STEVE HILLAGE Joins Japanese Band ROVO For March UK Tour


System 7 and Rovo featuring Steve Hillage will embark on a UK tour in March 2014 to perform their groundbreaking, progressive rock album Phoenix Rising.

The four concerts include Manchester Ritz (March 7), London o2 Islington Academy (March 8), Brighton Concorde 2 (March 9) and Leamington Assembly (March 10).

The tour has been masterminded by progressive rock guitarist Steve Hillage, who was recently given the “The Visionary Award” at the Progressive Music Awards 2013.

Rovo & System 7

Tickets for all four shows can be booked from

Each ticket booking will automatically include a free MP3 of the “Hinotori EP” featuring individual and collaborative tracks from both System 7 and Rovo.

The London show was originally held at London o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, but due to technical reasons, the show has just moved to the London o2 Islington Academy.

Tickets for the Shepherd’s Bush Empire show are still valid for the newly re-scheduled Islington Academy Show. Anyone who purchased seated tickets will be reimbursed by the price difference as it will now be a standing only show.

ROVO are a popular Japanese progressive rock/jam band. They feature two drummers, funky bass and innovative keyboards and are fronted by guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto (formerly with The Boredoms) and masterful electric violinist Yuji Katsui.



SYSTEM 7 is the dance music project of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy that presents a unique combination of tech-house beats and live musicianship. The band has had a strong influence on the development of psychedelic ambient and electronica.

System 7

System 7

PHOENIX RISING live is a combined show of System 7 and ROVO playing together, utilizing the techno beats as the rhythmic basic and live drums, seamlessly morphing into each other.

The concert will showcase some of the most sophisticated blends of electronic beats and live playing ever produced, made possible by the skilled musicianship of eight players.  Fans of System 7’s Steve Hillage can be assured that in the format of Phoenix Rising his masterful electric guitar style is fully unleashed, with extensive soloing and duets with the electric violin of ROVO’s Yuji Katsui.


After a groundbreaking tour of Japan in 2011 and a successful Tokyo show at O-East,System 7 and ROVO decided to take the project further by recording a Phoenix Risingstudio album.

The album was recorded in Tokyo in September 2012, and was completed in January and February 2013 with overdubs in Steve Hillage’s London studio, with final mixing in Tokyo.

The album was released on 23rd September 2013.  The first single, “Hinotori”, was released on 3rd June 2013 as a digital download (on iTunes etc) and as a limited edition CD/EP.

Phoenix Rising features original collaborations from System 7 and ROVO.  It also includes a new arrangement of Meeting of the Spirits by the Mahavishnu Orchestra – a perfect showcase for the album’s astonishing blend of guitar and electric violin.


1. Hinotori (Album Version)  -  a reworking of the brilliant Rovo live rock adaptation of System 7’s “Hinotori”, fully based on the live band with soaring  guitar and violin solos.

2. Love for the Phoenix   - A techno tour de force loosely based on the classic System 7 track “Habibi” from the first System 7 album (1991) but made with a completely new beat and overlayed with live playing and violin. A powerful emotion is employed that evokes the suffering and spirit of rebirth in Japan’s recent national tragedy, and the heart-based symbolism of the Phoenix.

3. Meeting of the Spirits - a simplified cover version of the iconic Mahavishnu Orchestra track, showcasing the fantastic blend of lead guitar and electric violin, and also displaying the extraordinary beats of the two Rovo drummers.

4. Cisco (Phoenix Rising)  – an epic live Rovo track in the “Krautrock” spirit of Can and Neu, with one of the trippiest tempo changes of all time, and featuring an intricate middle section composed by Steve Hillage.

5. Unbroken - an electro/breakbeat track composed by System 7 that starts completely programmed and switches to completely live playing around the same theme, with another Mahavishnu-style guitar and electric violin melody

6. Sino Dub (Phoenix Rising) - another live Rovo track combined for Phoenix Rising with a techno trance programmed beat in typical System 7 style.

7. Unseen Onsen - A floating ambient track with lush live playing, composed by Miquette Giraudy in the Mirror System style.


The Phoenix (in its Asian equivalent) is a national symbol of Japan. It’s a universal concept of the Bird of Fire that rises again and it has particular resonance after the terrible events inMarch 2011 that continue to place a dark shadow over Japan.

This project promotes Japan’s rebirth, and is supported by Rumiko Tezuka whose fatherOsamu Tezuka created the iconic manga series Hi No Tori (literally Bird of Fire in Japanese), and also features elaborate artwork and video visuals created by Mood Magic(who made the System 7 videos) and video animator and artist Koji Morimoto (Animatrix).


Steve Hillage [Guitar – Programming]
Miquette Giraudy [Synthesiser]
Yuji Katsui [Electric Violin]
Seiichi Yamamoto [Guitar]
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki [Drums]
Yoichi Okabe [Drums – Percussion]
Jin Harada [Bass Guitar]
Masuko Tatsuki [Keyboards]

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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