London-based genre defying band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate will release their new EP “Ark” September 6th 2019.
The twelve minute instrumental title track follows the history of the Second World War aircraft carrier The Ark Royal. It was inspired by the experiences of Malcolm Galloway’s paternal grandfather, Richard Galloway, who was a telegraphist/air-gunner in 820 Swordfish Squadron on the Ark Royal. Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMzUXPBiDD4
The B-side is Chasing Neon, a pulsing retro-futuristic contrast to the preceding track. Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/video/Pq54lxJrj7k
The video was made by Malcolm Galloway, using VJ clips by Beeple.
The bonus track is ‘She Moved Through The Fair’, an old Irish folksong, arranged by Malcolm Galloway. This was a song that Malcolm used to regularly play when he started performing on the Camden open-mic circuit prior to forming Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate.
Cover art by Malcolm Galloway, incorporating a public domain photograph of the Ark Royal, and a background texture by MercuryCode.
2. Chasing Neon
3. She Moved Through The Fair
Bandcamp link – https://hatsoffgentlemen.bandcamp.com/album/ark
HISTORICAL AND MUSICAL NOTES
When my dad, David Galloway, died recently, I inherited his father, Richard Galloway’s Second World War flight logs. He had been a telegraphist air-gunner (TAG) in the Fleet Air Arm. TAGs were responsible for communications via Morse code, and manning the rear gun. Almost one in six of the TAGs trained in the Fleet Air Arm died in action or accidents. I didn’t know Richard well; I was young when he died. Although he survived the war, he died in his 50’s of the bowel cancer that would also kill his son.
His flight logs document with shocking economy both the mundane and the world-changing events in which he had participated. The attack on the Bismark, a major victory for Allied forces, is noted with the same concision as a training mission.
The Ark Royal (one of several British ships of the same name) on which he served was an aircraft carrier. At the time of its design in 1934, there were weight restrictions due to international naval treaties designed to minimise the developing naval arms race. It was built by Camell Laird at Birkenhead and launched in 1938. It played important roles in several naval theatres of war. The Ark Royal was involved in the first aerial U-boat sinking, took part in providing air cover in the coast off Norway, in the sinking of the Bismark, and in the protection of the convoys providing a life-line to Malta (which was vital for keeping Allied troops in Africa supplied).
The Ark Royal narrowly avoided sinking on several occasions and was considered by many to be a ‘lucky ship’. Eventually her luck ran out. A German U-boat torpedo hit her on 13 November 1941, and she sank the following day. All but one of the 1,488 crew survived. Before war was officially declared, German U-boats had taken up position around Britain, and within hours of the declaration of war, began torpedoing shipping. In September 1939 the Ark Royal was part of a ‘hunter-killer group’ searching for U-boats. On 14 September 1939 she went to the aid of The SS Fanad Head, a cargo ship under U-boat attack. The Ark Royal was spotted by U-boat U39, which launched two torpedoes at the Ark Royal, which managed to turn in time for the attack to narrowly miss. Accompanying destroyers depth charged U39, leading to the first U-boat loss of the war.
After coming close to losing the Ark Royal, the use of aircraft carriers at the centre of Royal Navy hunter-killer groups was discontinued.
In 1939 the Ark Royal successfully contributed to locating the German ship, the Graf Spree. Due to a combination of Naval power and counter-intelligence misdirection, the commander of the Graf Spree ordered it to be scuttled, thinking it was at risk of being captured by the Allies.
Between April and June 1940 the Ark Royal provided air cover from the sea off Norway.
Following the evacuation of troops from Norway, the Ark Royal was sent to Gibraltar, from where it took part in actions against the Vichy fleet, and subsequently provided vital support to convoys to Malta.
The Ark Royal contributed to the sinking of the battleship Bismark on 27 May 1941
On 10 November 1941, while returning to Gibraltar from delivering aircraft to Malta, the Ark Royal was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat, resulting in an approximately 40x9m hole below the waterline. The ship sank on 14 November. Our piece ‘Ark’ follows the story of the Ark Royal. The first section represents the building of the ship, with the launch coming at about 1:30. The guitar comes in as the ship takes off into open waters. At 3:00 the music becomes more cautious, as the pagentry of the launch is replaced by the nervous anticipation of imminent war. German U-boats take up position around Britain in preparation for their attempted blockade. At 5:00 the Ark Royal first encounters the enemy. The Ark Royal was part of a ‘hunter-killer’ group searching for U-boats, summoned to defend the cargo ship HMS Fanad. Although the Ark Royal comes under attack, the ship was rapidly turned and the torpedos narrowly missed. The attacking U-boat was sunk by an accompanying Royal Navy destroyer, however it was clear how vulnerable the aircraft carrier was to U-boat attack. The section from 6:20 follows the Ark hunting of, and eventual sinking of the Bismark, the most powerful ship in the German navy. The piece ends with the sinking of the Ark Royal.
There is a music video for this piece at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMzUXPBiDD4
The piece is dedicated to Richard Galloway, the Fleet Air Arm, and all those who risked everything to stand up against the Nazis.
Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate are an eclectic band, combining progressive/alt-rock, funk, electronica, metal, and contemporary classical influences. Their performances are passionate and charismatic.
They were recently highlighted as Prog Magazine Limelight artists.
They recently stepped in at the last minute to replace an injured band on the main stage at Hard Rock Hell’s Prog Festival November 2017, one of the world’s leading indoor progressive rock events. They performed to over 1000 people, opening for Magnum, Focus and Carl Palmer. They were described by Hard Rock Hell magazine as ‘unlikely stars who stole the show’, and by eFestivals as the ‘highlight of the festival’.
Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate are Malcolm Galloway (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer) and Mark Gatland (bass, backing vocals, keyboards and co-producer), on their own, or with one or more of Kathryn Thomas (flute).
They have regularly broadcast on a wide range of radio shows internationally, ranging from shows focused on metal to ambient stations.
Their music has been recommended by Steve Hackett (“I particularly enjoyed this album and I thoroughly recommend it”) and won many awards including:
• Beasties Rock Show’s album of the year award (shared with Alice Cooper and Roger Waters)
• Bandwagon Network Radio Song Of The Year
• Banks Radio Australia’s best album and best producer category shortlist
• Radio Wigwam Single Of The Year shortlist
• Metal Mayhem Radio band of the month
• American Veterans Radio artist of the week
• NewEARS Album Of The Month award
They are currently finishing recording their fifth album. Malcolm Galloway is also a contemporary classical/minimalist composer.
“Vocals that drip with passion and longing, ethereal flute and the achingly bluesy low-down guitar. Unashamedly progressive in its outlook… gets under your skin with its elegant music and heartfelt vocals… an engrossing musical experience. ‘Broken But Still Standing’ is a brilliantly perceptive and original work of art that enthralls with every listen. Taken as a whole it is an utterly immersive musical experience that will captivate and enlighten the listener, Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate has to be one of the most creative and innovative artists out there today.” Prog Radar