"It's the ultimate Nektar feelgood track, because everyone – onstage and in the crowd – loves it so much”: the late Roye Albrighton’s six favourite songs to play

In 2015, Nektar were in their 46th year and had long prowled on the outskirts of prog success – but across 13 albums, they had fashioned some genuinely classic songs. A year before his death at the age of 67, guitarist/vocalist Roye Albrighton told Prog about the six Nektar songs he particularly loved to play live.

Recycle (1975)

“From the Recycled album. This is probably my favourite Nektar track to perform live. For me, it represents everything there is to know about the band. It has so many different sections, which come together really well. It spans a lot of genres, and the orchestration is fantastic.”

Astral Man (1974)

“From the Down To Earth album. It was Nektar’s attempt to write a pop song, rather than something that went on for eight minutes or longer! We wanted to come up with a song that everyone could instantly remember and hum. I think it fitted well onto Down To Earth, as it gave the impression in the title of a high-flying trapeze act. It’s always very jolly when we do it live. And whenever we put it into the set, it always gets a good reaction. We might do it again soon.”

A Better Way (2013)

“From the Time Machine album. I’m a big fan of Billy Sherwood. And he did a great job of playing bass on this track, and on the whole album. Billy’s such a tuneful bassist and has a knack of making the melody shine through in the way that he plays. His bass parts enhance what’s already there.”

The Debate (2004)

“From the Evolution album. This sounds like it could have been on A Tab In The Ocean, because of the riff. The song builds and builds. It has three sections and hits very hard. As a song, it might be nine minutes long, but never overstays its welcome.”

Desolation Valley (1972)

“From the A Tab In The Ocean album. Every time we do it live, this gets such a great audience reaction. But I really couldn’t tell you why. I think we have stronger and sweeter songs than this one – however, it seems to have touched a chord with our fans, so it must be included here. What we do live is also introduce little sections from Waves and The Dream Nebula and it works so well.”

Remember The Future Parts I and II (1973)

“From the Remember The Future album. I have to include this, don’t I? This is classic Nektar, and …Part I has the stamp of what we’ve always been about. There’s such anticipation from fans when this starts, and to be honest the rapport it has with our audience actually makes us smile when we perform it. So, you could say it is the ultimate Nektar feelgood track, because everyone – onstage and in the crowd – loves it so much.”

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021