Knight Of The Progs are a group of musicians from The Netherlands playing covers from famous progressive rock acts from the seventies and eighties. They got their name and concept from the well-known Night Of The Proms-concerts. During concerts of NOTP the artists play hits and symphonic classics. This tribute bands does the same as far as progressive rock is concerned. This DVD is a registration from one of their live shows in Zuiderpark, The Hague in The Netherlands. †
Why does a tribute band release a live DVD? There are just a few tribute bands that released a concert on DVD. One of these bands are Genesis Project hailing from the Netherlands as well. Itís not that strange if you know that some band members playing in Knight Of The Progs also play in Genesis Project. However, KOTP didnít want to cover Genesisí music only and therefore they decided to start a new tribute band that could also perform material from other progressive rock acts. The DVDís released by Genesis Project were of a fairly good quality, but were above all fine souvenirs for people who saw the band perform, but also for the band members who got a real physical evidence of their performances. Something to look back at when they are older and no longer play in a band! This could probably the main reason why KOTP filmed their performance in The Hague. Itís obvious that the filmed material lacks a high-definition quality. The members of KOTP arenít professional musicians. They perform only for the love of music and the mutual friendship of the musicians. This certainly doesnít mean that the footage of the two and a halve hour rock show isnít worth watching. The close-ups of the musicians are rather good and that also applies for the sound and vision.
How good are their renditions of the songs written by all those well-known progressive rock acts? This certainly is the most important question while watching this DVD. Fortunately, I can give you a positive answer. Iíve already mentioned the DVDís made by Genesis Project consisting of a number of band members from KOTP. So, you see first class musicians who know how to handle their instruments. The vocals are of a high level as well. All singers reach an acceptable level without singing out of tune. Maybe you donít like all the tracks, but thatís just a matter of personal taste. I wonít mention every piece of music separately, because that would take too much space. Before the band hit the stage you hear excerpts from Stravinskyís Firebird Suite, the same music Yes once used just before the start of their show. Besides we can enjoy two of their classic pieces: Yours Is No Disgrace and And You And I which both sound very good. Maybe itís a bit strange that they didnít perform Owner Of A Lonely Heart, their biggest hit ever.
The use of a Rickenbacker-bass and Moog Taurus pedals by Sven de Haan is certainly one of the reasons why they succeed in making good covers of these prog tunes. Rick Wakemanís MiniMoog-sound is excellently done by Ebert Zwart. However, the most remarkable moment during the Yes-covers is when keyboard player Ebert Zwart plays the twelve-string acoustic guitar during the intro of And You And I. Another surprise is Jon Andersonís voice sung by female singer Maaike Breijman. Sheís also known as the Dutch Kate Bush and she does a great job singing Andersonís vocal lines. Next to performing two great covers of Kate Bush on this release, she also performed the vocals of Roger Hodgson during Supertrampís Foolís Overture. The duet with Charles Dehue on Donít Give Up, (Kate Bush & Peter Gabriel) is of a very high quality level as well. Charlesí vocal abilities became clear during his performances of Here Comes The Flood by Peter Gabriel and on Firth Of Fifth, Dance On A Volcano en Los Endos all by Genesis. His way of singing on songs from Marillion, Kayak, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, UK, Pink Floyd and Kansas proved that he can do more than singing in a Genesis-tribute band. Itís just too bad that he left the band lately and that also applies for guitarist Fred van Leeuwen. He even left the band before this DVD was released! Van Leeuwen is an outstanding guitarist especially on Firth Of Fifth and the Pink Floyd-classic Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Surprisingly, the band played a much longer version of this piece than we are used to hear from other tribute bands. For me, the most surprising cover was Chappaqua by Dutch band Solution, not really a big name in the genre. On this piece saxophone player Leslie van der Heul proves to be a very professional musician. It looks as if he has no problem at all while performing Pink Floyd- and Supertramp-songs.
Most of the time, Knight Of The Progs looks a bit static on stage and that was probably one of the reasons why the band made use of a screen at the back of the stage on which they showed footage of the original artists. After seeing the entire show, I can only be positive about the achievements of these musicians. Maybe they could have included some theatrical elements in their show in order to give the audience more visual entertainment, but thatís just a side-issue. If you like more visual entertainment you should watch an old Genesis- show or a DVD made by U2!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013