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ProgAID - The Recording Sessions, 29th/30th January 2005

Well, after the quick idea of doing a single to raise funds for the Tsunami Disaster, several musicians and singers in the 'Prog' World got together on this special day and event to record a new version of the Cyan song, All Around The World. Staying for two nights at the 'Hotel Cohen', it quickly became clear we were going to have a great time, but most of all, a mission to help the families who lost their loved ones on December 26th 2004.

Arriving at Danny Chang's Briar Bank recording studio in Penarth near Cardiff on the Saturday morning, we were quickly introduced to each other, and with so many prog stalwarts arriving, there was a true family atmosphere. Upstairs in another part of the recording studio, John Jowitt was putting down the bass track, and with the three members from Landmarq (Steve Gee, Dave Wagstaff and Tracy Hitchings) who all said hello, we were led back into the lounge where everyone else were sitting. The tea and coffee was served as we all introduced ourselves. 

The 'old' crowd such as Stu Nicholson (Galahad), Alan Reed (Pallas) the Landmarq three, all met the 'new' such as Steve Taylor, Dave Whittaker from Strangefish and Rob Gould from Fula. Each person took their turn for singing or performing as more people turned up. Most of us were taken to a cafe bar were we had refreshments, and again more chats about 'prog' and other things. The time soon passed as we went into a public house and generally had a good time talking about the old days and such (see photos below!).

We all went back to the studio to do the 'crowd' chorus where we were joined by Bruce Soord from The Pineapple Thief and Nick Barrett from legendary proggers Pendragon. The stadium sound was played back, which reminded me of the 'Feed The World' chants heard so many times around Christmas. So that was the Saturday!

The Sunday was more laid back in comparison with the Saturday. First on the scene was Anthony Phillips who was guitarist on the first two Genesis albums (From Genesis To Revelation and Trespass) and has a well established solo career. He played a magical twelve-stringed guitar solo and told us tales of days gone by in Genesis, and from seeing a legend such as he, made the whole thing seem doubly worthwhile for us lesser mortalst. After the two musicians from Panic Room (Paul Davies and Jonathan Edwards) and original singer from Cyan Nigel Voyle (who sang on the original version of All Around The World), we had time to spare, so Rob Reed (engineer) played the recordings that had been received from contributors from around the world. We heard people such as Martin Orford, Roine Stolt and Arjen Lucassen among others and the sounds we heard were just remarkable. Then Rob took to the Hammond C3 to play a blistering solo only to find that the invisible man from Magenta had not pressed the record button! But Rob being himself just repeated the performance! Matthew Cohen added a little bass line before the Magenta axe-man Chris Fry then closed the Sunday with a breathtaking solo which everyone applauded.

It was truly a great weekend, with reporters interviewing certain members. A video and numerous photos were taken, and it has to be said it was a great moment in the history of the re-birth of 'prog' in the present day with so many progressive musicians contributing their time and skills for such a worthwhile cause. It was a honour to be there, and a big thank-you must go out to the people from F2 music and Magenta. (See below for photo gallery.)

Danny Mayo

www.progaid.com

Click on thumbnails to see larger image below.

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