Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's EP 'Ark' has three tracks -
1) Ark (A-side) - progressive rock instrumental 2) Chasing Neon (B-side) - retrofuturistic electronic instrumental 3) She Moved Through The Fair - Traditional Irish folk song (bonus track)
When my dad, David Galloway, died recently, I inherited his father, Richard Galloway’s Second World War flight logs. He had been a telegraphist air-gunner (TAG) in the Fleet Air Arm. TAGs were responsible for communications via Morse code, and manning the rear gun. Almost one in six of the TAGs trained in the Fleet Air Arm died in action or accidents. I didn’t know Richard well; I was young when he died. Although he survived the war, he died in his 50’s of the bowel cancer that would also kill his son.
His flight logs document with shocking economy both the mundane and the world-changing events in which he had participated. The attack on the Bismark, a major victory for Allied forces, is noted with the same concision as a training mission.
The Ark Royal (one of several British ships of the same name) on which he served was an aircraft carrier. At the time of its design in 1934, there were weight restrictions due to international naval treaties designed to minimise the developing naval arms race. It was built by Camell Laird at Birkenhead and launched in 1938. It played important roles in several naval theatres of war. The Ark Royal was involved in the first aerial U-boat sinking, took part in providing air cover in the coast off Norway, in the sinking of the Bismark, and in the protection of the convoys providing a life-line to Malta (which was vital for keeping Allied troops in Africa supplied).
The Ark Royal narrowly avoided sinking on several occasions and was considered by many to be a ‘lucky ship’. Eventually her luck ran out. A German U-boat torpedo hit her on 13 November 1941, and she sank the following day. All but one of the 1,488 crew survived.
Before war was officially declared, German U-boats had taken up position around Britain, and within hours of the declaration of war, began torpedoing shipping. In September 1939 the Ark Royal was part of a ‘hunter-killer group’ searching for U-boats. On 14 September 1939 she went to the aid of The SS Fanad Head, a cargo ship under U-boat attack. The Ark Royal was spotted by U-boat U39, which launched two torpedoes at the Ark Royal, which managed to turn in time for the attack to narrowly miss. Accompanying destroyers depth charged U39, leading to the first U-boat loss of the war.
After coming close to losing the Ark Royal, the use of aircraft carriers at the centre of Royal Navy hunter-killer groups was discontinued.
In 1939 the Ark Royal successfully contributed to locating the German ship, the Graf Spree. Due to a combination of Naval power and counter-intelligence misdirection, the commander of the Graf Spree ordered it to be scuttled, thinking it was at risk of being captured by the Allies.
Between April and June 1940 the Ark Royal provided air cover from the sea off Norway.
Following the evacuation of troops from Norway, the Ark Royal was sent to Gibraltar, from where it took part in actions against the Vichy fleet, and subsequently provided vital support to convoys to Malta.
The Ark Royal contributed to the sinking of the battleship Bismark on 27 May 1941
On 10 November 1941, while returning to Gibraltar from delivering aircraft to Malta, the Ark Royal was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat, resulting in an approximately 40x9m hole below the waterline. The ship sank on 14 November.
Our piece ‘Ark’ follows the story of the Ark Royal. The first section represents the building of the ship, with the launch coming at about 1:30. The guitar comes in as the ship takes off into open waters. At 3:00 the music becomes more cautious, as the pagentry of the launch is replaced by the nervous anticipation of imminent war. German U-boats take up position around Britain in preparation for their attempted blockade. At 5:00 the Ark Royal first encounters the enemy. The Ark Royal was part of a ‘hunter-killer’ group searching for U-boats, summoned to defend the cargo ship HMS Fanad. Although the Ark Royal comes under attack, the ship was rapidly turned and the torpedos narrowly missed. The attacking U-boat was sunk by an accompanying Royal Navy destroyer, however it was clear how vulnerable the aircraft carrier was to U-boat attack. The section from 6:20 follows the Ark hunting of, and eventual sinking of the Bismark, the most powerful ship in the German navy. The piece ends with the sinking of the Ark Royal.
There is a music video for this piece at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMzUXPBiDD4
The piece is dedicated to Richard Galloway, the Fleet Air Arm, and all those who risked everything to stand up against the Nazis.
Chasing Neon is a pulsating retro-futuristic electronic contrast to the preceding track. Youtube video - www.youtube.com/video/Pq54lxJrj7k
She Moved Through The Fair is an old Irish folksong, arranged by Malcolm Galloway.
Malcolm Galloway, 2019
"Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate “Ark” is nothing short of a brilliant masterpiece that depicts a truly remarkable piece of World War 2 history. I am in awe of its magnitude and of its glory. The epic splendor and tragedy of war is depicted here through the musicianship and the storytelling of Malcolm Galloway, Mark Gatland, and company. A lot went into this 3 song EP. The story behind it is fact based and documented from the flight logs of Richard Galloway, the grandfather of Malcolm Galloway. The Ark Royal, a British ship, is the focal piece of this 3 song EP, and it was an aircraft carrier pivotal in its contributions to sinking the battleship Bismark, the most powerful ship in the German Navy on May 27, 1941.
The soundtrack is absolutely stunning and the 11 minute, 47 second track that kicks things off, “Ark”, has some of the best music I have ever heard. It takes you upon the journey of The Ark Royal from its first inception to its ill fated sinking. I have to say that the passion in the bands playing has never been more heartfelt. The second track, “Chasing Neon”, picks up where the first leaves off with some of the most eloquent and beautiful melodies.
The sheer musicianship of these extremely talented individuals shines on all three of the tracks on this sure to be masterpiece! “She Moved Through The Fairway” is a wonderfully fitting piece and concludes the EP. I was left feeling as if I had been to a powerful and thought provoking movie after finishing “Ark”. And I felt so close to this band whom I’ve reviewed twice before. Closer to them than I’ve felt before. After all, this was something near and dear to them, not just a part of history.
Immediately afterward, I watched the video for “Ark” and was touched even more as the music took to vision and the spirit to journey. In a word, “Ark” is breathtaking in every sense of the word. Once again, my hat is off to the band for creating something that is truly special and for sharing a part of history that will forever be remembered in this moving musical testament! God Bless Richard Galloway, his family, his memory, and the families and memories of all who served on The Ark Royal!" - Lee Miller, Bandwagon Network Radio
Transitions is the fifth contemporary classical/minimalist album by Malcolm Galloway, singer/multi-instrumentalist and composer of award winning progressive rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate
Transitions is the fifth contemporary classical/minimalist album by Malcolm Galloway, singer/multi-instrumentalist and composer of award winning progressive rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate.
The album consists of two bubbly minimalist pieces, filled with joyfully intricate interlocking and interacting patterns. Sandwiched between these is a slow, contemplative atonal contemporary classical piece with a peaceful resolution.
Recommended for fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream.
"A couple of words to describe MINIMALIST PERFECTION. When I close my eyes images of Milla jovovich spring to mind along with Blade runner, fifth element and other Sci fi movies. The songs are a joy to listen to. Thanks for creating another masterpiece" Jason Maddock (host/producer of Revolutionary Radio Show, Phonic.FM)
"I love the Oldfield vibe and the way those driving ostinatos create an almost hypnotic sense of the music driving forward and floating AT THE SAME TIME. Bravo!" Julian Haylock, classical music critic, former editor of CD Review and International Piano Quarterly, and author of acclaimed books on Mahler, Puccini and Rachmaninov.
Out Of Mind - the fourth album from Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate, London-based prog rock band recommended by Steve Hackett (Genesis). The album is themed around memory.
Memory is central to our sense of self, and the narrative continuity of our being, but is fragile, malleable, and unreliable. Coded in the synapses in a manner still mysterious, the universes modelled in each of our brains contains ourselves as the central character. We don’t fully understand how memory works, but we know that, however it may feel, memory is not stored like a videotape, consistently and objectively documenting our perceptions. Memory is a creative process, re-assembled and altered with each recollection.
This album is about memory and identity, from a variety of perspectives. It starts with ‘Coming Back’, inspired by Philp K Dick’s wonderful novel Time Out Of Joint. Without wishing to spoil the story, the protagonist finds that the 1950s American town within which he thinks he lives, is artificial. He has retreated into this world to hide from himself the responsibilty of his real life. As one of the characters says ‘what happens if he becomes sane again?’. In this take on the story the protagonist is scared not that the truth is being hidden from him, but that the truth is coming back to him.
A recurrent sub-text through the album is the question, if our memories change, then who do we become? Are we defined by our memories? Track 11 (The Electric Ant) is also based on a Philip K Dick story. This time someone attending a hospital is surprised to be told that they are not human, but an electric ant (although apparently identical to a human from the outside). Their chest is opened and the punched tape that defines their world and self is revealed. The PKD original is admittedly less cheerful than our version. The ant finds they can change their universe by altering their tape.
Dick also is honoured in 'If You Think This Would Is Bad You Should See Some Of The Others', an instrumental whose title is based on a PKD quote.
The last conscious entity drifting towards the heat death of the universe reflects on the inevitable loss of memory as it disintegrates in ‘I Miss The Stars’.
’Losing myself’ is from the perspective of someone trapped in a mind degenerating due to dementia.
‘When I Was A Ship’ is also inspired by science-fiction, this time Ann Leckie’s ‘Imperial Radch’ trilogy. The main character once was a warship, whose artificial intelligence was distributed between the ship and the elements of her programme distributed into mind-wiped slaves (ancillaries). She has was programmed to unquestioningly follow her orders, but different factions of clones of her master are secretly at war with each other, leading to the destruction of all aspects of her self other than one fragment in a single ancillary.
'De Humani Corporis Fabrica' (on the fabric of the human body) was the title of Andreas Vesalius's ground-breaking anatomy book. Published in 1543, it challenged established doctrines that had been accepted since Galen. Vesalius taught that we should challenge accepted knowledge where it doesn't fit with reality.
‘Stand Up’ is about those who twist history to promote hatred.
The last track of the album is ‘Lidice’. Named after the Czech mining village destroyed by the Nazis, deliberately killing 88 children and 252 adults. They wanted the village to be wiped from history. In response to the worst acts of inhumanity, we sometimes find the best of humanity. A group of coal miners in a mining village in Staffordshire, led by their local doctor, Barnett Stross, set up the organisation Lidice Shall Live. The community donated a day's wage each week to fund the rebuilding of the village after the war. Hitler wanted the name Lidice to be forgotten - he failed. This song is dedicated to the memory of all those who have been killed because of their origins, and all those who stood in solidarity.
For detailed information about the songs and lyrics, please visit www.hatsoffgentlemen.com/outofmind
Praise for HOGIA's last album -
Bandwagon Network Radio CD Of the Month July 2018 "I feel as if I am being taken upon a journey of massive proportion. A work of Progressive Rock that is, in my opinion, second to none." “Vent” starts the whole journey of this masterpiece off and goes straight into the absolute perfection of the song, “Almost Familiar”, and to be quite honest, this is progressive music at its finest! Every subtle keyboard tone is felt deeply as the music swirls and sways throughout. The vocals here truly fit the lyrical compositions and I can’t say enough about the fluid bass guitar jazz influenced runs, the vocals, and drumming."
"On top of all of this is the beautiful flute work and the stellar guitar that just soars throughout the 17 tracks contained within. A lot can be said of structure within a piece of music, and every track on “Broken but Still Standing” is just structured perfectly."
"The vocals remind me so much of Bowie at his finest. I must say that I am completely blown away. I aluded to a comparison of Pink Floyd near the beginning of this review, but I will say that, without a shadow of doubt, Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is in a league of their own! My hat is off to all of you in the band for creating this masterpiece!"
Jupiter Variation - "One of the best progressive releases of the year"
Prog Radar - "Broken But Still Standing’ is a brilliantly perceptive and original work of art that enthralls with every listen. Taken as a whole it is an utterly immersive musical experience that will captivate and enlighten the listener, Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate has to be one of the most creative and innovative artists out there today."