Galahad is one of the oldest British neo-progressive rock bands formed in 1985 in Dorset. Three years ago, the band got an invitation to perform during the RoSfest Festival in Phoenixville on April 28, 2007 at the legendary Colonial Theatre. This double album, recorded live during that festival, consists only of epic tracks that last over ten minutes. The founding members of Galahad, guitarist Roy Keyworth and singer Stuart Nicholson are still in the band. Together with Spencer Luckman (drums), Dean Baker (keyboards) and Lee Abraham (bass guitar, backing vocals), they gave an excellent concert containing four long tracks from their latest CD Empires Never Last.
The repertoire of Galahad contains many highlights. This concert starts with one of them: I Could Be God. This piece from Empires Never Last begins with an electronic synthesizer beat and ends with a big scream from Stuart ‘his master’s voice’ Nicholson. In the middle section, you hear excerpts of the famous ‘I have a dream’-speech of Martin Luther King in August 1963. New Age-sounding synths and angel choirs introduce Year Zero, but soon electric guitar, pounding drums and pumping bass take over. After eight minutes, the synths come in again and Stuart Nicholson lifts the song to a musical climax culminating in an interesting guitar and organ duel. Bug Eye from the Following Ghost-album has protrusive dance beats. The interplay between drums and guitars is just marvellous and makes this song a real masterpiece. The emotional and strong voice of Stuart Nicholson keeps repeating bug eye, bug eye... Halfway Roy performs a fantastic solo on guitar and near the end, the dance beats return, but this time with a nice choir ending with another short guitar solo and some spoken words. A heavy spinning and distorted guitar introduces Sidewinder, the second track of Empires Never Last powerfully sung by Stuart as if it was his last performance. This song has a fine chorus that kept spinning around my head for days: let me take your hand, I’ll lead you to the Promised Land. .. Then contrary guitar riffs in the middle section and a bombastic ending with an audience clapping enthusiastically.
On the second CD, the best songs are from the album Empires Never Last. The title track is a beautiful combination of guitar, synths and Stuart’s powerful voice. This man really has one of the best voices in the prog scene! On the last track This Life Could Be My Last, he introduces the members of the band. Then the piano is playing somewhat jazzy, but soon the energetic and dynamic guitar, bass and drums change the song to an up-tempo pace. On this live album, you hear a band in absolute top form. You never suffer a dull moment with these nine songs. In more than one hour and a half, Galahad is searching the borders of progressive rock music. Conclusively, I would like to make a special remark for Karl Groom, who did an excellent job mastering and producing this album at the Thin Ice Studios.
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013