Van Der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator are Peter Hammill (voice, guitar, keyboard), Hugh Banton (organ, bass) and Guy Evans (drums, percussion), the three surviving members of the original group formed in Manchester, 1968.
Darker and wilder than most of their contemporaries Van der Graaf Generator were known for sprawling, dense and complex songs on six albums recorded for the Charisma label between ‘69 and ‘76. Their unique sound was based on organ, sax, driving percussion and declamatory vocals. Constantly touring, they achieved their greatest success in Italy with the album Pawn Hearts in 1971. After warping into a powerful violin/bass/guitar set-up in 1976 the band finally split in 1978.
In live performance, as in the studio, they strive to look forward rather than back and as much of their repertoire is taken from the new albums as from the old ones. They’ve also made it a point to bring back to life some surprising – and rarely performed – pieces from the past, both from the Van der Graaf Generator catalogue and from Peter Hammill’s solo works. The intention is not to attempt to recreate the exact sound and style of the original but rather to tap into its spirit and reinvent it in a 21st century form.
Van der Graaf Generator continue to push forward, acknowledging that they’re a group with a certain history, but also stating the case that they’re an emphatically modern one.
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