Melo´s Band Directory > Eela Craig (Austria)

Eela Craig - Biography


A short Bio on this Austrian band:

Eela Craig is the only Progressive Rockband from Austria I can think of. The key-member of this band is Hubert Bognermayr on keyboard & vocals. Together with Horst Weber on drums, Hans Zuschrader on organ, flute & sax, Gerhard English on Bass, Heinz Gerstenmair on guitar, organ & vocals and Will Orthofer on vocals & sax, Eela Craig released their first seftitled album in 1971. If you like early prog music, this album should be in your collection.

It's very hard to describe Eela Craig's style of music. It is pure symhponic rock, but it is hard to compare their style with other symphonic bands. Maybe you can hear a touch of bands like Camel and Pink Floyd.

It took 5 years before Eela Craig released their second album. In 1976 they released an album called One Niter. On this album Horst Weber, Heinz Gerstenmair and Will Orthofer were replaced by Frank Hueber on drums, Fritz Riedelberger on guitars, piano & vocals and Hubert Schnauer on keyboards & flute.

In 1978 it was a productive year for Eela Craig with the release of two albums. One called Hats of Glass and the other called Missa Universalis. Will Orthofer returned to handle the lead-vocals on both albums. There wer no further changes in the line-up. The opening track on Hats of Glass is a song called A Spaceman Came Travelling. Some people might know this song in another version and they are right. Words & Music of this song were written in 1976 by Chris de Burgh.

n 1980 they relased an album called Virging Oiland. Frank Hueber had left the band and the drums on this album were handled lead-singer Will Orthofer. This album was followed by a European tour. Somerwhere in 1980 or 1981, this tour brought them to The Hague, which was my hometown at that moment. Having all their albums except for Missa Universalis. I decided to visit their concert.

I must say, the gig was a bit disappointing. Don't understand me wrong. Eela Craig was just fantastic. Great live playing and a great set, containing a lot of my favourites. What was disappointing was the audiance and especially the number of people. Imagine this, a hall with a capicity for 800 people and only 30 people there. We set ourselves in the front rows and had an amazing concert. We tried to make noise for 800 people. Eela Craig was just great. Played for almost 2 hours and we got 2 encores.

I don't know if it was the disappointing tour or disappointing record sales, but it got very quiet around Eela Craig. Keymember Hubert Bognermayr started pioneering with the Fairlight computer which brought him international credit.

In 1988 Eela Craig came back as a trio, with members Orthofer. Schnauer and Hueber. They recorded an album called Hit or Miss. Don't know the album, so I can't say anything about the music on it. In 1995 there was another album release called Symphonic Rock, but this was actually a release of the 2nd and 3rd album on CD.



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