The eighth Arena studio album, 'The Unquiet Sky', is a concept inspired by M.R James' 1911 short story, "Casting the Runes". The story itself, as well as its 1957 film adaptation, "Night of the Demon", has always held a special place in Clive Nolan's memory and, not surprisingly, with its gloomy mood and a decent dose of the supernatural, it served as a perfect material for the next Arena release. John Mitchell suggested the title and the band got down to work.
Creative process, however, is complex and time consuming. Hence, from the birth of the idea till the album's completion, it took almost 5 months of work. The lyrics came first - much of them written in fever during the autumn Pendragon tour. As Clive recalls, he felt the urge to write and capture the flow of thoughts tumbling in his head, in an as unquiet and disorderly fashion, as the events of the libretto itself. In the end, it was a great surprise to him how many of these initial drafts ended up on the album in an almost unchanged version.
In just a few days Arena is setting off for their 20th anniversary European tour. The band will celebrate their 20th birthday by launching and promoting their new album, "The Unquiet Sky". The date of the official release has been confirmed for April 28th. However, the CDs, alongside numerous interesting anniversary merchandise, will be available for purchase at the venues from the first day of the tour.
Arena is currently rehearsing the songs chosen for the tour. The set list will feature compositions representing the whole history of the band.
Clive: “We have been rehearsing down in Devon, in the middle of nowhere. That certainly helps us to focus! This is a big set list and there has been a great deal to work through. It was great to finally be able to play through the whole of 'Moviedrome'... that was quite a challenge. Meantime, it's been fun to revisit some of the old favourites. There is a sense of studious determination in the band as we all realise just how much we need to do in the next few days. I hope we see plenty of people at the shows... this will be an Arena highlight, and I doubt we will do a tour like this again.”
We are pleased to announce that Clive was voted the Best Keyboard Player of 2014. It is for the eighth time that Classic Rock Society awarded Clive with this prestigious title. Due to other commitments, Clive was unable to participate in the official CRS gala on February 21st. Nevertheless, he thanked CRS members with the following message broadcast during the ceremony:
Clive: “Hello everybody! I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me and allowed me the honour of winning the CRS Keyboard Player award again. That's fantastic! I'm sorry I can't be there to pick it up in person – sadly, I'm in the wrong country, but I look forward to getting my hands on this award soon. I'm thinking perhaps it's because on the last tour with Pendragon I had the new 360 degree rotating keyboard stand and initially I spent quite a lot of time chasing it around in circles... But I did get control over it in the end and I look forward to using it again on the Arena tour coming up soon. So, see you out there somewhere and thanks again! Thank you very much!”
On March 21st, 2015 Clive will return to the CRS with Arena and 'The Unquiet Sky' show.
More about CRS HERE
The logo for 'The Fire and the Quest' jubilee event in Cheltenham in September 2015 has been designed! Mark Buckingham, an internationally acclaimed DC Comics graphic artist, combined the elements of both Clive's musicals, 'SHE' and 'Alchemy', producing a delightful design in the Victorian Steampunk vein.
Clive: “I really wanted to find a way to encapsulate both the shows in the artwork. I think Mark has achieved this brilliantly with his design - the balance between 'SHE' and 'Alchemy' is just right! This truly defines the event!”
Works on the new productions of 'She' and 'Alchemy' are in full swing. The new versions of the shows will be performed during the September event. The weekend celebrating 10 years of Clive's musicals, will also gather past and present members of the Caamora Theatre Company to take part in 'Beyond the Veil', an acoustic concert on Saturday afternoon. It has been now confirmed that 'The Fire and the Quest' will be filmed to be released by Metal Mind Productions in form of a collector's DVD box set.
The eighth Arena studio album will be released on March 19, 2015. The release date will coincide with the first day of the band's 20th Anniversary Tour including concert dates in most European countries. The work on the new album is in full swing and much of the material is now ready to be revealed... Clive uncovers some secrets behind 'The Unquiet Sky'.
Clive: “I had decided to base the album on a short horror story by M.R. James called 'Casting the Runes' - some people may have seen the old 1957 film version called 'Night of the Demon'. We were looking for an album title and John suggested 'The Unquiet Sky' even though he was unaware of my concept idea - as far as I was concerned, it fitted the mood I had in mind for the album - job done!” :)