CHANDELIER is a German progressive rock band that was active from 1986 to 1998 – and reunited in 2019. In the 90s the group released three CDs on Inside Out Music and found themselves at the forefront of the German neo-prog scene of the early 90’s. The Progressive Rock Files called them «one of Europe’s most accomplished neo-progressive rock bands» and Eclipsed magazine listed their 1992 album Facing Gravity in its list of the 40 most important German progressive rock records. After a 20+ years hiatus the band played a reunion show at the prestigious Night of the Prog 2019 and thereafter decided to continue playing shows and working on new material.

The earliest promo photo – probably May ’88

In the beginning Martin Eden (voc.), Udo Lang (git), Stefan K. Listier (keys), Christoph Tiber (bass) and Heribert Rubarth (drums) formed the band in 1986 in Neuss, a mid-sized town near Düsseldorf. From 1987 on the band played the local clubs, quickly building a small following and a reputation for expansive live sets full of well crafted mini-epics.

Fragments & Call for Life Hoping to get noticed beyond their regional reach, the band released the 60 min. cassette album Fragments in 1988. The tape got CHANDELIER its first reviews and indeed introduced the band to a wider audience.

Fragments (1988)

After a first line-up change – Tobias Budnowski replaced Stefan K. Listier – the demo tape Call for Life was recorded in 1989. The tape was supposed to show a more mainstream side of the band but failed to interest the music industry. Making the best of their situation, the band started their own label – Sisyphus Records – and went on to record a CD on their own.

Pure & Facing Gravity CHANDELIERs debut album Pure was released in November 1990. Fans and fanzines from all over Europe hailed the album and the first pressing was sold out by the end of the year.

Promo pic, ca. 1991.

Pure opened many doors for the band, including concerts in France and the Benelux as well as opening slots for English prog mainstays like FISH and JADIS. Today, the album is considered a starting signal for a new German indie progrock scene.

The follow-up album Facing Gravity was released in autumn 1992 and cemented the band’s standing as Germany’s premier neo-prog band. Featuring fan favourites like Glimpse of Home, Start It and Wash & Go, the CD documented the band’s development from enthusiastic amateurs to dedicated semi-professional musicians and quickly doubled the sales figures of Pure.

The band live at Progkom, Neuss 1993.

The next year saw the band touring Europe, headlining small progrock festivals, giving unplugged shows and, in October 1993 headlining and co-organizing the first Progkom convention, a gathering of the German indie prog rock scene.

The in-between years The next two years were marked by several line-up changes. Bass player Christoph left at the end of 1993, soon to be replaced by Lerke Tyra. A year later it was Herry’s turn to leave the band. The new drummer was an old friend of the band: Thomas Jarzina had already provided the artwork for the two CDs. Then in 1995, Lerke left the band again, her place was now taken by another old acquaintance, multi-instrumentalist and studio owner Stephan Scholz.

New faces and a new sound: the band in 1997.

The new line-up spent the better part of 1996 writing an hour’s worth of new material and in the process re-shaping the band’s sound. In the meantime a deal had been struck with Inside Out Music and the first two CDs were re-released on the now prestigious label.

Timecode Early 1997 the band went into Stephans studio to record their third and final CD. When Timecode was released in May 1997, it surprised by a harder, more guitar-driven sound while retaining the band’s sense for melody and drama.

CD launch concert, Oberhausen May ’97

Though both the new CD and new line-up were welcomed by the fans, the band sensed that their professional & family lives did not allow for the dedication that it would take to stay afloat in an ever-evolving progrock scene. And so, CHANDELIER quietly dissolved in early 1998 – shortly after supporting SPOCK’S BEARD on their first European tour.

Re-releases & reunion Fast forward twenty years and the old albums are being re-released by Polish label Chicadisc. Meticulously remastered by EROC, supplemented with bonus discs, extensive liner notes, rare photos and restored artwork, these re-issues brought the band back to the attention of fans and press, garnering rave revues and unexpected sales.

Offered to perform a one-off reunion concert at the reknown Night of the Prog-Festival the band’s original line-up took the stage in July 2019 for the first time in over 20 years. Supported by Armin Riemer (ELLEVEN) on keyboards and Toni Moff Mollo (GROBSCHNITT) on guest vocals, the band played an 80 minutes best-of set that would be released as Live at Loreley CD/DVD set April 2020.

Photo: Stephan Schelle

With Armin now a full member, the band decided to continue both as a live act and to writing new material. After a string of concerts in spring 2020 had to be cancelled due to the corona epidemie, Chandelier now look forward to their gigs later this year.