released very soon after it had been completed. Outside of this, I think we already had in mind the notion that no-man’s next album proper would be something quite lush and different from Wild Opera. Consequently, the new pieces seemed out of place with what we imagined for the band’s future. By contrast, when we wrote Carolina Skeletons in 1998, we knew for certain what direction the band should take (a direction that led to 2001’s Returning Jesus).

Dry Cleaning Ray and Diet Mothers – which along with Wild Opera outtake Born Again Lovechild represents no-man’s solitary flirtation with Dub – were new mixes of Wild Opera material. Evelyn was a cover version of a Serge Gainsbourg song, which I believe we’d been asked to do for an American Serge Gainsbourg tribute album. Kightlinger and Urban Disco were outtakes from the Wild Opera sessions.

Jack The Sax, Sicknote and Sweetside Silver Night were the three pieces we wrote in 1997. Originally intended for whatever was going to be no-man’s official Wild Opera successor, all three songs share a similar sense of melancholy, fear and desperation. They’re softer than most of Wild Opera, but they still possess the sonically experimental edge and playful lyrical quality that marked out Wild Opera from all other no-man releases.

Twenty years on and I still like all three songs. For me, they point to something different for no-man and stand apart from the rest of Dry Cleaning Ray in terms of their quality and emotional intensity. In retrospect, my feeling is that an album could have emerged from a starting point of these songs – one quite unlike Returning Jesus – and that the pieces would have worked better had they been released as a self-contained EP. Conceptually, all three songs carried on the Wild Opera obsession with victims of fame and victims of the pursuit of fame, but there was a consistency and seriousness about these pieces that was absent from most of Wild Opera and the rest of Dry Cleaning Ray.

1997 was the year I left London and in some ways – lyrically, musically and in terms of its cover artwork – Dry Cleaning Ray represented a goodbye to a particular way of life and a particular way of writing songs.

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I’ll be attending this year’s Prog Awards sitting at the Inside Out table alongside be-caped Gods from the past and present.

The cover for Lost In The Ghost Light has been nominated, which is pleasing as it’s the most detailed of any I’ve been involved in. I sent Jarrod images for reference and several pages of notes about Moonshot, Jeff Harrison’s character and the specifics of the place and time the cover should depict. As with Abandoned Dancehall Dreams and Stupid Things That Mean The World, the gatefold king took my ideas and made them into something far more substantial than I could (in the way Carl Glover does with no-man’s artwork). For me, this provides another example of the difference between the recent ‘Inside Out trilogy’ and My Hotel Year. My Hotel Year – with a title derived from a Douglas Coupland short story – was patchwork in all ways. The music came from a variety of sources, the title was ‘borrowed’, and the artwork was entirely Carl Glover’s concept based on the title and the feel of the music. While the last three solo albums feel like mine, My Hotel Year will always feel like somebody else’s compilation album with my name accidentally printed on the cover. As negative as that sounds, it’s not meant to denigrate the album, which contains some material I still like (especially Last Year’s Tattoo and Sleepwalker).

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It looks like I’ll be playing at this year’s Isidurs Bane Expo (alongside Peter Hammill) in Halmstad, Sweden in November. Utilising the members of IB and associates, I’ve been encouraged to put together something I couldn’t and wouldn’t do elsewhere. A unique tribute to the Syco and Stock Aitken and Waterman catalogues could well be on the cards.

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Listening:

The Art Of Noise – In Visible Silence – Deluxe Edition (2017 / 1986)
Randy Newman - Dark Matter (2017)