Seven years since the great band last toured and an amazing fifty years on from their debut UK album release, Van Der Graaf Generator will take the stage once again, back for a UK Tour in May 2020…
Van Der Graaf Generator — UK Tour Dates
- Sunday 3rd May 2020 — Edinburgh, Queen’s Hall
- Monday 4th May 2020 — Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
- Tuesday 5th May 2020 — Birmingham, Symphony Hall
- Thursday 7th May 2020 — Bath, The Forum
- Friday 8th May 2020 — London, The Palladium
Tickets will be on sale from Friday 27th September 2019 at 10am VDGG - tickets link
“It’s time once more to hang up my progressive techie lab-coat and entice the progressive organist back to his seat, stage left. I'm eagerly anticipating exploring the new 2020s-styled sound world of this latest VDGG incarnation!”
“OK, so the melting drum kit at the last VDGG soundcheck did cue pause for thought. Thankfully both it and yer sticks man have re-solidified. I'm so very up for this!”
“Here we are again, then. Fifty years after the release of TLWCD, how exciting – and daunting – it is to once again step out into the glorious chaos of VDGG live performance. Yes!”
Van Der Graaf Generator 2020
Van Der Graaf Generator 2020 is Peter Hammill (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Hugh Banton (organ, bass) & Guy Evans (drums, percussion), the three surviving members of the original group formed in 1968.
Darker and wilder than most of their contemporaries VDGG were known for sprawling, dense and complex songs on six albums recorded for the Charisma label between late 1969 and 1976. VDGG’s unique sound was based on organ, sax, driving percussion and declamatory vocals. Constantly touring, they achieved their greatest success with the album Pawn Hearts in 1971.
After warping into a powerful violin/bass/guitar set-up in 1976, the band finally split in 1978.
Then there was a gap of nearly thirty years, until the 'classic' four-piece line-up reappeared in 2005 with a triumphant reunion concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London and a new recording Present. The band continued to surprise European audiences with the vigour and dynamism of their live performances for the remainder of the year.
In 2006, the saxophonist David Jackson left the group. The trio have continued to surge forward, first playing a series of live shows and then recording the albums Trisector (2008) and A Grounding In Numbers (2011). In 2012, VDGG released Alt, a collection of experiments and improvisations. The band's last studio album Do Not Disturb was released in 2016.
In live performance, as in the studio, VDGG strive to look forward and as much of their repertoire is taken from the new albums as from the old ones. They’ve also made it a point to bring back to life some surprising - and rarely performed - pieces from the past, from the VDGG catalogue and from Peter Hammill’s solo works. Whatever the source, songs have been firmly imprinted with the DNA of the modern trio.
For their last tour, in 2013, the band revisited two long-form pieces: “Flight”, and “A Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers”, the side-long piece from Pawn Hearts. Enjoyable as this was, for the forthcoming shows they will not be playing these long pieces. Instead they will be assembling constantly varying sets of shorter works, ancient and modern.
The intention here, as with all the material, is not to attempt to recreate the exact sound and style of the original but rather to tap into its spirit and reinvent it in a twenty-first century form.
Clearly, VDGG continue to push forward, acknowledging that they are a group with a certain history, but also stating the case that they are an emphatically modern one.
- For UK Tour dates see above. Continental European dates are TBA
- The latest VDGG release is The Aerosol Grey Machine (Deluxe Box Set)