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Tangent Tillison: Progfathers don't give us much love

The Tangent mainman Andy Tillison says he regrets the way prog’s founding fathers all-but ignore younger bands – and it inspired one of his songs.

The concept lies behind Codpieces And Capes, which appears on eighth Tangent album A Spark In The Aether, launched earlier this month.

Tillison tells ProgReport: “The old heroes don’t really support us. They don’t come and stand alongside us, or give us gigs.

“I’ve been operating The Tangent to a reasonable level of success over the past 12 years – and not once has any musician from the 70s said, ‘I like what you’re doing,’ or, ‘This is really good.’

“Not a word from any of them. I think that’s a little bit sad.”

Namechecking The Flower Kings, Big Big Train and Magenta, he adds: “We’re their legacy. We’re what they’ve left.”

Codpieces And Capes also pokes fun at the era of Ian Anderson’s crotchwear, Rick Wakeman’s cloak and Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s individually-labelled tour buses.

“It was a weird time,” says Tillison. “I love the music – of course, there’s lots of things that make you embarrassed. You have to disengage and say some of it was really shit. Finding the good stuff is the secret.”

But he reflects of his song: “There’s a bitterness and a sweetness. My love song about progressive rock has got good and bad. That’s what a love song is.”

A Spark In The Aether sees Tillilson working with Jonas Reingold, Theo Travis, Luke Machin and Morgan Agren.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.