Click on this link for a 'Flash' version of the album artwork, you drag the corner of the pages and they turn, you can also select different backing tracks based on sections of the album tracks. Flashbook

Click on the tabs below for a track by track breakdown by the band and Mike B of the most recent album, "The Dreams of Men"



alan Graeme originally wrote this as a take on the 9/11 attacks. I was a bit uncomfortable with being too specific about that as I felt that there was more than one way to interpret the motivations of the guys that carried it out; and also that suicide bombings are an issue in many circumstances other than that one dramatic attack in New York (the recent London attacks just go to underline this). So I've tried to make it a little less specific - although it can still be read that way. The heavy middle section screams out "classic Pallas" to me. Heavy, powerful and emotional. I'm particularly proud of the vocals in the "the girl wipes the sleep.." section. It really builds nicely from a warm, sleepy delivery to the all-out "Death comes on silver wings..". There's a power and control there I've not often managed to get on a recording..

graeme Now here's a track that was born in typical Pallas fashion. I cant quite recall what came first here but a quick look on the old computershows several ideas came together to form Warriors. Niall had his ripping opening riff that he played in a moment of metal weakness. He should have known better because we leapt on him and insisted we use it on the album despite his protests. Ron had a slow idea we had called "Rons Sweeny" which we sped up and used the chords for the chorus . I had a couple of bits; the opening chords with a fantastic gritty organ sound from the Motif over which we fitted Nialls riff, and the fast middle section with the bass riff and big big voices melody. Chuck it all in the Pallas jamming machine and the track came together.

Lyrically we felt the song had a very violent and martial feel. somehow the quiet mid section called up a very vivid memory I had from watching 9/11 unfold and seeing that plane in the clear blue sky . I had the "Death comes on silver wings" part of the lyric first and developed the rest of the lyric from there. There were obvious concerns from the rest of the guys due to the subject matter, and whether it was appropriate "to go there". A few lines were changed to soften things a bit, but I really fought for this one as I feel very strongly about the subject matter.

niall I seem to remember that this began with the guitar riff at the beginning and some how we managed to squeeze the Sweeney theme in there. Its sometimes difficult to not make these tracks to literal but the "silver wings" line gives it a rather definite context.

ron This came together from jamming – a combination of everyone’s ideas. I think it will be great to play live.

colin We argued amongst ourselves about the additional instrumental intro section that was added to this. I suppose we would miss it now if someone stole it! The instrumental section in the middle is a very powerful part, where I use the crash cymbal as a ride, followed by a jungle type tom pattern then straight into the end section. This part was a Jam which we all really liked with with a kind of Yes-ish feel to it and has some more intricate drumming on it.

mikebee Extending the mask metaphor here with a montage of a set of graphics which I think compliment the track rather well. I think that the intro gtr motif to this track is probably the most debated 20 seconds on any Pallas album !!



alan This is about how one man's dream can be another man's nightmare. It takes the example of the celtic disapora to the Americas (among other places) as how the achievement of one aim can displace another. Many Scots left these shores out of desperation and found themselves successful in the new world - the archetype of the American Dream. But that dream had a sour edge for many of the peoples already living there. For me it also carries a little poke at what America now stands for in the world - That there's a maggot in the apple which they're not prepared to face up to.

graeme I sat down in my music room one evening as often happens when we are in writing mode, in an effort to create something for the new album. Some nights nothing worthwhile happens, but on this particular night within half an hour I had laid down the verse and chorus sections of this track,
sounds and all, and thats how it went down on the album. It felt very haunting and Celtic. It was a real buzz when the other guys heard the rough idea as everyone was excited about it. Niall and Ron put the mid 8 together as I recall within a half hour. I had the first three verses of lyric and the first chorus for sometime before thrashing out the last verse in collaboration with Alan. All in all this track came together very smoothly. The addition of Pauls violin playing simply took the atmospheric feel up another level in my book as did Nialls wonderful solo work.I have to say that I'm enormously proud of this song and cant help feeling that it could be a classic if it received enough exposure.

niall Graeme had written this haunting tune that was and still is one of my favourite tunes to date. I must confess that for me, it always conjured up the picture of Connan the barbarian, riding across a bleak and unspoilt landscape but as the story began to take shape this obviously changed. The middle guitar solo actually came from a tune called Slojazz that I had written several years earlier.

ron Anyone analysing my contribution to the Pallas effort would probably be surprised to learn how much I love songs (not all Pallas compositions fit with my understanding of what constitutes a song). This magnificent song evolved from another of Graeme’s sketches. My involvement? I helped to ‘articulate’ some of the chords to make them slightly more palatable than they might otherwise have ended up being. Paul’s violin work is gorgeous, and is completely at home with the overall dynamic. I’m very proud of the way this has turned out I wonder if Pallas fans would tolerate a whole album of songs sometime in the future? Please say yes!

colin The secret behind this was to keep it simple and uncluttered to let it breathe whilst still providing a powerful drum part. Niall's 1st solo is fantastic and really inspired my part. I think it was my idea to lengthen the end a bit for more guitar solo. The drum sound it perfect for the song and really adds to the songs overall power. Oh yeah, the violin is great too.

mikebee The night we finished the compilation of the album and took home the finished product for the first time I took a detour to make my journey last the length of the album. I had to stop the car at the 'middle eight' of this song as I couldn't see the road for tears! ( The endings of Invincible and Last Angel had the same effect ) I think this is the strongest 'song' the band has ever recorded, and that was before Paul came along and added the violin part! The artwork leaves the mask metaphor for a bit and is a simple reflection of the transatlantic journey that the song represents.

Too Close to The Sun


alan A bugger to write and sing. I put off doing this one for months. Trying to count to eleven when you're sustaining at full volume is one of the most difficult things this singer's ever had to do in the studio :-) This is another of those tracks where Graeme and I were unable to come up with a complete version of a song, but individually we came up with different ideas that meshed together. In this case Graeme had pulled together a verse/bridge section and I had a middle and an ending. In fact we both had a middle and we thought it'd be interesting to put both of them on - and it works!

graeme Ah Ronnie, what a guy he is!! We had had a meeting in the studio to whittle down our pool of ideas and to focus on what would make it thro' to preproduction and become tracks on the new album. I recall Ron in his painfully modest way saying "I've got this idea but I dinna ken if its ony good". He then played a tape of what is now this track to us. It was of course PROGTASTIC. I love it. I was always an ELP fan as a lad and there's a lot of wonderful Emersonesque moments here. The rest of us were certainly left with plenty to get our teeth into after Ron and Denise departed on their travels round the world, with the complex timing changes here.(Colin called Ron names I've never heard before)
Alan and I combined our separate lyrical ideas to good effect here with an excellent team effort. I wanted a German voice for Einstein but was overuled as being "too cheesy". No sense of humour this lot. Now this track has for me, one of the best guitar solos,Niall has ever recorded. I just want you to know that it was played grudgingly at gunpoint with Mike B. and I threatening him with death!! Niall was angry as he wanted to keep it folky and to feature his "3 stringed thing".( He gets his way on the bonus disk).

niall Originally called Ron's 11; 8 this was a hard one to do for me. Because it was an almost complete piece featuring mostly keyboards, and it was always a problem to known just how much guitar to put in without standing all over Ron's intricate key work. I had, for a long time, wanted to record my little Thai 3 string guitar which I was at last, able to use on the middle section do think this turned out rather well.

ron This is pretty much my main contribution to the album – with the exception of the vocals. (For anyone that doesn’t get out much), the main themes are largely written in 11/8 – a fab time signature that lends itself to the use of unusually extended melodic phrases that wouldn’t sit nearly as nicely in common time. It’s a remarkably inspirational time domain to write in – the melodies almost write themselves once the first few notes arrive. The guys wrote and added the lyrics in my absence, taking the piece to a slightly different place than I had first had in mind. Still though – I’m quite pleased at where it’s ended up.

colin This was originally called 11/8 is in 11/8, although the intro isn't. I cold have killed Ronnie for this (he wrote it), the time signature changes 16 times in the intro section and was a real Bastard to count (as the bonus disc will prove). It also does it again in the middle of the song but is different (the swine!)! However, the rest of the song is pretty straightforward apart from the fact it is in 11! There are some nice wee tight bits with the drums and guitars. Nialls solo in the middle is great, hence the sparse parts during the solo. A Pallas classic.

mikebee The track formerly known as 11:8, then the Dreams of Men, an honour it shared with Ghostdancers introduces the other recurring motif in the design process, that of angels and flight, though the 'old mannie' apparently looks more like Bobby Charlton than Icarus! Despite it's formerly eponymous time signature this track reminds me in part of Insomniac meets Tower of Babble. Probably the most 'proggy' track the band has done. Oh and we never did entitle a track the Dreams of Men after all that!



alan Graeme and I are very different in our political views, which can often make writing something we're both happy with a bit of a challenge. However, I immediately warmed to this idea of the control-freak political leader. It's kind of a dig at Tony Blair, but it applies to pretty much any self-satisfied political or social leader. Anything they say needs to be taken with a healthy pinch of salt. I think the soul choir's a nice touch - If we ever did a video I'd like to portray TB, GWB and OBL as gangsta rap types with loads of bling (lots of gold, girls and a huge Hummer) .. All style and no substance.

graeme I spoke earlier about how sometimes musical ideas just happen and sometimes they dont, well on this night they did. Mike B had given Niall and I a real rollicking for getting bogged down, and not getting any of the tracks finished. I had watched our esteemed Prime Minister lie his way thro' a tricky press conference on TV just before going to the studio and had a lyric brewing about "political ambition "and the dream of "power". Got to studio.. compulsory cup of tea....brief chat with Niall over general concept....Picked up bass...Niall picked up guitar....three hours later we had a rough backing track with verse and cracking chorus, and guitar solo in the bag. We were very smug, as we knew Mike would be at the studio the following day. JESUS, what a row we got for starting another new idea instead of finishing the ones we had already. Anyway I love this. Its a bit like Sledgehammer meets City Of Love, with the humour of Big Time. Hope you guys like it.

niall I remember Graeme and I sitting in the studio one night and Graeme saying that he wished there was a punchier track on the album with the sort of riff that goes something like this....daa daa dee......daa daa dee etc and the track was born.

ron This was created in my absence. "I’m liking it!"

colin Not very Pallasy, but very rocky, powerful and precise. It was decided that the groove was the most important thing in this one, sort of Zeppelinesque, with straightforward fills. Although during the first guitar solo, we throw in a single bar of 5/4 to keep it interesting. The middle section (with Tabla etc) has a great almost Bonhamesque groove and moves into a real Hendrixsy feel at the end with swirling cymbals and fills etc and less that 5 minutes long!

mikebee And after reading all the above you'd never know that this features a stunning contribution from some 'Stroppy Divas' on backing vocals! This track, nay song, is not as much as departure from things Pallas as may first seem as it is undoubtedly a cousin of Dinosaur, why not check that out by getting the newly released archive DVD Live From London! The image used for the booklet was a cert the moment I saw it, took a great deal of finding, then another by the same photographer cropped up and found its way onto Mr Wolfe. Reading Graemes comments you'll know why the album was late ...again ;-)

Northern Star


alan We played this at Rotherham and Nearfest last year. At the time we were figuring out how to develop it into a song, but good sense prevailed and we decided to leave it as an instrumental. Beautiful. And with the best drumming Colin's ever done :-).

graeme The Dream here is "the dream of home" when you may find your self on faraway shores. I close my eyes and see the snow gently falling in the fields and hills around the studio. This is soooo evocative of our little corner of the planet. This is a gorgeous little piece which will afford Colin, Alan and I the luxury of a nice brew up at side of stage whilst on tour. You can never have too much tea. Tough tittie Niall and Ron...get the kettle on G.C. Dear Boy"!

niall This was one of those special moments, like "Blood and Roses", between Ron and my self were Ron played a chord and I played a tune and the song just wrote itself in about 15 mins. Done...

ron In four minutes and two seconds, Niall and I simultaneously brought this piece into existence. Not a note, chord or sound has been altered from the original performance. Cool, eh?

colin Some would say, my best drum part EVER!

mikebee I tasked the band to write these comments and they did so without reference to each other whilst doing it. So it took either 15 or 4 minutes to write but definitely shows of Colin to his best, tee hee! Simple track, simple artwork, sorted !

Mr Wolfe


alan I love this. Dark, violent and distinctly nasty. It's a bit more spiky than our usual fare, but perhaps a taste of other things to come. Lyrically it's a tale of the invisible men who seem to run the world - not always with our best interests at heart..

graeme Now Mr Wolfe is not a nice chap massively wealthy ,a ruthless gambler who plays with people as chips. Are you a lamb or a wolf? This was Ron's other main piece for the album. He wrote that wonderful piano line on the the menacing feel. Of course I couldnt resist the challenge of using it as a bass line....."Fool of a Took!!!" Rule no 2. Dont adapt keyboard sequences as bass parts!! The fingers on my left hand now have muscles like Popeyes arms. In the studio I could record the song in segments but live...Oh Jooly dee ..lets wait and see. I love the imagery of the lyric, and am very pleased with a rather hooky chorus. Look out for the "Shepherds Pie" remix of this on the bonus disk. It kicks Ass.!

niall I love this. Dark, violent and distinctly nasty. It’s another one of Ron's tunes. I will look forward to seeing Graeme doing this live...!!! I really enjoyed doing the guitar solo. It’s really quite different for me and sounds a bit punk.

ron This is my other main contribution. It started life with the working title ‘The Silent Witness’. I’d like to think I wasn’t influenced at all by Muse, but I’d only just recently begun my love affair with their music. I think I prefer the less ‘gothic’ version on the second disk – its a little closer to where I hoped it would end up.

colin Kind of a bit like Muse, quite a modern thing for us......... Straight forward basic rock drum part, kicking arse. Lots of tom fills locked into the keyboard and Bass parts!

mikebee What's the time !.



alan "I am not a number - I am a free man" was the phrase from the 60's TV show "The Prisoner", and that pretty much sums up what this is about. It's the story of an attempt at rebellion from the day-to-day grind of modern life, where it seems everyone else has power over you and freewill is increasingly limited. This is not the life you would have chosen for yourself. Why should you put up with it? This is one of those places that it seemed right and proper to use more of Graeme's voice. It's one of the unusual strengths we have as a band that we effectively have two vocalists at our disposal. The mid and end sections really leant themselves to Graeme's voice, so we went with it.

graeme Niall has little black book with his poems in. Most are very strange! (Dont go there) I was looking for inspiration for subject matter for Invincible,and one line leapt out at me, "it's my life and you cant have it!" This rang a bell for me.I knew exactly where that was coming from. I was a big fan of 1984, a great visionary book. I have felt like I have been living on Airstrip One for quite a few years now. CCTV everywhere, more and more laws, less freedom of expression ,out of control political correctness, A NANNY STATE. Big Brother s cheesy grin, spin, spin , lies and spin , Live to work. I think you get the feel.

Lyrically this is an homage to 1984. The dream is of TRUE LOVE. It can get you thro' anything!! I had hit on the great hammer sound when messing on the keyboard. The intro chords followed. I was looking for an relentless industrial feel. Please excuse the ham acting for "the eater of souls" vocal. Gave us all a laugh in the studio. Great powerhouse drums from my "thunder brother" Much band jamming to develop the music. Nice example on the bonus disk as to how little musical ideas can grow into big themes. I had a very sweet melody sequence on my computer which we dismantled and turned into a Big PALLAS finish for the end section of this track. A BIG FAVOURITE.

niall I remember showing Graeme a lyric that I had written and I think that may have influenced the direction of this track.

ron Another track chiefly born out of jamming – although credit must go to Graeme for planting many of the seeds, and for his very personal lyric.

colin Intro section is very staccato, moving into a fluid drum part that rolls along like a train. Middle section comes right down with moody drum and bass part. We wrote this to be really tight and powerful, yet sparse. This moves into a big tom rhythm with BIG toms then back into a verse with a more syncopated drum pattern which is subtly different from the earlier verses. The End section in 3/4 is one of my favourite bits of the album and strangely was one of the most difficult for me to come up with a drum part for. It needed to really build the track and I am really happy with the resulting part and drum sound!

mikebee In grandiose style on the special edition we've split the lyrics into four chapters across two pages with two seperate sets of artwork. The first one with the hands grasping a rope underwater and insets of drowning business men with a mysterious angel is hopefully figurative to the lyrics, the second one is my tipped hat to the work of Storm Thorgesen with a businessmen breaking free and flying, Mary Poppins-like to a higher plane.

I have to admit that as many times I have heard this track I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes during the end section, another pull the car over and stop driving moment, with the mother of all inspirational rising chord sequences and glacial soaring guitar this is probably the BIGGEST Pallas Big Ending ever..... unless.......... press the 'next' button!

The Last Angel


alan What can I say? I think this is the best track we've ever done. I love the intimacy of the opening vocal section, and I think it's the best singing I've ever done on record. Bizarrely it didn't take me too long to do. I'd been singing all day and we'd gone off to get some dinner. I was pretty knackered and I'd thought we'd just listen to it a few times so I could get a feel for it before I tried recording the next day. But it was late evening, and I thought I'd try and get a version down anyway, and before we knew it we had "THE" take in the can. The vibe was just right. The "God only knows" line still sends a shiver down my spine every time I hear it. The final section had only been roughly marked out when I put down my vocal, so imagine my surprise when I heard the final mix. Pandy's vocal is just breathtaking. Takes the band to a whole new place. Magical.

graeme Now some songs almost seem to write themselves, (see Messiah, Ghostdancers)...and then there are those who's birth is...traumatic. This was traumatic! I had played the guys a demo idea which had numerous elements of the finished song over a year ago. We had the concept of the lyric, tho' not the finished item, and knew that we wanted to use a female operatic voice in the track. The song sat part finished for a loooong time. There was talk of ditching it and saving it for later, as it seemed to have stalled. There have been numerous developemental directions but in the end Niall and I stripped it bare and went minimalist on the first half so as to really feature Alans vocal. With time running out and no BIG end section(mandatory), desperate measures were called for, so Colin, Niall and I sallied forth into the Live Room and jammed an ending which you can now hear on the album. Pandy came along and worked very hard on our melody and Italian lyrics (Thanks to Italian fan Daniele Castrecane for helping me with translation) and contributed a phenomenal Diva performance. I am so glad we persevered with this because I don't think I've ever heard anything like this before, by any band ever. It is so difficult to do anything truly original these days but, you know, I think we've done it here!

niall I would love to say that we wrote this one as we were eating breakfast one morning but in all honesty it took along time to evolve. Pandy's vocals were great fun to do but trying to get them balanced with Armageddon in the background was more fun.

ron Again, this was created in my absence – all I remember was a rough computer sketch that is now barely recognisable in the completed piece. This track is a remarkable achievement, and I would have loved to have been involved with it (its right up my alley!

colin Another marathon track with multi parts to it. The drum part becomes interesting as the operatic voice is introduced. I am playing a syncopated rhythm around the cymbals with both hands, which then is pushed along by a driving kick drum, I then turn this into a very syncopated rhythm that straightens out into a real pushing rock part which drives the song along. We then decided that I should let myself go at the key change or "outro" part of the song. So I open out a bit to the fade out. The album was a long toil, but hopefully worthwhile. I think it is the best one yet for playing and musicality. Time to gig........

mikebee Probably the longest gestation period of any track the band have done, the initial inspiration came very early in the writing period, its sketch was programmed and forgotten about, well they forgot to work on it, and many times I asked how it was getting on and got a non committal response. In fact I got as far as saying the album would be ok without it... (what a fool!)

Suddenly, as if by magic, a few nights of concentrated effort saw the ending fall into shape and a passing opera singer, you'd by surprised who just passes by the studio, got roped into the act. Et voila! Another tear shedding moment to add to the Pallas canon! Which is just as well as I'd selected the gorgeous angelesque image a year before the track was finally completed.

As Ronnie returned after the main disc went to press but before the bonus disc was complied he had a chance to tinkle the ivories with a remix version! Oh and we sincerely hope that the committee that was involved with the Italian translation got it right!