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GONZO WEEKLY #138: Jon meets Stu from Galahad

Galahad formed in 1985 just for fun playing roughly half covers (Genesis, Zeppelin, Rush, Sabbath, Focus, Marillion etc) and half original material. Galahad then supported a few fairly well known 'Progressive' bands that were coming up at the time including IQ, Pendragon, Haze and later Pallas and Magnum.

Then, after mixing it with the slightly 'bigger boys' Galahad decided take it more seriously, and began playing  only original material resulting in the release of their first proper album in 1991, 'Nothing Is Written', which was purely self-financed and released independently but which went on to sell several thousand copies.

The success of 'Nothing Is Written' was also helped by the fact that the band received substantial air play on BBC Radio One, especially on the Radio One Rock Show hosted by the late, great Tommy Vance. The band then landed themselves with deals in the UK, Japan and Germany.

The band has now released fifteen albums including albums by main band offshoots such as Galahad Electric Company and the Galahad Acoustic Quintet. The band has played hundreds of gigs in the UK, Europe and America over the last few years, at times in some very unusual venues!

In 2002 Galahad released 'Year Zero' which featured John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson, Family etc.) on guest vocals.

In September 2006 Galahad released their debut DVD 'Resonance' , which was recorded live in Katowice, Poland in May 2006. 

'Empires Never Last' , which features Karl Groom (Threshold) on engineering duties, was released in 2007 and took the band in a heavier, more muscular, guitar orientated direction. This more contemporary, metallic approach seems to have worked as ‘Empires’ was a great success, both commercially and critically, and resulted in them winning album of the year at the 2007 Classic Rock Society awards. ‘Empires’ was also included in many top 10 album listings  for 2007.

In the interim and whilst recording TWO new studio albums Galahad  released a couple of live albums ‘Sleepless in Phoenixville – Rosfest Live 2007’  and 'Whitchurch 92/93 - Live Archives -Vol.2' (CD/DVD) plus a re-issue of their 1992 Year Zero album, which also contained  bonus CD consisting  of  live versions of tracks from Year Zero.

'Battle Scars', again recorded at Thin Ice by Karl Groom was released in April 2012 and took the band further into a heavy/rockier direction but mixing it up with a  few more overt modern dance/trance and classical influences.   'Beyond the Realms of Euphoria', the second album recorded at the same time was released in October 2012.

A comprehensive biography entitled 'One For the Record - The Official Biography of Galahad' written by Andrew Wild was published in April 2013 documenting the history of the band from 1985 to the end of 2012. The biography also comes with a companion Video Archive DVD which includes many rare and previously unreleased live performances, some dating as far back as 1986.

2014 saw  the band release a clutch of EP’s,  ‘Seize the Day’, 'Guardian Angel' and 'Mein Hertz Brennt' the latter containing several differing versions of the Rammstein classic.

2015 is the 30th anniversary of the band forming, the band will celebrate throughout the year with various releases and a  special anniversary show that they played at  Mr Kyps in Poole on Saturday 4th July. To start the ball rolling in this anniversary year  a remixed version of 'Empires Never Last' was released in January which included a couple of extra tracks on the CD version as well as a companion album (download only from the band's web site) containing demo tracks, some of which were and some of which were not used on the resulting album.

The band will also be releasing a double retrospective compilation album 'When Worlds Collide' which will include ten brand new recordings of old songs, some of which date back to 1985 and one track which has never been recorded before, as well as a selection of tracks from their last three studio albums.

The band will also be mixing a live album/DVD recorded at Konin in Poland in 2013 during the Battle Scars/Euphoria tour  which will be released some time towards the end of the year.

So with all this happening I telephoned lead singer Stu Nicholson, an old friend of this magazine for a chat...

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