Where are they now? - Geoff Downes

This page last updated: 11 Apr 2017
 
YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

Benoît David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

On this page: Solo - iCon - Other projects

On other pages: Yes - Asia - With Trevor Horn - On John Wetton's solo album

Geoff Downes' official sites: Official site; Official online store; MySpace page; Twitter; Official Facebook; Official Fan Page on Facebook


Asia & Yes
Downes is in Yes (see main page for their activity) and Asia. Asia has consisted of Downes (keys), John Wetton (ex-King Crimson, UK; bass), Carl Palmer (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer; drums) and Sam Coulson (guitar), but Wetton died early 2017 and Billy Sherwood is replacing him on 2017 dates. Details are on the Asia page.

In an Apr 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, asked about projects other than Asia or Yes, for example with Trevor Horn or Chris Braide, Downes replied, "Outside of what I’m doing at the moment (with Yes & Asia), doesn't leave me a great deal of opportunity for other collaborations. But I love working and making music all the time, so I'm sure there will be things cropping up along the way." In another in Jun 2013, he described himself as "pretty busy [...] right now working on new material with both Yes and Asia, as well as several other projects. [...] It's a bit of a juggling exercise for me right now, but fortunately both bands understand the situation. [...] Whilst it is demanding being a member of both bands, fortunately there doesn't seem to be any great conflict time-wise at the moment [...] I thoroughly enjoying being a part of both bands". In a 31 Dec 2013 tweet, Downes said, "It's ASIA, it's YES, it's BUGGLES, it's NDO, it's 2014 !! It's all coming your way soon."

Downes Braide Association
The Downes Braide Association (DBA) is Downes and Chris Braide (ex-Producers, Malmo, written for Paloma Faith, Lana Del Rey, David Guetta, Cheryl Cole, Glenn Tilbrook, Clay Aiken, Will Young, Kylie Minogue, S Club 7). Their second album, Suburban Ghosts, is out 6 Nov 2015 on Esoteric/Cherry Red Records. Plane Groovy did a 250 copies limited edition on vinyl (PLG040). Downes tweeted 2 Mar that "DBA3 should be later this year!" Asked the day before about the possibility of DBA touring, Downes replied, "Not yet, but certainly not out of the equation." In a post to Yesfans.com in mid-Apr 2017, he said that Lee Pomeroy (It Bites, works with Yes featuring ARW, ELO, Take That, Rick Wakeman), who played on Suburban Ghosts, "will be playing on the next Downes-Braide album."

The duo were working on the second album in Mar 2015, while Downes tweeted on 30 Aug, "Off to put the finishing touches to the DBA 2 album on my on-road mobile studio. It comprises a master keyboard + MacBook Pro!" Braide describes the album as being "about isolation and loneliness in small town suburbia", and about on how returning to such a place, "you're haunted by images of those former frost covered school gates and the laughter of children in the park and of the lovers you had once loved. The alternative life you could have lived. You see a photograph that reminds you how fragile we are. Somebody close to you whom you should have been there for. But it's too late to go back now. It's time to let them go, those suburban ghosts." Downes said: "[Braide] never ceases to amaze with his application to the finest detail. And as on our previous collaboration 'Pictures Of You', I once again provided him with the musical fabric and raw materials, and from that point he has manufactured and polished our latest gem with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. [...] I find it is quite difficult to describe in words as it's a natural creation that comes from our collective hearts. Sure, some might say: technopop, 80's, electronica etc, but to us it's much more than a label. This music is made with love. It is a true joint project." Tracks:

  1. "Machinery of Fate"; promotional video
  2. "Suburban Ghosts - Parts 1 and 2"
  3. "Suburban Ghosts - Part 3"
  4. "Vanity"
  5. "Number One"
  6. "Interlude"
  7. "North Sea"
  8. "One of the Few"
  9. "Time Goes Fast"
  10. "Live Twice"
  11. "Dreaming of England"
  12. "Finale"

Details in Yescography.

DBA released a limited edition (500 copies) 5-track 12" vinyl EP for Record Store Day on 19 Apr 2014 on Plane Groovy; tracks include 2 new songs, including "Dreaming of England" (music recorded during the Pictures of You sessions, but lyrics written subsequently and vocals recorded Dec 2013) with guests Dave Gregory (Big Big Train) and Lee Pomeroy, and "Birds of Paradise".

The debut album was Pictures of You. Initially, there was a limited edition vinyl (500 copies, with MP3 download) on Plane Groovy; tracks:

Side A:
  1. Sunday News Suite
    1. Sunday News
    2. Islands
    3. Goodbye Johnny
    4. Anywhere
  2. The Radiant Children

Side B:

  1. The Superfortress
  2. Pictures of You
  3. Songs That Can Heal
  4. Ride the Waves
  5. Live for the Moment
While the plan had originally been for a vinyl release only, a CD release on X2X Records (X2XCD001), through Cherry Red, followed in the UK and the album is available digitally in the US. These versions have 2 additional tracks: "Road to Ruin" (before "Live for the Moment") and "Sky Sailor" (after "Live for the Moment").
Buy from Amazon (UK):


The Platinum Rock All-Stars
The Platinum Rock All-Stars is a new supergroup with Downes on keys along side Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, ex-Cactus, ex-Rod Stewart, ex-Beck, Bogert & Appice, ex-Ozzy Osbourne; drums), Gene Cornish (ex-The Young Rascals/The Rascals; guitar), Phil Naro (Druckfarben, ex-Talas, ex-Peter Criss; vocals, guitar), Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Blue Öyster Cult; bass), and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Art of Anarchy, ex-Guns N' Roses, worked with Jordan Rudess, Guthrie Govan; guitar). Two band have played 2 dates: 19 Oct 2016, Toronto, Canada, and 22 Oct, St Charles, IL.

Promo gave a "potential list of songs" to be performed: "Roundabout", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Video Killed the Radio Star" (originally by The Buggles), "Only Time will Tell" (Asia), "Heat of the Moment" (Asia), "Good Lovin'" (The Young Rascals), "Groovin'" (The Young Rascals), "You Better Run" (The Young Rascals), "How Can I be Sure" (The Young Rascals), "People Gotta be Free" (The Rascals), "You Keep Me Hanging On" (originally by The Supremes, but then covered by Vanilla Fudge), "Come on Feel the Noize" (originally by Slade, but covered by Quiet Riot), "Superstition" (originally by Stevie Wonder, but written for and performed by Beck, Bogert & Appice), "People Get Ready" (originally by The Impressions, but covered by Jeff Beck with Appice), "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" (Rod Stewart), "Welcome to the Jungle" (Guns N' Roses), "Sweet Child o' Mine" (Guns N' Roses), "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (originally by Bob Dylan, but covered by Guns N' Roses), "Here I Go Again" (Whitesnake), "Burnin' for You" (Blue Öyster Cult), "Crazy Train" (Ozzy Osbourne), "Is It Love", "Evil". Further promo mentioned "Sole Survivor" (Asia) and "Shotgun" as well.

Solo
Downes' most recent New Dance Orchestra album, Electronica, was first released through his own website and has now been remastered and given a wider release through Cherry Red (NDOCN002). All instruments were by Downes, but the album also features lead vocals from Anne-Marie Helder (Mostly Autumn, Panic Room, worked with iCon) and backing vocals from former Buggles singers Linda Allan (ex-Chromium, worked with Hans Zimmer) and Debi Doss (worked with Mike Oldfield, Steve Hackett, Michael Jackson). Details in the Yescography. The album was co-written with Downes' long-time collaborator and lyricist Ben Woolfenden (worked with Asia). Although there are no known current plans, in the Prog interview, Downes floated live shows with Helder as a possibility.

As part of their 2015 Roger Dean exhibition, Downes performed a show at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex on 23 Oct 2015. Downes and Alan White were in conversation with Dean for the first half of the evening, followed by the show in the second half, where Downes was joined by Angharad Griffiths on vocals. They encored with "Heat of the Moment".

Geoff Downes and Friends performed a show at Raglan Baptist Church, Monmouthshire in May 2015, raising money for Nepal. The "Friends" were Angharad, Rhianno and Dave Griffiths, while support was by Celtic folk band Frost at Midnight (with a reduced line-up of Rev Dr Rob Atkins, guitar, vocals, and Catherine Handley, flute). Downes played with Frost at Midnight at the Raglan Music Festival on 13 Jun.

Ride the Tiger
Greg Lake & Geoff Downes' Ride the Tiger (Manticore, MR002) was released 27 Nov 2015, consisting of demos from the pair's 1988 collaboration. Tracks:

  1. "Money Talks", previously released on Lake's From the Beginning - The Greg Lake Retrospective; part re-worked as "Paper Blood" on ELP's Black Moon
  2. "Love Under Fire", re-worked by Asia on Aqua
  3. "Affairs of the Heart", re-worked by ELP on Black Moon
  4. "Street Wars", part re-worked by ELP on In the Hot Seat
  5. "Check It Out", previously released on From the Underground Vol. II
  6. "Blue Light", previously released on From the Underground Vol. II
  7. "Love Under Fire (alternate mix)", previously released on Lake's From the Beginning - The Greg Lake Retrospective and From the Underground Vol. II

iCon
The Wetton/Downes collaboration iCon has been on hold. In the Feb 2011 Prog interview, asked about further iCon work, Downes say, "We've talked about it. We thought we'd take a breather, and then Asia kicked in [...] The Icon vehicle is parked, but we do intend to pick it up again." In an Aug 2012 interview, Downes said, "It's not something we've given up on. If there's a bit of time in the future, we'll certainly maybe do another album."

With Trevor Horn
The Buggles news is under Horn and the pair are back working together on a possible album, tour and musical.

On 22 Aug 2015, Downes tweeted to Ash Soan (Producers/Trevor Horn Band, Will Young, ex-Rick Wakeman's English Rock Ensemble, ex-Squeeze, worked with Seal, Robbie Williams), "Look forward to working with you again next month!" Given Soan frequently works with Horn, could this be something to do with him too? Or, since Soan is also in This Oceanic Feeling with Chris Braide, maybe this was something to do with the Downes Braide Association?

Pulse, Jerusalem and Deckchair Poets
First described by Downes in his Feb 2007 blog, Pulse is a project put together by Rob Aubrey (worked with Wetton/Downes; engineer) with Downes (keys), Tony Levin (bass), Michael Holmes (IQ; guitar), Nick D'Virgilio (ex-Spock's Beard, ex-Genesis; drums, vocals) and Thomas Lang (ex-John Wetton; drums, although it is unclear if he is still involved). Downes wrote:

[In Feb 2007] We [Downes, Holmes & Aubrey] were working on a few tracks that they have been putting together at their respective studios. At the moment it's what you might call a 'virtual' project, with people sending in their stuff/parts from all over the World. [...] It's a fairly interesting but low-key kind of project, and the material - quite different and unusual, but at the moment is still very much a kind of 'work-in-progress' type of thing. Any of you prog-heads out there will probably love it all and lap it up


In 2009, Aubrey described Pulse as being close to completion. In Jun 2011, one track, "Immortalized", was previewed on a radio show (available on podcast, see show 7B, around the 33 minute mark). Interviewed on the show, Holmes described how Aubrey put the album together and also working on one Pulse track that is over 7 minutes long. D'Virgilio said in a Nov 2011 website message that:

I will be going back to London at the beginning of 2012 with Cirque [Du Soleil] and during that time I will be able to get back down to Rob Aubrey’s studio to do some more sessions with the great BIG BIG TRAIN and even try and finish a project that got started a number of years ago now called “PULSE” with Mike Holmes of IQ fame.


While on Facebook on 21 Feb 2012, he said: "Hangin with Mike Holmes, Geoff Downes, and Rob making music! WHOO HOO!!!"

Downes and Aubrey work with Jerusalem and spin-off band Deckchair Poets. Downes was on a 2009 album by Jerusalem called Escalator and then Black Horses, released Nov 2014 on Angel Air (SJPCD447). Black Horses features Jerusalem original members Lynden Williams (vocals) and Bob Cooke (formerly on guitars, following a stroke, he is unable to play but still contributed songwriting and artwork), plus Downes, Nick D'Virgilio (Pulse, Big Big Train), Ollie Hannifan (guitars), Ashley Cutler (bass), Henk Leerink (bass), Ray Drury (keys), Will Wilde (harmonica), Rachael Hawnt (vocals) and Rachel Hall (Big Big Train; violin). Downes is also on the next Jerusalem album, Cooler Than Antarctica (Angel Air, SJPCD487), now out. Tracks: "Snake" [Hannifan/Williams], "Steaming Hot" [Hannifan/Williams], "Specks" [Cooke/Williams], "Drums, Bass and Guitar" [Hannifan/Williams], "Northern Lights" [Cooke/Williams], "Simple Man" [Cooke/Paul Dean/Bill Hinde/Ray Sparrow/Williams], "The Book of You" [Hannifan/Williams], "All My Doors are Open" [Hannifan/Williams], "Simple Simons" [Hannifan/Williams], "Cry" [Cooke/Williams]. The album is performed by Williams (vocals), Downes, D'Virgilio, Dave Meros (Spock's Beard, worked with Big Big Train), Hannifan, Wilde, Cutler, Hall, Hawnt and Drury.

Downes was on the first Deckchair Poets album, Who Needs Pyjamas. He returned for the second, Searchin' for a Lemon Squeezer (Angel Air, SJPCD456), released 6 Jul 2015, with D'Virgilio, Williams, Hannifan, Cutler, Hawnt, Wilde and Drury. Tracks: "Deckchair Poem 1" [Williams], "Jennifer Brown" [Hannifan/Williams], "Bad is Bad" [Cregg/Ciambotti/Call/Hopper/McFee/Schreiner, cover of Huey Lewis & The News], "My Heartbreaker" [Hannifan/Williams], "We're All Chasing Peter Pan" [Hannifan/Williams], "God Loves an Idiot" [Hannifan/Williams], "People" [Williams], "Educating Rita" [Hannifan/Williams], "Everybody Wants to Live in America" [Cooke/Williams], "Marmite" [Hannifan/Williams], "Quick Joey Small" [Joe Levine/Arthur Resnick, cover of Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus], "The Bus Goes on" [Hannifan/Williams], "Jerk" [Hannifan/Williams], "We Like Tarts" [Hannifan/Williams], "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" [Earl Randle, cover of Ann Peebles], "Silicon Boobs" [Hannifan/Williams], "Just Life" [Hannifan/Williams].

Other news
Downes guests on We Dissolve, the second album from singer Chrysta Bell (worked with David Lynch on her first album, appears in the new Twin Peaks), due 9 Jun 2017 and available for pre-order through PledgeMusic. The album is produced by John Parish (worked with PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp, Tracy Chapman). The album is described as a "pop record with elements of soul, rock and jazz". Other guests include Adrian Utley (Portishead, worked with Dylan Howe) and guitarist Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))).

He guested on Billy Sherwood's Citizen album—details on the main page. He appears on the Action Moves People United album project: see on main page.

Downes tweeted Jan 2014: "Soon to be released - GD App designed by Apple alumnus Ken Segall focusing on Asia, Yes, Buggles, Icon, DBA, NDO etc...Watch this space!!"

YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

Benoît David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

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