Well, what a year 2013 it has been in this crazy little world called prog. The music again has defined the year for we people of the prog who love odd time signatures, a bit of noodling and an occasional organ solo or two.
As well as the incredible music which kept on coming throughout the year, it is also a good time to mention the amazing camaraderie that exists among the ever-growing prog family.
There have been so many highlights and personal favourites, many of which have been documented elsewhere so there is no need to revisit them.
Instead, we invite you to join us to take a slightly sideways, humorous look at some of the people, music and places that have defined the year.
So ladies and gentlemen of the prog, pray silence and charge your glasses for the recipients of the 2013 Dowager Awards.
The Michael Wood History Man Award for the best lectures by a prog musician is given to Greg Spawton for his unscripted talks about the Winchester Diver and Alfred the Great among others during the walking tour leg of The Big Big Weekend.
The Iain Duncan Smith/JobCentre Award for best incentivisation to get back into the world of work goes to The Tangent for “Le Sacré du Travail”.
The South Side of the Sky “Were we ever colder on that day?” Award goes to the organisers of HRH Prog for keeping bands and fans well chilled for a weekend in the freezer aka Magna Science Adventure Park.
The Ernest Hemingway “Courage is Grace Under Pressure” Award goes to Christina Booth for showing such fortitude, humour and openness during her recent treatment for breast cancer. Highly commended, Moo Bass for the battle with his back which he appears to be winning.
The Marmite Award for the “Either you love it or hate it” Song of the Year goes to Haken for “The Cockroach King”.
The Mothercare “Sprog Rock” Award goes to to Haze especially Paul and Catrin McMahon for appearing at Summer’s End, a babe in arms wearing ear defenders firmly strapped to Mum while she played flute and their 15 year old son Danny, who they picked up from school en route to the festival, who gave it some serious welly on drums.
The Specsavers Award for finally being able to see there’s a world out there beyond his bare feet goes to Steven Wilson.
The Andy Warhol “Famous for More Than 15 Minutes” Award for most prolific artwork goes to Brian Watson for his excellent contributions to the albums of both The Tangent and Manning.
The Playtex Award for Supporting Act of the Year goes to Alan Reed for playing with a veritable prog who’s who over the past 18 months.
The Cream “White Room” Award goes to the Peel for obvious reasons. The venue also wins The Darkness Award for making decent photography practically impossible because of its lamentable lighting.
The Dowager’s Special Award goes to Simon Godfrey for being simply Simon Godfrey. (Citation: a brilliant solo album; a joy to interview during which we were both pooped on, but not necessarily by a duck; a hoot (not a quack) gigging live and wishing him well on his brand new life ahead).