Snooker isn't exactly the most glamorous sport. Once a bastion of pub culture and the sport of choice for indoor smoking aficionados, the sport was as mainstream as recession and miner's strikes in the 1980s.
At the fore of the sport at that time was Steve Davis, a man who made The Crucible his home by winning six World Championships in the decade. However, Davis wasn't your average snooker player.
Of course, Davis was part of the Matchroom Mob, who played a part of Chas & Dave's seminal classic 'Snooker Loopy'. However, Davis' musical taste was a tad more expansive.
He presented numerous radio shows dedicated to prog rock, beginning with a slot on his local radio station in 1996. Furthermore, Davis once personally promoted three nights of gigs for French prog rock band, Magma.
In the late Eighties, I thought it would be nice if they came over to London to do a gig, so I set up Interesting Promotions to promote it... I never realised that there were 14 of them in the band, which raised the overheads slightly. They did three nights at the Bloomsbury theatre; the last night was a sell-out. I'd done my nuts, too, so it was great. Then I went back to playing snooker.
Afterwards, Davis hosted guest slots on BBC 6 Music, as well as branching into club work. It was during his time DJing that he met Kavus Torabi, a staple of left-field music in the UK, and began collaborating. They played a set together at Glastonbury in 2016 and 2017, running into Mike York at the latter. This encounter birthed The Utopia Strong.
The band's sound, according to Davis, is "pretty euphoric and otherworldly... very psychedelic but also strangely wonky". The album, released at the start of September, displays all the hallmarks of Kosmiche and prog that Davis' influences showcase. Davis has been advertising the album on Twitter, doing various snooker tricks around the vinyl version of the record.
— The Utopia Strong (@StrongUtopia) September 13, 2019
Once again, no vinyl was hurt during the making of this video pic.twitter.com/PqK7Rr6XEt
— The Utopia Strong (@StrongUtopia) October 9, 2019
Only a fool would not play on the cue skills of one of the greats. The full album is available for your pleasure below, it's an extremely avant-garde adventure: