Damian Wilson gives us a glimpse into his prog world

Damian Wilson press shot

Where’s home?

I live on a boat, so home can be absolutely anywhere. At the moment I’m in Oxford, but I do move around, and I just love it.

Earliest prog memory?

I was at a school friend’s house in Portsmouth, and there were these pictures of this guy on the wall, shaking hands with Prince Charles and stuff. My mate’s dad said, “That’s my other son, he thinks he can sing.” It was Roger Hodgson – turned out he was my friend’s brother!

First prog record you bought and where?

Supertramp’s Breakfast In America, in Southsea in about 1980.

First prog gig?

Gary Numan at Guildford Civic Hall in December ’84. It was my very first gig. I’d drunk a lot of orange juice before, I went right to the front of the crowd, and vomited. This huge pool of orange…

Favourite piece of technology?

My first Tascam four-track recorder. I was on that thing all day long for years. I don’t keep anything, but I’ve still got that.

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

The Wakeman Dynasty.

Your greatest prog extravagance?

The silver suit I bought for the Prog Awards [2014], to present Arjen Lucassen with his Virtuoso award. It wasn’t that expensive, but for me it was pretty extravagant.

Favourite prog venue?

The Boerderij in Holland. It’s got such history and it’s a homely venue, for me and so many others.

Outside of prog, what are you into?

Other music. I’m never happier than when I’m by myself on my boat with my guitar and a cup of tea. That’s when I become me, it’s my meditation.

Your prog hero?

Clive Nolan. I love him [laughs very hard].

Are you a collector?

Black plastic bags, ever since the toilet leaked on the Threshold tourbus all over all our clothes. The black plastic bag is essential, I have a lot of them.

Last prog album you bought?

Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden. I listen to the radio and stream music a lot, so it was a long time ago.

Last prog gig?

In 2014 Ruud Jolie [guitarist from, Within Temptation] and I went to see Yes play Close To The Edge, at the 013 in Tilburg, Holland.

Ever had a prog date?

I went out with Heather Findlay [pictured below] for a while, hopefully that counts?!

Who do you call in the prog fraternity for a good night out?

Journalists. They’re the best drinkers. My first choice would be your editor, Jerry Ewing.

Most important prog song?

Hawkwind’s Silver Machine. I sang backing vocals on it on record with Dave Brock and Arjen. One of the highlights in my life.

Heather Findlay

Heather Findlay

Prog muso you’d most like to work with?

Steven Wilson. My cousin [laughs].

A prog album to get you in a good mood?

Anything by my friends, John Wetton, John Mitchell, Dave Bainbridge. Then there’s Frank Zappa – Why Does It Hurt When I Pee always cheers me up.

Best prog gig?

I don’t listen to Dream Theater much, but I saw them at the Hammersmith Apollo and they really blew me away.

Pick us a good proggy read.

I’m blind as a bat, dyslexic and I’m no good with stories, so it would probably be any book on playing poker. It’s a mug’s game, but I love poker.

Your favourite prog album cover?

Rick Wakeman’s No Earthly Connection. It’s got this little silver thing that you roll up and so you can see the picture properly. It’s not one of the classics, but I like it.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m rehearsing with Adam Wakeman for some shows in February and March, and then in April Headspace are doing some tour dates in the UK and Europe. I’ve finished my work on the next Threshold album, and I’ve got a new, non-prog solo single out, called Impossible.

For more information and tour dates, see www.damian-wilson.net.

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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.