JULY 2017




Feature links:

THE LORELEI PROG ROCK FESTIVAL, ST. GOARSHAUSEN, GERMANY - 2017 - [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]




In the years that I have attended the Lorelei Night of the Prog rock festival on at the amphitheatre nestled on the edge of the cliffs above the Rhine in Germany, the thought had often crossed my mind as to whether my all-time favourite band YES would ever grace the stage. 2017 proved t be the year albeit with the incarnation of the band YES featuring ARW (Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman), as opposed to the official version of the band under the wing of guitarist Steve Howe. When it comes down to whether commit to the event or not, it's usually not just about one band, but with Kansas initially lined up to headline Sunday night, I thought it was worth a shot. As it turned out, Kansas subsequently cancelled their entire European tour, supposedly for security reasons, with Marillion, who had performed there in 2014, hastily invited as their replacement.

Night of the Prog is usually a three day event however I was attending for only two over that weekend. The Friday evening had been headlined by drummer Mike Portnoy performing his Shattered Fortress idea, described as an event rather than a project and involved an all-star prog line-up performing Dream Theatre's 12 Step Suite in its entirety. Portnoy has collaborated on a number of projects and it was in 2014 that I saw him perform with super-group Transatlantic at Lorelei. A natural performer and huge talent.


Line-up for the remainder of the weekend.


Saturday, July 15th 

12:45 Eyevory (Germany)

13:30 Ashby (Germany)

14:45 Karibow (Germany)

16:00 Comedy of Errors (UK)

17:30 David Cross Band (UK)

19:30 Ray Wilson (UK)

22:00 Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman (UK)


Sunday, July 16th

12:15 A Kew's Tag (Germany)

13:30 Franck Carducci Band (France)

14:45 Seven Impale (Norway)

16:00 Gong (UK)

18:15 Chris Thompson (UK)

20:45 Marillion (UK)



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My brief comments (for what it's worth):

DAVID CROSS BAND - [Not being totally familiar with the various incarnations of King Crimson in their heyday, I must confess I knew little about David Cross, the English electric violinist, who featured in King Crimson during the 1970s. With David Jackson, formerly of Van der Graaf Generator guesting, the music is largely experimental, yet complex and engaging. I enjoyed the set immensely, comprising solo and King Crimson material.

Lorelei lne-up: David Cross: Violin, keyboards, David Jackson: Saxophone, flute, Mick Paul: Bass, Paul Clark: guitar, Jinian Wilde: Vocals & Craig Blundell: Drums]


David Cross Band


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RAY WILSON - [Scottish-born musician Ray Wilson had appeared with his band Stiltskin at Lorelei in 2008. He was a member of Genesis from 1996 to 1998, after the departure of Phil Collins. He has a relaxed, approachable style that is hard to dislike.

The setlist for this gig drew heavily from Genesis material, including the Calling All Stations album which he made whilst in Genesis. Songs included No Son of Mine, That's All, Take It Slow, Calling All Stations, The Dividing Line, Home by the Sea, There Must Be Some Other Way, Makes Me Think of Home, Not About Us, Follow You Follow Me, The Carpet Crawlers, Congo, Inside, Mama & Solsbury Hill.

Current band members: Ray Wilson: Vocals/Guitar, Steve Wilson: Vocals/Guitar, Ali Ferguson: Guitar/Vocals, Lawrie MacMillan: Bass/Vocals, Kool Lyczek: Piano/Keyboards, Marcin Kajper: Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Mario Koszel: Drums and Percussion, Alicja Chrząszc: Violin, Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Glowinska: Cello]


Ray Wilson & his band


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My Hungarian buddy from Zurich, Zoltan, also decided to join, so after travelling up by train to Karlsruhe Baden-Baden, where he picked up the hired car, before fetching me at Frankfurt Hahn airport in the Rhineland Palatinate late Saturday morning, before making our way directly to the venue. Our accommodation, the Rheinhotel Lamm, was located further down the river, towards Rüdesheim. It's important to be on the "right" side of the river to the venue, as the only way to get across without a drive all the way back to Koblenz is by ferry crossing at St Goarshausen. The times are extended whenever an event is being staged at Lorelei however it is limited to passengers only and does not include vehicles, at this hour. I was suitably impressed with the hospitality shown by the hotel manager. We were due to make an early departure before breakfast on the Monday morning, so upon returning to our room late Sunday night, a wrapped hamper and a coffee machine had graciously been set aside.

In the past I have taken to being more adventurous by opting to stay in the campsite however I'm probably getting too old for that now. Don't get me wrong. I love camping but only when it's camping for camping sake,when needs must.  After a long day in the sun having listened to about 12 hours of music, the thought of a decent shower and a comfortable bed just sits well.




My love this festival and the people who attend it has not diminished over the years. All of Europe is represented in its celebration, the audience comprising folk who are there purely for the love of great music and good musicianship. The atmosphere is relaxed and quite civil and there is no hint of excess or aggression. For the first time that I recall, organisers had forbidden food and drink to be brought into the venue, though they may already have changed their policy in the intervening years I had missed out on. Fortunately, they had not placed any embargo on the use of photographic equipment and the relaxed approach to allowing people to take photographs continued.


Rheinhotel Lamm near Rüdesheim, the hamper and the coffee machine


Monday morning necessitated an early start so that Zoltan could catch his train back to Zurich, as he had planned to go directly into the office. Traffic had unfortunately begun to build up on the highway approaching Karlsruhe, due to a horrific accident which saw the roof of a car sheered off completely as it ended up underneath the back of a large truck.  Having missed his train, we had time for a coffee at the railway station, before I drove the car the few kilometres to the airport, with a couple of hours to spare before my return flight to Stansted.

I still have nightmares when I think of the time I missed my flight from Frankfurt Hahn to Stansted and a jazz concert by one of the world's greatest jazz fusion bands, Return To Forever. It wasn't a time issue. I'd hired a car and returned it in good time, chilling out in the airport lounge and allowing my mind to wander. Before I realised it, I found myself at the wrong check-in, with my flight having long since disappeared over the horizon.


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Feature links:

THE LORELEI PROG ROCK FESTIVAL, ST. GOARSHAUSEN, GERMANY - 2017 - [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]





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Other links:

[Night of the Prog - Official website]

[David Cross Band live - Youtube]  [David Cross Band website]

[Ray Wilson live - Youtube]  [Ray Wilson website]

[Franck Carducci live - Youtube]  [Franck Carducci website]

[Gong live - Youtube]  [Gong website]

[Marillion live - Youtube]  [Marillion website]

[YES feat. ARW live - Youtube]  [YES feat. ARW website]