Ticketmaster Best Live Act Award 2018 vote now

Nordoff Robbins the music therapy charity in the UK, is putting the call out to music fans everywhere to decide which live act should take home the Ticketmaster Best Live Act Award 2018 at this year’s O2 Silver Clef Awards on 6 July in London. This is the only fan-voted award.

The eleven nominees were chosen by a panel of music industry experts who sifted through Ticketmaster’s most searched artists who performed in the UK between March 2017 and March 2018. Jeff Lynne’s ELO was nominated along with Adele, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Harry Styles, Iron Maiden, Stormzy, The xx, and U2.

To vote, visit the Ticketmaster UK website: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/best-live-act

You can also vote by sending a tweet to @NordoffRobbins1 using the hashtag #BLAJeffLynnesELO or the other artists on the shortlist, excuse my ELO bias!

Voting closes June 25th


iCon Trilogy re-released with bonus tracks – out now

The John Wetton Estate and Geoffrey Downes are pleased to announce the re-release of the iCon Trilogy of albums, now remastered with bonus tracks in six panel digipacks.

The re-releases have been personally overseen by Geoff Downes and are intended to be a return to the marketplace of individual albums for fans who may wish to purchase a definitive edition.

Of his song-writing relationship and the formation of iCon, Geoff Downes says, “Throughout my entire career, there is no doubt in my mind, that some of my proudest achievements have been the songs that I wrote with the late John Wetton. Not only were we great friends, but also blood brothers in the song-writing department. His magic rubbed off on me immensely, and outside of the hugely successful Asia template, we decided to step out together with our Icon project. It was a ‘bromance’ made in heaven, because here we had the chance to expand our innermost thoughts and variety of influences, without interference. It was effectively ‘us’. We also had the luxury of working with some of the finest musicians in the world who were willing participants in the project.”

For fans of the whole iCon legacy, a box set is being planned out featuring these albums and all the other recordings of the iCon duo, including previously unreleased material.

Geoff Downes continues,“The Wetton Downes Icon catalogue spans across some 4 studio albums, this trilogy plus a prequel album called Zero and various live releases, and incorporates some of our greatest collaborations I firmly believe, and I am happy to impart the news that this entire body of work is being re-released with all of the bonus tracks and some previously unheard renditions of our classic songs. It is in fact Icon in its entirety. If you appreciate the music of John & I, then I sincerely hope you will appreciate these re-issues. Please sit back and enjoy. I know John would be equally proud to see these projects back on the market. All of these recordings mark special periods in our personal and creative lives.  

“’Icon 1′ was the foundation of the Asia reunion. ‘Rubicon’ is thronged with the mysticism, symbolism and multi layers that illuminate John’s lyrical prowess, virtually unrivaled in any era of creativity. John married events occurring in both our personal lives with Classical events in Roman History, crossing the Rubicon, the die is cast and some intensely personal reflections. His vocal performance is astounding. I look forward to discussing this amazing period in our lives at greater length in the box set planned for Christmas 2019.

“’Icon 3′ was a further milestone for us, with Dave Kilminster reuniting with John, a Japanese tour and possibly the most fulfilling DVD I have ever been involved in, Urban Psalm, filmed in St Mary Le Bow Church. I could reflect for hours and hours, take up the entire booklet, but for now…May our music live on forever.”

The albums are OUT NOW on the duo’s own Epicon Records via Cherry Red.

To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:

iCon: http://geni.us/iCon1
iCon II Rubicon: http://geni.us/iCon2
iCon 3: http://geni.us/iCon3

A previous re-release of the Wetton/Downes recordings of the 1980s, re-vitalised and re-packaged as iCon Zero continues to be available on Amazon (http://geni.us/icon0) and iTunes (http://geni.us/icon0dig).

Official Websites: www.johnwetton.com and www.geoffdownes.com

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – THE FIERCE AND THE DEAD

Delighted to have instrumental progressive band the Fierce and the Dead involved. Their latest album ‘The Euphoric’ is out now and below is ‘Truck’ from that album –

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – STEVE HACKETT

ctteSTEVE HACKETT kindly took part last year and he has kindly agreed again to do so next year as he takes part in the Yes Cruise to the Edge between 4-9 February 2019.



Southampton based alt/prog rock duo BirdPen will release their new studio album, ‘There’s Something Wrong With Everything’, in the early autumn. It is preceded by a single, ‘This Is Your Life’, a synth led tune which you can hear below…

Weezer nail a superb cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’

Plenty of good music out there and really looking forward to hearing more from Empire Circus, who have just released a new song ‘A Day In The Life Of A Superhero’ with a new album due later this year.


BBT will be releasing a live album called Merchants of Light on 27th July 2018. The album features the best performance of each song played at the band’s Cadogan Hall, London shows which took place in the autumn of 2017.

Merchants of Light will be released as a limited edition triple vinyl boxed set (including a 28 page booklet and an insert featuring a graphical history of the band) and a two-CD digibook with a 72 page booklet. Download and streaming versions will also be available from release date.

Ahead of Merchants of Light, BBT will be releasing Swan Hunter as a single on 13th July. Swan Hunter will feature a 2018 remix of the original studio version, a live version of the song and a radio edit. Alongside the three different versions of Swan Hunter are two previously unreleased tracks, a new version of Seen Better Days (which includes the Big Big Train brass band and a guest vocal performance from Tim Bowness) and a live-in-the-studio performance of Summer’s Lease.

Pre-order vinyl or CD copies of Merchants of Light and Swan Hunter from our official stores:



Pre-orders also now available from Amazon and other music retailers.


BBT will be playing a warm-up show at The Anvil, Basingstoke, on July 11th, supported by Beatrix Players and will be Friday night co-headliners at the Night of the Prog festival at Loreley, Germany, on July 13th.

There are a handful of tickets remaining for The Anvil show and these last remaining seats are only available by calling the Box Office on 01256 844244.

For Loreley tickets:



There is an extended (9 page) BBT interview in the new edition (issue 18) of Prog Italia which is available at newsstands in Italy now.

Individual copies of issue 18 of Prog Italia (for shipping within Italy, Europe and the rest of world) can be ordered here:



Brave Captain, from the Merchants of Light live album, was debuted on the Newears radio podcast just after an interview with Greg. The podcast can be streamed or downloaded here:


Robert Berry new album news

Loved the 3 album when it came out back in 1988 and it looked like we would never see a follow-up until now…

Singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Robert Berry’s new album, “The Rules Have Changed,” will be released under the name 3.2 on Frontiers Music Srl on August 10, 2018.

The full-length album will feature musical contributions by the late KEITH EMERSON, whom Berry was a bandmate with in the band 3.

This is the last musical project in which Emerson was involved prior to his untimely passing in 2016.

A preview of the album, the track, “Somebody’s Watching” has been released. It is available on all streaming services as well as an instant download with digital pre-orders.

Pre-order the album & stream the single here: http://radi.al/TheRulesHaveChanged

The working relationship between Emerson and Berry began in 1987 when former Yes manager Brian Lane and Carl Palmer arranged a meeting between the two prolific musicians. The plan was to form a more melodic, song oriented band, compared to the complex symphonic rock compositions for which Emerson, Lake & Palmer was known, which would allow Emerson, Berry and Palmer to follow in the footsteps of the success that Asia and GTR were enjoying during that period.

The result of that collaboration between Emerson, Berry and Palmer was the band 3 and the album “… To The Power of Three,” was released worldwide by Geffen Records in 1988. The first single, “Talkin’ ‘Bout” reached #9 on the Billboard charts and the band successfully toured the U.S. to support the album.

With the success of the first release, Geffen urged the band to go back into the studio to begin work on a second album, but Emerson felt uncomfortable with Geffen’s momentum stifling, inconsistent strategy that ultimately cut the first album’s success short, consequently prompting the band to call it quits. At the time of the band’s dissolution, several songs were already written for the band’s second release with some of the songs later being released on Robert Berry’s solo album, “Pilgrimage To A Point”.

In October 2015, conversations about a new 3 album started between Robert Berry and Frontiers’ President Serafino Perugino as Robert had been speaking to Emerson about releasing the band’s long delayed follow-up album. Berry relayed those conversations to Emerson and in turn sparked revived enthusiasm from him for pursuing the project. The exchange of musical ideas ultimately paved the groundwork for “The Rules Have Changed.”

After Emerson’s death in 2016, Berry was left with Emerson’s final musical ideas for the project. From old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone and long discussions between the two friends about style, the framework of the album was set and ready to be brought to life.

After several months of grieving and contemplation about what to do with these co-written songs and musical fragments from Emerson, Robert decided to resume work on the material that was created and craft a record that would ultimately be a fitting tribute to Keith Emerson’s musical legacy and at the same time re-energize and update the musical style started with 3 some 30 years ago.

“Keith and I developed together a vision of what the new album would be like, explains Berry. “There were many times over the past 30 years since 3 had come out that Keith either played on a session for me or we just talked on the phone. The new album consists of some past 3 writing from 1988, some newly written last efforts from Keith, and some songs written exclusively by me after Keith’s death. “

The final result is “The Rules Have Changed,” a reboot of the original 3 project, centered on Robert Berry’s amazing musical talents.

This is a record that deserves to be heard by every fan of the great Keith Emerson and includes many exquisite musical adventures, which every progressive music fan will be delighted to experience and enjoy.

“Every second I worked on writing, recording, and performing those songs I had one thing on my mind,” says Berry. “The phrase… ‘What would Keith do’…drove me, it guided me, it consumed my creativity. It was so important to me to fulfill our vision for this album. I believe Keith worked through me. I especially felt him with me when I did the solos. The songs we had worked on together but the solos were to be improvised while recording. You will hear his flare coming through on the solos. The solos are played by me, but, at the same time, also by him. I would never say I was even close to being the player Keith was. But I believe you can hear his spirit in the sound and in my playing. I am so proud of this album. I can’t help but think somehow he is proud of the results too.”


  1. One by One
  2. Powerful Man
  3. The Rules Have Changed
  4. Our Bond
  5. What You’re Dreaming Now
  6. Somebody’s Watching
  7. This Letter
  8. Your Mark on The World

PRODUCED BY: Robert Berry

SONGWRITERS: Keith Emerson, Robert Berry

ARRANGEMENTS: Keith Emerson, Robert Berry

RECORDED and MIXED BY: Robert Berry at Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA

MASTERED BY: George Horn Mastering, Berkeley, CA