Close To The Rain: Bergen Prog Festival is an annual festival that takes place in Bergen, Norway. The 2018 edition of the festival is set for Thursday June 7th through Saturday June 9th. The venue is Garage, Bergen. Tickets can be ordered HERE
Thursday June 7th:
Det Skandaløse Orkester
Det Skandaløse Orkester has been a going concern since 2011, and describes their music as scandalous pop/rock/prog/comedy. On the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the jazzrcok/fusion category. The band has one album to it’s name so far, “No Har De Laget Skandale Igjen!”, which dates back to 2014. A new album is planned for a fall 2018 release.
Kabaret Makaber is a band with a long history, dating back to at least 2011, but as recording entities they are a still freshmen as their self-titled debut album “Kabaret Makaber” from 2017 is their only official album to date. Musically they are perhaps more of an outlier for a progressive rock festival, with music founded in jazz and cabaret music, at times explored with a punk-like attitude and what the band describes as a village-noir mood.
Major Parkinson (headliner)
Major Parkinson is a well known and well respected band at home and abroad. Formed back in 2003, they have one live album and four studio albums to their name so far, “Blackbox” from 2017 the most recent of these. They are noted and known for creating progressive rock of a dark and eclectic nature, and on the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the eclectic category.
Friday June 8th:
Alwanzatar is a one man musical project creating extraterrestrial world music, with flute, incantations, synthesisers and electronics. The one man here is Krizla, aka Kristoffer Momrak, who is also a member of Tusmørke and Spectral Haze. As Alwanzatar he has been releasing material since 2014, the most recent of which is “Heliotropiske Reiser” from 2017.
Jordsjø first appeared with a self-titled demo back in 2015, and have since gone from strength to strength with one more demo, a split album with Breidablik and then their official debut album which saw the light of day at the start of 2017. Musically we are in classic era symphonic territories, often flavored with folk music details. On the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the symphonic category.
While perhaps not as well known today, Saluki had it’s heyday in the second half of the 1970’s. From their formation in 1976 until they disbanded two years later their brand of jazzrock was rather popular, landing the band gigs in Scandinavia as well as Europe. Chance and circumstance made the band call it quits, but in 2017 they decided to return as an active band once again. Their self-titled debut album from 1977 is their only album release so far, an album that was reissued last year.
Tusmørke is a veteran band in the Norwegian prog scene, with a history going back to 1994, although they didn’t become a recording band proper until 2012. Since then the band has been releasing new music steadily, by now with 6 full albums to their name, the most recent of which is this year’s “Fjernsyn I Farver”. Their brand of psychedelic, progressive folk rock with darker undertones have made them a recognized name also outside of Norway at this point. On the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the prog folk category.
Saturday June 9th:
Pixie Ninja is an instrumental band formed by Marius Leirånes and Jostein Haugen in 2015. They released their debut album “Ultrasound” last year, a production that saw the band strengthened with the talents of Swedish drummer extraordinaire Mattias Olsen, and described as an eclectic production blending psychedelic rock and space rock with Berlin school electronic prog and classic era symphonic prog. On the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the eclectic category.
Ring van Moebius
Ring van Moebius is a band that so far haven’t been all that well known beyond those that have seen them in concert. Following an initial single in 2017 they are now about to launch their debut album “Past The Evening Sun”, a production where they aim to take the listeners back to 1971 and the sound of legendary bands such as King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator.
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Arabs in Aspic
Arabs in Aspic is a band that have been around for a few years, the roots of the band going back to 1997. They have five studio albums to their name at this point, the first of which was “Far Out in Aradabia” from 2004 and the most recent “Syndenes Magi” from last year. The band is known for their love of vintage era heavy rock, and on the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the heavy prog category.
Swedish band Anekdoten were among the bands that started the resurgence in interest in progressive rock by being a part of the 90’s movement of Swedish progressive rock bands. A popular band ever since, they have played numerous concerts over the years and are among the obvious choices for headlining festivals. They have released six studio albums so far, of which “Until All the Ghosts Are Gone” from 2015 is the most recent. They are known for exploring harder edged music in a similar vein to classic bands such as King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator, and on the Progarchives website they have been sorted under the heavy prog category.
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