Prog stars unite for charity version of Renaissance's Northern Lights

(Image credit: Renaissance)

Former Renaissance bassist Jon Camp features on a brand new recording of the band's 1978 top ten hit Northern Lights that features on a new charity prog compilation, Together Apart, which is raising money for cancer research.

Joining Camp on the new version are King Crimson/The Pineapple Thief drummer Gavin Harrison, Anneke van Giersbgergen, Oliver Wakeman, Mystery guitarist Michel St. Pere, That Joe Payne, Tiger Moth Tales' Peter Jones, Sally Minnear, Marc Atkinson and Vikram Shanker.

Together Apart has been put together by John Holden, who has just released his own second solo album Circles In Time (his track Circles appears on Together Apart). The album also features tracks from Mystery, Tiger Moth Tales, That Joe Payne, Marc Atkinson, Oliver Day, Band Of Rain and Lux Terminus.

"I always loved the song and thought it would be a perfect choice to reach as many people as possible. It pays homage to the original but there are some surprises!’. says Holden. "I approached the musicians and they all instantly agreed to perform for free, everyone has done a magnificent job. All the artists involved have also been so generous to let us choose songs from their repertoire, I am sure people will love the selection."

Holden's wife Elizabeth wrote the lyrics to Circles which reflects her own struggle with ovarian cancer, while Sally Minnear proivides the vocals.

"The track is based on my experience of living with recurrent ovarian cancer, so it is very personal, and Sally’s beautiful voice was perfect for it," says Elizabeth.

Aware that research into new treatments is seriously underfunded and with a huge drop in donations due to the pandemic, the couple decided to do a charity release with the funds going to Edinburgh University’s Cancer Research Centre.

"People tell me to keep fighting, but without the weapon of more effective treatments I can’t do that - only research can give women like me hope," Elizabeth adds.

Together Apart is available at a minimum price of £8 from Holden's Bandcamp page, "but people can pay more if they wish to make a larger donation to the research," he adds.

You can watch Holden, along with Jon Camp, discussing the new recording on the Prog Axia podcast with host Andy Phillips below.

Get Together Apart.

Together Apart

(Image credit: Together Apart)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.