Published on 20th March 2018
Colin Tench (20/12/1954 – 27/12/2017)
I’ve probably been a Facebook friend of Colin Tench for about one and a half years. Never met him. But through the music he produced and the funny, witty, and intelligent rapport I had with him on FB pages and in messenger, I immediately warmed to him and liked him. He had a way of being seemingly open and at the same time encouraging you to develop, with me it’s writing and instruments, one he encouraged because he said he liked what I wrote (thanks Colin) and the instruments because they accumulate and I still have yet to become competent enough to express myself on one. That’s not about me, but how he made me and others feel, encouraging, building confidence, friendly, and human being who was worth the air that he breathed, and the time spent (virtually) in his company.
For a taste of Colin’s humour:
I came to his music via Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales), I consume a lot of the musical Peter, I just like what he does, and a while back he sang on Colin’s Hair On A G String album as part of The Colin Tench Project, it’s a beautiful album containing multiple genres which for the most part we would label as prog. This was not a label Colin aspired to, but accepted that with its multi influenced content it was probably where it sat. I have seen him described as a maverick, and by this I think they mean he stuck to his guns, performing the music he wanted, un-swayed by the outside/inside music industry. Corvus Stone:
A talented musician who if his discography is read, attracted the talents of other blessed musicians; mega stardom had not beckoned, and I suspect that had it, he would have pushed it to one side and just kept on being Colin. As I say, I liked him, but what would others say?
Peter Jones: The first time I really became aware of Colin Tench was in early 2016. I had heard of Corvus Stone via Facebook, but I knew little about them. I was made aware of Colin because of two outstanding reviews he wrote for Progarchives about the first two Tiger Moth Tales albums.
I was touched by the reviews, as they seemed to show a deep and complete understanding of what I was trying to achieve with my music and the spirit behind it. I especially appreciated the fact that Colin loved Story Tellers so much, because I realised he must share my love of comedy in music and my taste in the wacky and absurd. This was confirmed to me when I started to listen to Corvus Stone. Like myself, Colin seemed to believe that all points of the emotional spectrum were important in music and more importantly in this crazy thing we call prog. On any Colin Tench related album you are likely to find music from the poignant and deep, to the downright irreverent and plain silly.
Anyhow, when he contacted me via Facebook and asked me if I’d like to contribute to his latest venture “The Colin Tench Project”, I felt that it would be a cool and fun thing to do, and also I thought it was the least I could do to guest on a track after such glowing words in his review. I’m so glad I decided to partake, because the first track we did was “And So Today”. Apart from anything else, this track is even more poignant now because of its lyrical content.
This led to my contributing to three more tracks on the album “Hair In A G String.”. By the end of the process, I found myself asking Colin if there were any more tracks he wanted me to do, despite the fact that by then I was very busy with Camel and various other projects and I probably should have been looking to lighten my work load rather than increase it.
But it was always a huge pleasure to be part of Colin’s work and he was always so appreciative and complimentary about my contributions. He was also really encouraging about my own albums and towards the end of the completion of our separate projects we were exchanging tracks we were working on. It became something of a mutual appreciation society, because I loved Colin’s playing, his production, his songs and his overall musicianship.
I was so happy to get the chance to work on his next album Minor Masterpiece. Though of course in hindsight it was even more of a privilege to be a part of it, as of course, so sadly it was his final opus.
I’m so glad he managed to finish this incredible work before he left us. His untimely death left me and countless others in shock and disbelief. It’s a horrible irony that I think this album will put Colin in his rightful place among proggers as the genius he was, but he will not be able to appreciate it. However, knowing how much Colin enjoyed laughing and joking and seeing the humour in this mad world, he might well be enjoying the irony from wherever he is now.
Although I didn’t know Colin as well as others, I feel we shared a strong musical connection and of course that love of the craziness. Looking back on our Skype conversations, I’ll probably remember our laughter the most. That, and our mutual love of the White Album by the Beatles, which we talked about often. Among Colin’s many influences, The Beatles definitely featured highly. I’d like to think that I helped to bring that out, especially on tracks like “Part 3, I’m Going Down”.
Colin has left a wonderful and varied legacy and I know that future generations will enjoy the fantastic work he produced.
I don’t know where we go when we leave this world, but I hope Colin has found his conker tree somewhere, and I hope that one of these days I’ll sit with him under that conker tree and we’ll get to listen to the crazy White Album together. Thank you for the music, the kind spirit, and of course the laughter.
Rest well friend
Time is a cruel master, Colin has been gone 3 months now and as I listen to Minor Masterpiece I am saddened that there will be no more to come. I think the two Colin Tench Project albums are great, out there, prog in the broadest sense, and will give me great pleasure for many years, and looking at the Wiki page there is much more to explore. Peter wrote sum great words about Colin, and others that I spoke to felt very much the same. Charming and courteous, a gem.
In Colin’s own words “I love music. I hate music by numbers. If there is one album I consider to be a template of how to do things, The Beatles White Album would be it. Something I realised recently, is that I am not a fan of the genre we call Prog. If I list every piece of music I love, all of it falls in to that genre tho’!”
RIP my friend