While I grudgingly respect Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine for bringing a much-maligned genre some attention it wouldn't otherwise get, it lets itself down badly by being far too Brit-centric, favouring the same tired old clichés, and latterly but most off-putting by being hideously expensive.
Last night saw their first annual prog awards beano, an event that even got a report on BBC Breakfast this morning, so, again kudos for reminding the world at large that prog still exists. Then it shoots itself in the foot by having a ceremony that was...well, regressive rather than progressive.
Here's the awards list in full:
NEW BLOOD: TesseracT
I can't comment as I've not heard them. Would they be dominated by loud keyboards perchance? Oi, you there, stop being so cynical....;) Right, I've listened to them now....aaaarggh...a cookie monster. Not my cup of lark's vomit but not in the way I was expecting at all...ho-hum.
LIVE EVENT: Anathema
This category is ridiculous unless somehow they managed to go to every prog gig in the world in the last 12 months. But, restricting it to the UK, and again I doubt they went to every gig, I can think of one in particular that would have been hard to beat that I'll bet only warranted a couple of lines at most in the mag. Hey, but I didn't get to every gig either, the Anathema one included..
GRAND DESIGN: Pink Floyd Immersion reissues
Oh for fuck's sake! Over-priced, unnecessary, bloated and basically a marketing ruse to part the gullible from their wallets. Fling yer marbles at Waters with yer scarf, I say!
ANTHEM: Squackett A Life Within A Day
Anthem? What is this, the Stadium Rawk Awards?
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Rush Clockwork Angels
Oh for fuck's sake again. At least it wasn't Grace For Drowning. Do these people listen to anything new, ever?
VISIONARY: Peter Hammill
Wahey! At last, one I can't disagree with.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Genesis
A band who made their last groundbreaking LP in 1975 and split up in 1998. 'Nuff said.
VIRTUOSO: Carl Palmer
Daft category. This is prog, so "virtuoso" is a given, surely? Although Carl was no doubt up there with the best tub-thumpers 40 years ago, I'm sure there's dozens of young whippersnappers who could out-paradiddle the old boy nowadays.
GUIDING LIGHT: Steven Wilson
What does this category actually mean? Again, confined to the UK you have to say that The Hardest Working Man In Hertfordshire is probably the most innovative, at least. Where are you guiding us to then Steve? Hemel Hempstead?
PROG GOD: Rick Wakeman
Hahahahahaha. Grumpy Old Bloke becomes deity shock horror! Free takeaway curries for the poor! On ice!
Harrumph....now, back to work.
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