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The Blackheart Orchestra announce online gig in video message

The Blackheart Orchestra
(Image credit: The Blackheart Orchestra)

British melodic prog duo The Blackheart Orchestra have sent Prog readers a video message discussing how they've been dealing with lockdown, and how Rick Pilkington was rushed into hospital prior to the coronavirus taking a grip on the UK. You can see the band's full video message below.

"Our lockdown started a little earlier than everyone else's lockdown," say the band. "We were doing a tour for Mesmeranto and doing three dates in Scotland. On the second date I got really poorly and was whisked into Glasgow hospital and stayed there for a fortnight. When we went in people were talking about coronavirus very mildly. When I came out it was pandemic. The whole world had changed."

The pair have been putting lockdown time to good use, working on a new album of instrumental versions of their songs called Mute after singer Chrissy Mostyn unearthed a load of material on her laptop.

"When you remove the vocal, the main focal point of the album, what you're left with sounds like a totally different song," says Pilkington. "I couldn't even recognise some of our songs which was really freaky."

The Blackheart Orchestra will also host what they're calling The Big Armchair Concert on their Facebook page tomorrow at 8p (BST) where they'll be performing live and there'll be a Q+A session too.

Jerry Ewing
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, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.