The latest updates from Carl Palmer, Caravan, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Rush, Neal Morse, Rick Wakeman, Porcupine Tree and much more

By Martin Haggarty


Carl Palmer

Tour time: Carl Palmer

The Carl Palmer Band have announced a Pictures at an Exhibition tour of the UK, kicking off in Gateshead on November 24. Palmer has just launched his a free iPhone app, Play Carl’s Drums, available via the App Store.

Caravan have announced the official re-issue of the albums Better By Far and The Unauthorised Breakfast Item, the latter featuring significantly upgraded artwork. They are now available for pre-order at HMV and Amazon. The band plan to release a DVD of the Bedrock concert recording, filmed at Nottingham in 1990, towards the end of the year.

Former Genesis singer Ray Wilson releases a new Stiltskin album, Unfulfillment, on September 9. The record appears as part of his new box set, Stiltskin v Genesis, which also features the live CD and DVD of his Genesis Classic show featuring the Berlin Symphony Ensemble. More details at www.raywilson.co.uk.

Ian Anderson will perform Thick As A Brick in its entirety for the first time since 1972, on a world tour commencing in the UK next April. The show will be performed in theatrical settings with a core band plus additional guests.

Rush have signed a deal with Roadrunner Records and their first release will be a live album from the summer’s Time Machine tour.

Neal Morse continues to give value with a glut of autumn releases, the first being Transatlantic Live in Manchester and Tilburg, a box set of three CDs and two DVDs. His recent solo tour also gets the deluxe treatment, with a Testimony 2 World Tour set consisting of three CDs and two DVDs totalling four hours of concert footage. Extras include the reunion of Morse and Spock’s Beard at the High Voltage Festival 2011, plus a 90-minute tour documentary.

Rick Wakeman says he’s received three offers to stage a full production of Journey to the Centre of the Earth in the UK next year. The keyboardist also reveals he’s done a pilot show for a TV series involving food and music with a view to hosting a series. Close to the Veg, perhaps?

Porcupine Tree mainman Steven Wilson releases his second solo effort, Grace For Drowning, on September 26. The record will be the first rock album where the principal format is Blu-ray 5.1 audio rather than CD. It includes an accompanying video for every song and features a 23-minute prog/jazz workout.

Steve Hackett’s new album, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, comes out on September 23 in Germany, September 26 in the UK and Europe and September 27 in the US and Canada. The now-familiar Hackett band are joined by Chris Squire playing bass on four tracks and veteran sticksman Simon Phillips on drums. The band will tour England in November then play nine UK dates in February.

Hackett’s former bandmate Peter Gabriel will release New Blood, an orchestral reworking of classic Gabriel songs, followed closely by concert film New Blood: Live In London, in the Hammersmith Apollo last year.

Betty Thatcher, former lyricist with symphonic proggers Renaissance, has died of cancer. Guitarist Michael Dunford says: “Although we haven’t worked together for a while we are still touring and performing these classic songs. Both Annie Hasla and I remember those early days of working together and in the studio recording our best known work. Her talent will be missed.”

Also joining the great gig in the sky is Clive John, better known as Clint Space, keyboard player with Welsh band Man. He died following a lengthy battle with emphysema. He’s been described by former bandmate Deke Leonard as “vital – the face of Man. His offerings were pungent, and when he left that was diluted.”

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