Pallas’ Graeme Murray gives us a glimpse into his prog world

A portrait of Graeme Murray

Where’s home?

Aberdeen. The core members of the band are all still here.

Your earliest prog memory?

In 1972 my girlfriend at school bought us tickets to see Lindisfarne at Aberdeen Music Hall. The support was a band I’d never heard of, Genesis. My abiding memory is hearing the opening chords of Watcher Of The Skies, and Peter Gabriel in a red dress and a fox’s head. I was blown away. That was me hooked on prog for life.

First prog record bought?

After that gig I went straight out and bought Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme and Trespass at Bruce Millers. It was Aberdeen’s best music shop – they had booths so you could listen to the records first.

First prog gig attended?

About a year after Genesis I went to see Yes with Rick Wakeman at the Music Hall; it must have been the Close To The Edge tour. I saw Chris Squire play bass and thought, “I’m going to do that.”

Favourite gadget?

My iPad. I remember Colin our drummer got one on the day they came out. He brought it to the studio and we all said, “What’s the point of that?” After five minutes playing with it, we all got the point.

Any guilty musical pleasures?

Sweet Fanny Adams by The Sweet. It’s glam, but there are some absolutely kick-ass songs on there.

Your specialist subject on Mastermind?

Possibly the Peninsular Wars. I love history, I’m a big fan of [historical novelist] Bernard Cornwell’s books.

Your biggest prog extravagance?

My black Rickenbacker 4001 bass, which I bought as a lad from Bruce Millers. It was £350, eye-wateringly expensive at the time, but I still have it to this day.

Favourite prog venue?

The Marquee [in London] was just legendary. We have so many fond memories of playing there. I actually shed a tear when I heard it was sold and was going to be turned into a car park. I mean, it was a dump, but it was an iconic dump. It was like The Cavern Club to us.

Outside of prog, what are you into?

I love fast cars and motorsport generally. I used to compete in the Scottish Rally Championships, but you need to be minted to do that now.

What do you collect?

Speeding tickets!

Your all-time prog hero?

That’s got to be Geddy Lee. I really enjoy listening to Rush, I love his voice. He’s a great player.

The last prog album you bought?

The last-but-one Muse album [The 2nd Law]. And Comedy Of Errors supported us recently so I bought a copy of their Fanfare & Fantasy.

Last prog gig you saw?

Rush at the SECC in Glasgow [May 2013]. It was the Clockwork Angels tour. The set was two and a half hours long. They must’ve been knackered!

Ever had a prog date?

Well, I got into prog by going on that date to see Lindisfarne with Genesis. My wife’s a big Kate Bush fan, but on the whole she’s a prog widow.

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

Fish. Back in the day, when Marillion came to Scotland they’d play with us, and we’d play with them in London. We’ve had quite a few interesting nights out.

Most important prog song?

ELP’s Karn Evil 9 from Brain Salad Surgery.

Prog muso you’d like to work with?

I’m a big Floyd fan, so David Gilmour. Or Geddy Lee, but it’d be weird having two bass players…

Which prog album always gets you in a good mood?

Hold Your Fire by Rush. It dates back to when I met my wife and we were first going out. Lots of happy memories.

The best prog gig you ever saw?

I saw Queen on their Night At The Opera tour. They were astonishingly good, and their energy at that time was incredible.

Pick us a good proggy read.

Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy, starting with The Winter King. It’s the Arthur story, and it’s absolutely brilliantly done.

Your all-time favourite prog album cover?

I’m going to be a tosser and say The Sentinel. I love Patrick Woodruffe’s work, God love him. When we saw the artwork he’d done for that album we were blown away, it was so beautiful, so detailed. I still look at that to this day.

What are you up to at the moment?

We’re working away on new Pallas material at the moment. We’re currently interacting with each other’s ideas and shaping them into songs. We’re still around!

See www.pallasofficial.com.

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