The Swan Chorus

In 1979, Colin McKay and David Knowles met and started writing songs together. Soon after they put their first band together called Achilles. Peter Dover joined as drummer, and Jonathon Roberts became their bass player and gained a new nickname – ‘Wob’. He went on to be one of the world's premiere tour/production managers ( Achilles played all their own Prog-Rock songs, written by Colin (lead vocal and guitar) and David (keyboards). They played one hundred and one gigs in two years.

After the band split up in 1981, Colin and David continued working together. In 1984, they were signed to RCA with their new band, Here's Johnny ( Their single Idlewild was recorded with the BBC's Syd Lawrence Dance Orchestra ( Idlewild was a one-off single, very different in style from the band's usual songs. The band split in 1986.

Colin and David still own the rights to the songs composed during this period and may well re-record them for release in the future.

In 1989, David formed a new band called Life, playing a blend of progressive rock with a commercial pop feel. Sadly, by 1991 in the UK, rock music was pushed aside, as dance music ruled the airways and recording companies were no longer interested in rock bands.

Many years later, when Colin moved back to the UK, he began working with David again and The Swan Chorus was born. David was already working with their old drummer Peter Dover. Looking for a singer, Colin contacted John Wilkinson - here is John's account of meeting them:

"I was contacted by Dave and Colin at the start of the band with a view to singing some songs for them. I was really impressed with their song-writing, and after meeting them quickly agreed to join the band. To me the song is always the most important thing and sometimes this can get lost under the more technical aspects of playing. I believe that ‘The Swan Chorus’ music strikes the right balance between emotion and technique".

Based in Liverpool, England, the band released their self-titled first album in August 2018. The album was incredibly well received by the prog community across the world.

The Covid period hit at just the wrong time and slowed the band down a lot. All the members of the band were not able to meet anywhere near as often as they would like and some members had to leave due to changes in their own circumstances. However, this allowed Colin and David to compose a lot more music.

In 2023, the band released their second album Achilles and the Difference Engine, honouring their first band and including some songs written in 1980-81. Colin sings lead vocal on some songs on the album, John singing the rest and singing harmony parts with Colin. The reaction to the album has been incredibly positive, with some of the prog-world saying it was the best prog album of 2023.