Thursday, 25 July 2013

Trion - Funfair Fantasy

Another great slice of instrumental prog rock. This is the third album from Trion, a sort of side project by members of Flamborough Head and Odyssice. Though to be honest this album is just as good if not better than the members main outfits. The first two albums were released on Malcolm Parkers* excellent Cyclops label. I really liked the homage paid to Roger Dean by the cover design of the first album, even down to the balloon moniker aping Deans flying plane which he uses as his signature. The second album, "Pilgrim" had a cover more in the style of Hipgnosis's "Going for the One". Not sure if the new album is in the style of any established album however. The music though is beautifully realised keyboard and guitar based instrumental music in the style of Camel and Steve Hackett. Nothing too innovative maybe, but very well executed nonetheless.

*I am not overstating the fact that Malcolm Parker is one of the unsung heroes in rejuvenating the profile of progressive rock in the 90's. Through his mail order company GFT and recording label Cyclops, he enabled a whole new generation of bands and artists to be heard. It was the only place I knew where you could get stuff like Spocks Beard, Flower Kings and Anekdoten.

I have fond memories of leafing through his catalogue, stuffed with his comments and recommendations. Then there was his mail shots, sheets of new releases with his typed written comments marked up with his hand written annotations. How he managed to run GFT and the Cyclops label at the same time I don't know. Many times I would phone through an order (this was the pre internet days) for Malcolm to be on the end of the phone taking orders. Usually the order was on my doorstep by the next day. The mail was good in those days too! It was Cyclops who brought us Pineapple Thief, Mostly Autumn, Andy Tillison's pre Tangent Parallel or 90 Degrees, Manning, Citizen Cain and Karda Estra. My personal favourite band was Lands End. I believe the label is still going, but it seems on a much smaller scale. I really do think Prog Magazine should do a profile of the man.



  1. Hi Barrie - enjoying your insightful posts. I have Trion's "Tortoise" - attracted to it mainly by the cover - I was convinced I bought it in New Hampshire in 1999 but I see it wasn't released until 2003. Hmm. Good album nonetheless.

  2. Hi David, Yes it was released around 2003 I believe. Though that first album was based solely around mellotron samples ( hence the band name from trio and mellotron) latter albums have expanded the keyboards to include organ, synths etc which make for a more diversified sound.