The prog rock community joined together once again at the Assembly for the return of the Trinity charity event, another great success which this time raised money for three cancer charities Cancer Research UK, Teenage Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Compere for the evening and later rock DJ at the after show party in the Zephyr Lounge was Prog Magazine editor and respected music writer (as well as one of the fields real characters) Jerry Ewing.

The day was split into two sessions afternoon and evening with three bands in each half, the evening also included the drawing of the raffle and the much anticipated Rock Charity Auction which had plenty of interest with items donated by the likes of Marillion and Steve Hackett.

First band up was the youthful and unusual A Formal Horse who played at times quite intricate prog with now and again a touch of almost thrash metal blended with the female vocalist's jazzy and sometimes operatic vocals.

This was followed by the more melodic style of the dec burke band who's sound at times reminded me just a little of the powerful pop/rock of the Foo Fighters.

Closing the first half was one of my favourite rock vocalist's Kim Seviour, formerly of Touchstone (playing later with their new line-up) here she performed wonderful pieces from her upcoming debut solo album including the magnificent ‘Chiasma' mixing her Touchstone roots with her other influences.

The second part of the day showcased the heavier side of prog rock with firstly my second look (after the Robin 2 last year) of Ghost Community and their powerful frontman John Paul, must say being a huge Marillion fan their surprise (and rather good) cover of that bands ‘Uninvited Guest' was a big bonus with another standout being the epic ‘Blue December Morning' with as usual it's snippet of Zeppelin's Kashmir.

Next up one of my favourite rock bands of the last 10 years or so Touchstone and with their new singer Aggie they did not disappoint with a set including spirited opener ‘Strange Days', one of the recent rock scenes grandest epics ‘Wintercoast', and tracks from their stunning latest EP ‘Lights From The Sky'.

To the end the evening in grand style and with a full stage production it was a showpiece set by Lonely Robot, the brainchild of John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites and more plus loads of production work under his belt) this had wonderful, melodic, well crafted numbers like ‘The Boy In The Radio and ‘Construct/Obstruct' as well as Astronauts walking among the crowd and finally on to the stage.

Until the wee hours the artists joined us in the Zephyr Lounge where with the strains of prog and classic rock belting out of the speakers courtesy of Mr Ewing we all had a ball.

Fab event, fab music and such great charities to support and my hat off to all of the artists, Jerry Ewing, Assembly and staff, the special three Matt, Adam and Moo and to all involved in such a wonderful and worthwhile event.

Andrew Lock


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