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Time Flies: The Story Of Porcupine Tree by Rich Wilson

Unauthorised bio of Steven Wilson-led prog heroes

Cover art for Time Flies: The Story Of Porcupine Tree

Before Steven Wilson became a big solo fish, the king of thinking man’s rock channelled his ambitions through Porcupine Tree, the group that, as Rich Wilson’s considered account implies, might have “done a Radiohead” if they’d had a single like Creep. And if they’d been younger when they started making proper headway. And if they looked different. And if the industry was wired differently.

It’s elevated by anecdotes and interviews from behind-thescenes mainstays like former manager/Delerium Records founder Richard Allen, as well as band members. It thoughtfully charts the evolution from Wilson’s first home recording experiments to his early bands, and the slow, often unglamorous rise of Porcupine Tree, from pub gigs to the Royal Albert Hall.

It ends slightly bittersweetly, with Wilson going solo – a conclusion that, for all the important input of Barbieri, Edwin, Maitland and Harrison, you sense was inevitable.

Overall, this is a quietly absorbing tale of one of Britain’s most enigmatic groups.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.