Return to Loreley - July 09
Dramatic fairytale scenery
Steve and Jo relax for five minutes!
The band with budding musicians
Night of the Prog Festival
Loreley, set in the heart of the Rhine valley, for me is the German landscape at its wild dramatic best. The area boasts a permanent festival site in the form of a re-constituted ancient Roman amphitheatre. The word Loreley literally means 'murmuring rock', a symbolic description of the sound of cascading waterfall and gigantic rocky outcrop. Legend has it that the spirit of the beautiful maiden Loreley, in true siren fashion, lured sailors to their deaths on the rocks and sandbanks of the massive Rhine.
Saturday 11 July was the third time I've been lured to the extraordinary festival site. First with Genesis in '76, secondly with acoustic trio of Roger King and Brother John.
I felt as we played the complete version of Firth of Fifth we weren't just celebrating one siren's myth, but all riversongs at their unstoppable rolling best. I have to say the band of King, O'Toole, Beggs and Townsend played a cracking version of one of the best love songs from Selling England.
A Day in the Life of a festival found in a hilltop fairytale castle-strewn forest by the Rhine, as if the brothers Grimm and Norse myth had teamed up with Disney and said, "Go forth, my son... spare not the trolls nor thy bass pedal, for truly you shall awaken in the Twilight of Valhalla if thou givst it plenty of wellie...
Seriously, Loreley does have a strange atmosphere all its own and always holds surprises. On my first visit in the boiling summer of '76 the police saw fit to install a drug-bust centre which not surprisingly caught fire and nearly took the stage and band with it! On my second visit in 2005, I found myself jamming with another great band, Mother's Finest. This time I was struck by the amazing spirit of the crowd, who made an excellent choir in themselves!
It was great to connect with old friends and new. Many thanks to Win for setting the whole festival up and for making it possible to for us appear in this magical otherworldly place.
The gig - Steve, Nick and Rob