Prognosis Festival 2023

Prognosis Festival, London 2023

Indigo at the O2, London
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April 2023

After a number of editions in Eindhoven, the Prognosis Festival makes it’s debut as a sister event in London, running at the Indigo, within the confines of the O2 arena in Greenwich. There is generally a metallic bias to the Dutch events, but the early names added to the line-up for London were more than enticing enough to encourage a ticket purchase, and as it gathered momentum, more quality names were added to the bill.

I’d not been to the O2 before and it’s quite a place, both inside and out, with the Indigo housed in the outer circle underneath the dome, not far from the main entrance. With doors due to open at three for the first act to start at twenty-past and with no breaks at all in the schedule, the two stages due to run consecutively until the close, it was a little ominous that the doors remained closed until after half-past three.

Once inside, there was no announcement or signage to speak of and we wandered into the main hall – which is very nice indeed. Scouting around, I could not see any sign of the second stage and there were no sounds emanating from elsewhere, so with expensive beer in hand (and quizzical expression on face) a position at the centre of the barrier was easily obtained to wait for the first band.



As it happened, the first act actually went on at the same time as the second and I missed Marjana Semkina from iamthemorning’s solo set as a result! It turned out that the second stage was very poorly signposted, quite a long way from the main room, up the stairs outside and at the back of the VIP bar. It seems that the first band on the main stage, Astronoid, were late due to traffic so their soundcheck ran over leading to the delayed doors and consecutive running of the first two acts.

Given the choice, I know which one I’d have been at, but thems the breaks and an announcement or better signage would certainly be an improvement for next time.

In the meantime, this is what Lee Mellows has to say about Marjana’s set:

Marjana Semkina, with Liam McLaughlin - photo by Lee Mellows

Unexplained technical issues got Prognosis Day one off to a hesitant start, with the doors opening half-an-hour late and Mariana Semkina having to take to the tiny second stage almost simultaneously to Astronoid’s set in the main hall. Possibly because of this, she seemed initially a little nervous, but her vocals were still assured and clear from the outset. Aided by iamthemorning live guitarist Liam McLaughlin, she led us through a gentle folky set to a rapt audience. An amusing note was how the fragrance of the music was counterpointed by her acerbic comments about the antics of her home country (Russia) and her adopted one (the UK and Brexit). All in all a lovely hors d’oeurve to the rest of the day.

Dark Matter
Lost at Sea
Mermaid Song
Unknown (new unreleased song)
Blue Sea (iamthemorning song)
Turn Back Time
Marjana Semkina – Vocals, Guitar
Liam McLaughlin – Guitar

Facebook | Bandcamp


As mentioned, the first band to arrive on the main stage were Astronoid from the US, managing to start at their allotted time after their late arrival. With the audience quite thin on the ground for their set (an unfortunate side-effect of the two stages running together for this early slot) the quartet certainly made the most of the large stage to put on an energetic set of melodic post-metal (their descriptive, but it’s certainly fitting). What was particularly effective were the high-register vocals of Brett Boland which keened over the tight rhythms of the band. His voice is like a balm of calm that coats the up-tempo songs in a beautifully engaging way.

Astronoid - photo by Jez Rowden

There was undoubtedly some sense of frustration about the small numbers in attendance for their show but, ten years into their career, Astronoid are more than experienced enough to not let that get under their skin and the quartet played a fine set, featuring songs from their soon to be released third album, Radiant Bloom, and I’ll definitely be checking them out again if the opportunity presents itself.

I Dream in Lines
Up and Atom
Brett Boland – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Daniel Schwartz – Bass
Casey Aylward – Lead Guitar
Matt St. Jean – Drums

LinksWebsite | Facebook | Bandcamp

The non-stop line-up could have posed logistical issues in regard to grabbing a bite to eat, but for a couple of slots each day the second stage was given over to Q&As with some of the weekend’s acts. First up was Leprous frontman Einar Solberg, ahead of his debut solo show later in the day.

This was my first trip up to the second stage, bizarrely set in a corner at the back of the upstairs bar. I couldn’t see Einar at all due to the throng as he sat on the “stage” in conversation with Jerry Ewing of Prog magazine. It became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a great stage to see any of the performances, so a mental note was made to get here early for the acts I really wanted to see, and forego the interview segments in order to grab a breather.


Almost a year ago I was lucky enough to see PG.Lost at the Portals Festival at The Dome in London’s Tufnell Park. They were new to me then but I loved them, and if anything the quartet were even better this time around. The Swedish band create a beautifully constructed atmosphere around their intoxicating brand of post-rock, the chunky riffing frequently supporting the wordless falsetto vocalisations of bassist and sometime keyboardist Kristian Karlsson.

PG.Lost - photo by Jez Rowden

Much of the set is instrumental, allowing the band to give it some serious welly from the twin guitars, with some contagiously intricate rhythms from drummer Martin Hjertstedt. The tone of the vocals still suggest Mew to me, although the overall sound is very different. There is much to admire in this band and they pull off a tightly wound set with panache, holding the interest throughout. I definitely need to spend more time with their music and I look forward to getting the chance to see them again. Pure class.

PG.Lost - photo by Jez Rowden

Off the Beaten Path
Kristian Karlsson – Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
Martin Hjertstedt – Drums
Gustav Almberg – Guitar
Mattias Bhatt – Guitar

LINKSWebsite | Facebook | Bandcamp


Faceyourdeath, photo by Jez RowdenTrooping back up to the postage stamp corner of the bar and we are greeted by a very shouty lady who seems intent on scaring the bejesus out of everyone – and she is more than capable of succeeding.

Not knowing what to expect is often one of the great delights of festivals, and after the ‘WTF?’ of the initial encounter I settled in and really enjoyed what the Brighton-based ‘electronic/industrial/post-hardcore’ duo do. It’s certainly not for everyone but it has a certain undefinable truth in the energetic delivery that you can’t help but be swept along by.

There are a number of bands treading a similar drums and vocals with added effects route, but Fakeyourdeath are particularly effective and add something different, the angst of the vocals fitting with the freneticism of the rhythms and given that dystopian city-scape sheen by the industrial electronics. I’d certainly see them again, even (or maybe because) it’s not something that you’d expect to see at a (nominally) prog festival. More power to them.

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp


Voivod, photo by Jez Rowden

I just love this band and they were one of the main draws for me. I’d only managed to see them once before, but they’re certainly on a creative hot-streak at the moment and their live shows are viscerally on the money. Guitarist Dan Mongrain (‘Chewy’ to his mum) has injected all manner of energies since hooking up with the band 15 years ago, after the death of founder Denis ‘Piggy’ D’Amour, and is a blur of hair and enthusiasm on stage.

Voivod, photo by Jez RowdenAt the back is the hypnotic presence of the only perpetual member – and one of my very favourite drummers – Michel ‘Away’ Langevin. From my position in front of the stage, I could barely take my eyes off him, a whirling cascade of shifting rhythms and dextrous changes in a quite majestic performance. 40 years at it and he – or the band – show no signs of easing up, quite the reverse, in fact. They own the stage and put on a tour de force performance of classics old and new.

Always a fantastic watch, the clear and crisp sound made it all the better for a fan-pleasing set which covered the band’s whole career, from thrash through prog (wisely incorporating selections from the Nothingface and Angel Rat albums), right up to the recent Synchro Anarchy. They did exactly what I’d want them to, from early highlight Macrosolutions to Megaproblems, a kingpin track from 1988’s breakthrough Dimension Hatröss album, right through to the final song of the night, the gauntlet throwdown of Voivod, the opening track of their debut album still sounding like a vicious statement of intent. A legendary outfit completely confirming why they deserve their place on a bill like this, and adding something very different. Encore!

Voivod, photo by Jez Rowden

Obsolete Beings
Synchro Anarchy
Macrosolutions to Megaproblems
Rebel Robot
Holographic Thinking
Nuage Fractal
Sleeves Off
Fix My Heart
Michel ‘Away’ Langevin – Drums
Denis ‘Snake’ Bélanger – Vocals
Daniel ‘Chewy’ Mongrain – Guitars
Dominic ‘Rocky’ Laroche – Bass

Links: Website | Facebook


A coup for Prognosis, but also a leap of faith to some extent at the booking stage, given that Einar had not yet released any solo music, but the Leprous frontman was always going to put on a great show. What was surprising was the lineage of the band he assembled for this first live performance: members of Bent Knee, Agent Fresco and Mezzoforte featured in the ranks – but I didn’t realise this until afterwards!

Einar Solberg

Anyone familiar with Leprous will know what an extraordinary instrument Einar’s voice is, but there is no showboating and the extreme range is used to serve the songs, which take steps in various directions away from the expected Leprous template. This is in no way a metal set, making extraordinary use of trumpet and violin to broaden the canvas, unafraid to move in pop or hip-hop directions on occasion, including on Home, co-writen with Bent Knee’s Ben Levin, who raps up a storm at the mid-point.

Einar Solberg

At the heart of it all, Einar is a big man with a big presence, and he easily wins over a crowd who doesn’t know much of the material, his voice in extreme form throughout. It’s a given that this man can sing, but the pieces he puts together very much make the most of his exceptional voice.

Einar Solberg - Chris BaumUnsurprisingly, all of the songs come from Einar’s 16 album, most of which is played. The band deliver confidently and Einar is clearly pleased with the way it goes – and that in itself is astounding as it seems they have only had two rehearsals, a sure sign of a quality group of musicians.

The first single from the album, Grotto, kicks things off with a rocking statement of intent, before Einar’s falsetto sets the scene over electronic rhythms for Remember Me. It’s beautiful, violin picking up the pace before the rock edge kicks in and Einar goes into overdrive.

Metacognitive is more experimental, based on electronics, while Where All the Twigs Broke builds a fragile atmosphere and is very prog. The other two singles, A Beautiful Life and Over the Top, feature before the tour de force epic closer The Glass is Empty brings the house down. It’s an extravagant Gothic structure that will no doubt be worth the price of the album on its own.

A great show that bodes very well for Einar’s creative impulses outside of the Leprous structure.

Einar Solberg

Remember Me
Where All the Twigs Broke
A Beautiful Life
Over the Top
The Glass is Empty
Einar Solberg – Vocals, Keyboards
Chris Baum – Violin
Ben Levin – Guitar, Vocals
Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson – Drums
Ari Bragi Karason – Trumpet
Ruben Aksnes – Bass

Links: Facebook


Given the bizarre second stage setup, this was the first moment where it really made no sense. Whoever decided that iamthemorning – or many of the other bands selected for it – should play in such an unsuitable space needs their head looking at. Standing on individual low risers, the band could barely be seen by anyone not immediately at the barrier – around twenty or so people – and the strange triangular shape (to make sure there was a walkway to get to the toilets) meant that some people who did get to the barrier actually ended up watching the band from behind. By the time I got there, I couldn’t see anything from four or five rows back, except for occasional views of the top of Marjana Semkina’s head, and fleeting glimpses of Gleb Kolyadin and live guitarist Liam McLaughlin. I barely saw drummer Evan Carson at all.


Luckily, they sounded great, McLaughlin in particular giving this iteration of the band some serious live heft and sounding stunning throughout. It’s fantastic to ‘see’ Marjana and Gleb back on stage together, and they’re clearly having a great time and nailing a set which covered their decade-long career going back to debut album ~, producing a showcase that I’m sure swayed anyone previously unfamiliar with the band.


The chamber-prog tag suits the ethereal and emotional nature of the songs, Marjana’s self-effacing and downright funny introductions making the presentation all the more appealing, and her voice is a simply wonderful tool to deliver the often dark words. They more than deserved to be playing on the main stage, and would no doubt have done a wonderful and memorable job. Magnificent band; unbelievably disrespectful setting.


As a postscript, whilst shuffling along in the queue to the Tube station at the end of the evening, it was humbling to see Gleb doing the same, except he was carrying his keyboard and its stand. I really can’t believe they didn’t book him a taxi home!

Too Many Years
To Human Misery
Chalk and Coal
Libretto Horror
Freak Show
Ghost of a Story
Marjana Semkina – Vocals
Gleb Kopltadin – Piano
Liam McLaughlin – Guitar
Evan Carson – Drums

Links: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


There are bands, and there is Hawkwind. It’s more a way of life than a group of musicians, and with Dave Brock still treading the boards and singing his heart out at a sprightly 81 years old, there seems to be much to be said for it.


I’ve been watching Hawkwind for nearly 40 years and they’ve been different every single time, but this has to be one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen them play. It was relaxed, fun, exciting, life-affirming and quite the spectacle, with some classics and the unexpected thrown in, alongside new material from the recently released <em>The Future Never Waits (their 8,000th album… probably), which featured in the shape of The Beginning and the Eastern-tinged Rama (The Prophecy), which was as mystical as you’d imagine.


Opening with Levitation is always going to be a good thing, and Dave happily strolls about, taking the mic when required. He really is a national treasure, but he’ll never be regarded as such because this country doesn’t have much of a clue about anything. Oh well, as long as he’s happy and healthy – and it certainly looks like he is.


The rest of the band do a fine laid-back job, a major addition to the vibrant energy clearly coming from new keyboardist Thighpaulsandra, who makes a real difference to the sound. Drummer Richard Chadwick has now manned the stool for 35 years, and there’s no sign of him having enough of driving the band along from the back.

The earliest track tonight come from 1971’s In Search of Space, You Know You’re Only Dreaming comfortably embedded within The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke) from Hall of the Mountain Grill. The double-punch from Warrior at the Edge of Time in Assault and Battery and The Golden Void is particularly pleasing, and Spirit of the Age is just fantastic. It’s also nice to see Right to Decide from Electric Teepee make the set, one of my faves, and if there’s a better way of tying up a fabulous set than Brainstorm, I’d like to hear about it.

It’s a great set from a band on unfeasibly fine form this far into their career, and with an absolutely incredible light show to wash it all down with. Hawkwind should go on forever – and probably will, if not on this planet then somewhere else in the universe. Brilliant.

Hawkwind - photo by Rosamund Tomlins

You’d Better Believe It
The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke) (inc. You Know You’re Only Dreaming)
You Shouldn’t Do That (Excerpt)
Arrival in Utopia
Rama (The Prophecy)
The Beginning
Spirit of the Age
Assault and Battery
The Golden Void
Right to Decide
Dave Brock – Vocals, Guitars, Synthesisers
Richard Chadwick – Drums, Vocals
Magnus Martin – Guitars, Vocals
Thighpaulsandra – Keyboards, Synthesisers
Doug MacKinnon – Bass, Vocals

Links: Website | Facebook



Back again, and in plenty of time as there are none of the delays experienced yesterday. Straight up to the second stage for Lizzard, from France, and their classy brand of heavy prog. The trio have a fine singer and the world’s tinniest drummer, who properly puts the boot into her kit with unrestrained enthusiasm.


Lizzard have recently co-headlined a tour of Europe with O_R_k, and they would certainly be a good fit for each other, with melody in spades amid the pulses of heaviness. I wasn’t familiar with Lizzard previously but managed to get a good spot against the barrier at the back of the weirdly triangular performance area, alongside the bass and drums, and from there I thoroughly enjoyed their set, despite largely watching singer and guitarist Mathieu Ricou from behind. He certainly has a fine voice and delivers the songs well to the crammed in audience, who clearly enjoy the performance. It’s great fun watching Katy Elwell batter her kit, while bassist William Knox keeps things locked down with an almost detached look of confidence.


I’ll certainly be interested to see them again, and will check out the albums as they certainly have a sound worth hearing.

The Decline
The Orbiter
Tear Down The Sky
Katy Elwell – Drums
William Knox – Bass
Mathieu Ricou – Guitar, Vocals

LINKS: Website | Facebook


Rushing back to the main hall, this time I headed for the balcony to rest my aching legs – and immediately wished that I’d given it a go yesterday. It gives a great view of the goings on on the stage, is very comfortable and in no way full. Ithaca are already doing their thing. I saw them briefly last summer at the ArcTanGent festival, and they really didn’t work for me at all. But something seemed different this time. The shoutiness I’d expected appeared absent and there was a more tuneful vibe.


The shouting soon returned in abundance. This band aren’t just angry, they’re AANNNNNGGGGRRRYYYYY!! – and they really need you to hear about it. Apparently, what they do is metalcore, and I don’t really know if it’s representative, but once again I struggled with them. Singer Djamila Boden Azzouz absolutely gives it her all and they definitely nail intense emotion, a big part of what they’re about being social conscience, diversity and inclusivity, and I’m sure others in attendance loved them. But that’s the beauty of festivals, you get to experience a whole bunch of different music and approaches, and if you don’t like something it isn’t a problem as something else will be along in a bit.


Djamila Boden Azzouz – Vocals
Sam Chetan-Welsh – Guitar
Will Street – Guitar
Dom Moss – Bass
James Lewis – Drums

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


And the intensity continues on the main stage.

Sylvaine are another band I’m unfamiliar with, the solo project and alter-ego of Norwegian metal multi-instrumentalist Kathrine Shepard, who certainly cuts a striking figure on stage, hair flying rhythmically as she plays. In fact she has so much hair that you worry that it’s gravity might result in her falling off the stage as she swings it about. Kathrine is a classically trained vocalist and has been nominated for a Norwegian Grammy, which confirms that her music is definitely highly regarded, but coming into it cold I’m again struggling. She and the band can certainly play, but what they play in large part frames Kathrine’s extreme vocals, which don’t work for me all. In fact, I find them quite amusing, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the intention. The music is fine, and when she eases into more regular vocal tones, it’s much more interesting, but overall I wasn’t grabbed.

Sylvaine - photo by Lee Mellows

You have to wonder about the scheduling when two such bands feature back-to-back on the main stage, and much more prog friendly bands like iamthemorning and O_R_k are relegated to a stage that isn’t even a stage at all. Variety is great, but Sylvaine and Ithaca were never going to be for everybody, particularly at a festival which is, by its very name, about prog.

Mono No Aware
Sylvaine – Vocals, Guitars
Dorian Mansiaux – Drums
Maxime Mouquet – Bass, Backing Vocals
Florian Ehrenberg – Guitar, Backing Vocals

LINKS: Website | Facebook


Now this is much more my thing! I’ve seen O_R_k before and know that they’re a blistering combination of melody, heaviness and chops in an art rock mould. Let’s face it, any band that features King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto and ex-Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin, alongside the Italian duo of Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF), whose vocals are just stunning throughout, and guitarist Carmelo Pipitone, who adds eccentric experimentation and energy, is going to be a winner. This is a quartet of experience and quality who couldn’t play a bad show if they tried, and I was on a mission to get a good spot to watch, dipping out of Sylvaine near the end of their set to ensure it.


With three albums to their name, each one a cornucopia of exciting sounds, O_R_k play their hearts out, LEF adding astonishing vocals that could often be likened to the sadly departed Chris Cornell. Edwin is cool and collected at the back while Pat is a force of nature. He inhabits his kit, feeling every subtle nuance and moving the music like wind in the trees. Class personified. Likewise, Pipitone is a fantastic player and mesmerising to watch, a sweaty blur for much of the set – so my spot on the barrier next to him and in front of Pat proved a wise choice.


The band swoop and soar, the audience putty in their hands as LEF delivers the words with conviction. Fantastic stuff, but you have to ask why they were tucked away on the crappy bar non-stage. An absolute travesty, I will never understand why they couldn’t be put on the main stage where they would have raised the roof if given the chance and played to a decent crowd who could see what they were doing.

Signals Erased
Don’t Call Me a Joke
As I Leave
Something Broke (with drum solo)
Kneel to Nothing
I Feel Wrong
Deadly Bite
Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF) – Vocals
Pat Mastelotto – Drums)
Colin Edwin – Bass
Carmelo Pipitone – Guitar

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


Things are really on the up now! Rosalie Cunningham was born to be a star, and having heard much about her over the years – but not previously seen her or her band play – I was blown away from start to finish. There’s a ’70s glam vibe with folk, blues and prog doing the two-Step in a vaudeville style – and it works a treat. The whole band are superb, but Rosalie is the focal point and her fantastic voice and playing completely seal the deal, right down to the white on blue hotpants and fringed jacket combo. To top it off, bassist Claudia Gonzalez Diaz plays up a storm whilst rocking a cape and could have stepped right out of The Sweet! It’s an audio visual storm of unexpected delights and the crowd are soon eating out of the quintet’s hands.

Rosalie Cunningham

It’s a time-warp to another era brought bang up to date with top rate songs delivered with style and finesse, the stagecraft built over years of playing live. I thought I’d enjoy it but not this much and the set ends too soon – I can’t wait to see them again. Stumbling into Rosalie in the foyer afterwards I had the chance to say a brief hello and thanks, which was very nice. More power to her and her amazing band, they deserve success way beyond the prog pool – and I’m sure they would get it if they got to be heard on a bigger stage. I’m holding out for a double-bill tour with Franck Carducci’s Fantastic Squad – that would be rock ‘n’ roll heaven!

Start With the Corners
Ride on my Bike
Dethroning of the Party Queen
Donovan Ellington
Donny, Pt. Two
Fuck Love
Tristitia Amnesia

Rosalie Cunningham – Vocals, Guitar
Rosco Wilson – Guitar, Vocals
Claudia Gonzalez Diaz – Bass, Flute, Vocals
Aaron Bolli-Thompson – Keyboards
Baptiste Gautier – Drums

LINKS: Website | Facebook


Next up on the main stage is Soen, prog metal from Sweden. I’ve heard the name but don’t recall hearing much of their music. They have former Opeth drummer Martin Lopez in their ranks, a founder member alongside singer Joel Ekelöf, and have released five albums to date, building up quite a following in the process. Tonight they’re playing a variation on their standard fayre with a semi-acoustic set featuring a string quartet and a female singer.


Apparently this performance is the ‘Atlantis’ arrangement, but I’m not sure what this is or how this show varies from the usual. They play songs from their last three albums (plus a Slipknot cover), but it seemed a little one dimensional to me and didn’t draw me in. A little samey, very well done but lacking dynamism. I suspect I’m being a little unfair to Soen here, and I honestly wish I knew more about them, but it just seemed nice, rather than great. Stately and epic without lifting off, well delivered but with no real edge or depth. The strings felt slightly misplaced throughout the set, although there was a tasty Eastern bit towards the end. Those in the know were clearly loving it – and there were plenty of them – so I suspect I’m in the minority.

Snuff (Slipknot cover)

Martín López – Drums & Percussion
Joel Ekelöf – Vocals
Lars Åhlund – Keyboards, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Cody Lee Ford – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Oleksii ‘Zlatoyar’ Kobel – Bass

LINKS: Website | Facebook


Ross JenningsFinal trip of the weekend to the second stage, and it’s for Ross Jennings from Haken doing a solo singer/songwriter set, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, long coat and cowboy hat. It’s a strange semi-rear view given the odd set-up, as Ross sings songs taken from his A Shadow of My Future Self solo album. It’s more mainstream than might be expected, but he does include a cover of Haken’s Deathless and overall it’s very enjoyable. He builds a good repartee with the audience and there’s a lovely vibe as the crowd lap up the self-deprecating humour about his cheesy lyrics, with a nice Liam-esque response to some wag calling out for Wonderwall.

Ross certainly has a fine voice – as most of us already know – but it is surprisingly well suited to this alternative direction, and it’s certainly a nice selection of songs. He even adds some accompanied scat for variety, plus a cover of Hendrix’s Foxy Lady at the end, with added audience participation. Good stuff.

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


And finally to the last band of what has been a very entertaining weekend. Riverside is another name that I should have spent time getting to know but never have. After eight albums over the last 20 years, that’s something of an omission, but unlike some of the other unfamiliar bands over the weekend, this one immediately grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. The things I’ve heard about Riverside don’t do them justice, and by the end of their set I’m definitely a fan.


The driving opener, #Addicted, immediately deploys Mariusz Duda’s great trebly bass sound and immaculate vocals. He’s a wonderful frontman, confident and very funny, building a real rapport with the audience, and his bubbling basslines are central to everything. Panic Room features a lovely frozen moment section. There are memorable hooks, and melody all over the place with plenty of detail and interest, all finely done. I’m a sucker for the lead bass of Landmine Blast, a bit King Crimson, with exciting riffs and a great keyboard solo from Michał Łapaj. Superb.


The cyclical riffs of Big Tech Brother bring the prog that has been missing for a lot of the day, Duda noting that they are certainly part of the prog community, but also not so, taking their sound into other areas – and their accessibility should give them wider appeal. There’s a brilliant apology for insisting on audience participation despite this being a prog festival – but as it’s prog the crowd have to wait a good five minutes into Left Out before their moment to shine arrives – and the interactions between the band are very relaxed.


Duda has the crowd exactly where he wants them and they’re loving it, returning for a completely appropriate encore and finally leaving the stage as the PA play I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire, which was just about perfect. Riverside certainly deserve their headliner status, playing up a storm on the big stage and supported by superb sound. They have plenty of quality material and there wasn’t a duff choice all night. I won’t be missing the opportunity to catch them again – where I might be able to get some better pics!

Panic Room
Landmine Blast
Big Tech Brother
Left Out
The Place Where I Belong
Egoist Hedonist
Friend or Foe?
~ Encore:
Conceiving You

Mariusz Duda – Bass, Lead Vocals
Piotr Kozieradzki – Drums & Percussion
Michał Łapaj – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Maciej Meller – Guitars

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


I thoroughly enjoyed the Prognosis weekend. The venue is great, but there’s a definite problem surrounding the lack of a decent second stage. Hopefully this will be resolved if the festival returns for a second UK edition – which I hope it does. The band selections were a little odd at times, with not much in the way of an actual prog band, and although I loved the variety, you could have dropped one or two of the shouters to add something a little more fitting to the wider prog genre. Music of a progressive persuasion is a broad church so there’s room for plenty of options and scope for even more variety. That said, I certainly enjoyed most of the acts, and they all performed superbly. An actual second stage would serve the band’s selected to play on it far better, as well as the punters. The beer prices were a bit steep, but hey, it’s London and I don’t need to get hammered. The availability of seats upstairs was gratefully received on Sunday, but it wasn’t well highlighted on Saturday, and there’s no reason why the front half can’t be booked for those who want them whilst allowing first come first served temporary accommodation further back. All in all, with the beautiful main stage and fantastic sound, a weekend to remember.

All photos by Jez Rowden except Marjana Semkina solo and Sylvaine (by Lee Mellows) and the last shot of Hawkwind’s light show (by Rosamund Tomlins), used with many thanks.

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