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Song Samples 

Now then you crafty sausages! 

We've uploaded some song snippets to the Forest of Fey album page - just a few little clips that are not necessarily in the album running order!

Hopefully this will help whet your appetite - and encourage a few more people to pre-order the I've stated before we really appreciate the support from everyone pre-ordering the record and it makes our live's soooo much easier! Basically you guys are funding the record - and you're doing a great job already!

The album samples are also available via a soundcloud widget (below) in case anyone wants to share the samples via social media or embed them on their site (go right ahead that would be very kind of you!)

Can anyone spot any of the guest musicians hidden in there?


Matt Stevens Joins the Ensemble 

We’re delighted to announce that acclaimed instrumental guitarist Matt Stevens will be bringing some virtuoso nuances to the upcoming record! With trademark looping pedal in tow Matt’s playing really adds an extra layer and dimension to the tracks!

Matt Stevens is a critically acclaimed solo artist from North London, also known for his work with The Fierce And The Dead. An instrumental artist, he uses an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. He recently signed to Esoteric/Cherry Red records for the release of the album Lucid which features members of King Crimson, Knifeworld, Chrome Hoof and Frost*. He was nominated for a Breakthrough Artist Prog award in 2014 and is toured Europe as support to Tim Bowness.

Matt has played on a two of the tracks on the upcoming album, contributing some ambience and textured effects to the intros on a couple of the more 'spacier' tracks on the album - his playing really is in-sync with what our sound is all about and the results sound great!

Check out the video below for some samples of Matt's playing from his fantastic album "Lucid"!

Big news coming soon.....


Pendragon's Clive Nolan to add some Synth Wizardry!

I recently wrote a short piece for Malcolm Dome summing up my appreciation for Pendragon’s first album ‘The Jewel’ in an issue of ‘Prog’ Magazine. Which was a great privilege... unfortunately for a non-celebrity such as myself, literary stardom was not forthcoming since they accidently used a picture of Luke instead of me:

No matter. What was important is the high regard in which I held that album – but for me one of the greatest things to happen to Pendragon was Clive Nolan to join in 1986 and remain the keyboard mainstay ever since then.

Clive, also plays in the fantastic ‘Arena’ with other album contributor John Mitchell and has also played with Shadowland, Strangers on a train, Oliver Wakeman as well as guest appearances with the like of Ayreon, Dragonforce, John Wetton… and now Gandalf’s Fist!

I’m overjoyed with Clive’s contributions to the record he has been awarded Classic Rock Society Best Keyboard Player award in the years: 1995, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011 – and you can see why – he really did know instinctively what to do with the track we worked on!

Clive really is a sound bloke – as well as adding some texture and atmosphere to the track in question (which is probably the most ‘space rock’ song on the album) he put down an amazing synth solo that soars through the closing stages of the track.

Can’t wait for everyone to hear these collaborations – it’s really taken the project to the next level!!

Also, please show your support by going to see Clive’s latest musical ‘Alchemy’ – see you there!



Another Guest Vocalist - John Mitchell 

In West Cumbria everyone talks about It Bites – the fact that they were originally from Egremont and usually someone in the pub knows at least one member of the band.

For me,  John Mitchell’s introduction to the band was perfect – I think the records they’ve released since then are really in tune with my tastes, and incidentally, I think that Francis Dunnery’s solo work since then has been exemplary – so best of both words, but hey that’s just my opinion!

So  - I’m absolutely over the moon that John has been able to strut his stuff on this new Gandalf’s Fist record – I really liked the last It Bites record, I mean REALLY liked it - and his stuff with Arena is well… awesome!

Putting aside his guitar skills, John has contributed lead vocals to what I would surmise will be the closing track on the album – and let me tell you, it sounds great! The track itself is quite melancholic with a sort of Floyd-meets-Queen-meets-Genesis kinda vibe before switching into hard rock via a folk interlude... nice!

Lyrically, the track ties up the ‘story’ of the album to its conclusion as well as carrying a bit of baggage from my recent visit to my childhood home – as such, a fine balance between power and emotion was required on this one and John has managed to do that with aplomb - and he's a canny bloke to boot!

Final mixing is drawing nearer so I’m hoping we’ll have some samples for everyone to listen to soon!


Troy Donockley - Master of the Whistles! 

It's fantastic that we've been able to announce that playing the bouzouki, whistles and low whistle on a number of tracks is  multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley.

I've been a great admirer of Troy's work for a while, not only with his band "The Bad Shepherds", but also the amazingly atmospheric session work he's done with the likes of Mostly Autumn and Nightwish (of which he is now a full-time member).

In the past Troy has played with the likes of Maddy Prior, Barbara Dickson, Roy Harper, Magenta and Ayreon to name but a few! Movie buffs will also probably recognise him on the soundtracks to 2010's Robin Hood and 2011's Ironclad.... and now you will be able to hear him on the upcoming Gandalf's Fist record! Brilliant!

Troy was actually born in Workington, West Cumbria, a stones-throw away from my own upbringing - and the stomping ground for many a fateful evening over the years! He is a properly sound bloke and it truly has been a pleasure to work with him! 

For our recent press release, Troy commented: "I was delighted to be asked. It's great to see some honest progressive rock coming from British West Cumbria!"  - and I have to say the feeling is mutual - we're delighted that he accepted!

Troy has performed some great parts for the record using his one-of -a-kind low whistle which really has a trademark and haunting sound all of it's own... goosebumps! As well as this he also performs the Cumbrian Bouzouki (yes there is such a thing!) on a very special track which also features Dave Oberlé from Gryphon (talk about a prog/folk supergroup right there!!)

Looking forward to showing off what we've come up with, in the meantime check out Troy performing with Nightwish in the clip below & make sure you check out his brilliant solo albums via his website!



Gryphon's Dave Oberlé adds to the Cast! 

Dave and Dean

Well, well well. if you thought that me and Luke were the only two blokes that were going to go all folky on a Gandalf's Fist record you were sadly mistaken!

It's with great pleasure that I can announce that Dave Oberlé, vocalist and drummer for 70's Prog/Folk band Gryphon will be appearing on the new album!

As a Gryphon fan this was a bit of a treat - We'd recorded a folk section featuring Troy Donockley on the bouzouki and thought Dave's vocal style would be a perfect match... and we were right!

Dave came up and recorded his parts whilst Chris and I were tracking his bass sections, which was a good laugh - Dave is an absolute gent and had many a tale to tell... he didn't even complain about Chris' incessant questioning (or even question why he was dressed as the man from del monte wearing a home-made AC/DC t-shirt for that matter!)

The track Dave features on is quite a sad and melancholic piece that, as it stands, will probably be the penultimate track on the album... it's a cool little number that draws a thematic motif, that carries throughout the record, to it's final conclusion!

Afterwards, this is what Dave had to say about the experience:

"I was delighted when Dean approached me to play a small part in the recording of this album. Having listened to previous Gandalf's Fist albums I had been very impressed with the standard of musicianship, composition and production. I tend to be rather selective these days about what projects I get involved in but this is most certainly a band to watch out for."

Which was very kind of him to say so!

As well as laying down some vocal tracks Dave is also plays the bodhran on the album - which again, has really added something to the mix. I suppose it appeals to the Irish Blood in me but I think it's a great sounding percussion instrument and has given a bit of 'gusto' to the intro to the track! 

Dave meets Chris Ewen: Master of style.

If you're not familiar with Gryphon (well you bloody-well should be) they were a really great, unique band that used traditional medieval-style instruments such as Crumhorns in their music... perfect! I could go on for ages but Wikipedia is your friend.

My out and out favourite track has always been their version of "The Unquiet Grave" - a traditional folk song about a young man mourning the loss of his love... Check it out below - great haunting Vocals from Dave and an atmosphere in this track that is like nothing else!


More news soon!




New Gandalf’s Fist Album to Feature Members of Nightwish, It Bites, Gryphon, Pendragon & More 



Earlier this year, UK purveyors of Medieval Space Rock – Gandalf’s Fist, announced that work had begun on the follow up to last year’s “A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer” - the album which received critically high praise with Prog/Classic Rock Magazine’s Geoff Barton voting it in his Critic’s Choice list for 2013.
But what may be as equally exciting as news of this year’s successor, a seemingly fantastical, forest-themed piece, is the announcement surrounding the guest appearances that are lined up for the record.
Besides mainstays Dean Marsh and Luke Severn (coupled with new members Chris Ewen and Stefan Hepe), the album will feature contributions from Nightwish's Troy Donockley; Gryphon's Dave Oberlé; It Bites’ John Mitchell and fellow Arena sparring partner and Pendragon keyboard supremo Clive Nolan. Also appearing will be the much-respected Instrumental guitarist Matt Stevens, whilst female vocalist Melissa Hollick, having recently performed the track ‘I Believe’ on the ending credits of Bethesda’s ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’, reprises her duties from the previous record.
Gandalf’s Fist chief composer, Dean Marsh commented on the news: “I’m over the moon to announce these collaborations – each and every musician involved has really gone the extra mile with their contributions to this record… it feels great to welcome such an esteemed ensemble to the ridiculous world of Gandalf’s Fist - I really can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve come up with!
John Mitchell has been announced as providing the vocal to a powerful closing track to the album which can be described as a swashbuckling mix of Genesis and Queen, whilst on a separate track, Clive Nolan’s keyboard soloing drives home the Space-Rock credentials associated with Gandalf’s Fist.
Announced as playing the bouzouki, whistles and low whistle on a number of tracks, Nightwish/Bad Shepherds multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley commented: "I was delighted to be asked. It's great to see some honest progressive rock coming from British West Cumbria!" 

Whilst drummer/singer from 70’s folk-prog heroes Gryphon, Dave Oberlé, who joins the ensemble on vocals and bodhrán, remarked: "I was delighted when Dean approached me to play a small part in the recording of this album. Having listened to previous Gandalf's fist albums I had been very impressed with the standard of musicianship, composition and production. I tend to be rather selective these days about what projects I get involved in but this is most certainly a band to watch out for."
In addition, critically acclaimed instrumental guitar wizard Matt Stevens will be bringing some virtuoso nuances to the upcoming record. With trademark looping pedal in tow, Matt’s playing really adds an extra layer and dimension to the tracks.
Gandalf’s Fist hopes to announce details of even more guests and further details surrounding the new album in the coming weeks, with a studio production blog now accessible via

Melissa Hollick to Return on Vocals

As some may be aware, Melissa appeared on the previous Gandalf's Fist record, A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer singing on the tracks "Somewhere beyond the Stars" and "The Wanderer Goes South".

Melissa’s singing has been described as being reminiscent of ‘the haunting vocals of Kate Bush with a delicate sprinkle of Karen Carpenter…she effortlessly soars to the dizzy heights of the top notes with the same dexterity as she reserves for the lower tones.’

Welcoming her back on this project has really been a no-brainer... she has a fantastic voice and really excels at bringing out the drama in our music, providing a great counter balance to Dean and Luke's warblings!

As we're really trying to create a continuous thread through the story we are trying to convey on this record, you can expect to hear Melissa at more frequent intervals - it really is sounding great already.. some of these choruses really SOAR!

Her latest achievement was singing on the ending credits of Bethesda’s ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ video game covering the Chris Isaak song, ‘I Believe’… Check out the video below!