Until recently, The Gift were regarded by those in the know as ‘the best kept secret’ in progressive rock. Back in 2006, their first album ‘Awake And Dreaming’ wowed the ‘Prognoscenti’ with its heady mixture of ‘70s style and contemporary soundscapes. Then there was silence…until the band reformed a few years ago. Originally signed to Cyclops Records, the band joined the ever growing Bad Elephant Music roster in 2013. Then their long-awaited second album “Land of Shadows” emerged on the 5th of May 2014. It was another ambitious song suite packed with strong melodies, incisive lyrics and instrumental ‘tours de force’. The album took the listener on a true musical journey with tracks like “The Comforting Cold”, an ambitious epic about the near-death experience. As vocalist and songwriter Mike Morton said upon its release: “Don’t come to us for songs about cars and girls.”
BEM re-released ‘Awake And Dreaming’ in February 2016 to mark its 10th anniversary, re-mastered and repackaged with stunning new artwork. It caused a real stir in the UK, and The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy (in particular) were quick to join the growing calls for ‘more Gift’! In October 2016 The Gift released their 3rd album, ‘Why The Sea Is Salt’. Now, with the arrival of new keyboard player Gabriele Baldocci, a world renowned classical pianist, and original guitarist Leroy James returning to the fold, the music has risen to a whole new level. Add to this key contributions from both Steve Hackett and Antony Phillips of Genesis fame, both close friends and supporters of the band, and you have a force to be reckoned with.
There is a Progressive Renaissance happening right now and The Gift are at its vanguard.
Lineup – Mike Morton (vocals), David Lloyd (guitar), Leroy James (guitar), Stefan Dickers (bass), Gabriele Baldocci (keyboards) and Neil Hayman(drums).
Beginning life as a psychedelic, multi-media group, IT is a band with a colossal sound that shakes the bones, with a barrage of images that feeds the mind. IT’s sound fuses the classic melodies of prog rock’s past with a passion and intensity usually only found in punk or metal bands. Politics, religion, war and sexuality all come under the band’s lens for critical examination. Lyrics are intelligent, challenging and occasionally darkly humorous. The bottom line is that the IT experience will inform your thinking, feelings and memory long after the last notes have ended.
IT formed in 1994 when Nick Jackson recorded and produced the band’s first full-length album The Stranger Inside the Self. This was also when the band first began using multimedia during live shows with the inclusion of short films playing behind the group on stage. The band followed this up with the album Two Worlds in early January 1995.
The band’s third album, Over & Out, was released on June 21st 2002. It was created as a concept with a story line and was performed by IT live in its entirety accompanied by projected visual montages created by Nick Jackson. In 2004 IT began to redefine itself as the band line-up grew and become more permanent, particularly with the addition of Andy Rowberry on lead guitar. He also no contributes to a lot of the song-writing alongside Nick Jackson.
The fourth album Departure was released in July 2009 to critical acclaim with the accompanying bonus DVD giving an indication of the powerful onstage visuals that had by now become an integral part of the IT experience.
There then followed something of a hiatus whilst the band formulated the ideas that would eventually become…
This explores themes of austerity, inequality and an uncertain future for younger generations. Conceptually-based, it comprises 10 brand new tracks, including the debut single, Revolution, which was released back in October 2016, and supported with a strong video https://youtu.be/gk82tpzginU depicting rogue youth against an establishment protected by police.
All the tracks were written and produced by Nick Jackson and Andy Rowberry with 3 of the tracks co-written by James Hawkins (bass) and Will Chism (drums). James and Will have become established members in the band – contributing to its unique sound – and have toured with IT since the Departure album.
The global official release date is 01st March 2017 via the Progressive Gears Records label in both digital and physical formats.
Social Media: www.facebook.com/ITofficial or @IT_official (Twitter)