'What a delight it is to welcome old friends Solstice back to the forefront of progressive music.’ - Prog Magazine
Soaring violin and guitar weaving around delicately passionate female vocals, underpinned by driving rhythmic complexity - Solstice were an unlikely band to succeed in 1980s Britain. Yet because of their unique vision, audiences in search of an alternative to the shiny 'product’ of the music industry reveled in the band’s performances at all the major festivals and sell-out tours, on which they made the legendary Marquee club their home.
In spite of this live success, bolstered by BBC sessions and national music press coverage of an unprecedented level for a then-unsigned band, by the close of the 80s the members had dispersed to pursue successful careers in session work, soundtracks and elsewhere, leaving only the independent Silent Dance album to keep the memory alive.
Interest generated by a CD reissue in the Nineties led to a Solstice renaissance, with two studio releases – New Life and Circles – and a live album – The Cropredy Set – documenting their return to the big festival stage.
Pursuing an intense involvement with traditional music, guitarist Andy Glass once more put the band on hold in order to put his energies into the critically-acclaimed 3sticks, but things once again came full circle. A long-awaited DVD release of the Cropredy performance set the stage for a renaissance in 2007, with the entire back catalogue being re-mastered and issued in greatly expanded 'Definitive Edition’ form, tapping into the current ascendance of musicians mixing traditional influences with contemporary elements, drawing a wider audience for a band who the cognoscenti have loved for decades.
This rich musical heritage provided the foundation for the next stage of the band’s development. With club and festival dates in the UK and, for the first time, mainland Europe, Solstice found themselves playing to a larger audience than ever before, including – the latest in a tradition of bizarre gigs – to the Queen at the new Milton Keynes Stadium. Whilst Her Majesty was unavailable for comment, an unconfirmed rumour suggests that Prince Harry has 'Time for a Toke’ on his iPod.
In a period of unprecedented output for the band a further three albums have been released. ‘Spirit’ appeared in 2010 on Festival Music, described by Classic Rock Society Mag as “a masterpiece” only to be followed a year later by a live DVD/CD counterpart, ‘Kindred Spirits’, marking the first collaboration with iconic Marvel artist Barry Kitson.
2013 saw the release of their fifth and arguably best studio album, Prophecy. Once again Barry Kitson provided stunning artwork and, to complete the circle, longtime fan and prog lord, Steven Wilson, contributed three superb remixes from the original multi-track tapes of the 1984 debut ‘Silent Dance’.