Ian Anderson at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards

PROG 02“Prog is FUN!” began award recipient Ian Anderson last night at the Prog Magazine Awards, held in the quaint majesty of London’s Kew Gardens. The Prog God Award was presented to Ian by Rick Wakeman, last year’s winner of that category. Many of Ian’s chums, Marillion, Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson collected shiny Prog trophies to hang on the wall, impress the neighbours and use for personal defence against intruders. (You don’t actually strike intruders with the heavy object but simply defiantly hold in front of you as, it is said, Prog makes most people run away. Are there any Prog burglars out there?

The Annual Prog Awards were hosted by Gavin Esler, thinking woman’s crumpet. A parsimonious Scot,  Mr E was seen to carry his presentation cues and notes in a tattered blue cardboard folder, sporting the Sharpied words, “Prog Awards, 2012″ with the last “2″ crossed out and replaced with a “3″. Will it be seen again next year? We hope so as the Gavster is a pro and knows how to tease Paxo (fellow strongman presenter Jeremy Paxman) which few would dare to do.

Prog music popularity grows again from strength to strength with a new generation of young fans swelling the ranks and encouraging the welcome appearance of new bands and artists who follow the progressive creed. Prog Magazine did a sterling job in creating the perfect environment for a relaxed and friendly night out. A gentlemanly and timely salute to old and new alike. Next year? Same time? Same place? Don’t forget your sequinned cape and codpiece.

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Photos by Martin Webb