Formed in 1971, Camel are still fronted by long-term vocalist, guitarist and flautist Andrew Latimer, alongside consistent (and ironically named) bassist Colin Bass, drummer Dennis Clement and touring keyboard player Pete Jones. On the upcoming tour which will take them across the world, ending up in the UK in September, they will be revisiting their seminal album Moonmadness, alongside a string of other tracks worshipped by prog fans across the globe.
Moonmadness was released in 1976, received critical acclaim, and went on to place 15th in the UK album charts, certify as a silver release and be voted as one of Prog Magazines Top 100 Prog Albums Of All Time. Not a bad achievement for one of the prog bands who have often been overlooked. The album followed on from the success of the previous year’s instrumental release, ‘The Snow Goose’, where it incorporated the band’s trademark instrumental prog alongside vocals, which were spread between the band members. ‘Aristillus’ shows off Latimer’s melodic flute ability, while ‘Chord Change’ demonstrates his talent with a guitar. The huge, ever-changing, exciting soundscape that the album creates is perfect when heard rippling through the acoustic excellence of, for example, London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Of course, Camel have been producing prog classics for almost 50 years, and the rest of their set on this tour will comprise a carefully selected range of these tunes. Camel never pined for a huge mountain of keyboards like Rick Wakeman, or the crunching overdrive of modern bands like Opeth- their take on prog remains simplistic but virtuosic; restrained but always grand. That’s why, no matter what they choose to perform in the second half of what promises to be the ultimate prog show, the band will remain true to their roots and the arrangements that have kept their fans coming back since 1973’s eponymous debut.
It isn’t 1976. Moonmadness hasn’t just landed with the promise of years of touring. It is 2018 and the most influential bands in history are stepping away from the limelight and being replaced with younger, modern bands. Get in fast and see the icons who started it all while you can.
Tickets for Camel’s 2018 tour are on sale now at www.camelproductions.com.