Kyros at Olslo TPA (The Progressive Aspect) featured image

Kyros / Azure / Leoni Jane Kennedy

Oslo, Hackney, London
Friday, 25th April 2024

A solo spot opens the entertainment tonight, with Leoni Jane Kennedy accompanied by her acoustic guitar, played with consummate skill. Her set includes a Rush cover, pleasing the prog audience, and her own songs old and new, showcasing how captivating just a well-played acoustic guitar and a strong voice can be. It will be interesting to hear what the new songs sound like with a full band, as tonight’s stripped bare versions carry an emotional heft and a dynamic that will obviously be very different with a band.

Leoni Jane Kennedy at Oslo

Sad to say, the incessant chatter of those at the back of the room rather intruded. If you want to spend the time talking to your mates, there’s a perfectly good bar downstairs.

Different Kind Of Woman
Life Like This
Tears (Rush cover)

Leoni Jane Kennedy – Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


Azure at Oslo

I must admit I rather misjudged this young (well, compared to me, anyway!) band on the night. Having since listened to their music on Bandcamp, there is way more intricacy and even subtlety on display than the sludgy and unnecessarily loud mix afforded them on the night. There are elements of Yes, The Mars Volta, and Rush in the mix, resulting in a certainly interesting musical stew, abetted by singer Chris’s high register.

To the fans in the audience familiar with their work, the shortcomings of the mix were not a problem, and they moshed with gusto! A six-song set featured one composition from their soon come new album Fym, and three songs from the last album Of Brine And Angel’s Beaks (top marks for the very prog title, there! I’ll even ignore the misplaced apostrophe…heheh), and a couple of singles, if that’s what we’re still calling one-off tracks on Bandcamp these days! Having listened to a lot of the set in their studio versions since having my ears battered at the gig has made me appreciate them far more than I did on the night, much to the amusement of my gig going companions, calling me “grandad”. Ha! Some of the weird shit I listen to would have you running for the hills, I’m sure! 🙂

Chris is the focus of attention, and has a magnetic quality, throwing his thespian shapes with enthusiasm. Not that the rest of the band are not visually captivating, in fact they make for quite a spectacle, with all that hair flying around. Lead guitarist Galen Stapley (stage right – see photo above) wears his long hair like curtains, occasionally emerging from behind the drapes while executing the trickier six string manoeuvres. When the band occasionally slow down you can appreciate the instrumental skill on display that I have since discovered in their recorded works. Most of the time the relentless volume and audio murk forced this old codger to the back of the room.

Azure at Oslo

A Sailor Will Learn
Spark Madrigal
Weight Of The Blade
The Jellyfish
Ameotoko pt II – Cloudburst

Chris Sampson – Vocals, Guitar
Shaz D – Keyboards
Alex Miles – Bass
Dan “Slappy” Haysom – Drums
Galen Stapley – Guitar

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp


Kyros at Oslo

Currently enjoying a surge in popularity on the back of their current album Mannequin, which is garnering good reviews everywhere, this is my first time seeing this band, and the main reason I am here tonight. Put simply any band that Charlie Cawood joins has to be class, methinks. And tonight’s performance puts a big tick in the affirmative column against that assumption.

A storming instrumental opening has the crowd bopping along. We’re in for a good one! Shelby switches to Keytar for some synchronised swaying with Charlie and Joey before her first vocal of the night. Her range is quite extraordinary, and Showtime bops along in a definitely pop groove, underlaid with a prog sensibility, endearing them to the happy crowd. Later in proceedings, a prog conga even broke out!

Kyros at Oslo

If one word sums up this band’s tumultuous songs, it’s anthemic. Laden with hooks, this is music that gets you moving. Visually they are a delight for the eyes, as colourful as the sounds they produce. Underpinning it all are the rock steady beats of Robin Johnson, whose powerful but economical drumming is exactly what’s needed.

According to friends who have seen them a few times, they just keep growing. I can well believe it, and I would expect that Charlie Cawood has been a big part of that development. One hopes that their current rise keeps on going, as there is talent in abundance on display tonight. They end the performance by having a photographer take a picture from the stage, the band holding aloft parts of the on stage mannequin in triumph as the crowd wave and cheer their approval (see photo). See them if you can, it’s a fun night out!

Kyros at Oslo (Photo by Andy Robinson)

Random journey home story – A stranger on the train called James who asked what gig we were at subsequently listened to Kyros on Spotify. He had never heard of them before, but seemed to like what he was hearing, and reckoned Shelby sounds like Janet Jackson on Ghosts of You! Must admit that’s one of the more left field comparisons he could have come up with!

[Photos by Rosamund Tomlins, Roger Trenwith, Rick Easton & Andy Robison]

Digital Fear (Intro)
Illusions Inside
The Lamb The Badger And The Bee
Liminal Space
Time Tension Intervention
Have Hope
Stop Motion
The End In Mind
~ Encore
Ghosts Of You

Shelby Logan Warne – Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Joey Frevola – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Charlie Cawood – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Robin Johnson – Drums, Percussion

Kyros – Website | Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | X