Clive Nolan is one of the great new generation of Prog Rock superstars. Like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, Clive has opted to make the keyboards his weapon of choice. And like these superstars before him Clive has moved this genre of music up yet another notch.

Clive Nolan is a drifter by nature. He has played with several bands, Neo and Pendragon come to mind, and his imprint on those bands is as unique as any fingerprint the cops might have. In his latest musical adventure She, he moves on to new and uncharted waters.

She was a novel penned by H. Rider Haggard towards the end of the 19th centuary (1887) and followed close on the heels of ‘King Solomons Mines’, maybe not a book you have read, but a book that created a box office phenom (I am sure it is still playing on AMC).

Clive took She, a very darkly oriented story, and has turned it into a musical event. This is not an easy thing. Clive brought in Agnieszka Swita who loved the idea, and offers many of the vocals. Toiling away for almost two years, and living in two countries, Clive in England, and Agnieszka in Poland, She is the result. And a fine result it is.

Caamora is the name that they has chosen to use, but there are lots of familiar names involved, Alan Reed (Pallas/Neo), Christina Booth (Magenta) on vocals, bassist John Jowitt (IQ, Neo), Mark Westwood (Neo), Martin Bowen on the guitars, Richard West (Threshold), Steve Williams on the keyboards , and Scott Higham on the drums.

This double CD is outstanding, it really is the best of the best when it comes to prog rock. I have to admit that Clive Nolan not only looks like a young Rick Wakeman, but he sounds like him, he composes like him, even his style on the stage is similar.

She is a double CD, and I watched what my wife’s demeanor and comments might be as I played it. She knows nothing about Prog Rock, she only does Country (what happened to the Western?), anyway, she loved CD 1. Actually I found the first CD to be very gentle and rooted in the classical style. CD 2 though is a different beast. This CD represents all that I love in the Prog Rock world. Big sweeping music that brings together elements of rock and classical, fusing them into an unforgettable experience.

Agnieszka Swita is the perfect co-conspirator, the addition of her incredible vocal range adds depth and interest to this opus. I know little about Agnieszka Swita but she certainly is a force to be reckoned with, and a name that I am sure we will be hearing more of.

Unfortunately I know very little about the technical aspects of She, my copy of the actual CD’s is somewhere between Poland and Canada, most probably on a Canada Post Dog Sled somewhere here in Alberta! It was only by some eleventh hour scrambling and the kind assistance of the record label Metal Mind Productions that I managed to get a digital copy, you have to love broadband and the internet!

I hope to be talking with Clive Nolan and Agnieszka Swita later today, and no doubt they will be able to fill in the gaps.

Caamora – She is scheduled for a European release on March/10, unfortunately if you live in North America you will have to wait a little while, the US launch is destined for early May via MVD. For retail Caamora – She will be available in a number of CD/DVD combinations. And although I have yet to see it, the DVD’s are rumored to be spectacular with a lavish theatrical on stage performance.

If you liked Wakeman’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth, or The Nice’s Five Bridges Suite I can pretty much guarantee that you will love this production. This could very well be the ‘shot in the arm’ to get Prog Rock back on the map where it deserves to be. If you want to get a taste of Caamora you can listen to Resting Place on the Metal Mind Productions MySpace page , you can also find out more about Caamora on their web page.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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