Have A Cigar: Prog Britannia

Stacy Doller faced a lot of challenges last year.

In February, he was given the opportunity by US-based website progrock.com to do a show that was aimed at the British audience. Prog Britannia was born, an insular-focused proggy platform that has recently moved to a popular Monday evening slot. Then in April, House Of Progression, a promotion outfit he co-runs with Jon ‘Twang’ Patrick, was forced to look for a new home as the iconic Kingston Peel venue closed for good.

Now we’re in 2015, Stacy finds his circumstances in ruder health. HoP has a new venue in the Tufnell Dome, and the Prog Britannia show has continued to gather pace. “I absolutely enjoy doing it,” he enthuses. “It’s about creating the show, putting the songs in the right sequence and finding things that sound good together. I’m still that kind of music geek. If it doesn’t sound right to me, I can’t get behind it.”

His “geekery”, as he calls it, comes from a true collector’s attitude to records. “I am a slave to anything that is pre-release, has bonus tracks… I’ve got to make sure I have a copy of it.”

As the name suggests, Prog Britannia is a celebration of British music that gives listeners the chance to pick their favourite tracks from the ‘classic’ 1968-1985 era of prog and also allows new bands to get in touch with their latest offering. Stacy’s “friends of the show” are a devoted lot, who regularly take to the PB chatroom to offer up their opinions.

It’s this, the unifying sense of community and support that Stacy takes such pleasure in. “For a lot of smaller prog bands, music is a part-time venture – they all have day jobs. So when they release something, you make them want to keep going and show them that there’s still support for what they do.”

Stacy was sold on prog from an early age – seeing Genesis at Wembley on their record-breaking four-day run as a teenager was “manna from heaven.” For Stacy, prog continues to be a divine calling: “I owe it to the music to treat it properly.”

_Tune in at http://progrock.com. _