......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
. MARCH 2006
Finally, there is something truly adventurous on the music scene and, of course, we are talking about The Tangent, a Progressive Symphonic Rock band that reflects a wide variety of influences while retaining a sound that is amazing and also very catchy. The band has a strong sense of melody, great musicianship, and they have done all their best to exceed the limits of Progressive Rock elements, with talented and skilled musicians, where they are using bright instrumental explorations, capturing the real essence of Progressive Music,
because the musicians don't hesitate to adventure themselves into long instrumental passages, with a seventies sensibility that appeals to many Prog rock aficionados of today. "A Place In The Queue" is well recorded and well written, full of synthesizers with pompous electronic textures, great harmonies, complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations... just simply terrific, in fact, The Tangent is a band for all lovers of the best in Progressive Rock music around the world.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "In Earnest", "Lost In London", "Follow Your Leaders" and "A Place In The Queue" (Really one of  the best track on the album). Brilliant and amazing release, highly recommendable...

The actual musicians on The Tangent are:
Andy Tillison - Organ, Piano, Moog Synthesisers, Guitars and Principal Voice
Sam Baine - Piano, Synthesisers and Voice
Jonas Reingold - Bass Guitar
Theo Travis - Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinet and Voice
Guy Manning - Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin and Voice
Jaime Salazar - Drums
Krister Jonsson - Electric Guitars (Except track 4)

Special guest:
Dan Watts - (Po 90) Electric Guitar on track 4

The Tangent has a highly improbable history, that turns on a couple of tiny events for the lack of which the band would never have existed. They were "formed" in 2002, they've already had numerous changes in personnel. Perhaps that's all you need to know. If so, have a look at the family tree which is more fun than wading through all this text. If you want the details though... read on.

1. The Meeting - Spring 1999
Of course when this all started off there was no "band" at all to speak of. At least not one single band. The groups involved didn't even know of each others existence in 1999....

In May 1999 Andy Tillison and Sam Baine's band "Parallel or 90 Degrees" did a gig at Rotherham supporting a Swedish band that they'd never heard of called "The Flower Kings" Rest assured that the reverse was also true. Andy and Sam were pretty impressed with what they saw... "It was like a wake up call" says Andy "this band were showing that the music I loved so much could still be played and still be relevant in the fast approaching new millennium." The Kings don't actually remember Po90's set that night......

2. The Idea Percolates 2000- 2001
While writing the next Po90 album, "More Exotic Ways To Die", Andy began to filter out certain ideas that were more overtly "prog" in nature and pass them over to what he called a "Solo Album" Inspired by "The Flower Kings" albums he was now listening to on a hourly basis he decided to separate his "prog" from his rock, and the result was a Po90 album stripped of much of the floweryness of progressive music which suited that band's cause very well.... 

And the music that was put to one side began to gather digital dust.... until Andy had a row with a Flower Kings crew member Ian Oakley. 

3. Realisation - The Music That Died Alone 2002/2003
"I made the fatal mistake of slagging Po90 off in a review of that first concert the bands played together" remembers Oakley, "I was obviously reviewing "The Flower Kings", and I'd not in honesty paid that much attention to Po90's set. I guess what I wrote must have looked a bit dismissive, just a couple of lines about them. I got this mail from Andy that tore me to bits. I wrote back and told him it was the first ever review I'd ever written. he wrote back to me and apologised, we started to talk a lot about prog music, discovered we had a lot in common, and he sent me this CD of demos he'd been sitting on. Suffice to say I am now the Tangent's manager...."

Ian Oakley sent Andy's demo to Roine Stolt of "The Flower Kings", Roine liked it, offered to play on it, invited Jonas Reingold and Zoltan Csorsz to help out on drums and bass, suggested we got a saxophonist on it and Andy happened to know David Jackson's telephone number and hey presto the lineup for the solo album was almost complete. Fellow Po90 keys player Sam Baine and long term friend Guy Manning were added to the seven piece project which suddenly changed its name to "The Tangent

"Well I could hardly claim credit for it alone" says Tillison, "it didn't sound remotely like a keyboard player's solo album, it just sounded like a band - so we gave it a name Having heroes old and new like Roine and David just seemed too good to call by my own name". The fact that it did sound like a band was rather surprising actually. the "band" had recorded it in four different studios in two different countries without actually, for the most part, meeting each other. You can read much more about some of the bewildering and sometimes hair-raising problems that the band have had to face while recording in the "Making The Music" section of The Tangent articles page. 

4. Reception - Autumn 2003
The Tangent's debut (and supposedly ONLY) release was "The Music That Died Alone". It outsold Po90's entire back catalogue in 2 months. The reviews were utterly unbelievable with the word "masterpiece" in about one out of every three. After a late autumn release, by a few months later the album had chalked up number two positions in 3 polls for best progressive album of the year, only being pipped to the post by Neal Morse's debut solo album "Testimony" In the DPRP poll, (very highly regarded in prog circles), the band took 2 best album, 1 best newcomer, 1 best song, (as well as 5 best song!) 1 best artwork. More than 20 reviewers named it their "Album Of The Year". "I was astounded" says Tillison, "I was sitting in the staffroom at the college where I was working, and the Berlin Evening News rang me on the staffroom phone to interview me about the music my Mum used to play in the house when I was a kid - it was all terribly surreal"

5. Continuation
With reactions like that, it wasn't long before the band were talking about a follow up. It became apparent straight away that Dave Jackson wasn't going to be in this time. "We knew what he was up to" grins Andy referring to the then impending re-union of "Van Der Graaf Generator", "but we accepted his apologies without pushing him to admit what was going on. After all, who was I to complain about my favourite band of all time reforming?!"

Ian Oakley did another bit of management magic, and before long had Theo Travis secured for the follow up album. Theo had recently worked with Gong and Porcupine Tree, and had also been named as Jazz player of the year a couple of times in the Financial Times. The Tangent decided that he was the guy for the job, firstly because he was an amazing player of both Sax and Flute, and secondly because they all wrongly assumed he would be rich. Work commenced on "The World That We Drive Through" in early 2004 in Malmo, Sweden. Just Andy, Jonas, Roine and Zoltan were there, Guy Theo and Sam did their parts individually as before.

6. The Tour that we Lived Through Oct/Nov 2004
A lot of discussions had ben taking place during the recording of "Drive Through" about the possibility that some live performances could actually materialise. This was so far from the original brief of the Tangent's original manifesto (to make just one album and then dissolve) that it obviously became a turning point in the band's history. For a while it seemed that it wouldn't happen, but in Late October 2004 Andy & Sam met up with Jonas, Roine and Zoltan just outside London and spent 3 days rehearsing. The day after that they played their first gig at a festival in Chippenham. "It was, and we were TERRIBLE" says Sam Baine, "we got no soundcheck because some idiots spent 3 hours setting up special projection systems for one of the other bands which just weren't needed at a multi-band festival, and added to that someone stole Roine's lyrics sheet from the stage while we were in the dressing room. We didn't fid that out until the audience were cheering, and Andy had to sing all Roine's parts without any time to prepare. Add all that to our first night nerves and you can see why we weren't happy with it." 

The gig was amazingly well received though, despite the dissatisfaction of the band's members with it. 5 nights later the band had improved so much that the event at Ashaffenburg in Germany became the band's first live CD "Pyramids and Stars". Journalist Michael Gardiner who followed the tour says "We were watching over a few nights the birth of a band, like a sped up film. Saturday we were watching Amateurs, a week later we were watching seasoned pros who'd been doing it for years"

7. All Change - Upheavals Removals and 56k Modems
November 2004 - April 2005 - The tour had been greeted most enthusiastically by fans and press alike. But changes were afoot. During the tour, Roine had broached the subject that he may not be able to find any time for the Tangent in the following year, because of commitments to "The Flower Kings" and an assortment of other projects including his solo album "Wall Street Voodoo" Andy, Sam and Guy assumed this meant the end of the project, and were of course somewhat disappointed. Andy and Sam were, within 2 weeks of the tour finishing in the process of moving from Northern England to Southern France. For 3 weeks they existed in an empty house on the top of a hill in a rural backwater before their furniture arrived and they got a telephone installed. After the 3 weeks of radio silence, they were surprised to learn from manager Ian Oakley that not only were Jonas and Theo still very interested in remaining with the band, but also Jonas had the name of a replacement guitarist, a suggestion for a replacement drummer, and to top it all a booking at a prestigious USA festival in 4 months time. 

"This was amazing News" says Andy, "My first musical job in France was to mix the live gig for the Pyramids album. It would have been a fairly miserable affair, had it been a farewell swansong to the band. But I was able to mix it as a going concern. In fact I was so geared up by the news that I started to demo a new studio album at the same time". The first few months were rather difficult, because as Andy & Sam found out to their horror, there was no broadband internet available in their part of France. This, for The Tangent and their way of working is a bit comparable to not having any electricity....

They worked around it though, and CDs were as usual distributed by post and the new band began to learn the songs for the album and for the live appearance at the USA festival in 3 different countries instead of the previous 2!! In April 2005 a six piece lineup of the Tangent met up in France to prepare for the USA "Rosfest" gig, discuss the new demos and do a low key tour of Europe to warm up and learn to play with each other. Theo Travis was with the band this time, Krister Jonsson from Jonas' "Karmakanic" had taken over Roine's role, and Andy was delighted that Jaime Salazar, another ex drummer from the Flower Kings had agreed to take the drumstool in the new band. 

8. A Place In The Queue - Summer/Autumn 2005
The recording of the third Tangent album will be something that passes into legend. Theres a whole article devoted to its making and the adventures the band had during the process in our "Making the music" section on the articles page. Suffice here to say that the album is musically the most ambitious thing the group has yet attempted, and the logistics of moving people and sound files around a triangle with 2000 km edges were quite mind boggling. The album was finally finished in November 2005 and is set for release in February. At present The Tangent are planning to release that Rosfest Concert in some form in mid 2006, Andy's making a solo album (again!), there's a Po90 compilation to finish off, a Karmakanic album being written, a Flowerkings album in the works, and a tour hopefully by The Tangent in Autumn?... it's gonna be another busy year, for a band who were not, by now, even supposed to exist.

.New Release

"A Place In The Queue"

Main CD:
1) In Earnest -
....(Tillison)  - 20.03
2) Lost In London -
....Manning) 8.08
3) DIY Surgery -
....Middleton) 2.16
4) GPS Culture -
....(Tillison) 10.07
5) Follow Your
....Leaders - 
....(Tillison) 9.21
6) The Sun In
....My Eyes -
....(Tillison) 3.44 
7) A Place In The
....Queue - (Tillison/
....Travis) 25.19 

Bonus CD: Special Edition Only 
Part One - Other songs recorded at the same time as the main CD
1) Promises Were
....Made - (Baine/
....Tillison) 7.26
2) The First Day At
....School Demo* -
....(Tillison) 5.30
3) Forsaken Cathedrals -
....(Tillison) 4.54
....Part Two - Alternative
4) The Sun In My Eyes -
....Extended Mix -
....(Tillison) 9.12
....Part Three - ....Instrumental
5) Grooving On Mars
....(Live at Karlsruhe
....Germany 2005) -
....(Travis) 6.16
6) Kartoffelsalat Im
....Travis) 13.37

* All instruments
..Andy Tillison.

Artwork by Ed Unitsky. Recorded in France, England and Sweden for a record company in Germany. Produced by Andy Tillison, Jonas Reingold and Theo Travis.

"A Place In The Queue" is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of InsideOut Music, the perfect home for The Tangent.

To get in contact or, If you would like any other information, please e-mail to The Tangent.

For more information and everything about the band, please visit THE TANGENT HOME PAGEN
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