Renaissance.

This is a band that I have received significant amounts pleasure listening too and seeing perform live. Certainly one of the most memorable concerts I've ever been too was Renaissance playing at Tanglewood In Mass. during the Azure D'or tour. What a show! They did "Mother Russia" three songs into the show and received what seemed like an endless standing ovation for the incredibly moving performance. The band members were obviously surprised and touched, which made the moment and the evening all the more special.

If you've never heard of them you owe it to yourself to give them a listen. They have often been classified as a 'classical rock' band and I guess that's fine if you need some kind of label. The band really eschewed the lead guitar sound (and I'm a lead guitarist!) in favor of something different and unique. Lead really came from the keyboard work of John Tout and the bass stylings of Jon Camp. Many critics (and mostly the one's that didn't like them!) accused them of trying to be like "YES" but they must have been listening to different LP's than I have. The only comparison could be between Chris Squires 'lead' bass style and Jon Camp's, but only with a long stretch of imagination. Camp's bass stylings are really unique and unmatched in the music world. Listen to "The Vultures Fly High", "Ashes are Burning" or "A Song for All Seasons" and you'll quickly hear what I mean. Also unique and under noted is the 6 and 12 string work of Mike Dunford. He played mostly a rthyem style but played wonderful and complex progressions not duplicated in the commercial music business. John Tout's classical style on keyboard probably brought most of those labels onto the band, which isn't a criticism. He was an integral part of the band. Terry Sullivan drum work is an accomplishment unto itself in that it didn't overpower the bands intracacies but at the same time if you sit down and just concentrate on the drum tracks you'll be amazed.

And of course, there's the vocal stylings of Annie Haslam. If you know this band and have found this page by keyword searching your going to read something you've already noticed. I found out about Renaissance by mentioning to a friend that I was frustrated as a musician because I thought that the female voice was superior over the male and wanted to hear more music with female singing. He recommended Renaissance, I bought the "Live at Carnegie" LP and have never regretted a moment spent with this band. Annie possesses a 5 octave range and conveys emotion like you would not believe. Well, I was going to write a history of the band but have since found two excellent histories on other pages. As a writer, I can't write what someone else has already done, so.....I've provided some links to fine Renaissance pages below.

I would just like to write a little about the bands early history and tell you a bit more about one of the offshoots from Renaissance.

I'm a rock family tree fanatic and enjoy finding out about evolution with bands. Renaissance actually has its roots in the Yardbirds (what band doesn't. it seems :) with Keith Relf, lead singer, forming the first Renaissance. They broke up to form Keith's Armageddon, while Mike Dunford kept going (he wrote some for the original band), eventually forming the Renaissance we know and love. The original members tried to get back together but Dunford and team had the rights to the name. Relf and company recorded one more LP under the Renaissance name called "Illusion", and announced on the LP jacket that the new band would be called "Illusion". Relf died (electrocuted by his guitar equipment) and "Illusion" released an LP in 1977 titled "Out of the Mist", which is one of the most incredible LP's of all time. Keith's sister, Jane Relf, handled lead vocals. Jane's voice is deep and earthy, adding a mood to the songs that can't be described. Out of my 500+ LP collection, "Out of the Mist" is at the top of my lists. If your a Renaissance fan, you NEED to get out to the used record stores and find this LP. You won't be sorry.

See below for photo's I took of two concerts at the Paradise in Boston. Both were after Tout and Sullivan left the band. I also had the pleasure at one of the gigs to meet Mike Dunford on the street while waiting in line. He was running down the street to get a pizza and graciously stopped to sign my Timeline LP cover and chatted with me for about five minutes about the bands history and music. I let him go by warmly shaking his hand and thanking him for the many hours of enjoyment I received listening to his music.

When I got inside the club I saw Jon Camp sitting at the bar having a beer. I joined him, bought him another and picked his brains about the bands history and talked bass with him. He and the roadie with him signed my LP and I asked him if he could get Annie's autograph. He indicated she wasn't into doing that (and that's certainly the only time I ever grovelled for such) and he was right as I sat in front of the stage and at the end of the show she ignored my request. Whatever! I'm a guitar player and I chatted with Dunford and Camp! What a kick! So I was snubbed by a lead singer! If John or Mike ever stumble across this page, "Thanks Guys!". And as for Annie....keep on singing. And thanks for the music.!


Annie Haslam-Lead vocals

Annie My favorite of Annie Annie

Silhouette Annie It's different, trust me!

In gown Annie Annie

John Camp-Bass + Vocals Mike Dunford - Guitars

Camp/Dunford Camp/Dunford Camp/Dunford

Camp/Dunford Dunford Camp

Camp


LINKS "R" US!!!!!!
Two great Renaissace pages!

Official Renaissance Page

Northern Lights Page

Return to The Mudda Of ALL Web Pages

E-Mail me with your comments/ideas/desires to donate large sums of money, etc

WA