Need to flag this one up today, Pallas were a band we covered quite a bit in the very early days of Organ, reviews, interviews down the Marquee and such, the Scottish prog band who were a big part of that defiant early 80’s D.I.Y prog scene (and who are still going today) are asking for a bit of help. Mike Stobbie was an original founder member of the band when they originally formed in 1975 (originally called Rainbow until someone else took up the name and they in turn became Pallas),
“Visit the Pallas Bandcamp site now, for a special digital album to raise money for founder member, Mike Stobbie’s, urgent medical treatment”. said vocalist Alan Reed on his Twitter feed (Alan recently returned for another stint as Pallas frontman, that’s a story for another day though, today is about Mike). From what we see Mike Stobbie is going through a really really tough/awful time, the kind of time you wouldn’t wish it on the worst of people let along a good guy like Mike.
True to say we haven’t really covered Pallas that much since the late 80’s and the early days of Organ (besides the occasional re-issue), still a big fan of what they describe as their “Arive Alive” period (did like The Wedge) and they really should be explored again, that’s for another day as well though, today is about Mike and an album just released as a fundrasing thing
Pallas, currently busy working on their new album, The Messenger, say they have been “hit by sad news regarding founder member and close friend Mike Stobbie’s recent health issues”. From what we see, Mike has always been part of the Pallas family even when he wasn’t actually in the band, here’s what the band say today on theiir Bandcamp page
“Mike and Graeme formed the band at school in 1974, and since departing prior to the “Arrive Alive” period, Mike has rejoined the band for stints behind the keyboards during the ’80s and onwards and has worked with Alan on his recent albums. Unfortunately, Mike lost part of his arm due to a serious attack of the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciiti
In response to this, Pallas has compiled a download album called “Compendium” to help raise funds for Mike’s non-NHS treatment. The aim of the album is to generate enough money to allow Mike to undergo groundbreaking surgery that will provide him with a bionic hand, enabling him to return to composing and performing
Compendium offers a fascinating insight into the early development of the band in the late ’70s, featuring home studio and live recordings from the years before the band recorded their debut live album, Arrive Alive
The album also includes tracks from the ’80s when Mike returned for what would have been the album after The Wedge, as well as some demo tracks from before Beat The Drum
Compendium concludes with a work-in-progress version of Mike’s mega opus, Exordium, from an in-development album of the same name”
This isn’t really the time and place for a review of the album, it probably is something for the already commited Pallas fans but that piece of work in progress , Exordium, sounds excllent in a epic slice of classic prog rock kind of way. Pallas always did have a big keyboard sound, there goes that classic bit of Marquee Choral Society bounce, worth the price of the album for those nine work in progress minutes alone, Elsewhere the early material is more than interesting for those who are Pallas fans or followers of that New Wave Of Prog Rock period and those glorious D.I.Y days of bands IQ, Twefth night, Dagaband, LaHost, Citizen Cain and the rest of them, Some of the early material on the album is bootleg/demo quality but somehow that adds to it all, some of us have had this stuff on fourth or fifth generation cassette tapes for year, that tape sound was and is part of the magic.
The late 80’s early 90’s tracks on the album are more towards the big bombastic stadium rock thing that the Pallas sound evolved into, a mix of the early Pallas prog/pomp days and a more Simple Minds flavoured thing, still laced with lumps of epicness, very much a late 80’s thing though, still damn good if you’re a fan of that big 80’s/90’s stadium rock everything-bigger-than-everything-else sound. Dare we mention U2? or maybe even Big Country? Certainly Peter Gabriel? If you like that big late 80’s sound you’ll love it, if you already know Pallas you’ll like it, if you don’t know Pallas it probably isn’t the best starting point, but then again, they will be people who won’t like the glorious early prog/pomp material as much as the late 80’s stuff, all a matter of who you are and where you’re at. And then at the end of it all (and you do get lots and lots for your money) is the excellent work in progress from Mike.
If you’ve never heard of or maybe just never heard Pallas, although not featuring Mike, Rise and Fall was always a stand out track, as was Atlantis…