[Neo Era Prog #12] Pallas

The band’s history began in 1976 with the name “Rainbow,” modified for a matter of homonymy with Richie Blackmore‘s band (Ex-Deep Purple). A period in which the Progressive was out of fashion due to the birth and affirmation of the New Wave began to take its first steps. However, they managed to enter the music circuit by securing many dates at the Marquee Club in London. It was in that very place that the rebirth of Prog music began, and a particular fact happened right there. The band played a tune called “The Ripper,” a 15-minute suite with uncomfortable themes, child abuse, madness, rape and murder. Singer Euan Lawson dressed half as old and half as a woman, playing a rape on stage, the Yorkshire Ripper, a current affair at the time. II Pallas had to come to terms with the place that threatened to ban the band if it had not stopped to ring the song. After the first years spent playing live, in 1981 they recorded their Debut “Arrive Alive” in Scotland. The band was later cast and produced by EMI Records, which at the time also produced Marillion. In the same studio where YES and ELP were recorded, “The Sentinel” was born under the guidance of sound engineer Eddy Offord. The album revolved around “Atlantis Suite,” a futuristic version of the history of Atlantis, with several references to the Cold War. After a while, however, the interest of both the Label and its staff diminished, and to guarantee commercial success, much of the suite’s material was removed to make room for more commercial pieces. Published in 1984, from the beginning it was considered a compromised work, and the omitted parts were published only as B sides on the singles taken from the album. Only in 2004 in a remastered version is the original version of Atlantis Suite published. During live performances the band used special effects from Doctor Who and the shows were very elaborate, but they didn’t arouse the due interest. So that just before the recordings of the second EMI album, Lawson abandons the world of music. With the entry of the new singer Alan Reed (ex-Abel Ganz), they recorded the EP “Knightmoves”, centered on “Sanctuary.” However, the band continues to work on the album “The Wadge,” also for EMI. Subsequently, however, there followed a period of stalemate, during which the CDs in the catalog were regrouped, keeping the interest in the band alive. Several years pass and in 1998 the return with “Beat the drum,” characterized by harsher sounds, still maintaining Progressive influences. The total reawakening of interest towards the Pallas, takes place with the help of the Internet, despite the live activity and in the studio were not interrupted. So it was that in 2001 with the album “The cross & crucible,” more Prog than the previous one and in the form of a concept, based on the external friction between science and religion, the band is officially back. With the addition of Paul Anderson to the violin, he refines the sound and publishes “The dreams of men,” with Pandy Arthur on vocals. Like other Neo Prog bands, the major labels continue to ignore them, but thanks to InsideOut Music, a veritable breeding ground of Prog, bands like the Pallas continue to churn out great Prog. A good live activity also continues, especially in Northern Europe, with a double collection “Radio Clyde River Session” and several official Bootlegs. They also publish “Mythropia,” a CD-Rom containing audio and video of the group’s history. After 26 years together the singer Alan Reed leaves the band in January 2010 and leaves the band, replaced by Paul Mackie. In July of the same year they signed for Musc Theories / Mascot Records, and in January 2011 they published “XXV.” The band declared that the theme of the album is the continuum of “The Sentinel” of 1984. In July 2011 they inaugurated the “Prog Stage” at the “High Level Festival” in London. Their half-hour performance was recorded by Concert Live. In the fall of 2013, during a concert in Glasgow, the band played songs from previous albums and presented with two pieces “Wearewhoweare,” which will be released the following year. Also in 2014, they published a statement following the death of the artist who made the cover of “The Sentinel,” who died shortly before. After four years, in June 2018 Graeme Murray from his Facebook account states: “I think there has been a long enough silence on the PALLAS front. The band i suppose is not DEAD, as we are all still alive, just not necessarily on the same continent, or wavelength. BUT not totally dead. Lets just say “in a state of suspended animation”. the patient may come back to life!!!
A band that has had a long career, however, characterized by pauses, the first above all about ten years. Despite this the Pallas are to be considered among the pioneers of Neo Prog, having been born even in the mid-70s. However, starting to produce in the early 1980s, they are still included in the trend of modern Prog. It is thanks to bands like this that Prog is still alive and in good health, having courageously proposed these sounds during the rise of Pop and New Wave. Recommended tolovers of Neo Prog sounds, with excellent layers of keyboards, high-level guitar inserts and a unique vocal style, despite the change of many interpreters. To underline their executive and compositional technique, as well as their live performances, a real strength for the band. They deserve a place in the Olympus of Neo Prog, if today we are here to talk and write about this wonderful genre we owe it partly to them too.

Discography

(1981) Arrive Alive [Granite Wax]
(1984) The Sentinel [EMI]
(1986) The Wedge [EMI]
(1999) Beat the Drum [InsideOut Music]
(2001) The Cross & the Crucible [InsideOut Music]
(2005) The Dreams of Men [InsideOut Music]
(2011) XXV [Music Theories Recordings]
(2014) Wearewhoweare [Self-Released]

Past Members

Mike Stobbie / Keyboards (1977-1979, 1987-1993)
Derek Forman / Drums (1977-1998)
Euan Lowson / Vocals (1979-1986)
Alan Reed / Vocals (1986-2010)
Craig Anderson / Vocals (1976-1979)
Dave Holt / Guitar (1977-1979)

Current Lineup

Ronnie Brown / Keyboards (1979–1986, 1993–Present)
Niall Mathewson / Guitars (1979–Present)
Graeme Murray / Bass (1977–Present)
Colin Fraser / Drums (1998–Present)
Paul Mackie / Vocals (2010–Present)

Pallas |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

Leave a Reply