andy tillison

Andy Tillison is a composer, lyricist and keyboards player. In 2002 he founded The Tangent - a band that would occupy him almost full time for the follwing twenty years. He's been a band-leader before that too, firstly with the New Romantic band A New Opera from 1980 until 1987, thenGold Frankincense & Diskdrive a prog rock influenced agit prop band from 1987 to 1996.

In 1996 he formed the band Parallel Or 90 Degrees which he named after a song by one of his heroes, the Swedish keyboards player Bo Hansson. "Po90" as it became known was Andy's first full on Progressive outfit and ran a simultaneous existence with bands like Porcupine Tree, Grey Lady Down, Credo, Jump and Final Conflict.

In 2000 Andy started to work on a side project, a collection of Progressive songs that were somewhat more traditional "prog" than the music Po90 was doing. Carrying on the geometric associations of the name "Parallel or 90 Degrees" he named this as "The Tangent" because he was "going off on one"

A concert at the Classic Rock Society in Northern England saw Po90 sharing a stage with The Flower Kings, a band who had a major impact on Andy at the time. Owing to a growing friendship with a UK based aide to the Swedish band, Ian Oakley, the possibility of a collaboration on the "Tangent" material was identified and ultimately agreed. The Tangent began. Without a plan, without a manifesto, with 4 songs and no permanent musicians

In his 45 year career as a musician, Andy has written about 95 percent of the music and lyrics for the bands he has led. While A New Opera did not record any offical albums, they made many tapes to sell at gigs. GFDD released 2 vinyl albums in the late 80s and recorded a further two. Po90 made seven, the Tangent have made twelve so far and on top of that Andy has made a range of self released solo or spin-off albums with a variety of styles amd purposes

Andy has always seen himself as a writer first, musician second, singer.. well a fair way down the track. His musical upbringing in the post punk era taught him the mantra that "the song is everything" That the world's best musicians will tread water without a good song to play and the most average singer will shine if the song is up to the mark.

The most frequent observation of the band's fans and positive crtique is that his music is essentially good, old fashioned, storytelling. That storytelling can be humorous, self deprecating, wistfully nostalgic or deeply personal and emotional. Equally it can be social commentary, political observation and protest. The band have covered so many different topics in the 20 years of their existence that that will be a separate article.

Although his musical influences are massively broad and numerous, he cites Joni Mitchell, Peter Hammill, Yes, Strawinsky, National Health and Earth Wind & Fire as longtime permanent fixtures. He's had a quite long running affair with Groove Armada, Squarepusher and Aphex Twin of late and still plays his punk albums. Loud.



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