Brainstorm: Michael Holmes

Q1 Before IQ you were in The Lens in the mid-70s. What was that band’s one cassette album called?

Michael Holmes: No TV Tonite.

A: Correct.

Q2 IQ’s first album proper was 1983’s Tales From The Lush Attic. Can you name the bonus track included on the 1994 reissue?

MH: Was that Just Changing Hands?

A: It was.

Q3 Over three nights in February 1983 you played The Marquee with three other great British neo-prog bands. Which?

MH: Hmm. Well, we played with The Enid, and Solstice…

A: Before that.

MH: Oh! Twelfth Night, Pallas and Pendragon. Can’t remember much about it – The Marquee served Newcastle Brown…

Q4 What fun fact connects IQ’s ’85 album The Wake and Radiohead?

MH: This is great. There’s a photo of Thom Yorke and the band in the 80s, and behind them there’s a poster for The Wake.

A: Yes, it’s here: Iron Maiden’s in there too!

Q5 Lyrics from which song from which album? ‘When we say hello, we mean goodbye/Feigning paradise, wanting to cry.’

MH: That’s Still Life, from Nomzamo.

A: Correct.

Q6 And in 1996, a Spanish Eurodance group issued a cover version of Promises (As The Years Go By) from the same album. Can you name them?

MH: I can’t but I have heard it – it’s on YouTube. It’s pretty cheesy.

A: It’s pretty horrendous! They were Jedu Project.

Q7 Can you name any two of the songs that comprise the live medley on your 1991 rarities album J’Ai Pollette D’Arnu?

MH: Ooh, I don’t think I can actually. Was The Enemy Smacks on there? I can’t remember.

A: The Last Human Gateway, Outer Limits, It All Stops Here and yes, The Enemy Smacks.

Q8 That album was your first release on your superb label, Giant Electric Pea. Can you name your first three non-IQ releases on the label?

MH: Jadis – More Than Meets The Eye, Niadem’s Ghost – In Sheltered Winds and Wounded Land by Threshold.

A: Correct.

Q9 Can you name your old pal Martin Orford’s two solo albums?

MH: Classical Music & Popular Songs and The Old Road.

A: From 2000 and 2008 respectively.

Q10 In the mid-90s you had a residency as a house music DJ at a club in Earls Court. You usually went under your own name but you did once have an alias – what was it?

MH: Ha! I was once billed as ‘Large Marge’.

A: After the ghost in the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure?

MH: Yes. That residency paid for my flat!

General Prog

Q11 Which was Rick Wakeman’s first studio album with Yes?

MH: The Yes Album? Topographic?

A: Fragile.

Q12 And which was his last?

MH: Would that be Topographic?

A: No, Union.

Q13 Lyrics from which classic Genesis track? ‘The creatures they pushed and they prodded his frame/And questioned his story again.’

MH: Trick Of The Tail.

A: Correct.

Q14 Which musician links Genesis to Big Big Train, Spock’s Beard and Tears For Fears?

MH: Nick D’Virgilio.

A: He’s played drums for all of them.

Q15 Besides Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, name anyone who’s played guitar for Genesis.

MH: Would Daryl Stuermer count?

A: Sure, as would Mick Barnard, Anthony Drennan and Mr Tony Banks.

Q16 As well as Big Big Train, former XTC guitarist Dave Gregory is in another new prog band. Can you name them?

MH: Oh, they’re a big psychedelic band, aren’t they? Something to do with flowers?

A: Er, no, not really. It’s Tin Spirits.

Q17 Nick Beggs is one of prog’s premier bassists, but in which 80s pop group did he first rise to fame?

MH: Kajagoogoo.

A: Correct.

Q18 The Snow Goose came out in 1975, and the next year Camel followed it up with their biggest hit album in the UK. Can you name it?

MH: Moonmadness.

A: It went Top 15 here.

Q19 Which Twelfth Night member went on to earn a PhD in psychopharmacology and do vital, noble work for The Wellcome Foundation?

MH: I don’t know. Was it Clive [Mitten]?

A: Dr Andy Revell.

Q20 Which experimental Welsh band sampled Steely Dan’s classic Show Biz Kids on their catchy 1997 single The Man Don’t Give A Fuck?

MH: Don’t know. De La Soul?

A: That well-known Welsh band De La Soul?! It was Super Furry Animals.

TOTAL: 13/20

MH: That was fun, and I didn’t do too badly I suppose. I do love a pub quiz, and I usually do much better than this!

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.