Catalyst*R are a brand new name on the progressive rock scene, but featuring names that you probably will know.
Damien Child from ESP.
Gary Jevon from This Winter Machine.
Greg Pringle from Roger Daltrey and Simon Townshend.
These fantastic musicians have worked together remotely during lockdown to produce a debut album that perfectly marries together their many influences. The album will release on CD/Digital June 28th with pre-order beginning June 11th, and will be self-titled
Catalyst*R formed during the first UK lockdown of 2020 when ex-ESP lyricist and vocalist Damien Child approached PGR for help in finding a possible collaborator. Ex-This Winter Machine composer and founding member Gary Jevon was contacted and the pair hit it off immediately. A long-distance writing partnership between London and Yorkshire began andthey quickly amassed enough ideas to complete a full album. Greg Pringle (ESP, Simon Townshend and Quadrophenia) soon joined on drums/percussion.
Catalyst*R have created an album that is technically and musically ambitious, whilst also melodic and accessible. This emotive experience begins with the driving urgency of opener Welcome To The Show followed by a sense of isolation in Apollo One Three. The bittersweet melody of Someone Else’s Dream gives way to the driving rhythms of You Against The World.
In The Deep End conjures images of loss and grief, whilst Immortal revels in nostalgic joy. Album closer Goldst*R finds the band firing on all musical cylinders with a narrative ghost story that invokes the spirits of M.R James and Lovecraft. The album showcases the various musical influences of each member and includes – but not necessarily limited to – prog, glam, electronica, northern soul, metal, big band, jazz and musical theatre!
For obvious reasons, Catalyst*R’s debut album was recorded remotely and – as yet – theband still have not physically met. Work has already begun on a follow-up album, which will– hopefully – involve spending some time in the same room as each other.
Damien Child was born in Manchester and was raised on a musical mix of Prog, Glam, Electronica and a tonne of Northern Soul. Having discovered a love of performing whilst living in South Africa, Damien returned to the UK and began working as an actor and singer at the grand old age of eleven. During a full and varied career, he provided backing vocals for a successful novelty single which got to 13 in the charts, performed a lead role in Phil Redmond’s Waterfront Beat For the BBC, appeared in West End shows including, March of the Falsettos and Miss Saigon, and played a male stripper in the hit show Girl’s Night Out. Over the years he has been involved in many recording projects and worked with people such as Mike Stock & Matt Aitken and James Bond composer Monty Norman. In 2018, after a few years working behind the scenes, Damien joined Tony Lowe’s ESP Project, providing lyrics and vocals for the albums The Rising and Phenomena plus the EP Three. Damien Child lives in London with his wife Linzi, daughters Hatti and Maddi, two cats and a snake.
Gary Jevon was born at an early age into a musical family and grew up surrounded by 50s/60s rock’n’roll, country (and western), pop, rock, orchestra and good old northern brass band music , which goes some way to explaining his eclectic tastes and influences today. He started learning music at the age of 6 and was soon playing in kid’s brass bands and youth orchestras. At 11 he discovered guitars when his Dad asked him to play bass with a group of friends, but two years later he discovered Eddie Van Halen and switched to six strings. He has never looked back.
Now based in Leeds, Gary has played in numerous projects and bands over the years in different genres and styles, covering Britpop and indie in the 90s (supported by the Kaiser Chiefs – don’t judge), metal in the noughties and prog in the last 10-15 years. He is notable for being a founding member of This Winter Machine and was responsible for most of the music on their award-winning album ‘The Man Who Never Was’.
Gary Jevon’s influences, aside from his Dad and EVH, are all called Steve: Vai, Rothery, Hackett, Harris, Wilson and Hogarth. Now that’d be a helluva band.
Greg Pringle was born in Bournemouth and started drumming at the age of 5 having stumbled across a drum kit at a family party. He had lessons locally until he was offered a specialist place at Wells Cathedral School before moving onto the Royal College of Music and Drumtech. He grew up listening to, and playing all styles of music, including Jazz, Big-band, Classical and Samba. It was in 2009 however where Greg established himself as a ‘rock drummer’ when he played in the six-month UK Theatre Tour of Quadrophenia, under the watchful eye of Pete Townshend. Greg Pringle later toured with Simon Townshend (one Townshend clearly wasn’t enough!), Phil Spalding and Tony Lowe. He has continued to work with both Phil and Tony – including Tony’s ESP Project – which is how Damien and Greg came to meet! As well as rocking out on stage, he can also be found in the world of theatre and has played in many shows, including The Human Comedy at the Young Vic.