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Thread: Allium (Tillison, Reingold, Tiranti) Homage to 70's Italian Progressive Rock

  1. #1
    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Nov 2012

    Allium (Tillison, Reingold, Tiranti) Homage to 70's Italian Progressive Rock

    This was mentioned in the Italian Prog thread but I thought it should have a thread of its own on the main board considering who is involved.


    The Lineup of Andy Tillison (The Tangent/Po90) Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings/The Tangent/Steve Hackett Band/Karmakanic) and Roberto Tiranti (New Trolls/Ken Hensley/Labyrinth) is a pan European Progressive Rock Band project and the album was recorded during lockdowns in Italy, Austria and the UK.

    The album "Allium: Una Storia" is a concept album which takes as its subject a real band "Allium" that Tillison saw play and jammed with in Italy when he was a teenager in the mid 1970s.

    "One afternoon spent with this band was enough to decide my career for the rest of my life" says Tillison, who subsequently spent a long time searching for any information about them.

    "It was the first time I saw and touched a synthesiser; it was the first time I ever saw an electric band play. It was a golden moment on a holiday camp in Italy that has been an influence on every recording I have ever made in the past 46 years."

    The new band -TRT-'s album is an imagining of the record Allium might have made. Written in the style of the music that they played, the band were joined by Italian lyricist Antonio De Sarno (Moongarden, Barock Project, Mangala Vallis) who, in keeping with Tillisons original music, wrote the kind of lyrics that might have been penned by Allium at that time.

    All members of the band have contributed to the songwriting since inception. The album, whilst paying homage to this and many other forgotten Rock Progressivo Italiano bands, is all original material written in 2021.

    The album features full-on European style progressive rock music and of particular note are the incomparable Italian language vocals of Roberto Tiranti which bring a new dimension to the established work of Tillison & Reingold

    Andy Tillison: Keyboards and (Real) Drums.
    Jonas Reingold: Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar
    Roberto Tiranti: All Vocals
    Antonio De Sarno: Lyrics
    with guest Ray Aichinger: Soprano & Tenor Saxophones

    The album features three songs the side long epic "Mai Tornare" and two shorter tracks "Ordine Nuovo" and "Nel Nome Di Dio"The album will be released on CD and features 2 mixes of the whole 40 minute album. "Original Mix" by Andy Tillison strives to be authentic to the sound of the times and "2021 mix" by Jonas Reingold in the style of a "Respectful Remix" made with modern technology.

    Pre-orders at Jonas site

  2. #2
    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Andy posted a longer write up about his seeing this band in the 70's - I want to try to post in full since it is a really good read and probably something most of us can relate to - that initial thrill when this musical world opens up to you:

    Allium: Una Storia by Tillison-reingold-tiranti

    Available from

    Many of the people of progressive rock like to discuss their early memories of how it first reached them. That "Fragile" moment, or perhaps the first ominous mellotron chords of "Watcher Of The Skies". The first gig they saw, and for the musicians, the first band they played with, etc etc. Although the press is often pretty disparaging about "nostalgia", the thing is it's a very important part of the human makeup and therefore a massive part of who we all actually are. And, however smug the correspondent.. it comes to us all. Including the correspondent. I often feel that the hatred shown by journalists to Prog Rock was accountable to their own nostalgia for the good old Rock & Roll days while Prog was ripping up that rule book.

    I've written before that my introduction to the music came when an older boy visited my parents home on a church meeting of young people, and I heard "Close To The Edge" coming from the downstairs room. The story of that forms the basis of the track "Muffled Epiphany" which is on most copies of The Tangents "Sacre Du Travail" album.
    The new Tillison Reingold Tiranti album relates to another epiphany, a moment crucial to every day of my life since it happened, the moment that determined the fact that anyone reading this who knows me, knows me because this happened....

    I met a band called ALLIUM

    In 1976 my parents took me on a European Holiday. And although we visited many of the countries there, the jewel in the crown of the trip (for my parents) was a week in Italy where they wished to see the great Basilicas of Rome & Florence. For me a steam hauled railway line in Austria was my focus at the time. But in the end, it was what happened in Italy that was so important.

    We were staying on a large municipal camping site outside Rome. My parents were exceedingly disgruntled that our tent was pitched close to an entertainment venue where a band were playing each evening. I, on the other hand, was delighted. The band were extremely audible and the evenings at the campsite were full of what sounded like extremely capable versions of quite sophisticated hit records from artists like ELO, Supertramp, Queen, Elton John and 10cc. I took to hanging around outside the door...I was too young to go in unaccompanied.

    One day we had a "day at the campsite" rather than a trek around the city. My parents were further annoyed by the fact that the band struck up during the afternoon as well. However, I immediately knew that this music was not the same. I was hearing music I didn't know, music that had time changes, ethereal passages, and of course I knew I was hearing Prog Rock. The preceding day I'd bought a copy of "Per Un Amico" by PFM on pre-recorded cassette. I wandered over to the building again making some lame excuse to my folks that I was going for a walk.

    Nobody stopped me walking into the building, (I presume because there were no bars open at this time), and the concert hall doors were glass so I stared through to watch what was happening. I had a perfect view of the stage. I was watching the first rock band I had ever seen. Glued to the spot, nailed to the floor, I felt my breath quickening by the minute. After 20 minutes of watching this (rehearsal of course) the singer jumped off the stage, came through the door I was staring through in order to take advantage of the toilets in the foyer. On his return journey he just said... "English?" I nodded rather shyly. His rich Italian accent said, "You like our music yes?" He beckoned me to come inside the hall and offered me a seat, at an empty table in an empty hall.

    The singer walked back onto the stage. Well. He jumped up as I would learn to do for the next 20 years. They had a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, a guy who played violin and wind instruments, flute and sax, the singer and of course....

    A Keyboards player. By 1976 I was 16. And I had enough records now to know what a Minimoog was, and to know that I was looking at one. Sitting atop a Fender Rhodes Suitcase facing the audience, at right angles to a Crumar Organ with a Solina string machine on top of that. Until today, these instruments were friends I had seen on record covers and in music mags from NME to "Beat & Instrumental". Today, I was meeting those friends in person for the first time.

    It got better....

    I loved their performance, they played a very long piece (which is represented on the "Allium" album) and then they took a break. And they came and sat around my table. The singer, who was called Roberto asked me if I'd enjoyed that to which of course I was nodding vigorously. I still hadn't dared speak. He laughed and said "my friends will not understand you they are from Albania"

    I felt very privileged of course to be speaking to people who I naturally assumed were "stars", and they must have been at LEAST three years older than me and had far cooler haircuts. I've often wondered if a Brit band would have been so welcoming. I fished in my pocket and pulled out "Per Un Amico". It was as if I'd shown a "Royal VIP Pass" at Ascot Races.

    Next thing I knew I was on the stage looking at the instruments.. seeing my first real pro guitars, drums - becoming aware for the first time of the onstage paraphernalia of cables, monitors, setlists and pedals.. a place that although never fixed in location would be a second home to me for many years. I couldn't keep my eyes off the keys etc. And without any prompting Roberto just said the magic words....

    "You play?"

    After a brief conversation with Roberto in Italian, the keyboards player motioned me and suddenly I was standing there. I was seeing what Rick Wakeman saw. I was seeing that glorious control panel that I still have so many variants of to this day. The Minimoog Model D. The player kicked out an amazing line on it and then did a hand motion that said "go ahead".

    I need to say that at this age I was no great shakes on the keys, but knew enough to realise that the sound was close enough to do what I did next. I gulped and played the opening synth riff from "E Festa" (Celebration) by PFM. I even got it right. I was gonna stop out of shyness, but the drummer just joined in and in seconds I was actually playing with a band. It probably sounded awful, and hey, it was only the riff, I didn't know what to do next or anything, so it was basically just what I'd later come to know as a "Jam".

    But it was enough.

    They had a tape of their "not finished" album. They let me have a copy which of course became the soundtrack for not only the rest of the holiday, but quite a lot of the following two years. The album (which simply said "Allium" in biro on the cassette label) became a heavy rotation album for me. When I personally think back to those times I think of this album within the same parameters as "Godbluff", "Snowgoose", "Ladies & Gentlemen" and "Trick Of The Tail".

    Although the two worlds seem so far apart now, by the time my student flat was burgled while I was at a Punk gig in Wolverhampton, only two years had passed.. if that. I lost the Allium tape for one reason only. It was the one that was in the tape deck. As it often was. Yeah, I used to brag about this band I'd met, how I'd played with them blah blah blah. It WAS a great album though. I never, ever heard it again.

    In 2021 during the coronavirus lockdowns I took the opportunity to try and somehow commemorate the totally unknown band who had started me down the long and complex road of a musical career. The concept of this album was simply to make a new recording inspired by the music I heard that day, and my memories of the tape that I possessed for a couple of years more than 40 years ago.

    The songs contained on the recording are new original compositions by TRT made as impressions of the music they played. Although I designed the basis for each song Jonas and Roberto were writing parts for each composition and Antonio De Sarno contributed a set of lyrics that reflect the isolation that the Albanians might have felt, exiled in Italy in order to play the music they loved.

    I do not know what happened to them, who they were, or whether they ever did anything else. All I know is that they changed me. And this is a personal thankyou note to a band whose day never came.

    Hear Snippets at

    A 40 minute Concept Album. The Concept is... the band itself

    Andy Tillison - Yorkshire, May 2021

  3. #3
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY
    I'm glad we're getting a remixed version, because the sound on the original album was muddy as hell!

    Any idea on the release date? I'll definitely be buying the CD at some point. It'll be a nice companion to the Swedish Family CD.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

  4. #4
    'aang 'hoot' Don Arnold's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks for the post, SRS. What a wonderful anecdote from Andy that obviously made a huge impression on him. Looking forward to reading - and hearing - more!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Sure wish this was on Inside Out so we could get a vinyl release.
    Prog's Not Dead

  6. #6
    What a cool story. Looking forward to hearing this. Andy is a great guy and very talented musician.

  7. #7
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    The Planet Lovetron
    Yeah, should be interesting at a minimum. It would have been nice to have something from the 70s band to have as a reference point.


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