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First Look: Blurred Vision

Live Review

Venue: Koko, Camden, London

Terry Brown approved Canaidan trio hit home

Taking the stage to face a shamefully small crowd (it did swell later) must be one of the most depressing things a young band trying to make headway can face.

Yet if Canadians Blurred Vision thought that at all they certainly weren't showing it. Acting as support to British rock legends Uriah Heep, the trio bounded on stage with all the enthusiasm of a headline act, kicking into No More War with a classy ease and immediately drawing an enthusiastic showing from those clamouring the front of the stage.

There's something about the engaging trio (who have recently relocated to the UK) that suggests they could go the distance. Their sound is a potent blend of progressive ideas, mixed with a melodic nous not a million miles from how Rush create their music. Which is kind of apt as legendary Rush producer Terry Brown not only produced the band's Organized Insanity debut but is also handling their sound tonight. Which probably explains why it's crystal clear tonight.

Yet Blurred Vision don't sound like Rush. As the album review in Prog 54 pointed out, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Styx are the melting pot from which the Blurred Vision sound arrives. There's a very contemporary feel to the likes of Rollin' On and Tonight that would sate the largest of arena audiences. Yet there's such depth and character to the album's title track and the epic The Keeper to satisfy the hardiest of prog rock fans.

They finish with a fiendishly heavy cover of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall Part. 2. Normally this is the kind of thing we'd shy away from. But it's been reworked to deal with Iranian oppression of youth (both guitarist/singer Sepp Osley and bassist brother Sohl are from Persia), the band getting the crowd to holler “Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone” in the chorus. They leave to resounding cheers, and Prog suspects this won't be the last time such words are written about them.

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