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GONZO WEEKLY #191: Jon meets Karnataka

Karnataka is a Welsh progressive rock band that was formed in 1997 by bassist/guitarist Ian Jones, vocalist Rachel Jones and keyboardist Jonathan Edwards. The name Karnataka was chosen by the band, from a suggestion by Ian, following his trips to that state of India. The band very quickly built up a strong and staunch following.  Over a period of twelve years Karnataka  has released a number of well-received albums including Karnataka, The Storm, Delicate Flame Of Desire and more recently, The Gathering Light.

Despite undergoing a number of key line up changes, the band is still led by Ian Jones.  The new line up features, vocalist Lisa Fury alongside guitarist Enrico Pinnas, Keyboardist Gonzalo Carerra and drummer Ian Harris.

In May 2010, Ian Harris, Gonzalo Carrera and Lisa Fury announced on their websites that due to personal reasons they would be leaving the band. It was announced in October 2010 that Ian Harris would be replaced by former Karnataka session drummer Louie Palmer, and in October 2010 multi-instrumentalist Colin Mold was revealed as having joined the band in a new role. In February 2011, it was announced that Hayley Griffiths was the new lead vocalist for the band replacing Lisa Fury. Hayley was previously the lead vocalist with global phenomena Riverdance and Michael Flatley's Lord Of The Dance. The band's new lineup was completed in March 2011, when Cagri Tozluoglu was announced as the band's new keyboard player. In Sept 2011 the new line-up announced an extensive 15 date tour of the UK would take place early in 2012, subsequently named the "New Light Tour". Due to the second departure of Palmer, the band were joined by session player Matt McDonough for the tour (and continued to tour with the band until 2014). Following the completion of the 2012 tour, Mold departed the band, and was not replaced.

The band filmed and recorded their show at The Met Theatre in Bury on the New Light Tour. The show was enhanced by lights and lasers, and filmed in high definition. The live DVD and was released in late 2012. The band continued to tour this show into 2013.

The band revealed in August 2013 that they were working on a new album. It was revealed on 31 May 2014 that the band had hired drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi as an official replacement for Louie Palmer. The long awaited album was released on 7th March 2015, with the first copies being available at the concert in Derby and pre-orders shipped the next week. The album contains 8 tracks, including the title track, a '20 minute epic opus'. Other tracks on the album include Forbidden Dreams, Poison Ivy and Home to Me, which were previewed on the Forbidden Dreams tour in 2012/13. The band went on a UK tour starting on 28th February, playing every track from the new album each night.

In recent issues we wrote about the band’s plans to record a new live DVD, but as it has been a couple of years since I last spoke to them, I decided to give Ian a ring and see what else has been happening to them…..


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