John Irvine Band: Intelligently written progressive fusion.

John Irvine Band - Psychopomp

John Irvine Band with the title track Psychopomp,

The John Irvine Band have released the new and fifth album Psychopomp, and this is a well-produced and well written album with many very good songs. The songs is within the more creative and complex field of prog.

John Irvine Band s a jazzrock project lead by the composer and guitarist John Irvine.

«The progressive rock album that Allan Holdsworth never made», René Yedema.

«Intelligently written progressive fusion», Warren Barker (Progression Magazine)

«The John Irvine Band, a daring UK jazz fusion ensemble expertly doing its own thing», Gregory Kemp, La Villa Strangiato.

The John Irvine Band is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.  John Irvine is a composer and writer. His work straddles many genres, idioms and styles, including classical composition, jazz-rock fusion, theater music, poetry, short stories and Sci-Fi novels.

Irvine musical education began in the 80’s at Dartington College Of Arts, after which he studied classical guitar and eventually in the 90’s Music Composition at the University of Edingburgh.

Irvine`s work crosses over into many territories, from theatre and movie music, writing novels, as well as lecturing on music composition at the University of Edingburgh; he and his band though are interesting for fans of progressive fusion as their two released albums up to this date have resemblance to music of Allan Holdsworth.


1. Changing Worlds (9:52)

2. Psychopomp (5:48)

3. The Devil’s Work (1:44)

4. Esoteric Dimensions (8:14)

5. Weight Of The Heart (4:57)

6. In A Higher Gear (4:47)

7. The Melancholy Martian (4:51)

8. Childhood Jetpack Delirium (8:22)

Total Time 48:35

ohn Irvine: Guitar, Keys & Bass and Calum McIntyre: Drums. Drums recorded & final mix/master by Stuart Hamilton @ Castlesound Studios

John Irvine initially trained as a classical guitarist, studying at Dartington College of Arts for two years after leaving school, and then at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music & Drama (Glasgow) where he studied with Phillip Thorne, gaining a BA in Music Performance (1989) and winning the Guitar Challenge Prize (1988).

Following a Post-Grad Certificate in Performance (1990), he began a PhD in music composition, with Nigel Osborne at the University of Edinburgh, in 1992. This was completed in 1999. At this time, he was also working in Scottish theatre where he wrote music for over 40 productions, 20 of which were for the Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh).

He has taught at St Mary’s Music School (Edinburgh) and The City of Edinburgh Music School (where he currently works) and lectured for two years (2008-10) at Edinburgh Napier University, where he was asked to redesign their ‘Music, Creativity & Communication’ course for the BA in Popular Music. He also works as a PSA in Edinburgh Schools.

The John Irvine Band was formed in the summer of 2011 and has released four critically acclaimed CDs of progressive jazz-rock music: ‘Wait & See’ (2011), ‘Next Stop’ (2013), ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ (2018) and his latest album ‘The Machinery Of The Heavens’ (2020).

All four albums have received awards and plaudits from many magazines and websites. Several tracks have been played on internet and terra firma radio stations, such as: The Prog Rock Palace, Xymphonia, El Ritorno Del Gigante, Canvas Prog Hour, Friday Night Progressive, La Villa Strangiato and many more.

John has written 3 novels – part of a humorous sci-fi trilogy entitled The Mikita Smith Chronicles. Inspired by the books of Terry Prattchet and Douglas Adams, each book is filled to the brim with irreverence and takes space opera situations to their logical conclusions of ridiculousness.

John is also a published poet and short-story writer, having had works included in several journals and web-zines such as Poetry Scotland, The Open Mouse, Blinking Cursor, Essence, Ink, Sweat & Tears, A Handful of Stones, South and Streetcake Magazine, amongst others.

The John Irvine Band formed in the summer of 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland by the composer and guitarist John Irvine. The line-up was completed in July 2011 with the addition of Alan Emslie on drums and percussion, and Doug Kemp on electric bass. 2011 saw not only the start of The John Irvine Band, but a debut album ‘Wait and See’ which received overwhelmingly positive reviews and considerable airplay on terra firma and online radio stations around the globe.

The John Irvine Band’s second album Next Stop was released in September 2013, once again to unanimous critical acclaim. Metaphysical Attractions was released with a new lineup of Rich Kass: Drums, Rob Ironside: Alto Sax and Gwen Kelso: Flute and won the 3rd prize in Friday Night Progressive’s Indiprog Awards Fusion category in 2019. 2020 has seen the release of The Machinery Of The Heavens featuring the Duo lineup of John Irvine and Rich Kass.


About Ulf Backstrøm (7437 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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