Musical appreciation, it’s a very subjective question; my musical tastes are, I like to think, quite broad, eclectic maybe even eccentric but by far and away my favourite type of music has, since my early teens, always been Prog; variously referred to as Progressive Rock or Art Rock a genre which in itself seems to encompass various different sub-genres of music. It’s difficult to explain succinctly just what Prog is but when you hear it, you know it.
Some years back I got into the Polish Progressive music scene, initially through the Warsaw based band “Riverside”. In 2014, during further investigations into Polish Prog music I came across a CD called “Wabiąc Cienie” (Luring Shadows) by a Polish band called “Albion”. I was intrigued, why would a Polish band call themselves Albion? I did a little digging on YouTube where there is a small amount of material by Albion and decided to buy the CD. In due course it arrived and I sat down, donned headphones and listened.
The lyrics were all in Polish, well, obvs you may think but a lot of Polish bands sing in English, trying to gain the bigger international audience; but these were in Polish and I didn’t understand a word. Well, okay, that’s not strictly true, I understood quite a few single words but nothing like a line of verse or chorus. The music however (subjectivity alert!) was really good. I searched for and bought more CDs by Albion, there’s not a great deal, five studio albums, a re-issue of the first two albums and a compilation of instrumental versions of earlier songs. Wabiąc Cienie was their 3rd studio album released in 2005, their last studio album release was in 2012 and it looked as if the band was inactive.
Shortly after I’d bought Wabiąc Cienie I messaged the guy that owns and runs the on-line music shop (Lynx Music) where I’d bought the album and I asked if there was a lyrics insert available as I wanted to try to understand the songs. He wrote back and explained that no, there wasn’t but he did give me an email address for Jerzy Antczak, the leader, lead guitar anyway, of Albion. I wrote to Jerzy and asked him, amongst other things, why they’d called the band Albion and were the lyrics available so that I could try to translate them.
Jerzy wrote back, he was astonished that I had even heard of Albion, let alone that I liked the music. He told me that the band had been formed just after the fall of Communism in Poland and they wanted to play music like their musical heroes, Prog bands like Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd; bands mainly from the UK so the band was called Albion. A transcript of the song lyrics was also forwarded to me, in Polish, but I managed with help from Google to translate it. This was back in 2014, since then Jerzy Antczak has released two solo albums, which I also like, Albion however seemed to be no more.
Then earlier this year, Lynx Music announced that for their 20th birthday celebrations, there would be a special concert and Albion would be the headline act. This was closely followed by the news that Albion were back in the studio and would be premiering their new album at the concert.
Am I going to go to the concert? You bet your boots I am.
Where is it being held? Kraków.
When is it due to take place? 22nd September, 2018. Yes, two days from today, “today” being September 20th.
I’ve been to Kraków before, a few times; okay, one time was only a fleeting visit, arriving in the early evening for a concert and then leaving before noon the next day; but I like Kraków, it’s a nice place, a bit touristy maybe “in season” but a nice place.
Airline tickets have been purchased.
Although saying that, it’s been pretty stormy here in dear old Albion these past few days, high winds, the sort of thing that disrupts transport links. I missed a flight last year because of a tree across the railway line somewhere in Essex. So, if the gods are willing and Ryanair holds its nerve, I’ll be jetting off eastwards tomorrow, from Albion to Albion.