The band’s first album was described as progressive folk-rock with a touch of the psychedelic about it: we liked that description.
Who are our inspirations? Both of us grew up (Mark in East Kilbride, me in Birmingham) with the likes of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Tangerine Dream – progressive rock from the 70s. We also have a deep love of traditional and folk music too, Mark with his roots sunk deep into Scottish music, and Noel playing bass and guitar in ceilidh bands around the central belt of Scotland, where he’s lived since 1982.
Now, after 25 sporadic years of playing and composing (interrupted by jobs, familes, children – life, really), we have finally gathered our songs together. Hence Arbelos, and our first album, Portraits in Stone. The name, Arbelos, by the way, is derived from a shape beloved by mathematicians, especially Archimedes, for its elegant properties. The shape is named after an ancient Greek shoemaker’s knife.
αρβηλος – pronounced “ahr-bey-loss”
Arbelos as a band name is neat as it comes with its own logo.
We have released a second album, The Songs of Apollo’s Children, issued this year in the 40th year anniversary of Neil Armstrong and his pals walking on the moon. We are Apollo’s Children, growing up to watch Man land on the Moon, and both wondering what happened to our planned holidays on Mars? We were joined on this project by Ken Grubb, who contributed some fine guitar work and a couple of the songs.
We have since been joined by Jenny Johnson on piano, keyboards, voice and oboe; and by Alex Cook on a range of ethnic percussion instruments. Jenny and Alex give the band a much richer palette of colours to the live sound, and they debuted as our 2009 tour came to a finale in Dumfries in December.
We thought it would be fun to record our album, Portraits in Stone, and it was. We now realise that is as much fun to play live. We have played a few gigs now, and enjoyed every last minute, and we are keen to do more. Please book us – we’re great live!
- Noel and Mark