Monthly Newsletter #1 – August 2015
Hello fellow Frats…..To keep you updated, we have decided to pen a monthly newsletter. Items will include what each member has been up to, what’s happening with the next album, other projects on the boil, amongst other interesting snippets.
Many of you may know now that we have two new members here in Australia. We welcome Barry Timmins on keyboards and Dan Burgess on sax who was a member of Unitopia in 2011/2012. Dan also plays flute, clarinet and didgeridoo.
Mark is working closely with Barry at the moment working on ideas for a new project – more on this later – and songs for Planetary Overload. We have several lyrical ideas happening…and here is where you can have a say! We are running a competition for the best lyrics so let your imagination run wild. To be in the running for the prize, which is a chance to have your song featured on the new album, your lyrics need to relate to the concept behind ‘Planetary Overload – Loss and Hope’. The concept, as some of you probably already know, is how humans have affected the state of the planet and what we can do to save it, as well as themes of social/political injustice.
This special contest represents your chance to change the world, not just for the short time it takes to listen to a song, but how that message resonates and propagates down the line to trigger and inspire long term action and provide millions with hope in the form of solutions for a dying earth, our only home.
** Full details **
And now to the new project…
The Australian contingent is looking to take a show on the road starting with the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2017. The concept will be in a narrative and musical form and is based on the lives and works of Peter Gabriel and Genesis. Some of you may be familiar with John Waters’ ‘Looking Through a Glass Onion’, based on the life and works of John Lennon. UPF will design the Gabriel/Genesis show around this style of presentation. This project now has a title: ‘The Art of Progression’. Two songs have been confirmed so far; ‘Digging in the Dirt’, and ‘In your Eyes’. It is not intended to be a ‘tribute band’ theme as such, but more a fresh and innovative interpretation with thematic passages linking the storyline into the narrative. There may also be some UPF songs included.
We have a logo for Planetary Overload thanks to the very talented Ed Unitsky; t-shirts are in production!
Now what has everyone been up to?
Much activity is going on, both sides of the planet!
Mark and Barry have been meeting regularly every Wednesday mainly working on the Gabriel project, but also on Planetary Overload, joined by Dan last week, who blew the guys away with his magic flute playing! Barry has also been working with Mark on ‘Mercenaries’ for the Decameron III album – this should reach completion soon. As well as his UPF work, Barry is also involved in Celtic music (which yours truly would be very interested in hearing one day!).
Dave has also been working on ‘Mercenaries’ and will meet with Matt in Matt’s studio next week to lay down the drums. He is also keen to get stuck into the Gabriel project very soon. Like Barry and several other members of UPF, Dave is involved with other projects outside of the band. Dave has for some time been working with talented singer, Jacqui Yeo, performing works by Aretha Franklin in the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and favourites such as Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and John Mayer.
Guy has been very busy writing a lot of material for ‘Overload’. Outside of UPF, he has started his own project with Dan Mash & Marek Arnold as the core band, with a working title of DAMANEK. He will invite guests to work and collaborate with him, which will include old and trusted friends from Manning, and wider members of UPF.
Steve Unruh, who lives in the USA and is also working closely with Mark on ‘Mercenaries’ and ‘Overload’, has also had a very busy year, being a father, being an engineer, being in three bands, and whilst he has a great deal of work lined up, he will prioritise his work with UPF.
Mark & Cheryl (Mrs. T) have now cemented plans to visit the USA is September where Mark will catch up with Steve Unruh and Billy Sherwood who has also come on board the UPF Starship! Mark will be discussing musical ideas for ‘Overload’ with both Steve and Billy and is also planning on doing some gigs with them whilst he is there.
In the meantime, here are few more goodies from our ever-expanding UPF Official Website.
Well that’s about it for now folks….
‘Prog on’… as Dave would say!