Prognosis, London

22 April 2023

Did I mention the organization of Prognosis is really bad? The second stage (aka the floor in the corner of the upstairs bar) is designed to make it impossible to see the band unless you're in the front row. So you need to get there early, but because there is no slack built into the stage timings, the only way to get there early enough is to skip the end of Einar Solberg's set. And Einar turns out to be one of unexpected highlights of the day, so it's with great reluctance I leave as he introduces his last song, and race upstairs, only to find everybody else had the same idea and the corner of the bar is already crowded. I still manage to find a spot close enough to see everything, but good grief. Next year, Iamthemorning need to be on the big stage.

So, is it really two whole days since I last saw Iamthemorning? It feels longer...

But this is a new Iamthemorning. Every time I see them, Gleb and Marjana have a different band with them. This time I think it's Evan Carson on drums, and the same guitarist who was with Marjana earlier today (and I still don't know his name; I am a terrible reviewer) on electric guitar. As you might expect, it's a powerful, rocking version of the band, unlike any version I've seen before, and it's magnificent. There's still subtlety in the playing, with the softer songs like Scotland sounding as delicate as ever, then massive power in the dramatic songs like K.O.S., which closes the set.

From where I'm standing the guitar is lower in the mix than I usually like my guitars to be (did I mention it's a terrible stage?) but I can still follow every note of some frankly astonishing solos. And the guy looks so happy to be playing the music. Everybody looks happy. Marjana can barely contain herself. The tiny stage doesn't give her much room to move, but between every verse she's spinning madly to show off her new cape (she wears a cape now; thankfully Gleb doesn't, or it would all go a bit Rick Wakeman).

The crowd behind me feels massive (next year: big stage) and from the noise they're obviously all big fans. You can tell how well they know the band by how good the clapping in 5/4 sounds.

They only have an hour to play, so there is very little talk between the songs, and the long piano solos you might expect are cut out. It's just an hour of solid, powerful rock.

I think they over-run by about five minutes, which means I'm going to miss the start of Hawkwind's set, but I don't even think of moving. I mean, Hawkwind are legendary and I've been listening to them for decades, but come on, this is Iamthemorning. I'm prepared to miss a lot more of Hawkwind if they do an encore. But they don't. Sixty minutes and that's it. It's not enough, but it's still been worth the trip.

This band is amazing. Why are they on this tiny stage?