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Reviews of the first Four Play Festival, April 9th 2016

(Click on the links below to read the reviews)


Review from Neil Mach, Ad Pontes

Review from Prog Rock Festivals UK

Review from Stephen Lambe for "Classic Rock Society" Magazine

Review from Prog Rock Festivals UK                      [back to page contents]
Photos courtesey of rp-photography-solutions


The venue for the first Four Play Festival, the Acoustic Couch, certainly struck a mysterious, underground music scene, industrial vibe with its (convenient) location beneath the main Bracknell High Street multi-storey car park and its real ceiling ducting (thankfully not pumping out fumes)! Being a really new venue, it isn't quite finished and the external signs to it are not in place; so getting inside was a miraculous revelation, with the chunky cable drum tables, and large, front of stage space for watching and dancing to the bands!



The first band on, Quiet Wish, played a beautifully hypnotic keyboard, guitar and vocal, electronica set, with Carola (vocals, electric guitar and keyboards), Dave Lambert (guitar, electronic percussion and vocals) and excellent guest guitarist Dave Salsbury.




The Far Meadow played next, sounding very, very classically prog rock, reminding me of Genesis, with their super hot electric guitarist and keyboard player generating fast and thrilling solos, syncopated and spot on rhythms and the commanding vocals from Marguerita Alexandrou. 


Bursting on stage next were Baz and Maxine Cilla's rocking and lively Spriggan Mist always so enjoyable to watch! They instantly drew dancers up to bop along with their infectious rhythms. Not only are they a really colourful spectacle but they sure can play a wide range of instruments including saxophone, keyboards, electric guitars, bass and drums. Ann-Mari Thomas did an outstanding job too with her lovely lead vocals. Tonight we were also treated to a troup of semi clad, sabre wielding belly dancers!




Last to take the stage were Elaine Samuels' Kindred Spirit Band, tonight being their first performance with exciting, new violin player extraordinaire, Martin Ash. He surprised everyone, including the rest of the Kindred Spirit Band, by jumping off the stage several times to mingle with the revelers at the front of the crowd during the performance!






The whole band with dynamic bass from Mike Hislop and rocking drums from Chris Goode played a really proggie folk rock set, incorporating increasingly insistant jigs and reels, thrilling duelling between Martin and Catherine, who played flute and some saxophone and some very full on rock solos! They caught the attention of prog rock festival organiser and promoter, Stephen Lambe, who made a special trip to experience this first festival and who will now be representing them to the wider prog community!

A special mention should be given to the volunteer lighting team of Mick Holder and Jim, who especially made the room look incredible, with light beams racing along the ducting, swirling logos, atmospheric fog (which for a moment I thought Spriggan Mist would be consumed by at one stage) and the back projected wizardry also produced in collaboration with Aaron Cilia, who did an amazing job on the sound, especially as the mixer desk had only been acquired the day before and so he'd had very little time to get to grips with it!


It looks like the Acoustic Couch is going to be a force to be reckoned with in Berkshire's live music scene!

                                                                                                                                                [back to page contents]




Review from Classic Rock Society Magazine             [back to page contents]