Formed at a nightclub in 2005 when a mutual friend invented a silly band name to try and impress a geeky girl, Gandalf’s Fist was formed as the creative collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Dean Marsh and lyricist/vocalist Luke Severn.
Meeting at University and becoming good friends, drinking partners and pub-quiz teammates, the duo spent the subsequent two years releasing experimental instrumental tracks, however, the origins of their music go back much further. They start, depending on your point of view, with the golden era of Prog in the 1970s, the birth of English folk centuries before or, even in the time before time inhabited by Tolkien’s fantastical characters
… And what would Tolkien say about all this? With a pint of Mead in hand, one might suggest he would say; “Hell Yes!” And proceed to rock his socks off!
Gandalf’s Fist draw on their mutual love for classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd, The Who, and even the likes of Iron Maiden. Early on, the band became increasingly captivated by bands in the resurgent neo-prog scene such as Porcupine Tree, they were inspired to try and forge their own musical identity, creating music that, whilst not appealing to the masses, (and certainly not their neighbours) was the kind of music that they, themselves, wanted to hear.
After successful releases of the LPs “Road to Darkness” and “From a Point of Existence”, winning widespread acclaim for their mix of Neo-Prog, Folk and Hard Rock, Gandalf’s Fist released their space-rock opus:‘ A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer’.
The record, seemingly transmitted from a derelict space station in the far reaches of the galaxy using instruments salvaged, is a cosmic jam across space and time exploring a mythical figure from the 26th Century – ‘The Universal Wanderer’ – who’s legend tells of a figure who has wandered the cosmos from the birth of existence to the end of time.
Even when caught out of time and stranded beyond the borders of a decaying Black Hole, you can still expect Gandalf’s Fist to deliver the goods with their unique brand of Medieval Folk Rock! Tracks such as the epic doom-laden jazz of “The Nine Billion Names of God” fit perfectly alongside the anthemic choruses of “Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet” and the renaissance-whimsy of “The Battle for Tannhäuser Gate”, creating one of the most engaging albums to be recorded from the far side of the solar system.
Following the widespread recognition the record received from national publcations such as Classic Rock, Prog, Fireworks and Powerplay magazines, as well as Planet Rock and Team Rock Radio, Gandalf’s Fist appeared on the bill at Planet Rockstock ’13 alongside the likes of Fish, Hawkwind and Uriah Heep. Following the performance, touring musicans Stefan Hepe and Chris Ewen were promoted to full-time band members as the medieval-space-rock-pioneers recorded and released their fifth, full-length studio release “A Forest of Fey” – an album which also featured guest contributions from high profile musicians such as Troy Donockley, Clive Nolan, John Mitchell, Dave Oberle’ and Matt Stevens.
As Gandalf’s Fist’s reputation continues to grow within the Prog-Rock scene it is difficult to imagine what the future holds for this merry collection of musical adventurers, but what is certain is that it will be well worth sticking around to find out!