Credo Newsletter No 4 NOVEMBER 2006
Well lots to tell you about this time!
First things first though, the first show of the CREDO/Landmarq double headers takes place next Friday, May 12th at the wonderful STRIPES bar at BRENTFORDFOOTBALL CLUB, it promises to be a great show, CREDO will be on last on this occasion, see the dates details below for further details of the tour.
12th May Stripes Bar - Brentford FC - Braemer Road Brentford (with Landmarq)
26th May Club Riga - Southend (with Landmarq)
7th July Riffs Bar - Hook - Nr Swindon (with Landmarq)
9th July Cartoon Club - Croydon (with Landmarq)
There are some more dates being finalised for this as we go to press!!!
Those of you that frequent "forums" will doubtlessly have seen CREDO being mentioned more and more, especially in other bands forums (FISH, IQ, PENDRAGON etc). Check them out, and please spread the word on any forums you belong too!!!
Next up is a quick review of the KINO gig we did in ROTHERHAM on APRIL 15th. It was a great night, see review below, KINO feature ex members of IT BITES and current members of Marillion and ARENA and were awsome on the night, however, all reports and reviews tell us the boys held their own and went down brilliantly!
Kino / Credo HLC, Rotherham 15th April Sometimes you get to review a gig where, before you even get to the venue, you just know it¹s going to be special. Over the past years I have had plenty to moan about when it comes to attendances at gigs and if all or most of the CRS shows were attended as well as this with an atmosphere to match we would all be very happy people. A packed HLC immediately took to Credo and their unashamedly biased prog-rock. A 50-minute set had just four songs, two more than you might expect for a prog band but each was packed with the pomp and passion so hated by the mainstream music media. There might be some sort of a prog revival going on but it isn¹t in the same style as that of its origins in the 70s. This was! Credo had visited the CRS in the early 90s with just one album under their belt, bragging that a new one was around the corner. That album arrived last year with only one further visit to the CRS - a late 90s Roth Rocks visit. There were lots of reasons for the lack of music from Credo, not least the illness of lead man Mark Colton. He will talk about his last ten years with Credo and his illness next month in RS but even with yet another operation around the corner he was enjoying every one of those fifty minutes tonight. Four songs, with the poignant Too Late To Say Goodbye standing out, were enough to whet the appetite of the proggers awaiting the arrival of Kino. If you think you have seen all the good guitarists in the world think again. I had forgotten what a talent guitarist Tim Birrell is. He is stunning and seemingly always with a smile on his face. However, Credo are a five-piece and all played their part on their Œhighlight of the year¹, according to Mark Colton, a visit to the CRS. ³I wish we had an organisation like this in London,² bellowed Colton. Music to my ears at least! Mike Varty (Landmarq / Janison Edge / Shadowland) was totally at home on keyboards while Martin Meads (drums) and Jim Murdoch (bass) added whatever extra energy was needed. Even though Kino waited in the wings the enthusiastic crowd shouted for more, but time was against us. Credo will be back!
Thanks Martin Hudson from the CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY for that.
It was ten years since Silhobbit had visited a Classic Rock Society concert in Rotherham, but it seemed like a family reunion such was the friendly atmosphere created by chief Martin Hudderson and his crack team of helpers. The venue was packed to the rafters and Credo went down well with the crowd, many of whom sang along. Not knowing any of the band’s set it is difficult to review them other than to say the audience gave them good applause and I was impressed by their playing and very impressed with their front man, Mark Colton, who looked at ease with singing to such a large crowd. I recognised the talented ex-Shadowland keyboarder Mike Varty who claims he also plays in Landmarq.
Credo are certainly worth a listen and they are also top blokes and friendly blokes too. Check out Credo at their website www.credo.gb.com
Looks like the Silhobbit liked it too!
Less heralded, but equally enjoyable was the gig the week before at THE DOVE INN MICHELDEVER in HAMPSHIRE, ubber PROG fan MICK from CROYDON turned up and we educated a load of Blues fans as to how great a night of PROG can be!
At the end of the show, a full hour and forty five minutes mind!, the locals were buying T Shirts and CD's like they were going out of FASHION, KINO gig aside, the band sold the most CD's it ever has at a gig......
We will be going back there soon, it's a great little pub, fantastic atmosphere and very, er, intimate/small!!!
Mark felt super disorientated as PAUL CLARKE (EX DRUMMER) was there, stood right in front of him, and it was obvious the big man was having problems understanding how PAUL was there in front of him but he could still hear drums!!! It was great to see Paul again.
Next thing to tell you about is the forthcoming dates with POLISH PROG heavyweights QUIDAM, now this lot are F@+K8nG awsome, and I for one can't wait to see them, confirmed dates so far are
29th September Stripes Bar - Brentford FC - Braemer Road Brentford
1st October Riffs Bar - Hook - Nr Swindon
Last couple of things! The very first F2 gig (the bands label) see's CREDO playing after EZRA and before MAGENTA and promises to be an absolutely great night, details below!
26th Nov 2006 The Robin 2, Bilston, UK
£12 in advance with guests Credo and Ezra
Lastly, for those that haven't seen it here is the latest interview with Mark
CREDO released their second album, 'Rhetoric' via F2 Music last year and it has been getting rave reviews ever since. If you like Fish era Marillion/Genesis with a modern touch then it is really worth a listen. Over to vocalist Mark Colton...
1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)
Well, we are gigging lots to promote RHETORIC and have small tours lined up with both Landmarq and (seperate dates) Quidam from Poland. We are in the process of confirming the first F2 show with Ezra, Magenta and us and hopefully that will become a more substantial tour. We are also starting to write the follow up to Rhetoric (Just in case Dave from F2 is reading this......)
2. Could you take us through the excellent new album 'Rhetoric' and
where the song ideas came from?
The lyrics are all I can talk about with authority, and pretty much cover my 25 years as a gigging/recording musician, I have plagiarised myself in places from my old bands like Casual Affair, and Freewill, and the songs cover a lot of my experiences over the years.
As for the individual songs, see below:
"Skintrade": Inspired by a conversation with a, then, girlfriend, who announced one night she wanted to be in Porn Films! What do you say to that, it's a no win situation! Her view was she wouldn't be the one being exploited, it would be the people buying the magazines (to do whatever it is people do with that sort of literature!) Just got me round to thinking one day, what makes people want to do that sort of thing!!! Most of the story is editorial licence and doesn't reflect on her at all, but that was the seed for the song.
"Turn The Gun": I was looking to write a sequel, or prequel, to "Kindness" from the first album, I would love to play the two songs together live at some point, but I ended up using the lyric originally when I was in Freewill. With Freewill's demise I still thought the lyric was valid, and let's face it, if you are going to plagiarise someone, yourself is a good (and safe) starting point! I love the power and intensity of this song, without being overly heavy it captures the insanity and claustrophobia that the cult ofcelebrity has bought to the modern world.
"From The Cradle : " Typical of my lyric writing I guess, bleeding heart poet time, but I think it is as good as anything I have ever written. It feels that most people of our age seem to be on second marriages, or despising the relationships they are in, and spend far too much time thinking about what might have been. Again it is a fictional person in the song but is based on so many people who have touched my life in the last thirty years. There are some pretty
vivid images in the song relating to the feeling you get when you return to your old hometown and the places you always used to go, it doesn't matter how much they have changed, the ghosts of yesterday still hang heavily in the air! Listen out for the great backing vocals from Sam Collins, from Janison Edge, in the end passage; again it's hairs on the back of your neck time!
"…To The Grave" : is a continuation of the previous song and deals with the same story from the perspective of the other partner, who doesn't view that relationship through quite the same rose tinted glasses!!! There are always two sides to every story, and this one details the anger and frustration of someone who gave everything they could, but was made to feel guilty that they couldn't fulfil the aspirations of a demanding partner, and ended up being painted as the villain of the whole affair, and can't quite believe the audacity of the other person. There is a great instrumental interlude at the end of the song, with a great rhythm which sounds simple but challenges every "air drummer" that has had a go at it! A true story? Maybe! We meet the protagonists again on the last song on the album!
"The Letter" : is the oldest song on the album, we played it live at the `FoV' launch party, again inspired by the end of an unsatisfactory relationship and as angry as it gets! A particular live favourite that we have now recorded three times. This is the only version that has ever captured the anger, frustration and pain
that you can experience when your whole fragile world collapses due to the actions of someone else. It also contains my favourite line that I have ever written!
"Too Late…" The first part of a duo of songs that was inspired by the poems written in the trenches during the First World War. The power, emotion and majesty of those poets moved me as much as any song I have ever heard. When I first heard the music the swagger, tension and power of the chorus demanded a lyric that matched it for power and simplicity, there are any number of vocals on that track which seem to perfectly capture the chaos and fear that people would have experienced when they would have gone "Over The Top". Great violin from Mike on the second verse that blew us all away the first
time we heard it. The verse allows the lyric to breathe and conjure even more poignant images before we hit the instrumental sectionthat leads to
"…To Say Good Bye". The closing section of the song which takes us in a different direction and highlights the vocals of Jim and Mike as we take the song to the end. The end section works wonderfully well live and every time we have played the two pieces together the audience has gone mad!!!
"The Game" From my perspective is very interesting, as the main body of the lyric was written when I was 16 or 17 (years not stone!) whilst some of it has lyrics that were completed earlier this year! It's a lyric that deals with loves young dream going horribly horribly wrong, and the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent! Another true story? You may think that, I couldn't possibly comment!!! There are some great light and shade moments on
the track, the main guitar solo is amazing and the final keyboard/vocal section is my favourite part of the whole album.
"Seems Like Yesterday" Well as I said the couple from "Cradle to the Grave" appear in the last number again, and by this point, there is a degree of reflection and sorrow from both partners who finally get the opportunity to say all the things they really wanted to say. Feels a bit like a coffee advert following these two! But there is more to follow in the next album, which if our recent run rate is anything to go by should be out in 2016!
3. How do you view the current music scene, especially progressive rock? Has the evolution of downloading and the wide use of the
Internet helped spread the word more about your music?
From a CREDO perspective our priority is to get our album heard by as many people as possible, the internet has helped, I am not so sure I would be so positive if I was in, say IQ or Pendragon and know that thousands are downloading my music for free!
As for the current Prog scene, to be honest, my view is it hasn’t changed much in the last ten or so years, you still got Pink Floyd and Genesis who, if they reformed, would be the worlds biggest grossing acts for the following Twelve months and then you got your next level, almost your championship level of Marillion, Tull etc, and then it's down to the next level, IQ, Pendragon, Magenta, Pallas etc, hopefully we are knocking on the door of this level after RHETORIC, seems to be the case from the reviews I have read!!!
4. How did the new line-up of Credo come about? Do you still keep in contact with past members of the band?
Mik left so long ago now I can't remember his reasoning, on reflection it was as good a thing as could have happened to us. Mik was a tremendous lyricist, but I am sure he would agree Mike Varty is an infinitely superior musician (as I am sure his Shadowland/Landmarq/Janison Edge credentials highlight). Paul was another matter, I have remained close to Paul and Robyn and his departure was a huge blow for us musically and personally. I think he just didn't enjoy the music we were playing anymore and wanted to get back to playing what he plays best, he is a phenomenal drummer, but again Martin brought a new edge, power and precision to what we do, Rhetoric wouldn't be the album it is if Martin hadn't come on board.
Mike Varty has added so much to the band, we now have two musicians (along with Tim Birrell our guitarist) who can solo and make the hairs on the back on your neck stand up! Mike produced the album and from a personal perspective coached the vocal performances out of me when I was in and out of hospital and my health was shot. His engineering and production work is phenomenal, his playing and song writing is superb and he is a nice bloke too, so between them they have made a great difference.
5. Where do you get your songwriting ideas from and who musically is an influence on you?
Well, historically I have always tended to write lyrics very much born out of the fact I was unable to maintain a satisfactory relationship! Neil Matthars (from Casual Affair) always refers to them as the "Oh you bitch you left me and broke my heart" sections! When I was single I think the other members of CREDO used to get real worried when I turned up with a new girlfriend at a gig, I am sure they used to warn them about the distinct possibility of having their lives thrown into a song! However, during that time, and I know that Jason you have seen me in three of my bands, I have always felt capable of incorporating issues that move me into a lyric. Bradford City FC fire and murders in Ireland (Too Late To Cry - Casual Affair), Play With Fire (youth drug culture, CA again), Skintrade (Prostitution and the loss of innocence (Freewill & CREDO) as well as things like Too late to Say Goodbye (CREDO) are some pretty good
examples of what I mean.
6. What was it like getting back to performing live again after such a long time?
Bloody scary! But great fun.
7. Casual Affair - Your other band are back gigging.Have you been enjoying the gigs again? Why did the band call it a day and whatever happened to Freewill?
The Casual gigs were/are great fun, and it was that that made it all possible, the split felt very acrimonious at the time and I don't want to go over old ground again, there are some scabs that are just best left unscratched! Ultimately we had just run our course, but couldn't see it. FREEWILL, on paper, should have been huge, but the chemistry musically just wasn't right, it ended up sounding like FISH fronting the RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS at a STEVIE WONDER plays METALLICA convention, love the guys in the band, despised the music.......
8. What have been the most memorable gigs and why?
CASUAL AFFAIR - The Night Mickey Moody opened for us & The night Carl announced he was leaving after we destroyed a support band featuring members of Terraplane/Thunder, The Opera On The Green in 89, opening for ZODIAC MINDWARP etc etc
FREEWILL - Opening for GALAHAD/PENDRAGON, farewell gig!
CREDO- Opening for WISHBONE ASH, JOHN WETTON, PORCUPINE TREE, KINO, ARENA, Pallas, Mostly Autumn etc etc Both albums launch gigs, the
night we signed to CYCLOPS, the night CREDO split after me and Tim had a huge row and someone found me dragged me back to the venue and
we suddenly realised just how good CREDO could be
9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Sleeping and avoiding the doctor!!!
10. Message to your fans...
Come up and say hello or drop me a mail, stay alive and buy the album!!!