Much like a certain famous fellow Porcupine Tree member, guitarist John Wesley has had a busy schedule since that band’s hiatus; particularly with a prominent solo career (which of course also started during PT’s years). Unlike this certain counterpart however whom has veered far away from any sense of PT’s metallic elements, these have remained a core part of Wesley’s sound, additionally of course with prog and a broad range of styles to boot. Continue reading
“I have begun sorting through ideas and direction for the next album and have started the process of writing pieces that will come together to form the basis for the album. I will be using much of the same team that recorded the last album and hope to begin actual tracking in the late spring early summer. Until then I will be doing shows in and around Florida and hopefully start working some of the new ideas out in the live set.”
An official video for the title track, “Disconnect,” can be viewed here.
Progressive music guitar hero John Wesley is hitting the road touring with prog super-group Flying Colours, as well as Living Color this fall. In addition Wesley will join the ranks of another legendary prog band band, Big Elf, for a one-off tour starting with Progtoberfest in Chicago and continuing with European dates. Continuing to support his excellent solo album Disconnect (Inside Out Music) from earlier this year, Wesley continues thrill fans audiences in concert with his songcraft and musicianship.
From The Press Release:
Earlier this year John Wesley released his new studio album Disconnect, and now he has revealed that his band have been invited out on a European tour with Flying Colors (Neal Morse, Steve Morse, Casey McPherson, Dave LaRue, Mike Portnoy). Following this, they will also join Living Colour for a select few U.S. shows in December. John had this to say about the tour:
“I am really excited to finally be able to bring the band over to Europe for our first series of shows in support of “Disconnect”. I am looking forward to seeing and meeting all the fans and friends and getting back into some of my favorite cities. Hopefully this tour will open the door to many more shows in many more cities in the future.”
The full list of dates are as follows:
Flying Colours European dates:
Oct 7: Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz 2
Oct 8: Milan, Italy – Milan Live Club
Oct 9: Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
Oct 11: Frankfurt, Germany – Batschkapp
Oct 12: Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7
Oct 13: London, England – Islington Assembly Hall
Oct 14: Paris, France – Alhambra
Living Colour US dates:
Dec 10: Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Dec 12: Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
Dec 13: St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre
Dec 14: Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade Atlanta
Not only that, but John will be joining Bigelf as a guest guitarist in October and November, starting with “Progtoberfest” in the US and continuing into Europe. Those dates can be found below:
Bigelf tour dates:
Oct 25: Chicago, IL – PROGTOBERFEST
Oct 29: Zoetermeer, Holland – Boerderij
Oct 30: Dortmund, Germany – Dortmund FZW
Nov 1: Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7
Nov 2: Frankfurt, Germany – Nachtleben
Nov 3: Munich, Germany – Strom
Nov 4: Milan, Italy – Legend Club
Nov 6: Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz 3
Nov 7: Madrid, Spain – Copernico
Nov 8: Bilbao, Spain – Sonora
Nov 14: Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
Nov 15: Gwynedd, North Wales, UK – Hard Rock Hell 7
Nov 17: Glasgow, UK – Cathouse
Nov 18: Wolverhampton, UK – Slade Rooms
Nov 19: London, UK – The Garage
John Wesley Featured in Guitar Player Magazine:
Renowned music journalist Anil Prasad interviewed John for a 5-page feature in the October 2014 issue of Guitar Player Magazine. Alex Lifeson of RUSH contributed to the article, discussing Wesley’s music and how he came to be involved with Disconnect.
What People Have Been Saying About Disconnect:
“he’s been hiding away too long” – Prog Magazine
“gloriously turbulent axework” – Classic Rock
“it’s time for John Wesley to receive the proper artistic recognition and praise he so rightly deserves.” – Powerplay
“a feast of wonderful guitar sounds and breaks, plus stunningly expressive extended solos” – Total Guitar
An official video for the title track ‘Disconnect’ can be viewed here:
John Wesley on Facebook
I’m not quite sure if this was Blackfield’s last show or last show with this lineup, it remains unclear to me. Tonight’s show had a feeling of closure and finality. Having newly discovered this group I can say I was regretting not finding them sooner. The night started off with fellow Porcupine Tree alumni John Wesley. Not at all what I was expecting when I heard who was in his band. Wesley and his solo band put on a massively mellow and grooving set. Fellow guitarist and vocalist Ian Medhurst won me over very quickly. I was even more impressed with his rhythm section: former Iced Earth drummer Mark Prator and Sean Malone of Cynic. Their musicianship was uncanny. They powered through eight songs of new and old tunes with little or no effort
Before Blackfield took the stage the crowd was already starting with chants of “Please don’t stop” and “We love you”. I met a guy named David who came all the way San Francisco to see the end of the show. That’s a true fan right there. He was even gracious enough to fill me in on the band history.
When they took the stage the crowd was hungry for their music. Blackfield headed up by Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Storm Corrosion, Opeth) they launched into a massive 20 song set. There was a wide range of emotions in this music. I was blown away, but the connection the crowd had with the band made every song was a sing along. From ‘Miss U’ to ‘Jupiter’ they showed this was more than just prog rock, it was just great music period. The closest thing they reminded me in terms of style was Pink Floyd with ‘Where is My Love?’. From the acoustic sounds to the ballad-tinged parts, it was one of the memorable songs for me. To help bring the night to a close Dream Theater’sJordan Rudess came out for the extended last song, ‘Cloudy Now’. Jordan rocked on a keyboard and then an iPad. It was as hard rockin as this group gets, and the perfect ending to an eye-opening night.
Blackfield Set List:
My Gift of Silence
Go to Hell
Disolving with the Night
Where is my Love?
End of the World
Although not the most household of names, John Wesley is a very important contributor to modern day progressive rock. Most notably John was band and touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree during their acclaimed period of In Absentia through to final album The Incident, as well as an understated solo career, with Disconnect (Inside Out Music) the latest.
Still under the prog rock banner, Disconnect is linked to the genre rather loosely, sharing considerably ground with some of the more inconspicuous components of prog and even at times with moody, post-grunge American rock. Reference points seem to include the likes of A Perfect Circle and Porcupine Tree whilst the likes of ‘Mary Will’ even have some ties with Goo Goo Dolls and the like.
As strong as John’s vocals are here, the real star is his guitar work which interchanges to strong melodic leads to a lower rumbling powerhouse, culminating on the clean acoustics of ‘Satellite’. At times the guitar tone even invokes Adam Jones of Tool’s unique tuning and use of short, but powerful notes. Alex Lifeson contributes to the track ‘Once A Warrior’ too.
Overall a brooding and melancholic album, Disconnect puts John Wesley’s formidable guitar chops right at the forefront, leading some very strong, straightforward and memorable song writing. Not hugely mind-bending and off-kilter as some under the progressive umbrella, but still with plenty of versatility, Disconnect is a highly recommended gem in a very low key solo career.
John Wesley on Facebook